There are many different caravan brands available because they are the most common kind of camper or RV on the market. You’ve undoubtedly heard of well-known caravan manufacturers like Airstream, Keystone, and Grand Design, but what you really need to know is which of these top-rated manufacturers’ products are worth the money and which of these manufacturers you should be avoiding. After two years of full-time travel throughout the nation in our caravan, we have firsthand knowledge of best for travel trailers. The factors that everyone should take into account when purchasing an RV, and the upgrades that are genuinely worthwhile. Whether you intend to use the caravan you purchase for year-round living or just for summer camping, you still want to make sure it’s a long-term investment.
Best Travel Trailers of Quality
The most dependable and cost-effective caravan manufacturers are:
- N.W. O. Mfg.
- RV outside
- Massive Design
Advice on Purchasing a Travel Trailer
Knowledge about your tow vehicle is crucial! Before you purchase a trailer, you must be aware of the towing capacity and payload of your tow vehicle. In order to reduce the stress on your car’s gearbox and brakes, you should ideally choose a trailer with a GVWR that is no higher than 85% of the towing capacity of your vehicle.
If your vehicle or SUV claims to have a 5000 lb towing capacity, for instance, you should try to find a trailer with a GVWR of 4250 lbs or less. The weight of the trailer itself, together with any gear or objects you load into the trailer while towing, is included in the GVWR.
How much water do you need? Most people are unaware of the significant advantages of having larger freshwater, graywater, and blackwater holding tanks when camping. You should think about getting an RV with a freshwater tank that contains at least 25 gallons for 2 people unless you only want to camp for 2 nights at a time or stay in RV parks with full hookups.
Determine whether you’ll need higher clearance by deciding whether you’ll be boondocking or travelling on gravel roads in your travel trailer. If so, you should upgrade to all-terrain tyres and look for a travel trailer with higher clearance.
Length restrictions: Obviously, a larger caravan can have more room and features, but that comes at a cost. The longer the caravan, the harder it is to park and the more likely it is to sway while being towed. The majority of campgrounds, particularly those in state and national parks, have few (if any) spaces for trailers longer than 30 feet.
Visit the caravan in person to gain a better understanding of what you really need versus what you want. You may do this by visiting an RV dealer or, even better, an RV expo.
Create a spreadsheet of the many models you’re interested in and note if they have your requirements and needs. When looking at so many different models, it might become overwhelming.
2023’s top travel trailers
We have done our study and have lived in a caravan full-time for two years while travelling the country, so we know exactly what to look for when purchasing our new camper.
The best travel trailers to buy in 2023 are listed below
1) The Flying Cloud Airstream
finest for: a high-end caravan with the finest resale value that can accommodate couples or families and survive for decades.
23′ to 30′ (depending on the model) overall length
GVWR: 6,000–8,800 lbs.
$94,400 to $124,500 MSRP
37 gal. fresh, 37 grey, and 17 black holding tanks (type 23FB)
- top resale value among all caravan manufacturers
- numerous layouts for families and couples to pick from
- for the size, most aerodynamic and convenient to tow
- characteristics designed for distant workers
- modernised and improved appliances
- exorbitant admission fee
- not using slides to create more floor space
- reduced clearance inappropriate for off-roading
- compared to other brands on this list, smaller holding tanks
The Airstream is the most recognisable caravan, and for good reason. No other caravan will be able to maintain its value for as long as the Airstream, especially over decades. Additionally, Airstreams are not simply a collectible; they are genuinely quite well made, from the aerodynamic “aircraft grade” aluminium alloy frame to the contemporary amenities and equipment.
More floor plans are available in the “Flying Cloud” series than in any other model, making it ideal for both families and couples. Although it is pricey, the Airstream is the only caravan that will maintain its value over time.
While there are more affordable Airstream models like the Bambi and Caravel available, I believe they are only good for couples because of their size and lacklustre feature sets. The front rock guard, a walk-around (standard) queen-size bed, larger holding tanks, a tandem axle, a bigger fridge, and increased load carrying capacity are all standard on the Flying Cloud.
2) Basecamp Airstream X
Best for: Singles or couples that require modern features and off-road capability
Total Length: 16X= 16′ 2″ and 20X= 20′ 2″
GVWR: 4300 pounds
Holding Tanks: (Gallon) 23 Fresh, 28 Grey, and 21 Black
- will be valuable for many years.
- wonderfully well-built
- X model increases ground clearance by 3″
- All-Terrain Goodyear tyres
- simple to haul
- expanding the living area with an optional tent that attaches to the frame
- small water holding tanks
- (48″x78″) is not a true queen size bed.
The Basecamp X is the ideal travel trailer for an outdoorsy couple or lone traveller who wants the durability and craftsmanship of an Airstream but prefers to go off-roading or dry camping.
The Basecamp was created for adventurers who want to cram in all their toys while being light enough to tow with their mid-size SUV, unlike the typical Twinkie shape.
You receive +3″ more ground clearance, Goodyear A/T tyres, and the stainless steel front rock guard with the Basecamp X model.
The 20X model has a separate dinette from your bed so you won’t have to bother about converting your bed every day, which is the major difference between the 16X and 20X.
Even while the new REI partnership model also offers choices like a built-in UV-LED water filtration system, composting toilet, stain-resistant fabric, and an additional 160 watts of solar panels, I honestly don’t think the increased features are that useful.
3) All types of Lance travel trailers
Best value for the money when it comes to caravan construction.
20 to 30 feet overall
GVWR: 4500 to 8900 pounds.
MSRP: $45,000 for the smallest model.
45 fresh, 40 grey, and 40 black (gal.) holding tanks
- extraordinarily sturdy and long-lasting construction
- can purchase used for a significantly lower cost than Airstream
- additional holding tanks
- There are slide choices for smaller sizes also.
- perfect for camping in the cold
- These trailers are too heavy to be towed by most SUVs
- households have fewer layout alternatives.
Since 2009, Lance has added producing travel trailers with the same expert quality to its decades-long tradition of producing the best truck campers. Lance really pays attention to the little things, like building the cabinet entirely out of genuine wood to prevent it from falling apart on your first road trip.
Although Lance is one of the few manufacturers to reinforce the slides with high-quality construction so they don’t leak or jam on you after a year or two of regular use, there are a few reasons Airstream avoids slides on trailers.
The All-Weather Package for camping in all four seasons, Goodyear radial tyres, tinted Thermopane windows, and a front opening window for stargazing are additional standard features of Lance travel trailers. The solar package with 190 watt panels, a 1500 watt inverter, and lithium batteries is also an option.
4) Reflection on the Grand Design
Best for: a luxurious and roomy caravan for permanent residence
Dimensions: 33’10” to 37’11”
9,995 to 11,295 lb GVWR
MSRP: beginning at $50,000 for models in 2022
54 fresh, 86 grey, and 43 black (gal.) holding tanks
- for the price, the craftsmanship and design are great.
- huge 16.4 cubic foot refrigerator for homes
- washer and dryer set up
- The location of the slides makes the space feel extra spacious.
- On some variants, roof-mounted solar panels are standard.
- The rig is too big to tow more frequently than once per month.
- In bunk models, the only master bed is a queen size.
- For families that also intend to boondock or dry camp, modest holding tanks
One of the more upscale RV brands is Grand Design, and somehow they manage to keep luxury within reach.
Their fifth wheels and travel trailers provide the ideal floor plans for both families and couples. Grand Design uses well-made frames, cabinets, and furniture to keep its interior design both contemporary and timeless.
Given their huge bodies, multiple slides, and residential characteristics like the sizable electric-only fridge, the Reflection series is nice for those who intend to stay in one area for prolonged periods of time.
Look into their Imagine series if you want a caravan that is simpler to tow and suitable for frequent travel.
5) Alto R1723 Motorhome
Retractable roof allows it to fit in your garage, which is a top feature.
17’4″ in total length.
GVWR: 2700 pounds
16 fresh, 16 grey, and 16 black (gal.) holding tanks
- can fit in a typical garage
- This trailer can be readily towed by most SUVs.
- a fixed queen bed and a separate dining area
- Almost tough to locate one used or readily available
- miniature holding tanks
- not recommended for cold-weather camping
With its retractable roof, this caravan made in Canada is incredibly distinctive. When the roof is lowered, the trailer is just 82″ tall, and the maximum entry height for most American garages is 84″.
The roof conveniently raises to 8′5″ high when you’re at your campsite, giving you a generous interior clearance of 6′ 10″.
The entire growing piece of the roof on this caravan is made up of windows, allowing in a tonne of natural light. Having said that, I wouldn’t suggest this caravan if you intend to camp in a chilly region because of all the windows.
Despite being a little caravan, it nevertheless comes equipped with all the necessities, like a microwave, 3.1 cu ft of refrigerator space, a two-burner hob, a toilet and a shower. Remember that the shower and toilet are in a semi-enclosed environment due to the retractable roof. Also standard on the new models are lithium batteries.
6) Opus OP 15
Families who appreciate challenging off-road excursions and luxury features are the best candidates.
23′ in length overall
GVWR: 639 3 pounds
60 fresh, 17 grey, and 10 black (gal.) holding tanks
- finest off-road improvements and capabilities
- enormous freshwater tank
- 300-watt solar panels put on the roof
- Twin bunk beds and a king-size bed
- Outside is the kitchen
- The bathroom is the sole room with walls for seclusion.
- extended setup period
The ideal off-road trailer for a family of four is this travel trailer, which was created especially for that purpose.
You won’t be missing anything with the king-size bed, twin bunk beds, full bathroom and fully equipped kitchen.
The OP15’s galvanised and welded stainless steel frame, a trailing arm suspension with twin shock absorbers, stone guard, and two spare full-size tyres are unmatched for off-road towing.
The OP 15 comes standard with 300 watts of solar placed on the roof and 3x 100ah AGM batteries, or you can upgrade to Lithium batteries (which we highly recommend). This is because we know families will be travelling off-road and going off-grid.
A slide-out 4-burner stove, sink, prep deck, lockable pantry and a 12v (75gal) Fridge/Freezer combo are all included in this outdoor kitchen, which isn’t the best but at least is completely equipped.
7) Trail Series 27TRX Outdoors RV
Best for: people who want to transport toys and require a sturdy caravan for off-road excursions
33’2″ in length overall.
13,995 lb GVWR
100 fresh, 65 grey, and 40 black (gal.) holding tanks
Tank for fuel: 40 gallons
- highly robust and off-road designed
- a 4-season weather bundle that is “true”
- a conventional rooftop 170 watt solar panel
- Storage room for motorcycles or side by sides that is 8 by 11
- smaller manufacturer unable to produce as many
- poorly designed interiors
- There are no slides to provide a larger living area.
Outdoors RV is a relatively new Oregon-based business that was founded in 2009, but it has already established a reputation for being very well-built.
With the onboard Cummins Onan 4K Generator and 40 gallon fuel station, you can quickly load up your toys on the non-slip ramp and be ready for some fun.
Turn the ramp into a fully enclosed patio with a separate entry step once you are at camp.
Brands of travel trailers to avoid
Avoid Palomino and Forest River travel trailers if you’re looking for a new RV if you want to get the greatest deal.
Remember that Forest River also owns and produces more than 45 other caravan brands, including Cherokee, Rockwood, Wolf Pup, and R-pod, all of which I would advise avoiding. For the Forest River brand, it should go without saying that quantity consistently outweighs quality.
These are the travel trailers I see people regret purchasing since they frequently break down after a year and lose value after two years, despite the fact that most of them have inexpensive price tags.
Before purchasing any RV, I advise searching Facebook groups for the same model you’re interested in to find forums with current owners’ opinions.
There are always going to be bad apples, but you should take notice if you are reading more negative than positive ones.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below regarding a particular caravan brand or model, and we’ll let you know if we have any firsthand knowledge to assist you in your purchase decision.