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Homemade Pop-Up Tent Camper Made From Recycled Materials And A Used Truck Cap

Instructables user Avey44 wanted to have his own pop-up tent camper customized to fit his needs.

So he decided to build one on a Harbor Freight trailer with some recycled parts. The project took only four days (although building the trailer itself took a little bit more time).

See also: How Kevin Made This in Two Weeks I’ll Never Know, But Wow I Learned a Lot

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For the most part, he used only second-hand materials to build the camper, including some old jeans, a used tent, free truck cap, and a tool box he got at a flea market.

He started with a simple utility trailer from Harbor Freight, and then added some wooden rails to the sides.

Basic trailer with wooden supports
Avey44

He got a truck cap for free off of craigslist, and added tear-screen windows made from some old pants and a bit of Shoo Goo.

He got a truck camper shell for free off of craigslist
Avey44

A horseshoe-shaped frame made out of 2x2s supports the truck cap.

Truck camper shell used to create a DIY camper
Avey44

The truck cap is attached to the front camper wall with three door hinges. 2x2s hold up the camper shell, and fold down flush with the bed when the top is lowered and shut. Yep, those are old jeans that were sewed together and glued to the trailer floor. 🙂

The triangular side panels are made from 2×2 lumber and fit into the wedge created when the truck cap is raised.

Side panel for a homemade pop-up camper
Avey44

Another shot of the side braces.

Side panel for a DIY popup camper
Avey44

The panels fit right into this V-shaped gap between the trailer bed and the truck cap.

The wedges fit into the gap created when the camper lid is raised
Avey44

Here’s a close-up of the rear door (from an old tent) and the sewed-together jeans that serve as the floor.

Large door in the rear of a homemade popup trailer
Avey44

The tent is connected to the truck cap with some rubber flashing material to prevent leaks.

Rear door to the camper
Avey44

Here she is in travel mode.

Completed DIY teardrop camper
Avey44

And all set up for camping.

Completed homemade camper
Avey44

Some final thoughts from Avey44,

The trailer is never going to be 100% in my eyes and I will always be adding to it, but for now it can be used to sleep in. In the near future I will add a battery box to power the light I added, the light on the inside top of the camper, and anything else that might need charging. Curtains will be a must as well as a bed frame. I intend to have a simple frame to support a bed while providing about a foot of storage space underneath you. The outside front has the holes already prepared for a rain/sun awning, and I also have the material to make it I just am soo burnt out on sewing..

It’s amazing that such a functional camper could be built out of simple, recycled materials. The only thing I wonder about is dampness coming through the denim floor. Maybe the jeans could be treated to make them waterproof?

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