Back when we were looking to build and/or purchase a teardrop camper, I did a lot of research on this topic. It was surprising to me at the wide range of price options for teardrop campers. Here are a few of the options that I think are the best fit for most people looking to buy a teardrop camper.
A teardrop camper can cost $3,000-$30,000. While this might seem like a lot of money for a small camper, there is a HUGE amount of convenience that is packed into a small package. Because the price range is so large, you can almost definitely find a teardrop camper that fits into your budget. Many people think that that is a very large price to pay for the seemingly small space that a teardrop camper occupies, but it doesn’t really play out that way.
You must remember that the cost of a teardrop is not just in the square footage, but also in the weight savings and compactness of size. And well, there is also the coolness factor. Coolness alone should be factored into the budget!
While the low end of the budget will get you a place to camp for the night that is dry and safe, you can move upward from there to really as luxurious or as practical of a camper as you would like.
What are some of the factors in the cost of a teardrop camper
There are many options like shore power (that’s what we think of as “normal” power outlets) that can be left out if the budget is a concern. Or, if you want to have all the luxuries of home you can have a shore power system as a part of the teardrop camper that you purchase. One thing this will allow you to do is have the ability to add an AC unit to your camper. This is something that is really dependent on the area of the country (and world for that matter) that you camp in. We usually camp in the deep south and camping without an AC is miserable most to the time, so for us, this was a necessity.
If you want to keep the cost of the camper down you might choose to have only a 12V system. This will enable you to have lights and a small fan to keep cool during the night. Also, you can charge this system with your car battery while you are jumping from one campsite to another.
If 12V is the route you want to take, a solar system might be a cost that you see worth the money. Often times if you are going to be camping off the grid for a few days, a solar system can keep your batteries charged during the day, and is a relatively low cost way to power things.
A Few Different Cost Options for A Teardrop Camper
I have seen a couple of these campers in person and they are really a quality teardrop camper. The price is right, and if you aren’t into building a teardrop camper, they are what I would recommend to most people if they want a starter camper.
The Base Camp model starts at $2,695
- At first glance, the Runaway Campers are very basic, and might seem plain to some, but they are just what some people want. Some don’t feature a hatch like a traditional teardrop, but they are a good way to save on the cost of the teardrop and will still keep you just as dry in a storm.
- These teardrop campers are a budget based solution, but have many custom options available that I really like. They are VERY light weight in the base model.
- The Base Camp model (shown above) is a very affordable option for someone who just wants a dry roof over their head. This is probably one of the cheapest ways to buy a manufactured teardrop camper if you would like to get starting in the the hobby.
Bottom Line: The Runaway campers are a great way to get into camping and figure out what you like and how much money you are wanting to spend on amenities before going “all the way” with a much more expensive model. A great camper for the money.
The price of a camper from TC teardrops starts around $5,600 and are a good option if you want a teardrop camper that looks a little bit different than the rest of the crowd. They have a flat style back galley (that’s the hatch in the back where the “kitchen” is) which is unlike many of the other teardrop campers.
- The TC teardrops feature different options for powder coating colors.
- They have available front storage racks with tool boxes for extra storage outside of the cabin and galley area.
- They have many choices of wheel/tire packages.
- They have options that include an off-road package with many different accessories as a part of that package.
I have also had the opportunity to tour one of these higher cost teardrop campers at a teardrop camper gathering a couple of years ago. Here are a few things that I personally like about the Vistabule teardrop. The Vistabule Camper starts at $17,995.
- They have a fold up mattress so that you can sit in the camper with the removable table and eat. There are also footwells that allow for seating with foot room.
- They are really well known for their large windows and doors, and very spacious interior. Although they may not acutally be larger than any other teardrop, they seem very large because of the windows and skylights in them. The Vistabuile has a very large window in the front and rear of the camper. There is a pass-though in the back cabinets that allows for view out the rear of the camper even with the hatch is down.
- Overall they appear very well made. The materials and the fit and finish of the Vistabule that I toured was top-notch.
- One option that Vistabule offers is a painted aluminum finish. This is available in (at time of publication) 7 different colors.
Bottom line : The cost of a Vistabule teardrop camper is tied to the luxury of the camper, the large views that are visible from inside the camper, and the craftsmanship of the camper.
I have seen a couple of different Camp Inn trailers in person and these things are awesome. They are pretty pricey, and definitely not something that you should compare on a price per square foot basis, but they are at the top of their game. The most basic Camp Inn is priced just over $10,000.
- While the prices start just north of 10K, with a typical equipped cost of around the 20K to 25K price point, that shouldn’t be discounted as being just “expensive”.
- They are all made by
hand,and are made to order. They are built from some of the highest grade materials,and are really a work of art. They have a lot of “cool factor” that is part of what makes them different from the competition.
- Their higher end model (the Raindrop 560) can technically sleep
4people. Although this would be tight, it would be a great teardrop for grandparents with 1-2 small grandkids (or fur babies)!
- Options for these are really endless, but one that I personally like is an AC that is built into the upper cabinet area in the cabin. The model 560 has a bunk in the front, and a moonroof option. These options, along with all of the others, are completely customizable prior to production.
Bottom line : The cost of the Camp Inn teardrop is tied directly to the quality of materials, the craftsmanship, the service, and the ability to to add top-notch upgrades. They are what you want if you really want to have the luxuries offered in many larger campers.
Other Related Questions:
How much does a teardrop camper weigh?
That’s really as big of a question, and has as many variables as the cost of a teardrop camper. This depends on mainly 3 things, but most weigh between 600 and 1500 lbs. This again, has many variables and is just a rule of thumb.
- How is the camper built? Is it solid walls or framed construction? Also, how is the frame built? Some teardrops are framed with angle irons, some are 2×2 steel tubing, and others are even have an aluminum (the lightest) frame.
- What is the size of the camper? The original teardrop campers were 4×8, but that design has now been expanded and a 6×10 camper is not that uncommon. Other sizes are 5×8, 5×10 and even larger, more custom designs can be pretty much any size.
- What are the amenities in the camper? A battery by itself adds about 60-80 lbs. Does the camper have 3/4″ cabinets or are they 1/4″ panels? These are all factors in the weight of the camper.
What about building my own camper ?
In my opinion, this is the biggest way to keep the cost of a camper low. You can build a camper for as little as $1,000 if you are very frugal. The real value in building your own though is the fact that you can add in top notch amenities while still being budget conscious. You can build a 20K camper for $6,000-$8,000 if you watch your budget.