Have you caught on that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to towing a caravan? For those that have, here’s some of the best teardrop campers and pod campers around.
There’s something about pod and teardrop campers that makes us want to shout, “Shut up and take my money!” And while their smaller size isn’t for everyone, you’d be surprised at how well one can manage with such a simple set-up. In fact, with the addition of a rooftop tent, I manage great with a pod camper for a family of four.
The lines are blurred when it comes to teardrop and pod campers though, so I’ve lumped them into the one article. But first, before we get into the best in Australia, let’s talk about the slight differences between the two.
Teardrop campers vs. pod campers
The majority of teardrop and pod campers are basically a bed on wheels with an external kitchen at the back. Both can be built for off-road use. However, there are more off-road pods than there are off-road teardrop campers around. Both are lightweight, small in size, and are incredibly easy to tow compared to a standard caravan.
The only real difference is the shape. Teardrop campers have a classic teardrop shape, and pod campers (sometimes called a hybrid camper), are a little more boxy.
Pros and cons of owning a teardrop or pod camper
Funnily enough, many of the things that make teardrop and pod campers amazing are also what cause frustrations. Here’s what we love and don’t love about them:
- Lightweight and can often be towed by a standard vehicle
- Cheaper than a regular-sized caravan (mostly)
- Looks great
- Will fit in an average garage
- Can’t stand up inside
- Kitchen is outside
- No bathroom
- Limited storage
- Usually only sleeps 2 (unless you fit a rooftop tent or enclosed awning)
The best teardrop and pod campers in Australia
Let’s start with the teardrop campers, and then we’ll move on to pod campers.
Cool Beans Campers
Starting from $45,000
Handmade in Fremantle, WA, Cool Beans Campers look exactly as they sound – awesome. In part, with thanks to their custom D-shaped retro doors and porthole-style windows. With a fully welded heavy-duty Aussie-made chassis and marine-grade stainless hardware and fittings, Cool Beans Campers are made to last.
Creature comforts include a full queen-sized bed, storage cupboards and drawers, USB and 12V points, a padded headrest fitted with an overhead shelf and the Cool Beans Itech Smart Power System. In typical teardrop style, find the kitchen in the rear hatch, which includes a 60L Engel fridge/freezer, 2 x burner stove, stainless sink and tap, 48L freshwater tank, 48L greywater tank, various storage options and 1500mm of kitchen bench.
The Teardrop Camper Company – Grand Tourer GT
Starting from $27,122
With a classic teardrop shape, the Grand Tourer GT camper sleeps two people comfortably. The Teardrop Camper Company build their campers (including the steel work) in Windsor, NSW. Featuring gel-coated fibreglass mudguards, a galvanised chassis and alloy wheels, the Grand Tourer GT will take you to more places.
It has the traditional teardrop camper style kitchen in the back hatch, but of note is that this teardrop camper is vinyl-wrapped. This means you can order it in a variety of colours. With a roof vent, insulation in the roof and a sail track on the edge of the hatch, keeping both cool and out of the weather is easy.
Creature comforts include a 100 AH AGM battery and multiple power outlets to run your devices, 12-volt lighting, a removable sink, a plumbed 65-litre tank, stereo with speakers, 24” TV and antenna, 30L fridge/freezer, swing out single burner stove, a large toolbox on the drawbar and more.
Riptide Campers – Tsunami
Starting from $49,500
Proudly Australian-owned, designed and manufactured, this is one of the few teardrop campers that has been designed for off-road and can handle a rooftop tent. With a hot dipped galvanised chassis, fully epoxy sealed underbody, fully insulated roof, Timbren 1600kg independent suspension and checker plate guards, it’s a sturdy little unit with the perfect amount of creature comforts.
Speaking of creature comforts, expect Sirocco II fans, USB and 12V outlets, a 125 A/H lithium battery, an electric water pump, a 90L water tank (option for more), and a large front storage box. The kitchen in the rear includes a slide-out top load fridge, amber LED anti-bug lighting, a 2-burner gas cooktop, a stainless steel sink and storage for all your kitchen gear.
- Overall dimensions: 5100mm x 2100mm x 2000mm
- Body dimensions: 3000mm x 1500mm x 1200mm
- Weight (dry): 1140kg
- ATM: 1500kg
Friday Trailer Company – Niksen
Starting from $47,500
Another proudly Aussie-made teardrop camper, the Niksen by Friday Trailer Company is made from a lightweight wooden composite structure and FSC-sourced premium timber. The chassis is fully welded with eye-to-eye leaf spring suspension and lightweight alloy wheels.
Comforts from home in this teardrop camper include a Projecta Vehicle Management System, 125ah lithium battery, temperature-controlled ducted cabin fans, and a fully insulated cabin that houses a full queen-sized bed and clever storage.
Meal prep is in the alfresco kitchen at the rear and features beautiful hand-crafted Birch plywood cabinetry, a 65L upright fridge/freezer, a two-hob pull-out induction cooktop, a sink with electric pump, and a 40L water tank.
- Overall dimensions: 4000mm x 2100mm x 1800mm (including rack)
- Cabin dimensions: 3000mm x 1600mm x 1200mm
- ATM: 750kg
- Weight: 550kg-685kg
Ridge Teardrop Campers
Starting from – N/A
Designed and built in Australia, these teardrop campers are particularly lightweight, despite having many of the same features as other teardrops on the market. With a fully galvanized chassis, external graded plywood floor that’s both epoxy sealed and bitumen coated for stone protection and brush aluminium mudguards, this little camper is the perfect companion to set up in your nearest national park for a few days or longer.
It’s still very comfortable, with a bed only a few centimetres smaller than a queen, a 100AH AGM deep cycle battery, 100w solar on the roof, various charging sockets, a roof hatch, and more. Of particular interest is the ability to convert your bed to a seating area during the day.
In the rear kitchen, you’ll find a stainless steel sink, stove slide, 2-burner stove, 36L dual zone fridge and extensive storage options.
- External dimensions: 4100mm x 2030mm x 1720mm
- Body dimensions:2750mm x 1510mm
- Tare (dry): 480kg
- ATM: 750kg
Think of a pod camper as a cross between a camper trailer and a caravan with the small stature and stylings of traditional teardrop campers. If you’re looking for an off-road teardrop camper, you’ll probably find a great solution in a pod camper.
Starting from $126,500
The cost of the Bruder EXP-4 is not for the faint-hearted, but neither is the Bruder itself. Designed to go anywhere your vehicle can go, this pod camper has a tonne of extra features that, no doubt, contribute to the price.
The chassis is built tough with an undercarriage that boasts rear recovery points and the option to add a rear winch. It’s airtight and completely sealed, with no openings for salt, sand and debris. Airbag suspension counteracts steep side slopes and levels out the pod camper when setting up for the night in uneven terrain. It can even calibrate its ride height to suit your tow-tug.
Inside you’ll find a surprising sense of space, with USB outlets, LED lights and storage shelves. An internal bunk for young children can be added to the interior, and/or a rooftop tent can also be optioned. To take the roughing it out of camping, the EXP-4 comes standard with a hot water shower system, optional electric awnings, a fully enclosed annex with privacy walls, 400 watts of solar, a 200AMP lithium battery and a whopping 200L of water.
- Dimensions: 4995mm x 1963mm x 2080mm (max)
- Tare: 950kg
- Ground clearance: 861mm
Lumberjack Sheoak II
Starting from $31,990
The Sheoak is Lumberjack’s smallest pod camper and with the addition of a roof top tent, can house a small family. Unlike the original Sheoak, this updated version II includes a 240V connection, a diesel heather, and a lithium battery with a Projecta power management system as standard. Access to the bed is via two side doors like a regular teardrop or pod camper, with the kitchen galley area housed in the back. House your fridge up the front on a slide within the drawbar toolbox.
Designed to go off-road, the Lumberjack Sheoak II features Aussie-engineered and manufactured independent suspension, ALPHA heavy-duty Extreme trail arms, King coil springs and Pedders heavy-duty shocks.
In the kitchen, you’ll find a Dometic Cooker with wind deflector, kitchen storage, a stainless steel sink and chopping board cover, hot and cold tap and an electric pump for the 65L water tank.
- Closed dimensions: 4.75m x 2.2m x 2.5m
- Tare: 1,040kg
- ATM: 1,500kg
Starting from $30,440
It wouldn’t be much of a round-up of pod and teardrop campers if we didn’t include the well-known Jayco J-Pod X, would it?
Marketed for couples or singles wanting a short break, with the addition of a rooftop tent, this can also become a weekend family camper. The chassis is hot dip galvanised with walls made from a hail and dent-resistant tough frame. Suspension is JTECH’s independent coil.
Inside you’ll find European styling with aluminium corners and seat framing, and bringing your creature comforts from home is not a problem. Expect a 100 Ah AGM battery, built-in battery management system, 200W of solar and a double bed. Thankfully, they’ve moved away from the rear access only of the original J-Pod and have gone back to a more traditional side access styling.
Also moving away from the original J-Pod, the kitchen is housed in the back like a teardrop camper and features a 65L fridge/freezer, bench space and a slide-out 2-burner cooktop and sink to the side of the kitchen galley area.
- Travel dimensions: 4390kg (L) x 2300mm (H)
- Tare: 930kg
Jolly Caravans – Mini 270
Starting from $36,500
A little different from your usual pod camper as it refers to itself as a caravan – however size wise, it fits into pod camper territory. The A-Frame chassis is fully galvanised, and although it lacks in off-roading ability, its appeal lies in the extra space it affords and the ability to fit a bike or motorcycle carrier.
A pop-up roof hatch allows you some standing room, and the 100Amp AGM Battery and 120Watt solar blanket free you from the confines of powered caravan sites. Unlike many pod or teardrop campers, access is not via doors on the side, but by a hatch on the back. Of note is the folding bed, which converts to a sitting area during the day
Due to the extra room, the kitchen is housed inside with an 85L fridge and stainless sink. The freshwater tank is only 20L, surely more could be done with that? To make up for it, this pod-style camper has a payload of 570kg.
- Overall dimensions: 3950mm x 1950mm x 1980mm
- ATM: 1,200kg
- Tare weight: 610kg
BRS Off-Road – Sherpa
Starting from $79,000
The Sherpa from BRS Off-Road certainly turns heads and as the name suggests, this pod camper is designed to go well off the beaten track. The chassis is fairly unique, made from a 150mm x 100mm x 4mm RHS centre beam that travels right through to the back recovery point. This gives it the ability to pull angles past 90 degrees without getting hung up on the back of your tow vehicle. Cruisemaster suspension XT rounds out the offroad capabilities.
In terms of going off-grid, the Sherpa comes stock standard with a 125-amp lithium battery and 200W of solar on the roof. It’s not just power that provides comfort from home, a drop-down shower pod and diesel water heater have you camping in luxury. As does the 23-inch smart TV in the main cabin.
The kitchen offers two 30L fridge/freezer drawers, a simple fold-down bench, slide-out food drawer, a pop-down sink, 140L water and more.
That’s a wrap
Of course, there are many more teardrop and pod campers available in Australia. However, these represent a diverse range of styles for those who have caught on that bigger isn’t always better.