I am in the process of updating these teardrop camper plans and creating a modern 3D Sketchup version of each of them. If you want to learn how to build a teardrop trailer, you’ll want to bookmark this page.
These plans are provided as is, without any support or guidance from us if you decide to take on one of these projects. Many people have followed these exact plans to build their own teardrop campers, you will find examples of some of those builds along with each of the plans in downloadable PDF format below.
Free Teardrop Camper Plans
Table of Contents
1. The Wanderer 8/10
The Wanderer design is intended as the largest trailer body that can be safely mounted on a Harbor Freight 4×8 utility trailer kit. The name comes from two designs that inspired it, the Wander Bug and Wander Pup, both in the T&TTT Vintage Plans.
Multiple Layouts Options
We have included multiple layout options, with both 4×8 camper plans and 4×10 camper plans, depending on your preferred size of trailer.
2. The Pico-Light (Suitable as a Motorcycle Teardrop Camper)
The Pico-Light design aims to be the smallest, lightest trailer that can sleep two people. It is even smaller than a ‘normal’ 8ftx4ft teardrop and doesn’t have a galley or any cupboards.
However its size and weight make it suitable for the smallest tow vehicles, including large motorcycles. A detailed weight estimate suggests an empty weight of 280 pounds.
This functional design was inspired by the Eis Piccolo made in Germany in the 1950s and that explains the ‘Pico’ in its name. Some may also recognise that Pico- is the prefix for a very small measure – it means 10^ -12.
3. The Ultralight Chassis
These are some designs for a simple home-made chassis suitable for the Ultralight and other very lightweight teardrop trailers. All have the same base frame of an angle A-frame tongue connected to short pieces of angle to which the axle and body mount. The designs use only rubber torsion axles as a leaf sprung axle would require more transverse strength.
There are four versions of this trailer frame to suit body widths of 48 and 60 inches, and to suit bolted or welded construction.
4. The Grumman 2 Teardrop Trailer Plans
The Grumman is one of the finest-looking teardrop designs and that would be reason enough to want to copy it. But it also is a very sensible design – with aluminum siding, the way the front and back curves are not too far from the vertical at the bottom of the trailer gives the trailer plenty of internal volume.
Rather than attempt to produce a perfect copy, this design follows the style of the original, but with a few differences: in particular, 5×10 and 5×8 plans are below.
5. The Widget
This design started out as a winter version of a previous design, but got modified to put the galley inside, became a bit longer and ended up as a different design. This set of plans comes as multiple downloads:
6. The Compact
This size of the Compact camper trailer is very handy – easy to store, easy to tow but spacious for two people – and several people have expressed an interest in building the versions of this design that have been on this web site. However there is a fair bit more to this size of trailer than to a teardrop, so the plans need to have quite a lot more detail.
7. The 2 + 2
Several people have described teardrop camping with their children – generally by putting them in a tent. Perhaps some might prefer to have space for their children inside their trailer, particularly when they are younger. This trailer design aims to do that. The trailer body is 12ft x 6ft x 4ft, and its profile is loosely based on the Cub/Modernistic. If camping without children, this version offers plenty of storage space.
8. The Campster 12
The Campster 12 is a design by Grant Whipp. The Campster sleeps two adults and two (large) children. It has a double dinette for eating inside and the upper bunk can be folded down to make a settee. A full-width dropped footwell gives 65″ headroom – enough for crouching – while still providing 9″ ground clearance. There is room for a small closet on the end of the bunks – or the closet can be dropped and the bunks made longer.
9. The Simple Squaredrop Camper Plans
The idea behind the Simple trailer was to design the simplest 4ft x 8ft trailer to be built on a Harbor Freight utility trailer kit. There are two alternative profiles shown with either a square back or with a partial sloping back like a Grasshopper.
10. The Rimple
This design is just the Simple with rounded corners – hence the ‘Rimple’. The radius of the corners is the same at both ends, so maybe this isn’t technically a teardrop!
11. The Lightweight New Cub
This is a new version of the New Cub DIY camper trailer design, intended for European use, so it’s as light as possible and has smaller wheels.
More Free Teardrop Trailer Plans from Across the Web
12. Build Your Custom DIY Teardrop Trailer
The Wyoming Woody Teardrop Trailer was created after a year of contemplation, six months of design work, and seven months of construction, with the help of friends and members of the tnttt.com forum. The website documenting the build includes a journal, plans, 3D models, and links to resources and parts manufacturers, providing tools for others to create their own teardrop trailers. The project taught the creator many skills and areas of expertise.
The Wyoming Woody Teardrop Trailer plans can be found here.
13. Homemade Teardrop Camper
This builder is a software programmer with basic woodworking knowledge and limited time to work on building their teardrop. They plan to build a teardrop trailer with a budget of $1500-$2000, weighing under 700lb to be towed by their Hyundai Sonata.
They share a diagram of the side wall of the trailer and a list of parts they purchased, including a trailer, doors, vent, hatch hinge, porch lights, dome light, water pump, hatch handles, aluminum, aluminum molding, and a sink/stove combo. They provide links to where they purchased these parts and offer alternative options for some items.
You can find the full plan and instructions here.
14. Build Your Own Teardrop Trailer
Eric Keiper, a physical therapist from Oklahoma, built a DIY teardrop camper on a trailer he purchased after a tree fell in his backyard. Keiper spent his weekends and spare time building the camper to create a mobile oasis of civilization for his family while camping and hiking.
He used various materials and parts to construct the camper, including oak framing, pine lumber, R5 foam board, and spray foam insulation, among others.
The total cost of the project was kept below $2,000, and many parts were purchased from companies specializing in replacement parts for vintage campers.
The camper features a rooftop tent, insulation, ventilation, electrical outlets, lights, and a water pump, among other amenities.
See the full plan and build process here.
15. Custom Teardrop Trailer
Jim and Julie Pantas of North Carolina built a teardrop camper trailer to tow behind their vehicle for Airventure at Oshkosh in Wisconsin. They built the teardrop camper trailer as they could not find a hotel room 200 miles away from the event.
The couple shared that building a teardrop camper trailer is doable for anyone with some simple woodworking skills, and it took them 40 hours to complete the project. The couple spent $1,500 on materials, but used teardrop camper trailers can be bought for $2,500, and new ones can be bought for $4,500-$9,500.
The teardrop camper trailer can be customized and enhanced anytime. The project is moderate in difficulty level and requires simple hand tools. The teardrop camper trailer is roadworthy and legal for traveling if the trailer from Harbor Freight is used as the base.
Get the full details of this build here.
16. Build a Teardrop Trailer
Frank Fishbum, a retired firefighter from New York, built a teardrop trailer and documented the process in seven steps. The trailer is built on an ATV trailer, has a 6 ft wide, 15 ft long, and over 7 ft long sleeping area, and weighs 1400 lbs.
The process involved preparing the trailer by grinding rust, replacing wiring, and covering the bottom with vinyl, building the floor with roofing tar, plywood, and Congoleum, constructing the walls with insulation, plywood, and Birch, framing and sheathing with 2x4s and 2x2s, and finally, aluminum working and interior finishing.
Check out the full plans and instructions here.
17. The Teardrop Cruiser II
The Teardrop Cruiser II is a unique design for a teardrop trailer. It comes with surprises like air conditioning, a galley with sink and stove, a small microwave, ample storage, berths for two, an entertainment center, and cabin cabinets.
For ease of construction, the Cruiser has a few modifications. It is built on a 5X8′ frame, and the cabin extends over the frame, while the lifting hatch is just the clerestory windows, which makes it lighter. The top lifts, and two triangular side panels drop down on hinges, while the small top of the Dutch door lifts up.
You can easily mount a table with a hinge on the wall, which you can fold up for meals, reading, or games. Drop it down for more room. A small galley provides the basics for cooking, and the clerestory windows allow for easy ventilation.
The Cruiser has two bunks, with clothes storage available under a lift lid below the cushion or in the cabin cabinets. There is over a foot of room between the bunks, and one or two side doors make it easy to enter the Cruiser if the top is down and provide a quick exit in case of a fire near the rear door.
Get more details on this build here.
Hopefully you find these DIY teardrop trailer plans useful. We may expand this page with more designs and build ideas if there is enough interest.
Your Questions about Building a Homemade Camper
Can I build my own teardrop trailer?
Building your own teardrop camper means you get all the perks of a custom build and features at prices that many people can afford. Of course, it’ll take some elbow grease, but building a teardrop trailer may be a lot easier than you think.
How much does it cost to build a DIY teardrop camper?
The estimated cost to build one of these models is between $2,000 and $3,000 depending on the camper, though there’s plenty of improvisation you can do to customize a teardrop to your liking and budget.
Is it easy to build a teardrop camper?
These small trailers are aerodynamic and light-weight, and can be easily pulled with a car, making them ecologically and economically friendly. They are also relatively easy to build for a minimal investment.
Is it cheaper to build a teardrop camper?
Building your own teardrop camper can cost less than half the price of the cheapest teardrop trailers on the market.
What kind of plywood do you use for a teardrop camper trailer?
The floor of the frame should be covered with ¾” plywood. It is best to use pressure treated plywood for this, as otherwise there is a great chance of it decomposing from water splashing up onto the bottom side while you are driving.
Do you need insulation in a teardrop trailer?
Yes. In any trailer, heat will be lost quickly if the camper is not well insulated. Insulation is measured by R-value, which is the term used for thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the more thermal resistant the walls in your camper are. Fiberglass insulation is the best insulation for consistent temperature maintenance.
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