Teardrop Camper Plans – 11 Free DIY Trailer Designs (PDF Downloads)

This post is a rebirthing of the old Teardrop Camper Plans website by Andrew Gibbens that disappeared from the internet a few years ago. 

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.

11 Free Teardrop Camper Plans

The Wanderer 8/10
A tiny ’standy’ on a HF trailer

The Pico-Light
A small, ultralight teardrop

The Ultralight Chassis
A simple home-meade frame

The Grumman 2
A new design in the style of a classic teardrop

The Widget
A 10ft winter version of the Midget

The Compact
A 10ft ‘square’ with lifting roof

The 2 + 2
A 12ft teardrop with extra berths
for two teenage children

The Campster 12
A 12ft family teardrop

The Simple
The most basic square 4x8ft body to go on a Harbor Freight trailer

The Rimple
A rounded version of The Simple

Lightweight New Cub
A European version of the New Cub

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

These plans include multiple layout options for both 4×8 and 4×10 foot trailers.

Download Plans

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 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.

Download plans as PDF

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 basic layout 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 the plans to suit body wdiths of 48 and 60 inches, and to suit bolted or welded construction.

4 foot wide bolted construction

4 foot wide welded construction

5 foot wide bolted construction

5 foot wide welded construction

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 – 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.

Download 5×10 plans part 1 & part 2

Download 5×8 plans as PDF

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:

General views

Chassis design

Chassis for UK use

Geometry definition

Construction

Parts nesting

HF Trailer

Toilet arrangements

Widget Off Road Trailer Camper

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.

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.

Download plans as PDF

Download high-roof version PDF plans

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.

Download part 1 & part 2

The Simple

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.

Download plans as PDF

Simple teardrop trailer plans

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!

Download plans as PDF

Rimple Build
Rimple Camper Build

The Lightweight New Cub

This is a new version of the New Cub design, intended for European use, so it’s as light as possible and has smaller wheels.

Download as PDF

Tools to help you with your design

Here are all the trailer profiles available to be downloaded from this site. Click on the pdf logo to view or download that design. Each pdf file contains, as far as possible, both the geometry of the profile (for example, the centers and radiuses of arcs) and also the dimensions of the profile set out on a square grid.

Australian Sportsman (original)

7′ L x 4′ H

Generic Benroy

8′ L x 4′ H

Rimple

8′ L x 4′ H

Simple

8′ L x 4′ H

Superleggera

8′ L x 4′ H

Ultralight

8′ L x 4′ H

Australian Sportsman (stretched)

8′ L x 4′ H

Slumbercoach

8′ 10″ L x 4′ H

Mini-Hopper

9′ L x 4′ H

Scotty 12ft

9′ L x 5′ 4″ H

6′ 6″W

Midget

9′ L x 5′ 9″ H

6′ – 6′ 6″W

Kenskill

9′ 4″L x 4′ H

Trailer for Two

10′ L x 4′ H

Cub

10′ L x 4′ H

Grumman 2

10′ L x 4′ H

Widget

10′ L x 5′ 9″H

5′ 9″W

Cabin Car

11′ 4″ L x 4′ 7″ H

6′ – 6′ 6″W

Kampmaster

12′ L x 4′ H

6′ – 6′ 6″W

Drawing Ellipses

  1. Basics

An ellipse is a squashed circle – it has been distorted so that its diameter in one direction is less than in the other.

An ellipse can be drawn by using its focuses – the two blue dots in the diagram.

(And, yes, the plural of focus is correctly spelt ‘foci’.)

  1. Drawing the Ellipse

There are two methods for drawing an ellipse. Both involve using a couple of small nails and some string. Regular string is not ideal, as it is too ‘stretchy’ – try to get some stiff ‘string’ – heavier fishing line might be ideal, though I haven’t tried it.

Method 1

Put a small nail at the position of each focus.

Tie one end of a piece of string around one nail. Lead the string around the point of a pencil (or pen) and then back to the second nail.

Tie the string to the second nail, adjusting the length of the string to get the pencil to start exactly on the end of the minor axis.

Now sweep the pencil from the minor axis round to the major axis – in this example from the top clockwise round to the right.

The only problem with this method is that you can only draw a quarter of the ellipse before the string from one nail gets wrapped around the other nail.

Method 2

This method is similar to method 1, except the string is not tied to either nail – instead it passes around both nails and the two ends are tied together.

Again adjust the length of the string so the pencil falls on a correct start point.

Now you can sweep the pencil right around the whole ellipse in one go, if you want.

Alternative Method

An ellipse can also be drawn using a batten and two straight edges – I saw this used by Norm Abram on TV and he said he got the idea from the internet.

  1. Finding the Focuses by Drawing

Step 1

Draw a circle around the centre from the major axis (that is, with a radius equal to ‘a’) until it reaches a line drawn through the end of the minor axis

Step 2

Now drop a second line, from the point where the circle met the first line, down to the major axis.

This gives the position of one of the focuses and so also its distance ‘c’ from the middle of the major axis.

Step 3

Locate the second focus by going the same distance ‘c’ on the other side of the minor axis.

That’s all there is – you are now ready to draw the ellipse.

Trailer Balance Spreadsheet

Below you can download an Excel spreadsheet that will calculate the hitch weight of your trailer design, working from data that you provide.

But please note that the spreadsheet cannot estimate the weight of your trailer – you have to do that for yourself! However it will let you work with just actual dimensions and weights expressed as a percentage of the total trailer weight.

The spreadsheet allows the following weights:

  • a main body weight;
  • a tongue weight;
  • an axle weight (ie, wheels, axle, suspension, etc);
  • up to three extra weights for galley weights, etc, which can be at any position.

To make it easier to do initial estimating, the spreadsheet uses a ‘basic trailer weight’ – this is the total of the body, tongue and axle weights (but does not include any of the extra weights). The tongue and axle weights are input as percentages of the basic trailer weight and, if you don’t have any better data, you can use these default values which are already in the spreadsheet:

  • tongue weight = 5% of basic trailer weight;
  • axle weight = 12% of basic trailer weight.

These percentages are suggestions – satisfy yourself that they are appropriate before you use them.

You can use from zero to three extra weights. In the diagram above, extra weight 1 is representing weight in the galley, extra weight 2 is representing a tongue box and extra weight 3 is not shown – the possibility to use a third extra weight has been included because if it isn’t someone is bound to ask for it! For each one, you need the extra weight in pounds and its distance from the rear of the trailer in inches.

The diagram below shows where the measurements are taken from. If you prefer to use metric units (eg, kg and cm or mm), you can use the spreadsheet just as it is, but you may want to alter the number of decimal places in some cells.

Click Here to open the weight calculator spreadsheet

Hopefully you find these camper trailer plans useful. We may expand this page with more designs and build ideas if there is enough interest.

If anybody knows or has heard from Andrew Gibbens, please contact us so we can get in touch, it seems many of us have tried and nobody has been able to get a response from him.

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Free Teardrop Camper Plans PDF Downloads
Free Teardrop Trailer Plans PDF Downloads