Thursday, September 21, 2023


Build a foam teardrop trailer for under $1500!

By Cheri Sicard
Have you ever heard of a foam teardrop trailer? The team from Playing with Sticks is here to give us the lowdown. It turns out foam has a lot of advantages, including being lightweight, an incredible insulator, more water-resistant than plywood, and incredibly versatile. According to the video, people can build a road-worthy foam teardrop trailer for as little as $1,500!

Even better, most of these foam teardrop trailers (aka “foamies”) are faster than traditional builds and they use simple tools that you probably already have. And they are so lightweight (how lightweight are they?), they can be towed by literally any vehicle. The entire constructed trailer including the frame comes in at around 350 pounds.

The foam weighs nearly nothing, so the only things that add weight are the plywood floor, and the back hatch, also constructed from plywood, along with a couple of 2X4s.

In the video, Tom Lacy shows us the foamie teardrop trailer he built last year, along with some scenes of it being built. Tom was looking for an economical step up from tent camping and a foam teardrop trailer fit the bill perfectly.

Not counting doors and extras, it took a mere 10 hours to cut out and put together the basic trailer.

To construct the trailer, they used ordinary 1 1/2-inch foam insulating boards like you would find at any home improvement store. The foam body was then glued together with Great Stuff spray adhesive. The pieces fit neatly together like puzzle pieces for a firm join.

It all got mounted on a frame from Harbor Freight. Tom did additionally buy some stabilizers and some LED lights at Amazon, and some 12-volt lights.

For the exterior, Tom covered the foam in a fiberglass cloth and painted both the interior and exterior in latex paint. He used a cork sheet for the ceiling and installed a vent and fan for air circulation. He even used the foam to create an interior storage shelf.

Tom estimates the entire project cost him somewhere between $1,200 and $1,500. The doors and the vent fan were the most expensive parts.

The video ends with a quick look at some other foamies, so you can see just what is possible with this unique RV concept of foam teardrop trailers.




    • He went half and half; fiberglass cloth and paint. Not resin. I personally would analyze my needs and goals. FG and resin is much stronger and watertight, still light, but more money. Read up on Poor Man’s Fiberglass; cheaper but not as strong. PMF uses painter cloth (heavy cotton), glue, and paint.

  1. Most foamies are straight butt joints. No CNC required. Why are you complaining about someone using a better tool when it is available.

  2. How is it on windy days doing 55 mph? Seems like a lot of free-board or sail surface for under 350 pounds at even 30 mph on a slightly breezie day. Fun looking project though.

  3. He forgot to mention the many thousand dollars for the full sized CNC machine. Cutting all those interlocking parts with a jig saw would be a monumental task and most likely result in a much poorer fit.

    • Right. If you don’t have friends with these machines you’re out of luck. However, I admire his design and willingness to go ahead with the project. I could NEVER go camping with this thing but that’s probably due to my leaving tent camping behind decades ago. Wifey wouldn’t even watch the video – ha.


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