Homemade Teardrop Camper

Homemade Teardrop Camper
Teardrop campers are ultra-compact camping trailers, which makes them easy to tow by vehicles of virtually any size. The teardrop camper is typically made of plywood, which is available at any hardware store. Insulate your teardrop camper for added comfort and to guard against swaying or damage during extreme weather and downhill traveling.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Plywood
  • Bolts
  • Glue
  • Wood cutter
  • Pencil
  • Crossbar
  • Cross braces
  • Styrofoam sheets for trailer insulation
  • Fiberglass insulation for door
Step 1
Obtain a flatbed trailer that is 4 to 5 feet wide and 8 to 10 feet long.
Step 2
Lay a piece of plywood over the flatbed trailer. For a 4-foot by 8-foot-long trailer, use a 4-by-8 piece of plywood. This will form the base of your teardrop camper. Use glue or bolts to fasten the plywood into place over the metal frame.
Step 3
Position cross braces at the top and bottom of the metal frame like a ladder with a rung at the extreme top and extreme bottom. Secure the cross braces at a distance of no greater than 2 feet apart. Insulate the trailer with Styrofoam sheets and then cover the cross braces with fiberboard.
Step 4
Construct the sides of the camper out of plywood. Lay two sheets of plywood on a work table and use a pencil to outline the curve of the trailer. When you cut the plywood, each side must form a teardrop shape. Each side must run the length of the base of the trailer and, as a general rule, extend at least 5 feet high.
Step 5
Fit both sides evenly over the base of the trailer and secure with brackets or bolts. At this point, the camper should have a teardrop shape when viewed from the side.
Step 6
Brace up the sides of the camper. Attach a cross brace to keep the sides of the teardrop camper stable. Position the cross brace so that it is an equal distance from the ends on both sides. Secure the cross brace with brackets and bolts.
Step 7
Add a door blank, which is essentially a piece of plywood with an opening. Install a hinge so the door can open up away from the trailer. You can also do this step with double doors instead of a single door blank. Seal the door with a small roll of fiberglass insulation. Use a pair of shears to cut the insulation into small pieces and then use these pieces to fill the space just above the door. This will keep air from entering the teardrop camper.
Step 8
Attach the roof spars. Depending on the size of your teardrop camper, you can use 2-by-4s ripped lengthwise. Place the spars every 2 inches along the top opening of the teardrop camper--where the roof should go. Glue each spar individually. Have an assistant help you to place each spar along the curve of the teardrop trailer if you cannot manage this on your own.

Tips & Warnings

Cut the door opening with a Dremel cutting tool.
You can outfit a teardrop camper with appliances such as a small refrigerator and television.
Use a ladder to reach the top of the teardrop camper.
Wear eye protection when working with wood and tools.
Because of different cutting styles, the finished frame size will differ with each individual.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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