Have you ever considered building your own camper? With all of the DIY projects posted online, it shouldn’t be too difficult, right? This is the journey of one man who took the phrase “do it yourself” to the next level.
Although he had never built anything like this before, he took on the project of designing and building his own teardrop trailer. He used no store bought, pre-made plans, and it only took him around two months to complete.
As you can see, the results are phenomenal.
The Trailer’s Base
He knew he needed a good foundation to ensure the desired product, so he decided to use a sturdier flatbed than many camper designs use. Instead of a Harbor Freight trailer, he chose the Top Hat style.
Often, builders forget to add insulation to their travel trailers, making them uninhabitable most of the year. He solved this problem by installing wooden slats to allow room for the insulation to go under the trailer’s floor.
He invested in thick fiberglass insulation, as a better alternative to the commonly used foam board.
Adding the Sidewalls
He designed the sidewalls, and cut them to his personal specifications.
After making sure that the sidewalls would fit, he began building the frame.
He made curved bracing elements to enhance the teardrop design.
He saved money by using foam board for the insulation in the walls. The thin foam board also avoided encroaching on the interior space too much.
Adding the Trailer’s Roof
After framing out the door, he added cross members for the roof.
He cut a hole to install a vent fan, and then added foam board insulation to the teardrop trailer’s roof.
Adding the vent cover ensured that the interior was protected from the elements while he continued to work on it.
He then added thin sheets of plywood to round out the edges and provide a more finished look.
Affixing the plywood to the top took time and patience. It was necessary to provide the surface for adding the finishing touches.
Installing the Doors
Once the trailer started to really come together, he set and aligned doors on each side.
Making sure the doors close easily and tightly meant the trailer would be more air tight. This would prevent drafts.
Building the Bedroom
The bedroom was completed with some help from his grandfather.
Once the interior was painted a dark brown, storage boxes were added over the bed. Then his Grandpa built a reading light holder and phone charging station into the corner.
Building the Teardrop Trailer Kitchen
The kitchen may have been the most difficult and challenging aspect of the camper. Like most teardrop trailers, the layout of the kitchen was to be in the back.
It quickly became obvious that aligning the hatch door correctly wouldn’t be easy, so he used spacers and clamped everything in place while it dried.
Unfortunately, the first time he removed the clamps, the frame broke. After two months of frustration, he returned to the project with a new plan.
With some research online, he discovered that gluing sheets of plywood together would strengthen the brace. Fortunately, he was right.
Once the basics were completed, he used cans and jars to ensure that the shelf sizes were correct.
The finished galley kitchen is functional and attractive.
Adding the Finishing Touches
With the doors and vent installed, it was time to add the siding.
He cut holes for the doors and the vent.
Then, he used aluminum sheeting to cover the plywood frame of the camper.
With a little routing to smooth the edges, and some added trim, the project was completed.
First Trip With the Teardrop Trailer
For his first trip with the camper, he and a friend went to the beautiful Guadalupe River State Park.
Here he is with his finished, handmade teardrop trailer.
Not everyone has the patience to build his or her own travel trailer from scratch. These photographs show that with a bit of creativity, some perseverance, and a little hard work, anyone can do it. Please share this post as a point of inspiration for your family and friends, especially those with a knack for taking on DIY projects.
All photos via: Imgur