Home » This Small Modern Fiberglass And Aluminum Camper Doesn’t Even Weigh 1,000 Pounds

This Small Modern Fiberglass And Aluminum Camper Doesn’t Even Weigh 1,000 Pounds

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One of my favorite types of camper to watch out for is one that offers a nice place to stay without requiring a big truck to tow. Don’t get me wrong, I love trucks just as much as our David Tracy does, but less weight means more people can enjoy a nice weekend camping. Here’s another, and this one is really light. The MeerKat trailer fits in a garage, has enough interior height for a six-foot-tall person, and weighs as low as 920 pounds.

Lately, I’ve been covering lightweight campers that aren’t outrageously heavy on the wallet–at least compared to the typical new RV today. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of fiberglass as a building material for campers. Fiberglass is lightweight, durable, and usually won’t leave you with horrific water damage after less than ten years. I also love how fiberglass units tend to be on the more inexpensive side, which means more people can experience the joy of posting up at a hole-in-the-wall campground for a weekend. Another benefit of fiberglass is that you can find a number of designs that hover at around 1,000 pounds, yet give you enough space to stand up. That’s what you’re getting with a MeerKat from Little Guy Trailers, and it even comes with a healthy dose of aluminum.

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The Other Little Guy Trailers

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Now this one is a little confusing because the Little Guy Trailers here is not the same Little Guy Trailers that I’ve written about before. There is a Little Guy Trailers owned by Xtreme Outdoors operating out of Uniontown, Ohio. That company is the one selling the MyPod motorcycle camper and those Little Guy teardrops. This Little Guy Trailers is a San Diego, California-based distributor of Little Guy Trailers and a dealer for other independent brands.

Here’s what a trailer from the Ohio-based Little Guy looks like:

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According to a 2017 interview with San Diego publication SD Voyager, the owner of Little Guy Trailers, Mark Hagen, said that his dealership sold Aliner, Tab, Tag, Little Guy teardrops, and other small campers for over a decade before arriving at the conclusion that none of them exactly fit what he was looking for. Hagen was looking for, from the interview:

The MeerKat needed to weigh in at less than 950 pounds so it could be towed by almost any car. It needed to fit into a garage and have stand up headroom; sink and stove; Icebox or refrigerator; toilet; hanging closet; and accommodate two adults and a dog.

Hagen and his dealership took ideas from various trailers already on the market and baked them into the MeerKat. Launched in the 2014 model year, the MeerKat is built around the idea that you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside of the camper, but when it’s time to come inside you’ll have a comfortable experience. Little Guy Trailers touts it as a step up from a tent camper where you’ll have a dry place with hard walls to sleep, eat, store your gear, and yes, use the bathroom.

This 920-Pound Fiberglass And Aluminum Camper

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The MeerKat measures 13 feet long, 5 feet wide, and is 6 feet, 5 inches tall with the roof closed. The box is 10 feet. It’s not entirely fiberglass, the roof is noted to be fiberglass but the walls are an aluminum skin. That means that you can fit this thing in the kinds of small garages that you get with a condo. One of the camper’s party tricks is with its pop-up top, which creates a standing room with enough room for a 6-foot, 1-inch person to stand up in. This can be expanded to 6 feet and 7 inches as an option. With the roof closed, you get roughly five and a half feet of interior height.

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Standard, the MeerKat comes with a camp stove, a dinette that turns into a bed for two, a closet, an ice box, a sink, a cassette toilet, and some storage areas.

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Options include upgrading the ice box to a refrigerator, adding a second table, accent stripes, a larger bed, an awning, a spare tire, and more. That sink feeds from up to two 5-gallon containers stored underneath and the toilet holds 5 gallons of waste. The MeerKat can be painted in a custom color and the interior can be upholstered in a variety of colors, including teal! These campers have so many color customization options that you could make something properly garish if you wanted.

What’s really neat is that the interior color options and the exterior accent stripes are free options. Only a custom color adds to the price, and that sets you back $2,475 to $3,575.

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Sadly, you are missing an air-conditioner, heater, and shower. However, the camper does have a 12V/110V electrical system, so you could add your own heating and cooling if you need to. Also disappointing is the price. At $29,970, the MeerKat is about $10,000 more  expensive than a base Scamp 13, and that fiberglass camper does not need a pop-top to give you more headroom. It really seems like the guys at Scamp cannot be beaten in pricing in this space.

Thus, this is really for the buyer who really wants more factory customization than you could get with a Scamp for a trailer that weighs just 920 pounds. Though, I must note that as of last month, the MeerKat is now advertised as weighing 1,180 pounds. The trailer itself and its options haven’t changed in the past month, so it’s unclear where the extra weight is coming from. Perhaps Little Guy Trailers is quoting how much the camper weighs with all option boxes ticked. I reached out to Little Guy Trailers for clarification.

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The company has a build tool so you can get the exact MeerKat you want. Little Guy Trailers doesn’t say how many of these are out there, but the trailers have a small following so dedicated that they host meetups for them. I do love this little unit. It rocks that more fiberglass and aluminum campers are getting out there in the world. Just, I do wish that the price was a bit lower.

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Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 year ago

Cool! But, expensive. I do feel like the overall look is just begging someone to make a pull-behind food-truck/trailer thing out of it. Paint the pop-up cover like a sesame-seed bun, and add a custom wrap around piece of fabric that looks like a side view of two juicy all-beef patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and maybe just a hint of some mustard and ketchup coming out the sides, and… now I’m hungry. Hey, look at that – it’s noon, time for lunch!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

I wounder if part of Scamp’s secret is that they’ve been in business for decades and have long since amortized any tooling and R&D costs, combined with just much higher production volume

At any rate, it seems like they aren’t price gouging, which they could probably get away with if they wanted to, so good for them for trying to keep things somewhat reasonable

ńÑ
ńÑ
1 year ago

I’m a big fan of Prolite- their campers start at 590 lbs dry and even the top of the line is quite light and compact. roulottesprolite.com/produits/new-trailers/
I have an Evasion I was able to import used from our northern friends. Sleeps 5, has a shower, toilet, and kitchen at under 3500 GVWR, 1995 dry. Solid build quality as well.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

At 1180lbs, that over 300lbs lighter than the base 13′ Scamp trailer. And that can be the difference of a given vehicle being able or not able to tow.

For example… the Ford Crown Vic of the 2000s… it only had a 1500lb tow rating. That means you can tow the Meercat with a stock Crown Vic without issue.

With the Scamp, you’ll be at or exceeding the limit.

FloridaNative
FloridaNative
1 year ago

For a few thousand more you can get a 17’ Casita that is WAY more comfortable. I really want to like the Meerkat to tow behind a Miata but I’ve heard the build quality is not nearly at the level of a Scamp or Casita. Add in that price and the added weight and it’s a total non-starter for me.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

+7 to these campers for not having random beige swoops on the sides. Color. Shape. That’s what the people want.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Also, fiberglass is nice, but carbon fiber would tow at least 11% faster, yo. I would also be interested in stick-on carbon trim pieces, even if they actually add weight to the trailer.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 year ago

I think a small camper would be fun, BUT the prices are crazy. I have a $300 gazelle t4 tent, a $60 cot, a $20 folding table, and a $15 folding chair all fit in my tent and that I can stand up in. All of it gets set up in less than 5 minutes. Yes setting up and tearing down in the cold and wet suck a bit, but I can live with a good bit for the price and not have to tow something. Not even interested in the $4000 a roof top tent and rack to carry it would cost.

William Domer
William Domer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

I have the $4,000 dollar rooftop with custom built rack. We love it because we don’t want to be on the ground. It’s sort of a treehouse. I’ll get back to you all on the Joolca shower/sink thing we bought and yes I had the electric system upgraded with an additional battery for the ARB fridge. Chilled wine is important people!

Greg
Greg
1 year ago

I want to love this, but that toilet and the other things not included for 30k hurt.

Jochen Hoercher
Jochen Hoercher
1 year ago

What’s missing here is a mention of the original, the Eriba Puck, that was built from 1960 on in several iterations. Even the fabric lift roof is a direct copy.
So, “Hagen and his dealership took ideas from various trailers already on the market” is rather an understatement…
Nevertheless, it’s fine. The last Puck model had ungainly bumpers and plastic cladding. The MeerKat looks a lot better, especially on the inside.

Calum Gillies
Calum Gillies
1 year ago

Yeah I was expecting this to be an article about the Eriba Puck! Such a timeless design (so much so that it’s clearly uhhh… ‘inspired’ this company!)

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 year ago

$30k! FFS!

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 year ago

30k to “step up” from a tent? Yeah, no.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 year ago

Appreciate these camper reviews. Hoping to buy something this year and just starting to figure out what fits our purpose. Really like the build on this one but just too small for too much. But the Scamp…

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 year ago
Reply to  Inthemikelane

I like looking, but I’m not sure how interested I actually am in buying. But I keep coming back to the Scamp.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

So $30,000 for a 2 person camper. For a group of friends Monica, Rachael, Phoebe, and the 3 guys 3 trailers so $90,000. Everyone should just go in on rustic vacation home.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

As a tall person for whom a Scamp is a non-starter, I like the concept here. I’d definitely go for the 6’7″ upgrade option.

That said, $30k and they can’t even throw in a space heater? I’d love to see a cost breakdown on these small trailers. I know they can be built for a few grand in materials because I know people who have done it, so are the engineering and manufacturing costs really worth $25+k? I find that difficult to believe. I get that these are small-volume manufacturers who can’t benefit from a lot of economies of scale, but at these prices I feel like that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re never going to sell a lot of these at $30k. At $15k though? You might be onto something.

William Domer
William Domer
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Or 2 of those cool vintage motorhomes from FMC.

SkyRise
SkyRise
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Right? Or a frickin *tent*!!!

I swear, all this trailer / overloading gear obsession is driven by people sitting around in their homes at night churning on configurators and product pages, rather than people who actually spend a lot of time outdoors.

Unless you live in your trailer/van/RV, it is almost certainly *way* cheaper and much more fun to stay in cabins, as you suggest.

If camping is the gig, it is definitely cheaper, lighter, and more environmentally friendly to simply buy a really nice tent with a full sized air mattress. Bonus of a tent is that you don’t have to sleep in the parking lot area, which is often the worst part of most campsites.

I realize tents don’t look as cool on Instagram, but they can be at least as comfortable as a tiny box, and you get better engagement with the outdoors.

Anyway…

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

Mercedes, are you familiar with Earth Traveler teardrop trailers? They’re as light as 250 lbs. The prices are quite high ($40k range for carbon fiber version), but there’s a lot offered in that price tag. If you get the opportunity, I’d love to see a review. Or if you’ve already written one in the past, I’d appreciate a steer to it.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Nice toilet placement. No need to leave the card game to relieve yourself.
Perfect.
Assuming you’re good enough friends for that kind of intimacy, but not good enough friends that you trust them not to peak at your cards if you have to leave to go.

Gene1969
Gene1969
1 year ago

Redefining the term “Full House”

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
1 year ago

They’ll know when you’ve gotta flush!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Never double down against a deuce.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago

Interesting! It also seems to solve the problem of not having sufficient clearance to dry the pop top after a trip. Even 78 inches high would clear a 7’/84″ ceiling with a garage door opener hanging down. Or get a jackshaft opener.

1500 lbs loaded is a good weight. It’ll still need brakes to be safe. There are indeed brake controllers that can be mounted on the trailer or that plug into the 7 way connector and direct the trailer brakes from there. Then the tow vehicle only needs to supply power and a brake signal. The controller does the rest.

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