You assume because they’re generally so small that a teardrop trailer won’t be expensive. Then you find brand after brand with prices that start at $14,000. The more features you add, the more money that comes out of your pocket for your vehicle.
Is this some sort of mistake? Did these brands miss a comma or something when they listed the price? Nope. Some teardrops can be incredibly expensive, as is the case for other trailers like fifth-wheels, pop up campers, and travel trailers.
Why Are Teardrop Trailers So Expensive?
There are several factors that can influence the final asking price of a teardrop trailer, new or used. Let’s go over these now.
1. Overpriced Third-Party Sellers
If you go the used route, the price of the teardrop is very much at the discretion of the seller. If they want to inflate the cost so it’s sky-high, that’s up to them. Just remember that you don’t have to do business with this person.
You can always try haggling if you’ve found the teardrop of your dreams but it costs too much. If that fails, then move on. There are many other sellers. That teardrop you want will be out there somewhere. You might have to wait to find it listed again, but it’s better to do that than get willingly ripped off.
2. The Size of the Teardrop
If you’re buying a bigger teardrop, then you should expect to pay more for it than you would a mini one. For the sake of clarity, classifying a teardrop as large means its length is about 10 feet and its height is five feet and up.
The more space your teardrop trailer takes up, the more money you will shell out to own the vehicle. This is often regardless of if the trailer is new or used. After all, if a trailer owner spent more than $15k on their vehicle years ago, they’re going to want to start collecting on that investment when they sell it.
You don’t always necessarily need a large vehicle. Teardrops can often fit more than meets the eye. Many of these trailers have small nooks and crannies as well as opening compartments that take up every last square inch of space available. Your kitchen might be outside, but you’re paying less for your small teardrop than a hulking 10-footer.
3. High-Quality Materials Used for Procurement
Speaking of what’s inside and outside of your vehicle, materials are yet another factor that can increase the asking price.
Most teardrops are made of aluminum, which is a pretty inexpensive material. These vehicles may have stainless steel components for stability, but overall, they shouldn’t cost too much. Other trailers are built from a specific wood that’s a namesake to that brand. The time and work that goes into making these teardrops drives up the asking price.
Some smaller teardrop companies will make their trailers by hand from scratch. While you do get a one-of-a-kind vehicle, it’s going to cost you.
4. Amenities and Add-Ons
Finally, all those cool add-ons, bonus packages, and amenities you select when you order your trailer will push the price way up. Many teardrop manufacturers list the prices per amenity on their website. You might think $100 for a TV or $50 for a thicker mattress isn’t bad, and it’s not…individually.
Once you start adding solar panels, clotheslines, upgraded cabinetry, and this and that, suddenly you’re dropping several hundred or thousand dollars on amenities. This is on top of the price of your teardrop. Be careful!
Can You Get a Teardrop Trailer for Less Than $10k?
You now understand why a teardrop trailer can be so expensive. The above points may have you wondering then, can you find a teardrop that’s $10,000 or under?
Sure you can! I’ve written about some on this blog, so here’s a quick recap:
- RetroRide has three teardrop sizes: 4×8, 5×8, and 5×10. The latter is the most expensive and costs $7,890 before you add amenities. The 5×10 includes a 78×58 cabin. It weights 1,100 pounds, has a length of 14 ½ feet, and a width of six feet, eight inches.
- Oregon Trail’R and their tiny Do-Drop trailer is just $6,150. It weighs between 550 and 700 pounds. It has a four-foot width, a 3.5-foot height, and a seven-foot length.
What about Less Than $5k?
Are you looking for even cheaper new teardrop trailers? You’ll have to search a little harder, but they do exist. Here are some of our favorites that I’ve covered before on this site:
- Wide Path Camper’s Bicycle Camper, which costs $4,500. It has a floor-over-ground height of 20 inches and an interior height of 57 inches.
- Hiker Trailer’s Highway Deluxe comes in several sizes. For $3,795, you can get the teeny-tiny 4×8. If you need more space, you’d pay $4,795 for the 5×8. These teardrops are also customizable, but this would add to the total cost quite significantly.
- Peewee Teardrop Trailer’s appropriately-named Small-Fry just squeaks by at $4,995. With a 10-foot total length, a 64-inch total width, and a 59-inch total height, the Small-Fry is more spacious than most teardrops.
Read my article here about Five Best Cheap Teardrop Trailers.
Teardrop trailers, despite their diminutive size, can be quite costly. It’s not uncommon to see starting prices at $14k and up for a new vehicle. Some are even in the $30k range, although these vehicles are few and far between.
Whether you’re buying new or used, you should always shop smart. If it’s a used teardrop and the price is too high, then keep looking around. When buying new, know your options! You can find a fantastic teardrop for less than $10k if you limit your amenities. Some even cost $5k and under.
Yes, the sticker shock can be scary at first. If you’re willing to do your homework, though, you can eventually find an awesome teardrop trailer that perfectly fits your budget. Good luck!