The 25 Best Wheels for Summer Road Trips
There's a killer ride out there for everyone.
The best thing about living in this time of advanced technology and adventurous wanderlust is that there now exist literal hundreds of options that will allow you to explore and enjoy the outdoors no matter your budget, lifestyle, or activities. Want to cruise through national parks in the ultimate luxury? You can do that. Prefer to visit a nearby park with minimal equipment but still be more comfortable than sleeping on the ground? You can do that, too. More into bombing down brutal mountain trails in your 4-by-4? There are perfect products.
We rounded up the latest, coolest, and overall most desirable RVs and travel campers that will get you back out into the woods, up that local mountain, or driving through a destination desert in style and comfort. No need to ruin your back on a flimsy pad in a tent on the ground. It’s high to time to amplify your road trip game with one of these sweet, sweet adventure vehicles. And if you’re in need of some sights to see, don’t miss The 33 Best Roadside Attractions in America.
From $36,900; buy now at airstream.com
This lightweight and tough aluminum-skinned trailer from the legendary Airstream is perfect for the adventurous couple since it’s towable with most mid-sized SUVs. It features a sleek and modern design with thoughtful touches like tons of storage options, USB ports throughout, larger wheels for better off-road performance, and a cool rear hatch that allows for easy access to your bulky adventure gear. And for more amazing travel hacks, learn the 35 Brilliant Travel Hacks Only Experienced Globetrotters Know.
Winnebago Minnie Drop
From $26,644; buy now at winnebagoind.com
Compact and easy to tow, the Minnie Drop comes in six floor plans that allow you to maximize the layout to meet your road trip requirements. Options include slide outs for the kitchen galley or dinette, full shower instead of a wet bath area, and either bunk beds or a short queen-sized bed. You can also choose from eight exterior colors (with an available wood-grain accent on the side) or two special edition graphics.
Taxa Mantis Trek
From $32,500; buy now at taxaoutdoors.com
At 19 feet long, this cool and modern trailer is big enough to sleep four adults, but is also compact enough to fit inside a standard garage. Inspired by NASA’s knowhow for living in small spaces, the angular trailer has a pop-up roof panel that allows for better movement inside along with lots of air flow. Also designed for extended off-the-grid use, the Mantis has two 12-volt deep cycle batteries, 20-gallon water tank and has propane lines for the stove and optional furnace for winter escapes. And for more ways to optimize your trip, check out the 50 Destinations So Magical You Won’t Believe They’re in the U.S.
From $11,500; buy now at escapod.us
For the minimalist campers a teardrop trailer is a nice choice as they are small, compact and easily towed by almost any car, but still offer a comfy living space and kitchen area. This quality-built baby camper has four interior cabinets and three cubby holes, LED dome lighting, and USB ports located next to the thick memory foam mattress. The kitchen, which is revealed by opening up the rear hatch, has stainless-steel countertop, drawer for your cooler, two-burner stove, and a 110-volt electrical outlet.
Tipoon The Travel Machine
From $30,000; buy now at tipoonthetravelmachine.com
The tried-and-true pop-up camper got reworked and redesigned by Tipoon, a new French start-up company. The Travel Machine has tons of neat modular details like two self-stabilizing, slide-out sections operated by remote control that can be used in a half open or fully open modes. It features a king-sized mattress on top of plenty of storage with a retractable table and four chairs, bathroom with shower in the front, small galley with hotplate and fridge, and LED lighting throughout.
Forest River Flagstaff Micro Lite
From $19,980; buy now at www.forestriverinc.com
Closer to what most people think of when imagining a travel trailer, the Flagstaff Micro Lite series ranges from 19 feet to 25, all towable by most SUVs—and even minivans. Available in 14 different configurations, the trailers feature all-aluminum frames, solid wood drawers and panel doors, curved roof for vaulted ceilings, gas fridge and oven, and even an outside grill prep area along with some sweet outdoor speakers. And for more amazing locales, don’t miss the 37 Travel Destinations Every Man Over 40 Should Have Visited.
Living Lite Camplite
From $16,999; buy now at livinlite.com
Continuing the trend of light and capable mid-size trailers that can be towed by most SUVs is Living Lite’s Camplite. Based around an aluminum frame, the trailer comes four lengths—11, 14, 16, 21, or 23 feet—with nine different floor plans. Options include dining area slide outs, bunk beds, an off-road package, and power awning with LED lighting. For spouses who aren’t so keen on the bland décor of typical trailers, the Aluminum Package smartens up the interior with aluminum doors and accents.
Forest River R-Pod
From $23,599; buy now at forestriverinc.com
Looking like a tent, teardrop trailer, and a regular camper got all mushed together, the unique R-Pod has a sturdy, one-piece fiberglass roof that goes as high as 6’6″ for lots of head room mated to light and strong aluminum side panels and floor. The trailer is set up for easy solar hook up with a dedicated charging port, features all LED lighting, hot water heater, two-burner cooktop, and a 20,000 BTU furnace. Neat options include a rack for two bikes, awning with a full screened-in room, rear garage, and pop-out tent for more space and air flow in the master suite.
From $12,133; buy now at aliner.com
With echoes of the classic A-frame mountain chalet, this light and nimble pop-up hybrid series of trailers is more rigid and offers more room than your standard pop up. One person can fully expand the top of the Aliner in about 30 seconds and optional dormers that open up on either side make the interior airy and roomy. The one-piece aluminum roof keeps out leaks and the marine-grade flooring won’t swell or rot like cheap particle board, plus the all-steel frame is super sturdy and strong.
Airstream Flying Cloud
From $66,400; buy now at airstream.com
For luxurious and classy camping there really is no substitute for the iconic Airstream trailer, and the Flying Cloud is the perfect fit, right in the middle of their line and not too big and not too small. You get top-quality construction and an interior that looks like a modern, high-end urban apartment with panoramic windows, Bluetooth stereo, tons of smart storage, and an efficient climate control system. With 19 floor-plan options, ranging from 19 feet to 30 feet, you can configure the perfect Flying Cloud to fit any outdoor adventure.
From $14,186; buy now at jayco.com
Though it looks like a regular pop-up camper from years past, the Baja bumps up the utility with 15-inch off-road tires and a Toy Deck that can hold a full-sized ATV. Built with the help of Amish craftsmen, the Baja is made with top-quality components that are well constructed. DuraTek tent fabric is used on the two pop-outs, making sure that you’ll stay dry no matter the conditions, and they are rated to 1,050 lbs so you can comfortably lounge on a king-sized mattress. Other options include bed heaters, an outside grill, screened-in room to escape any insects.
From $142,049; buy now at winnebagoind.com
Based on the popular Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 chassis, the Revel is for those who want to head out on their outdoor trips in one, full-featured adventure mobile. Not many off-highway areas will be too tough to handle when you have a 3-liter turbo diesel putting out 325 lbs/ft of torque going to an on-demand 4WD system with both a high and low range—all helpful for puling out of sticky situations. It also comes with a spacious and modern interior featuring a full galley, 2.5-cubic foot fridge, wet bath, solar system, and a large 140-cubic foot garage to store your toys.
From $25,500; buy now at moby1trailers.com
For those who like their adventures to travel far into the outdoors, past gravel roads and onto rugged 4×4 tracks, the XTR is the perfect choice. Basically a burly teardrop trailer, it features 5 inches of travel on 17-inch rims and all-terrain tires with independent, coil spring suspension. The interior features hardwood cabinetry and a comfortable 5-inch mattress, while the back galley has a stainless sink that slides out with a stove platform. Mounting points on the roof mean room for bikes and kayaks or you can mount a pop-up tent for even more room while off the grid.
Taxa Cricket Camper
From $25,999; buy now here taxaoutdoors.com
A truly modern take on the pop-up camper, the Cricket looks super cool and packs in features perfect for two adventures travelers. It’s lightweight and tough, easy to tow with a smaller SUV or 4-cylinder car and can also sleep two kids. The big swing-out windows and mesh windows in the pop-up tent portion mean lots of breezes and gives you lots of room to move about inside. Knobby tires and 12 inches of clearance let you take it to the most remote locations and the roof rack system keeps all your toys on hand for outdoor fun.
From $9,395; buy now at manleyorv.com
Folks that like to keep their extreme outdoor exploring lean and light will love to hook up with the Explore. Basically just a trailer on steroids, it comes with 31-inch all-terrain tires mounted on an independent torsion axle that will pull through most rutted trails. It’s topped with a lockable aluminum lid, sturdy trailer rack, and a Tepui Kukenam rooftop tent with a plush 3-inch mattress. Hitch it up to your 4×4 to hit spots most people will never explore.
So-Cal Teardrops Sierra
From $13,765; buy now at socalteardrops.com
Fans of the traditional, ’50s-style teardrop trailer should take a look at So-Cal Teardrops offerings. The Sierra is a good-looking all-rounder built with a powder-coated steel frame and skinned in durable clear-anodized aluminum. The interior is kitted out with Baltic Birch panels backed by insulation in the ceiling, floor, and between the galley, and has two side doors with large windows. For cooking, lift up the back hatch and dig in to the spacious galley with slide-out drawers, built-in speakers.
From $9,995; buy now at sylvansport.com
The mucho-minimalists with toys to haul will love the Go—it’s a tube-framed trailer that nestles an expansive pop-up tent in the top, leaving plenty of room to spare underneath for an ATV when fully extended. Drop it down and you can still fit some gear underneath while loading up the top with bikes or boats or more. The front storage box locks and is perfect for storing tools or other loose gear, and since it only weighs 840 lbs, pretty much any car can tow it into the great outdoors.
From $108,027; buy now at winnebagoind.com
A classic motor home built on the Ford E-450 chassis with a 305 hp 6.8 liter V10 engine, this home hauler is loaded with all of the creature comforts to keep you content on the road. It comes in three floor plans with each featuring a private master bedroom with a flat screen TV, galley with backsplash and three-burner range and microwave, powered awning with LED lighting, and a cooler with drain plug built in to the exterior. Options include upgrading to a huge four-door fridge-freezer combination with ice maker and exterior entertainment center. And for more amazing ways to upgrade your road trip experience, see the 20 Ways to Make Travel Less Stressful.
Sportsmobile Classic Van
From $90,000; buy now at sportsmobile.com
Van life is for real and this boxy boy is ready for any rugged off-road trips you can throw at it. The heavy duty 4×4 adventure van is constructed from a Ford E-Series commercial vehicle that has a special steel-reinforced fiberglass shell with pop-up top added on. It’s off-roading bona fides include Fox shocks, Dynatrac front axle, Dana rear axle, front sway bar with quick disconnect, and upgraded brakes and hubs. You can choose from 40 different floor plans and you can also design your own cabin and systems for special expedition needs.
Four Wheel Campers Pop-up Campers
From $17,995; buy now at fourwh.com
Already got a pickup truck? Then just add one of these compact but spacious truck bed campers and you’ll be ready to live in the backwoods in comfort. The pop-up portion is made from a tough and durable vinyl-coated synthetic material and has four glass windows with screen and privacy panels. It easily goes up and down, making highway travel more efficient. There are three options available for seating and each comes with a fridge, two-burner stove, and flush mount sink.
From $130,306; buy now at winnebagoind.com
For a sleeker, more modern take on the typical motor home based off of an extended Ford or GM truck chassis, check out the Via. It’s built on the super popular Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform and comes in three versions to match your road trip requirements with slide-outs for maximizing available space. They all feature their Threshold Quiet RV door—say goodbye to kids constantly slamming the aluminum door—a retractable screen door for even more smart space management, and an on demand water pump with 6-gallon heater for at-home like kitchen convenience.
From $1,918,670; buy now at newellcoach.com
Luxury wrapped up in one huge RV—or, to be honest, entire coach—is what Newell’s offerings are all about. If you’ve got a million or so to drop on the ultimate motor home, then it’s time to look at one of these beasts. Features abound of course, but highlights include the aircraft-style aluminum body, Cummins diesel engine, exterior styling by Porsche Design, automatic air-leveling system, GE Monogram flush fit fridge, up to four A/C units, and color rear and side view cameras. Over 10 floor-plan options means you can dial-in your needs and wants to make every mile on the road super plush and luxurious.
Thor Quantum Sprinter
From $101,576; buy now at thormotorcoach.com
This versatile and medium-sized RV has most of the touches of luxury that you’d expect from a bigger and more expensive rig. It’s also built on the durable Sprinter chassis from Mercedes-Benz and can comes with a massive slide-out on one side that accommodates a queen-size bed and extra closet space and with a huge dining area. A cab-over bunk with skylight will entertain the kiddies (it comes with a child safety net), and an enclosed shower and full toilet in the bathroom make any pit stops a pleasure. The galley features a fridge, three-burner stove top and built-in sink.
Off Grid Adventure Vans
From $30,000; buy now at ogavans.com
Already have a van you’d like to turn into a kick-ass road tripping machine? Check out Off Grid as they convert vans into economical and green adventure RVs that feature a 200-watt solar panel on the roof and are outfitted with wood sourced from local forests. Though their conversions are based on the Ram Promaster van, they’ll work with any vehicle to make the perfect adventure RV for you, with options like dimmable LED lighting, full-size bed, storage benches, hardwood flooring, fridge/freezer, dual-burner stove, and 28-gallon water tank.
From $75,000; buy now at modvans.com
If you want a van that you can take on long camping trips, but also use for hauling supplies for around the home and for shuttling kids to their events, the ModVan—based on a Ford Transit van—lets you create a system that is easily configurable for all kinds of adventures, in or out of town. Highlights include a custom side window that can be completely opened, two-burner stove, deep under-mount sink, compressor fridge, removable rear captain’s chairs, hideaway bed, and propane system for stove and heat secured under the van.
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