Motorcycle Cargo Trailer
Motorcycle Cargo Trailer by The USA Trailer Store (CC BY)

The Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Camper Trailers

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Motorcycle Cargo Trailer
Motorcycle Cargo Trailer by The USA Trailer Store (CC BY)

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

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.


We're walking you through everything you need to know about motorcycle trailer campers: what they are, what types are available, and the very best ones to choose from on the market today.


Related: The Best Remote Vacation Spot in Every State

Custom Camper Trike Hitched to Motorcycle
Custom Camper Trike Hitched to Motorcycle by kenjonbro (CC BY-NC-SA)

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. 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. Some also offer an attached sunshade so you can turn the space around your bike into a mobile back porch.


Related: 25 Iconic Motorcycles From the Past 125 Years

Padlock and chain on the trailer tow bar
ucho103/istockphoto

In a Stitch Without a Hitch?

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 brake lights shine through the motorcycle camper trailer when you use them. Fortunately, capable bikes can be outfitted with this kind of equipment, generally for about $500 or less. 

Camper Trailer
Camper Trailer by dwstucke (CC BY-NC)

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.


Related: 25 Affordable Camper Alternatives for Escaping the Crowds

Inside of Camper Trailer
Inside of Camper Trailer by dwstucke (CC BY-NC)

Pros of Motorcycle Camper Trailers

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Better than stuffing your saddle bags with camping gear
  • More affordable than staying in hotels all the time

Related: 8 Cheap Camping Tips

Motorcycle with sidecar parked on green grass
golubovy/istockphoto

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

Related: 32 RV Accessories to Make Road Life More Luxurious

Motorcycle Teardrop Trailer
Wikimedia Commons

Ability to Get Up and Go

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.


Related: 16 Epic Motorcycle Rides Across America We Can't Wait to Take

Inside Camper Tent Trailer
Inside Camper Tent Trailer by Jeff (CC BY-ND)

Going Camping in a Camper

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.


Related: 20 Beautiful Beachside Campgrounds Across America

Custom motorbike blue color with trailer, parked outdoors in a sunny spring day. USA
Rawf8/istockphoto

Is a Motorcycle Camper Trailer Right for You?

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.


Related: 22 Best Motorcycles for Weekend Warriors

1964 Helite Camper Trailer
1964 Helite Camper Trailer by dwstucke (CC BY-NC)

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!


Related: The Best Places to Buy an RV, Used or New

Custom Motorcycle Trailer for the Dog
Custom Motorcycle Trailer for the Dog by Trilllion (CC BY-NC-ND)

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.


Related: The Best SUVs for Towing a Travel Trailer

harley davidson transporter
rappensuncle/istockphoto

Open Trailers

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.

Motor bikers Honda Goldwing making a drive through Hungary
kruwt/istockphoto

Cargo Trailers

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!


Related: The Best Cargo Carriers

Time Out Camping Trailers (Pull Behind Motorcycle or Small Car)
Amazon

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.

Slipstream Camper

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.) Cycle Mate Trailers offers clamshell as well as a great variety of other motorcycle trailers available to browse or buy — just be sure to schedule an appointment and consider the 8- to 10-week shipping period. 


Related: Gorgeous Teardrop Trailers and Tiny RVs That Will Make You Want to Hit the Open Road

Dog in Motorcycle Trailer
Dog in Motorcycle Trailer by Ron B (CC BY-ND)

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.


Related: Cargo Trailer Camper Conversions That'll Have You Revving to Renovate

The Solace Deluxe Motorcycle Camping Trailer
The USA Trailer Store

1. The Solace Deluxe Motorcycle Camping Trailer

The Solace Deluxe Motorcycle Camping Trailer 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 Solace Deluxe also offers a 23-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 — 8" wheels, durable VRX-14 tent fabric, LED tail lights, a wiring harness and more. As far as motorcycle camper trailers go, this one’s pretty luxurious after all! The Solace Deluxe Motorcycle Camping Trailer is priced at $3,449 plus shipping (which starts at $349.00) and is a very popular product that does have a tendency to sell out, depending on the season.

Time Out Camping Trailers
Amazon

2. Time Out Camping Trailers

Time Out Trailers offers excellent models, like the Easy Camper and the Time Out Camper, for motorcyclists. Their trailers offer 16 cubic feet of cargo space and only require about three minutes of set-up time. With each weighing under 350 pounds, these trailers are easy to carry, yet hold a solid amount of weight at the same time. One reviewer even referred to her new trailer as “the best camper on the market!” These trailers sell for between $4,000 and $5,000 depending on where you buy them.

The Kompact Kamp Mini Mate
Kompact Kamp

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 with available upgrades at an extra cost, and crating and shipping start at $300.

Roadman Campers Full Size Camper
Roadman Campers

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 15 to 17 weeks, so if you want one, contact Roadman directly as soon as possible.

Lees-ure Lite Tent Trailers
SunLite Trailers Inc.

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!

Motorcycle Trailer
Motorcycle Trailer by jpowers65 (CC BY-ND)

Vroom, Vroom — And You're Off!

We hope this introduction to motorcycle camper trailers has shown you a whole new world of possible camping options. Motorcycle trips are 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.


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!


Related: 11 Legendary Harley-Davidsons (and 5 Duds)


This article originally appeared on RVshare.com.