In this video, Craig features his DIY camper teardrop trailer he created starting with a Harbor Freight kit trailer frame that retails for around $500.
Craig wanted to build a small camper that was lightweight enough to pull with his current car, but he also wanted lots of features and amenities.
To aid in his design process, before he even started building, Craig had saved photos of every teardrop camper he had ever seen that had a feature he liked. Whether it be the shape of the camper, or the way the windows were placed, Craig saved more than 200 pictures that he could pull inspiration from when designing his own perfect DIY teardrop trailer.
He used waterproof fiberglass with plywood underneath to construct the trailer’s body. He picked up a cheap cargo door on eBay for his door. That’s also where he inexpensively bought the frames for the teardrop trailer’s Plexiglas windows.
Craig’s DIY trailer is hardly an empty shell.
Two front solar panels power two separate batteries, and six lights also have their own small solar panels. Craig also installed lots of other amenities in this small DIY teardrop trailer build. These include:
- A propane shower
- Two 7-gallon water tanks
- A 20-pound propane tank
- A 5000 BTU air conditioner
- A 12-volt ceiling vent
- Two roof racks for transporting kayaks and canoes
- A flat-panel TV
- A 2-speaker Bluetooth-enabled sound system
- A TV satellite that brings in more than 100 channels
- A full-sized sofa bed
- An outdoor hot water shower
But wait, there’s more!
When you open up the back hatch, you’ll find a full kitchen. Features that will help keep you well-fed while camping include:
- A sink with running water
- Two-burner stove
- Ingenious under-the-hatch storage for pots, pans, and dishes.
- Two solar-powered kitchen lights
- A small removable refrigerator that runs on 12-volt or shore power
- A microwave
- Additional storage cabinets
Craig said he purchased his mattress and appliances first, then planned his build around those, as he wanted no unexpected surprises or hassles. Smart!
Craig had a lot of fun building his camper and he learned a lot in this build. So much so that he is already working on a new and improved version. He says that when you get into it, building teardrop trailers is kind of addicting.
Amazing job and I like the thought process of building around your appliances. The only thing that would make it perfect is a coating or something to protect the wood on the bottom.
Interesting idea. This was obviously a labor of love but, I fear the trailer base will not be able to SAFELY do what the builder wants to do, especially over the long haul. I’d want a MUCH more robust base if I were going to do all that work. I wonder if he looked at any “Tiny House” base trailers? If he wants to do any rough road / off road boondocking what he has built will not be up to the job.
Next time I’d go for a better trailer. Ive got a HF like yours pretty light metal.
That HF trailer chassis only has a 1720# payload capacity and the 3-leaf springs, axle, wheels, and tires likely won’t handle more than that weight. Hard to believe that a fiberglass-covered plywood body with windows, doors, and a rear hatch, cargo rack, two kayaks or canoes, propane tank, two batteries, two solar panels and controllers, 14 gallons of fresh water (340#) in two tanks, water heater, 5000 BTU window AC unit, and all those kitchen appliances and interior and exterior lights, vent fan, TV, satellite antenna, etc., won’t exceed that payload. Plus the speed limit on those tiny 5.3″ x 12″ tires is around 55 mph. That speed might be ok on 2-lane roads in the crowded NE for weekend camping. However, in the West with 80 mph speed limits on the Interstates and towns sometimes 50-100 miles apart, but plenty of boondocking sites, a far beefier frame and suspension (3500#) and larger-diameter, higher-speed and -load tires would be required.
Wow, impressive! Great job! Enjoy all your adventures!