How to Build a Camping Trailer in 13 Easy Steps
Camping in a trailer is a new trend that has been sweeping every nation of the world. Thanks to the craze, people are not shying away from making a hefty investment in camping structures.
Be it tiny houses or the trendy camping trailers, people have now started to look at alternative living spaces differently.
If you love the perfect combination of being outdoors, and adventure, you certainly need to invest in a camping trailer. Depending on the money you are ready to invest, the camping trailer you build can become a home away from home; even in a remote location.
Well, did we say “build?” Yes, you read it right!
Though various trailers are readily available, the prices of the same can range from $3000 to $10000. However, you can build a camping trailer all by yourself, especially when you are on a tight budget, and you have some time to spare on hand.
Though build a camping trailer can take time, the thought of spending time with your friends or family to enjoy the scenic view of a remote location will keep you motivated.
You can even inspire yourself by reading stories about the families who have built the camping trailers themselves.
So, let’s dive into a few pointers that will help you understand how to build a camping trailer. Just follow our simple guide, and you can finish one in no time.
Table of Contents
13 Easy Steps To Build Your Own Camping Trailer:
1. Have a plan
Before you start building a camper all by yourself, you need to have a plan. If you need a camper that has all the basic amenities without any additional hookups, you need to spend some extra more time planning.
You can start with a list of tools and accessories needed, and then start making another list with the amenities you wish to have, and the amenities that have a must-have. You can then make a final list, and get started.
2. Pick the Right Frame
Every DIY camper requires a frame. The frame you pick depends on the design, but most of the campers choose a durable aluminum or a heavy-duty steel trailer frame. You can adjust the size of the frame based on how big or small you want the camper to be.
If you have picked up a used frame, you need to replace the jack, the floorboards, the taillights, and more. You can even upgrade the tires and the wheels as well.
3. The Camper Box
On the top of the trailer goes the camper or what is called the “box.” The box is often built using plywood and is then attached to the trailer. The amenities you need in your camper are one of the factors you need to keep in mind while deciding on the box size.
4. The Functionality
The functionality is a key factor when you are building a camping trailer. The camper you are building needs to have three compartments; one for the kitchenette, one for the pump and the water tank, and the third for storage of extra tires and tools.
So, ensure the same is included in the plan of the camp trailer, and build it accordingly.
5. The design
This is when the actual fun begins as it allows you to get all creative. You can cover the camper or the box with the design or the color you love. The box can also be covered with aluminum to make it look modern.
If you are looking for durability and a clean look, you can pick fiberglass instead.
6. The Vent
Every camping trailer needs to have a durable and well-functioning vent. This allows the proper flow of air, keeping it fresh inside. Though you might get enough air from the door or the window, you certainly do not want to invite bugs or mosquitoes when camping at some locations.
This is what makes it important to invest in a vent that can be installed on the rooftop or the wall. Here’s one that we recommend you:
7. The Hatch Hinge
Most of the camping trailers make use of a batch hinge near the main door as it makes it easy to open and close. If your camper has a teardrop design, the hinge can be used for the door that opens at the back.
As it needs to stay waterproof, you need to ensure to buy one of good quality. You can pick up a durable aluminum hinge like the hurricane hinge that is perfect for the camper trailer:
8. Fold-up Stairs
Another important accessory you must consider investing in is a fold-up step for your camper. As your camper is at a certain height from the floor, you certainly need stairs that can be easily folded inside the door.
You can find fold-up steps with adjustable height online with ease. Here’s one for you:
9. The Lights
You can find various options when it comes to lighting for your camp trailer. The lights you choose should match the overall décor and should add to the serenity as well.
While you can choose fairy lights or other battery-operated variants, they might not last long when you are planning a trip outdoors for a few days or weeks.
You need to consider bright yet warm lights for the indoors, porch lights for the outdoor, and an extra dome light that lights up the top of the camper. Most of these lights come with a switch and are available in packs as well such as these below:
10. The Components
The components required to build a camper can again depend on various factors. If you are planning to build a camper for some off-grid adventures, you need to invest in a power source. Most of the campers opt for solar power along with batters.
The solar power panel can be used to supply the led lights, the water pump, and other outlets. If you are not sure how to get this all done, it is always safe and better to hire the services of an electrician.
A few campers also use propane, which can be placed in one of the compartments in the kitchen. Propane tanks can be used for cooktops and water heaters. These are also good for heating the indoors as well.
11. Some Extras
Various items can be added to your camping trailer to make it extra special and comfortable. You can even take it a step ahead and install a sleeping tent on the rooftop like this:
You can create a base for the tent using about 2 plywood sheets.
You can even hire someone to do the frame if you’re not feeling very confident. Then do the canvas along with the mattress, and have a cozy sleeping space on the top of the camper. Just use a ladder on the side of the tent for the support and the door.
Some of the other accessories that can be added are a freezer or a fridge. You can even add a portable generator for that uninterrupted power supply.
One worthy addition to your camping trailer would be a bathroom. You can easily add a bathroom by using a separate free-standing pop-up tent:
If you have the budget, you can check out the Porta Potty portable toilet and install it in a tent, a little away from the site. You can pick the best from the wide range of portable toilets available online. Here’s one that we recommend you:
12. Always Keep the Cost Factor in Mind
It is a known fact that the overall cost of the camp trailer depends on the design you choose, and all those amenities you need inside and outside. If you love the basic idea of building the camper trailer all by yourself, this might be the best project for you.
It normally takes a few weeks to months to complete a trailer for camping, but with a little patience and dedication, you can finish it for sure. The key to success is to stay focused and not to get discouraged when the building process does not go as planned.
Remember that building a camper trailer is often a personal project, and it is ok if it takes some time to build it.
13. Do Not Forget About the Legalities
Every state has its own rules and regulations to follow when it comes to the use of camp trailers. So, before you decide to build one, make sure you do a little research, and design the camp trailer based on the rules that apply.
Ensure that the camp trailer is compliant with the relevant regulations. Once done, you will have to get it registered in your state.
Building a camping trailer is not a hard task, but it does involve a lot of time, and course money. But, a DIY camp trailer will have all the amenities that others might not have.
So, if you are wondering about how to build a camping trailer, make sure to read our guide thoroughly before starting your project. You can also read various inspiring stories of campers who have built their trailers and traveled places.