Here’s my teardrop camper build. Enjoy!
Step 1: Finding a Trailer!
First off, deciding to build a camper is a relatively easy project If you have patience, a little bit of money, and a lot of extra time.
I decided to go with a trailer from harbor freight that is roughly 4’x8’, and has a 1200 pound load capacity. If I remember correctly I paid about 250$ for the trailer brand new.
The trailer comes in a box and you have to assemble it yourself.
An electric impact and socket set will save a lot of time here!
Step 2: Installing Floor on Trailer.
Although I did not get photo evidence of the underside of the plywood, I bought a regular sheet of 3/4” plywood and some 2”x2” boards and raises it off of the trailer so I could install cheap insulation board underneath. I also had some “roll on” tar left over from another project and gave it a good coat to prevent water damage.
Step 3: Building Walls
Okay so for this part I used 4’x8’ sheets of plywood for both side walls of the camper. I tried to design the build using nominal sized lumber to help cut cost.
Also I found on Craigslist a local guy selling used RV parts and found two windows for 40$ together.
I based my “rough in” window dimensions off of the windows I already purchased (so not to run into issues later).
Then cut the 2”x2” boards to sort of frame in the camper so I can insulate and run electrical wires.
Your local hardware store should also sell shallow electrical boxes that will fit perfectly in the thin walls.
Step 4: Insulation and Interior Wall Coverings
Next I bought foam insulation board and cut it to fit in between studs.
Also bought 1/8” brown plywood for the interior wall coverings. The thickness will cut down on weight and if I remember right the paneling was super cheap.( about 8$ per sheet)
I decided to build my own door and cut dimensions for door and used the windows purchased as a reference to cut out the holes. One in door and one on passenger side.
I roughed in electrical for an exterior light and one interior light, as well as several receptacles for convenience and for window unit and TV.
** on a side note I did not want to wire this camper up for a 12volt system. I already had a generator and planned on using this camper for deer camp. So everything I wired is 120volt and bought wire for a standard 30amp camper receptacle.
We can camp at any regular camp ground!
Step 5: Closing Her in
So I finished enclosing the roof of the trailer by cutting small slivers of plywood to form the radius, then used more of the 1/8” plywood to fold over it to make a smooth finish.
The exterior of the side walls are thin gauge metal used for metal trim on houses.
I trimmed the exterior edges with 1”x4” pieces of board then painted and sealed everything with good exterior paintable caulk.
I found some “roll on rubber” at Home Depot and it’s advertised for camper roof repair. It worked as advertised even on a new installation.
Finally I installed the rain guards above the door, window, and A/C unit. I also installed all of the door lock hardware and handles. It’s been roughly 8 months since completion and it still has had no issues with leaking!!
As for sleeping, I purchased an air mattress that fit perfectly in the cab.
I am already building another camper, just much larger! I will be taking many more photos to better explain my process.