Motorcyclists are known for being ready for adventure. But what do you do when that call to adventure lasts for more than a day or two?
A motorcycle camper trailer can open new possibilities for road tripping and camping with your motorcycle. With a ready bed in tow behind you on your bike, you can hit the open road to explore places that have been beyond your reach until now.
These compact trailers are lightweight enough to haul with almost any motorcycle. Better yet, motorcycle camper trailers are maneuverable enough that they don’t interfere with the handling of your bike. That means that you’re not compromising the fun of riding, especially on twisting coast and mountain roads, by turning your trip into an overnight.
Ultimately, adding a camper trailer to your motorcycle gives you more freedom to explore. At a moment’s notice, you can spend a weekend or longer on the road simply by filling your saddlebags with a few supplies.
How do Motorcycle Camper Trailers Work?
Motorcycle camper trailers are essentially pop-up campers.
Once you arrive at your campsite, you can open up the trailer and use a simple crank mechanism to pop the entire tent structure out of the trailer. Setup times vary from seconds to less than 10 minutes depending on the design of your camper trailer.
It’s important to keep in mind that motorcycle camper trailers aren’t RVs. Rather, they share a lot more in common with compact teardrop trailers like you’d see a small car towing and wall tents like the kind that hunters often use.
In fact, many motorcycle camper trailers are essentially rigid tents. They provide enough room for one to two people to sleep and maybe some space to keep your gear out of the elements, but not much else.
What are the Advantages of Motorcycle Camper Trailers?
While the compact design of camper trailers puts some constraints on space, it also offers a number of advantages.
Most camper trailers are only around 300 pounds in weight and measure just four feet wide. That makes them relatively easy to tow, even on winding mountain roads. In addition, you’ll have no problem storing the camper trailer in your garage or driveway when you’re not using it.
While camper trailers may not provide the luxuries of a full-fledged RV, they are still much more comfortable than what you would get if you simply strapped a tent to your bike. Many trailer tents come with awnings to provide shade while you’re sitting in camp as well as room to store an air mattress, folding chairs, and cooking supplies. Plus, the reinforced trailer tent walls will come in handy if you find yourself caught in a storm.
The compact size of motorcycle camper trailers also means you’ll have plenty of options for places to camp. That’s because your motorcycle and trailer together should be able to fit in most standard tent sites at campgrounds across North America. As long as you don’t need an electrical hookup – which most motorcycle trailers don’t support anyway – you can easily avoid expensive and loud RV campgrounds.
Motorcycle Camper Trailer Compatibility and Pricing
Before diving headfirst into a camper trailer, you need to ensure that your motorcycle can support one. The main consideration here is to make sure that your motorcycle can support a rear hitch and the wiring needed to connect rear lights to the back of a trailer. Typically, you can get a full hitch and lighting setup for your bike for less than $500.
As for the cost of camper trailers themselves, they are surprisingly inexpensive. Basic camper trailers start at around $2,000, although you can find premium trailers with more space and features for $4,000-$6,000. If your alternative is to stay at a hotel every night you spend out and you have a number of big trips planned, a camper trailer can quickly pay for itself.
Of course, buying used is also an option to save money. If you do go this route, make sure to leave yourself a few months to find a trailer that meets your needs at a fair price. Always inspect the trailer before buying, since it can be easy to hide damage to the pop-up mechanism in pictures.
The 5 Best Motorcycle Camper Trailers
1) Kwik Kamp II Camper Trailer
The Kwik Kamp II is a large and spacious camper that’s perfect for weekend getaways with a partner.
The pop-up tent includes space for not only a large bed, but also a space similar to an anteroom and a six-foot awning over the entrance to the tent. The built-in bed platform is in between a standard queen and king in size, leaving plenty of room for two people plus gear. Better yet, you’ll never feel cramped in this tent – the vaunted ceiling is eight feet off the ground.
That said, the spaciousness of this trailer does come at a cost. This is one of the larger camper trailers available for motorcyclists, weighing in at 340 pounds and measuring 10 feet long. The included tongue jack and four stabilizer jacks help to keep the trailer steady on winding roads, but the weight will have a noticeable effect on your bike’s acceleration.
The Kwik Kamp II comes in at $3,700, but for that price you get a lot of extras included. The camper comes with rear LED lights for safety as well as a free tongue jack. Another plus is that the tent has a built-in port for connecting a portable AC unit for hot summer trips.
The Mini Mate Camper from Kompact Kamp Trailers is a relatively compact and lightweight camper for motorcyclists who want to travel light. The trailer weighs just 265 pounds and comes with an independent rubber torsion suspension system, allowing you to forget it’s behind you on all but the most steep and twisting roads.
The double bed platform is roomy for one person and comfortable enough for two. However, it can feel a bit cramped if you’re planning to hit the road with a partner for a week or more. There’s not much extra space inside the tent, but a large awning provides shade and rain cover immediately outside the entrance.
The main advantage to the Mini Mate Camper is a 15 cubic foot storage space in the body of the trailer. That provides a ton of space for storing everything you need for camping, as well as a place to safely store gear overnight.
Keep in mind that while the Mini Mate Camper starts at $3,195, you’ll likely pay closer to $4,000 after add-ons like rear lights, shipping, and optional accessories like sidewalls for the awning.
The Road Man Queen Size Camper is surprisingly spacious for how lightweight it is. The trailer weighs a scant 275 pounds and is just 6 feet long, yet it houses a standard queen-sized bed that’s perfect for two people.
The trick is that, compared to a larger and heavier camper like the Kwik Kamp II, the ceilings are lower, the tent walls are slightly thinner, and the anteroom space is somewhat smaller. In addition, Road Man rates the setup time for this trailer as approximately 10 minutes, compared to just 5 for the Kwik Kamp II. Given that this trailer is also more expensive than the Kwik Kamp II (it’s priced at $4,900), it’s ideally suited for motorcyclists who frequently travel on twisting mountain roads.
Still, most couples who plan to spend time outside the tent when not sleeping won’t find any of these shortcomings to be problematic. The tent comes with a small awning to provide outdoor space, and the four zippered windows on the tent body help you feel connected to the outdoors.
4) Easy Camper by Time Out Trailers
The Easy Camper from Time Out Trailers is a simple to setup trailer that’s as good for one person as it is for two. The trailer weighs in at 320 pounds, but is engineered to put less than 20 pounds of weight on the tongue jack so that there is little effect on your bike’s handling. Plus, when you arrive at camp, the pop-up tent can be setup by a single person in under five minutes.
The camper features a queen-sized bed platform, as well as small storage areas beneath and in front of the bed. Keep in mind that the cost of fast setup is that the bed platform needs to be setup separately from the rest of the camper – it’s not a built-in feature and can be taken in and out of the trailer to create space.
An awning isn’t standard on the Easy Camper, but it’s an inexpensive accessory to add on. There are options for a standard awning over the door as well as for L-shaped awnings that wrap around the trailer.
5) Slipstream Trailer
The Slipstream trailer is a pared-down camper for motorcyclists who typically explore alone and don’t need the luxuries of a larger trailer.
The trailer offers enough space for a double-sized air mattress inside, plus room for a little gear. Weighing just 260 pounds, this is a perfect choice for riding steep and winding mountain roads without feeling the pull on your bike.
There are two unique advantages to the Slipstream trailer. First, setup takes less than five seconds – all you have to do is open the lid and the tent pops into place. Second, the tent box itself can be removed from the trailer to leave you with cargo towing possibilities.
The Slipstream trailer is also relatively inexpensive, starting at just $2,795.