Don’t get us wrong: we think RVing might just be the ideal way to travel. But some adventurers are eager to hit the road with even more freedom and flexibility than the average motorhome or travel trailer can give.
If you prefer to see the world from two wheels instead of four (or eight, for that matter), don’t fear: motorcycle campers make it possible to combine all the best parts of RVing with that feeling of one-of-a-kind liberty that only a motorcycle can provide. Motorcycle camper trailers provide an affordable, accessible, and easy way to turn your next bike trip into a full-on campout adventure, and can even help you save money on hotel accommodations along the way.
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about motorcycle trailer campers: what they are, what types are available, and the very best ones available to choose from on the market today.
What Are Motorcycle Camper Trailers?
As their name implies, motorcycle camper trailers are trailers built to be pulled behind motorcycles for the purpose of camping in. They often resemble pop-up campers, though with an even smaller and more compact “box.”
Motorcycle camper trailers are lightweight and admittedly pretty small on space and amenities — after all, you can’t fit too much into a package that’s designed to be dragged behind a bike! That said, they do generally include sleeping accommodations and maybe a small vestibule for changing clothes in. Some also offer an attached sunshade so you can turn the space around your bike into a mobile back porch.
Motorcycle camper trailers generally weigh about 300 pounds in order to enable them to be pulled behind motorcycles, though it’s still always important to double-check your bike’s specifications and ensure it’s capable of pulling one of these trailers. Even if your bike has the towing capacity, you’ll also need to ensure it’s outfitted with a hitch and rear light wiring, so your brakelights shine through the motorcycle camper trailer with you use them. Fortunately, capable bikes can be outfitted with this kind of equipment, generally for about $500 or less.
How Do Motorcycle Camper Trailers Work?
Like other types of pop-up trailers or tent trailers, motorcycle campers work on a simple crank system that allows you to pop the collapsible tent living space out of the trailer box. This setup can take as little as 10 minutes once you arrive at camp, and voila: you’ve got an instant shelter that’s a whole lot better than your standard tent-and-air-mattress fare. (And likely easier to set up, too!)
Keep in mind, however, that motorcycle camper trailers aren’t at all like even the most modest travel trailers or lightweight RVs. These small setups really offer just the basics: a tent that offers sleeping space for one, or possibly two, passengers, and maybe some room to keep your gear away from the weather.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
So, why would you want to explore the country in a camper trailer — and on the other hand, what are the cons that might hold you back?
Pros of Motorcycle Camper Trailers
- Better than stuffing your saddle bags with camping gear
- More affordable than staying in hotels all the time
Cons of Motorcycle Camper Trailers
- Definitely not luxurious — camping in one of these guys is roughing it!
- No on-board toilet or kitchen facilities
- Makes your motorcycle heavier and less nimble
- For some travelers, may be less attractive than staying in hotels or other upgraded accommodation options
In short, the basic trade-off with motorcycle camper trailers is one between affordability/convenience and space/luxury. It’s really nice to be able to take on a motorcycle trip without having to worry about finding hotels or other accommodations along the way — not to mention not having to pay for all those hotel rooms.
But on the other hand, camping in a motorcycle camper trailer is just that: camping. And not the cushy, Class A motorhome kind. Since these camper trailers have to be super lightweight to make it possible to be pulled behind a motorcycle in the first place, they don’t have much payload to spare for all sorts of fancy amenities. You’re probably not going to have things like climate control, let alone living facilities like a bathroom or kitchen. You’ll still need to outsource your meals and find somewhere else to do your business.
So basically, it’s up to your personal preference. If you’re the type who really only spends time in your hotel or tent to sleep while traveling, a motorcycle camper trailer can give you a little bit more freedom to tackle the road at your own pace. But if you’re looking for an upscale adventure with creature comforts at every turn, a motorcycle camper trailer might not make the cut for you… and meanwhile, will make your motorcycle a bit more sluggish and less fun on the road.
Motorcycle Camper Trailer Pricing
So, how much does one of these bad boys set you back?
Obviously, the exact price of your motorcycle camper trailer setup will vary based on the model you choose, as well as whether or not you need to make updates to your bike to make it tow-capable. But basic motorcycle camper trailers start as low as about $2,000, and even premium models can be purchased for about $6,000 or so… a far cry from even the most modest full-size travel trailer out there!
What Are the Different Types of Motorcycle Camper Trailers?
There are a wide variety of different types of motorcycle pull-behind campers to choose from. In fact, there are also some motorcycle trailers that aren’t actually made for camping at all. Here are some of the different types you’ll see on the market while you’re shopping for a motorcycle RV trailer.
An open motorcycle trailer isn’t actually a trailer you tow behind a motorcycle — it’s a trailer you use to tow your motorcycle behind your car (or RV)! These trailers allow you to transport your bike without putting any mileage on its odometer or wear and tear on its tires, and are a great solution if you want to combine the luxury of regular motorhome camping with the ability to ride your bike on the open road, free and unfettered by a heavy load.
Maybe you don’t necessarily want to camp out in the open in a pull-behind motorcycle tent camper… but you do want to be able to bring along more of your gear than you can fit in your saddle bags.
Enter the motorcycle cargo trailer, an easy and compact way to increase the storage space of your bike. These little guys can add a couple of dozen cubic feet of cargo space to your setup and come in a wide variety of arrangements and security levels. You could even use one to transport more robust camping gear — a DIY motorcycle camper trailer!
Pop-Up Cargo and Camper Trailers
Motorcycle pop-up campers are the main item we’ve been discussing in this post — and some of them are built specifically for increased cargo capacity as well as giving you a place to lay your head at night. These trailers are a great way to give yourself the freedom to travel at your own pace and with all the gear you need to make your trip an unforgettable one.
Clamshell Camper Trailers
A motorcycle clamshell camper is similar to a pop-up tent camper, but works a little bit differently: instead of cranking up an entire tent, the two halves of the box simply open up to create a small living space with clamshell effect. (Hence the name.)
The Best Motorcycle Camper Trailers
If motorcycle travel trailer camping sounds like a perfect solution to you, you’re probably wondering which of the many models available on the market we recommend.
And although the decision ultimately lies in your hands, it can be helpful to get a sense of what’s available at the beginning of your shopping journey. Here are some of our favorite motorcycle camper trailers.
1. The Kwik Kamp II
With a dry weight of 340 pounds and a GVWR of 700 pounds, the Kwik Kamp II is a great option to tow behind motorcycles — or even small cars and SUVs. The point of this pop-up trailer is simple: it’s all about keeping you from having to pitch a tent, ever again.
Along with enough sleeping space for two (close) people, the Kwik Kamp also offers a 24-cubic-foot cargo bay to ensure you can stow all the gear you need to keep your adventures up and running. It’s also got an excellent build quality, with aluminum wheels and 400 denier polyester weather-resistant tent material, as well as LED tail lights, stabilizer jacks and more. As far as motorcycle camper trailers go, this one’s pretty luxurious after all!
The Kwik Kamp II is priced at $3,699.00 plus shipping (which starts at $349.00), and is a very popular product which does have a tendency to sell out depending on the season. If you’re interested in owning one, get in contact with the U.S. Trailer Store today!
2. Time Out Camping Trailers
With 23 cubic feet of storage space and a spacious, open-air feel thanks to its multiple window panels, the Deluxe Camper from Time Out Trailers is a solid option for motorcyclists. It weighs in at less than 400 pounds and some reviewers have called it “the best camper on the market,” whether you’re pulling it behind a motorcycle or a larger car.
Time Out Trailers also makes other models, like the Easy Camper and the Time Out Camper, though they both offer less storage space. These trailers sell for between $4,000 and $6,000 depending on where you buy them.
3. The Kompact Kamp Mini Mate
Combining comfort and convenience, the Kompact Kamp Mini Mate is an ideal camper trailer to pull behind a motorcycle. You get ample sleeping space as well as a built-in sun shade so you have an inviting patio everywhere you go. Plus, you can rely on the build quality of this trailer: its fiberglass construction and independent rubber torsion suspension mean you’ll be in good hands (er, wheels) no matter where your adventures take you.
The Mini Mate offers 6’4″ of headroom at its highest peak, so even tall people won’t feel cramped in its quarters. It also packs in 15 additional cubic feet of storage space, upgraded LED lights, a luggage rack and more. Setup time is a whopping two minutes!
The Mini Mate starts at $3,295.00 with available upgrades at an extra cost, and crating and shipping start at $300. Contact Kompact Kamp Trailers to get your hands on one today.
4. Roadman Campers
This company’s specialty is durable, lightweight trailers, including both camper and cargo versions, that make it easy to take even a rugged trip without worry. Unlike other types of motorcycle camper trailers, Roadman Campers don’t fold out or pop up; they’re easily set up in 7-10 minutes and offer a generous amount of interior space with high-quality materials.
The company offers several different models, but the Full and Queen-Sized campers are what we think look best. They have similar specs aside from, obviously, their size difference. Prices start at $4,600 before shipping, and production time is 10-12 weeks, so if you want one, reach out to Roadman directly as soon as possible.
5. Lees-ure Lite Tent Trailers
Want to build your dream motorcycle camper from scratch? Lees-ure Lite lets you do just that, and you get high quality and great customer service in the bargain.
This company’s lightweight pop-up campers start at a shockingly low 235 pounds (unloaded), and still offer remarkable interior living space. Prices start at just over $5,000 and go up with customizations, but you can literally decide everything about your future trailer, down to the color options. There’s even an available air conditioner bracket kit!
We hope this introduction to motorcycle camper trailers has shown you a whole new world of possible camping options. Motorcycle trips area already so freeing, and the ability to sleep wherever your adventure takes you without a care in the world makes it that much more liberating.
By the way, if you’d like to try out the motorcycle camping lifestyle before committing to the purchase, check out our RV rental listings — our network of peer-to-peer rigs includes all shapes, types, sizes and footprints, including motorcycle campers!
And if you’re looking for inspiration on where to take your next trip once you’ve secured your dream motorcycle camper, well, check out our in-depth guides to the nation’s best state parks and national parks, as well as our archive of the best campgrounds by state and destination.
Enjoy the journey!
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