This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

Man Turns Cheap Trailer Into 40-Square-Foot Micro Camper For Only $800

Dustman0042 is an Instructables contributor who shared a simple, but rugged micro camper on the DIY website.

The 40-square-foot camper (named “Bob”) looks like a tiny house, but it’s actually made from a 40-year-old 5×8 foot cargo trailer. Dustman0042 says that if you are looking to build your own camper, any old, cheap trailer will work.

micro camper
All photos by Dustman0042/Instructables

His five step process is available on the Instructables website as well as tips on how to convert it into an insulated camper complete with full hookups, a folding outdoor kitchen, and a queen mattress. The best thing? He built the camper in three weeks AND it only cost about $800.

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Do It Yourself RV newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

The camper was built for around $800 and the five-step process is available online.

Dustman0042 used a cheap, single axle cargo trailer, but he suggests you can use any trailer that still has a good base, even if it’s nearly rotten up top. He suggests keeping an eye out for old cargo trailers, jet ski trailers, animal trailers, or anything in a size that appeals to you.

He gutted the trailer and cut off the back and roof. Another suggestion: remove anything you don’t want to keep, but keep anything you think could be useful.

A 40-year-old trailer was used as a base for the camper.


Dustman added a pitched roof that gives him enough head room to stand upright.


He then framed out the back and the sides to hold a small door and some used RV windows. He used 2×3 studs and then built a pitched roof that is tall enough to stand up under. He covered the roof with corrugated metal sheets and added reclaimed wood to the front in an interesting pattern.

Reclaimed RV windows and doors were also used.


The interior was framed with 2x3s and insulated.


A used RV door was cut down to size for the front of the camper.


The walls are insulated with R-13 insulation, and Dustman added a used RV door that he cut down to size. Dustman then sided and trimmed the interior with reclaimed tongue and groove cedar and birch bead board and installed LED lights. He added a cargo box to the tongue where the deep cycle battery and 110 V power inverter are stored.

A cargo box on the front tongue holds the deep cycle battery.


The interior includes birch bead board, cedar trim and a queen mattress.



Dustman tows the camper with a Nissan Xterra and just completed a 2,400 mile trip with it. He is now offering custom building of micro campers and tiny houses.

You may also like: How To Build A DIY RV Slide Out

Support Do It Yourself RV

Do It Yourself RV is run by RVers who share the most up-to-date and valuable content on camping and RVing every week. We couldn’t do it without the support of our readers just like you.

You can help support the efforts of Do It Yourself RV by becoming an RV LIFE Pro subscriber, which gives you access to:

  • RV LIFE App, an RV Safe GPS™ with voice- and lane guidance, even offline.
  • RV LIFE Trip Wizard, a visual RV trip planner with custom RV-safe routes and a comprehensive directory of RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds.
  • RV LIFE Maintenance, a cloud-based service that tracks your RV maintenance and provides reminders, reports, and related documentation.
  • RV LIFE Masterclass, an online educational platform where RV experts share tips and advice on everything you need to know about RVing.

If you value our site and want to see us continue to grow, please consider supporting us by becoming an RV LIFE Pro subscriber today.