Trailer Into Simple Camper




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Step 1: Think About What You Want

I was fortunate enough to stumble onto a great deal on a 5x8 v nose cargo trailer. For years I've dreamt of getting one and converting it into a rough "man camper" of sorts.

My goal: to have a functioning trailer that doubles as a hunting camper. I'm trying to keep it simple and utilitarian. I primarily hunt in November and only need heat that time of year

Step 2: Add Electrical

Where I hunt and camp, we have electric so I wanted to make this thing pluggable. I ordered a plug on amazon "marinco shore power". On the inside I put a hardwired light with a built in switch and four outlets. So my trailer is a glorified extension cord. I can plug in a space heater if I need to take off the edge.

Step 3: Add a Vent

Being able to breath is important. In the past I've slept in my car with a window cracked enough for a power cord and that was just fine. I ordered a trailer vent on amazon and simply added it to the v nose on the trailer. This combined with the air coming in around the ramp door when closed should be plenty to keep me alive. I decide to add the vent a little lower on the wall so that I can keep my heat above that hole. I figured a vent at the top would lose all my heat.

Step 4: Make a Cot

This was the most interesting part if my whole project. You'd think it would be really simple to make a frame and hinge it on the wall. Well it's not all that simple. Here are some small details.
1. I doubled the wood on the end to give it more strength.
2. I used rope to make the cot. A bit more cushion than plywood and my heat will warm me from below as well.
3. I routed grooves for the rope so my cot can still be flush against the wall when hinged down.
4. I notched the legs so they could fold flush when the cot is folded up.

Step 5: Add a Basic Sink

I wanted a really basic sink so I could brush my teeth and put in contacts a bit more easily. I simply put a funnel with a garden hose attached into a shelf. When I'm camping the small amount of grey water will drip through the hose and out the bottom through a 1" hole. When not in use I have a boat plug to fill the hole in the floor and I'll just bag the hose. I scored a cargo net bag at the thrift shop and it perfectly holds things and also the hose for my sink when it's not being used.

Step 6: Carpet & Door

I measured and cut some carpet from some leftovers from my parents basement. My feet won't freeze on the floor and it looks a bit nicer. You could add what you like but carpet was free for me and makes it feel more like home.

Door: I needed to be able to close this from the inside. I added a flush mount hook in the ramp door and also a rope cleat on the edge of one of the roof supports. That way I won't drill my head on a rope cleat and I can "lock" the door. I added a bit of tread tape after my 4 year old slid down the ramp. Won't slip now.

Step 7: Use It

Overall I think I achieved my goal. It will be a joy to camp in while I hunt. I'll have room to stand up and get dressed in the warmth of my "camper" and the other 10 months of the year I'll still have a fully functioning cargo trailer.

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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Had the idea of conversion for a long time as well. Pretty much on pare with my ideal conversation!


    3 years ago

    It's nice that you can still use the trailer to haul stuff without having to spend a day taking things out. Kudos

    Very nice! My only suggestion would be to use a different rope for the bed. That polyester cord will likely stretch a lot. You may also want to investigate a way to easily re-tension the ropes (all rope will stretch some, especially the first few times).

    rope bed.jpg
    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Sadly, I injured my back in the Army and a rope bed just kills me. I would have to use slats with a sleep pad. But I thought this was a pretty neat build.


    3 years ago

    Good idea!


    4 years ago

    Very cool


    4 years ago

    Absolutely love It! totally gonna make one