In this guide, I reveal the 3 best camping trailer options on the UK market for 2023. If you’re a regular camper, investing in a camping trailer could be one of the best things you do! It’s a real game changer when it comes to packing up the car and heading to the great outdoors for a camping trip.
There are 2 types of camping trailers on the market:
Folding camper: which is a tent that folds out from the trailer but uses the trailer as the base of the tent (ie there is no part of the canvas tent that touches the ground.
Trailer Tent: Where a canvas tent folds out from the trailer but needs to be erected and pegged into the ground. Usually, the trailer is the base for 1 of the bedrooms, but the rest of the structure looks like a normal tent.
What is a camping trailer?
Camping trailers (sometimes called trailer tents or folding campers) are compact trailers somewhere between a campervan and a tent. You detach to your car that contain your sleeping space and all the gear you need. They’re a great option if:
- you enjoy going on adventures outdoors but like to sleep comfortably
- are looking for a quick and easier way to put up your tent, store and pack down all your camping items
- want a cheaper option to a campervan or motorhome
- want a more compact option to a campervan or motorhome that is easier to store and tow (less weight and wind resistance)
Is my car suitable for a Folding Camper or trailer Tent?
Before you rush into buying a camping trailer, the first step is to make sure your car is capable of towing it! Thankfully most cars will fit the bill. Trailers over 750kg must have brakes, under this and you can use them unbraked.
As a general rule, the overall weight of your camping trailer (ie once it’s loaded with all your items) should be no more than your cars kerb weight. Your car manual (or use Google!) will be able to tell you the maximum towing limit.
Top Tip: If you are wondering if your driving licence covers you for towing a camping trailer, check out this handy guide by the Camping and Caravan Club.
How much are camping trailers?
A folding camper will tend to be a bit more expensive than a tent trailer – you are looking in the region of £17,000-21,000, depending on the number of berths and features. Whereas a folding camper is most likely to be under the £10,000 mark.
If you are open to getting one second-hand, you can find used camping trailers for anywhere between £2000 – £12,000. A good place to find used camping trailers is on eBay or on Camping and Leisures Ltd.
Top tips for your First Folding Campers or trailer tent…
- Keeping your camping trailer clean and dry is key to preventing mould and damage. Wash the outside, awnings and any covers in lukewarm water using a soft brush. Do not store for long periods until everything is bone dry.
- When purchasing your camping trailer, ask for a full demonstration so you understand how to attach it to your car, and erect and store it.
- Vacum the mattress and living area upholstery regularly.
- Practice hitching and unhitching multiple times before you head off on your first adventure.
- Don’t forget to inform your car insurer and breakdown cover that you have a tow bar fitted and will be towing. In most cases this won’t affect your policy but not informing them could make any claims void.
- Your trailer tent or folding camper need an approved, illuminated number plate that matches your car registration number.
- Condensation is hard to avoid, but keeping the trailer well-ventilated, leaving wet items outside and reducing cooking inside with doors shut will help. Bring a spare towel to wipe away condensation each morning.
3 Best Camping Trailers of 2023 (UK)
You’ll notice that there aren’t many camping trailer options on the UK market. They seem to be few and far between! The 3 models below, though, are the best you can find. Weighing up price, comfort, durability and features, these brands really stand out from the crowd. I’ll start with my Top Pick….it’s hard to beat an Opus…..
1. Opus All-Road; Folding Camper
Type: Folding Camper
Berths: 6 people (3 double beds)
Overall length (closed): 430cm
Overall width (closed): 201cm
The Opus All-Road really is one of the best trailers for camping. It’s versitle, comfortable and a reasonable prie for the level of comfort you get. On arrival, you flip open both sides of the trailer, then use the built-in electric pump to erect the tent.
The trailer opens up on both sides, revealing a pop-up fully-functioning kitchen and living space in the middle (with plush leatherette seating). On either side, you have a fixed double bed with inner tents which can zip up for privacy. The seating area can be converted into another double bed, creating space for up to 6.
I could talk about the Opus All-Road all day because there are a lot of fabulous features. From LED lights, 2 gas hobs, a 3-way refrigerator and electric heating. This is a superb option for anyone looking for a reliable and comfortable camping trailer. It’s price, durability and luxury is why it’s my top pick for the best camping trailers UK.
2. Isabella Camp-let Passion; Tent Trailer
Type: Tent Trailer
Berths: 4 people
Overall length (closed): 160cm
Overall width (closed): 95cm
Weight: 284 Kgs
Isabella offer the best range of tent trailers in the UK and the Camp-Let Passion is their latest model (released 2023). This is ideal for anyone looking for a trailer for camping that is on a tight budget and with very limited space. The unit when closed is very compact. It opens easily and takes no time at all to peg down the tent.
The Camp-Let Passion has a permanent foam mattress, and the integrated dark curtains mean you are guaranteed a good night’s sleep. The tent is surprisingly spacious once up – a total of 18m2, making it a good option for a family of 4 (parents in the sleeping cabin and children in the adjacent bedroom compartment. The model can also be extended to accommodate up to 8 by adding an annex on each side.
3. Pennie Conway Countryman; Folding Camper
Type: Folding Camper
Berths: 4 people (2 double beds – can add an awning to create another 4 berths)
Overall length (closed): 400cm
Overall width (closed): 184cm
The Conway Countryman is a good option for anyone looking for a small and lightweight folding camper that houses 4 people. It boasts that it’s the most compact folding camper in the UK, making it ideal for anyone with limited storing space.
The unit unfolds quickly and with ease to create a comfortable self-contained unit. Although it doesn’t have the same luxurious feel as the Opus, the Conway Countryman has everything you need for a fun camping trip. There are 2 permanent pods with double beds, plus 2 bench seats and a free-standing table in your dining area. The kitchen is fully equipped with 3 burner bobs, a grill, sink and fridge, freezer. There’s space to store a portable toilet which is an optional extra. A nice little feature is that the beds can be left made up with duvet, bedding and pillows when opening and closing, saving you time when setting up.
Unlike most folding camper options, the Conway Countryman comes with an awning. This massively increases your inside living space when camping. There’s even an option to add an extension to this to create extra sleeping space for another 4 (total 8 berths).
LOOKING FOR A BIGGER CAMP TRAILER? Pennie also make a model called the Pathfinder which is a 6 berth Folding Camper option; link here. This costs £19.995.
I hope you’ve found my guide to the UK’s best camping trailer helpful. Whether you choose a trailer tent or folding camper, you won’t regret your purchase. Are camping trailers worth it? Absolutely! As long as you are doing a handful of camping trips a year with your trailer, then you will soon feel you are getting your money’s worth. They are fun, and adventurous but also allow you to take the comforts of home with you everywhere you go.