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Building your own teardrop camper - Part 2

2x4 framing

2x4 framing

Inside the camper.  Notice the strapping and the larger 2x4's

Inside the camper. Notice the strapping and the larger 2x4's

The thin plywood shell

The thin plywood shell

PART 2 - The Camper

Ok, so we have a working trailer. If you have not read my hub on how to build one, check it out here. If you have a flat bed trailer, you can use this instead of building a new one. So, what to do next.....well, you need to draw out what your camper will look like. There are plenty of ideas, pictures and plans on the internet to give you some motivation.


Camper Frame

  • 2" x 4" Wood Studs - Main support beams
  • 1" x 1/2" Wood Strapping - Bracing and support
  • 1/4" x 4' x 8' Plywood - Walls (I went with the thinest plywood I could find. It will be light and still be strong enough)
  • 1/2" x 4' x 8' Pressure Treated Plywood - Floor (I went with a thick piece because the camper is removable and I did not want the camper to twist or bend when removed from the trailer)
  • Construction Adhesive (Comes in a caulking tube)
  • Drywall/Wood Screws (I had a box of drywall screws, so that worked for me)
  • Finishing nails (I used my nail gun and the appropriate 1" nails)


  • Chop Saw (with wood cutting blade)
  • Table Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Straight Edge
  • Chalk Line
  • Hammer
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Caulking gun
  • Nail gun and air compressor
  • Belt Sander and sandpaper (for minor fit and finish sanding, plus its nice to smooth a few edges, no one likes a sliver when your camping)

Step one - Building the Camper Frame

After your design is completed and you've ordered your wood, then you can start to cut it up and start laying it out prior to nailing it. The 2 x 4's are used to frame the outer section. Then the strapping is put in place. The strapping should be put in place no more than 16" on center. This will give plenty of support for the plywood skin. All pieces should be glued then screwed/nailed together. The more time you spend on this step, the better you will be. Take your time and measure twice. Be as accurate as possible, because when you are cutting the angled parts, any miscalculations will become very noticeable.

Step two - Skinning the Camper

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Now you have a skeleton of a camper. Next it's time to put some skin on it. With the thinner plywood, measure out the walls and roof and start cutting. Try to use the Chalk Line as much as possible when marking longer cuts. This will make sure the line is straight. Take you time and cut slowly. If you try to speed through the cuts, the saw blades will splinter the thin plywood. If you bugger up a cut, don't worry too much. The plywood will be covered by metal in a later step. Most bugger ups can be covered. The plywood is mostly used as a surface to adhere the metal to and to strengthen it.

When cutting the door, make sure you make the door skin larger than the hole for the door. This will cover the door gap and block any rain. you have a rolling wooden box.  The next part is building the kitchen and interior cabinets.  You will want to complete this step before you skin the outside with the metal.  Many times you will nail/screw internal cabinets from the outside through the plywood skin.  This will be covered up later with the metal.

See my next hub for Part 3 - The Interior Cabinets and Kitchen...


Jay Baker (author) from Canada on January 02, 2018:

Part 3:

Noah Franks from Anderson, SC on April 09, 2013:

You make it look so easy!

catering trailers on June 15, 2011:

wow! this Building your own teardrop camper - Part 2 post is so helpful! Now I know how to build one for myself!

Used Teardrop Trailers on March 31, 2011:

Wow! this is indeed a great post on how to build your own tear drop camper! I'll try to make this one later! Keep posting!:)

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