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Man Builds DIY Teardrop Camper for $3k in 3 1/2 Months

This $3k DIY Teardrop Camper Project is a guest post by Nathan Pizzo


I started this teardrop camper about three point five months ago… from a 5×8 trailer… I was trying to build it in 30 days, but I soon found it was a little tougher than I thought. However… it’s all ready to go now, besides some further refinements that are best done at a slower pace. I spent my first night in it last night… in the garage, where the weather would not be a factor, just to get the feel.

My wife was very pleased with the result and said it was cozy, comfortable and nice. I think it’s pretty sharp too. I am not exactly sure what it cost me to build but if I exclude new tools, and other special things I purchased to help me build it… I believe it’s something close to $3000 in materials alone. I think my labor would factor in to make it a higher price also. I built it in my garage.

Now to find some good places to use it!!

Man Builds $3K DIY Teardrop Camper in 3.5 Months

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Images © Nathan Pizzo

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Images © Nathan Pizzo

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Greg November 25, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Nice job, looks professionally built.

  • Marsha Cowan November 25, 2014, 9:05 pm

    Very Classy! Love it! The inside wood is gorgeous, but that outside finish is out of this world. Extraordinary job!

  • CathyAnn November 28, 2014, 9:50 pm

    Teardrops have fascinated me since I was growing up in the ’50’s when my great aunt and uncle had one. You’ve hit this one out of the park. It’s beautiful, and I like how you’ve arranged the galley.

    You certainly are a perfectionist. That Porsche is “to dye for.”

  • Jachan November 30, 2014, 3:49 am

    Looks great! I’m curious about the beautiful aluminum(?) siding you used. Did you cut and shape this yourself? If so, where did you find it, and how did you do it? Or did you buy a pre-made camper shell? If so, same questions! Thanks.

  • Kirk February 4, 2015, 4:19 pm

    I LOOOOVE IT. I would like to try and build one to pull behind My Harley Road King. Of course, it would have to be narrower and shorter in height. If there is anything you can recommend, I would appreciate it if u would email me ideas, suggestions, pictures, or anything else that would help me. My email is [email protected].
    Thank you very much, Kirk

  • Chad February 7, 2015, 1:47 pm

    beautiful craftsmanship,

  • jack schurr April 29, 2015, 5:25 pm

    That is exactly what I was looking for. Is there a site that has a building log? Or are there plans available?

  • Cyndi Raper March 8, 2016, 4:21 pm

    if my husband and I were not in the middle of building our tiny house on wheels, I’d be headed to your place to scoop this baby up! What wonderful craftsmanship. Truly, you have an eye for detail!

  • Thomas Fischer March 8, 2016, 5:13 pm

    Very interested in further info on building process.

  • Lee Ranney March 8, 2016, 6:11 pm

    I would love to buy that style taillight and rear bumper. Where can I find them?

  • Fergy March 8, 2016, 10:07 pm

    My parents pulled a teardrop trailer from So CA to Lake Shasta with a 1955 VW Bug for one of the finest vacations of my youth. Thank you for warm nostalgic memories. You did a fantastic job with your design and build.

  • Nathan Pizzo June 7, 2016, 1:42 pm

    Hi… the original builder here… I really want to thank everyone for all the wonderful feedback and comments. I had NO idea the project would have such a large response. I do want to put together some videos and basic tips on how I built my TearDrop. I feel like it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever built. I know if I did another one it would turn out even better. I know somethings now that I would do slightly different next time. It is so fun to build these Teardrop trailers!!

  • David Robertson August 15, 2016, 10:01 pm

    I would also LOVE to have any info you may be willing to share on this incredible build. WELL DONE! Are there any plans, pics, sites, tips you would share? The tail lights are a great retro addition. The diamond plate frame is inspired. And the “Whisper” lettering, where did you acquire those? This is the best home built teardrop I have come across and I have been saving sites pics and such for two years in preparation to build one for myself. Please email me at [email protected]
    Thanks,
    – David

  • Tom Fischer August 16, 2016, 3:28 pm

    Very nice indeed!!!

    I’ve been thinking of building one for sometime now. Would be very interested in your details, pictures, videos, etc.

    Thanks.

    [email protected]

    • Nathan Pizzo August 18, 2016, 12:41 pm

      I have been seeing several requests for more info… I can’t promise anything, but I will try to post some video and tips on how I went about building this trailer and how someone else may do it. I can try to post some plans that help you get it mapped out. I did a lot of it without any plans, just basic intuition and logical steps. I know that is not helpful for anyone who doesn’t have that kind of ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ type of thing. I will do my best to get something on this site with in a week: http://www.secondwindtrailers.com/

  • Nathan Pizzo August 22, 2016, 12:43 pm

    In Response to all the requests for more information I am trying to post several videos in sequence to explain the basics to the nitty-gritty (in some detail) about how I built this trailer. It will not be a step-by-step tutorial, but it will give you a primer about what things you must to do complete a project of this scale. It was not super easy, but not impossible either. There are some new things that will get added to the site later today and throughout the week. If you want to be alerted when I post something new, I will have a way to subscribe on the site. I promise it’ll be for JUST THAT, and never produce any spam. Just simple heads up when I add something significant to check out. All of it will be on : http://www.secondwindtrailers.com/

    Thanks for your interest!!

    Here is a preview: (First up a basic 3D exploded view of the project)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yrvsitlhnhw1rf5/my-whisper-tear-drop-trailer-exploded-view-3D.png?dl=0

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