Here at DIYRV we have seen several robust DIY RV’s. Many are such a big undertaking that they are more for shock and awe rather than a realistic project to try. So, with that in mind, we thought we would show off a much more reasonable RV project. One of the most popular RV’s that people build themselves is the teardrop trailer. The DIY teardrop trailer represents a great time in history when people started exploring beyond their local communities. RV enthusiasts have an affinity for that nostalgia and there are thousands of people across the country that have built their very own DIY teardrop trailer from scratch.
Werner at Makezine.com has an exhaustive guide on how he took a dilapidated old trailer, striped it down to the trailer chassis, and rebuilt a DIY teardrop trailer on it. Though he has skills that may outpace the first time builder (has built airplanes), he shows how to do it step by step with photos.
DIY Teardrop Trailer Build Out
Werner took the old trailer he found on Craigslist and intended to salvage portions but after discovering it was in rough shape structurally he tore it right down to the chassis. He cleverly saved the items of value and sold them off to fund his build. The first order of business was to run the electrical because he had no interest in laying on his back underneath the trailer after it was complete. Then he built out the sides and interior walls. Next, he closed it in and started to finishing work. He installed lighting, fixtures, and the makeshift kitchen. Then he sealed and varnished the exterior and interior to prevent water damage. Though we are covering the steps briefly here, the point is to offer the straightforward nature of building a DIY teardrop trailer.
Completed DIY Teardrop Trailer
Materials Used on the DIY Teardrop Trailer
- Screws: Galvanized. Sizes vary from 1 inch to 2.5 inches
- 1/8 inch Luan plywood
- Door latches for front hatch and door
- Exterior wood glue – Brand used was Titebond 3
- Elastomeric roofing paint
- Propane stove
- Window Material: Could be Plexiglas or Lexan
- Piano hinges
- Cooler with Slide
Tools Needed for the DIY Teardrop Trailer Project
- C clamps
- Electric drill and Bits
- Saw – Jigsaw, Scroll Saw or Coping Saw
- Wire cutters
The trailer has been used several times. It was even used once at 10 degrees below zero with a small heater inside and stayed quite comfortable according to Werner. Werner estimates that most people should expect to spend 6 months to 2 years building a DIY teardrop trailer of this nature. This design is as simple as they come. It avoids many of the complicated installation and expense of most DIY RV’s.
You can see a comprehensive step by step guide on this project at Makezine.com
Do you think you are up for a project like this? What else would you add to your DIY teardrop trailer to make it your own?