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How to Build a $700 Micro Camper

If you love camping and getting back into nature whenever possible, this DIY micro camper might be the project you’ve been looking for.

And you can build it for only $700! It functions a lot like a teardrop camper since it’s a micro travel trailer that you can build on a small utility trailer.

Since it’s relatively lightweight you can even tow it with a car! And all of your camping gear can be stored inside when you’re not using it. This makes it really easy because you can just pretty much tow and go. And once you get to your camp site, set up is pretty easy. A lot easier then setting up a tent, right? And for novice builders, this is a great project to start on before building a tiny house on wheels, don’t you think?

How to Build a $700 Micro Camper

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Images © Karl Kilburn/Instructables

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Images © Karl Kilburn/Instructables

Learn more: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Micro-Camper/

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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!

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{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Chris April 8, 2015, 9:24 pm

    Wow, that must be light actually. Could use more windows, but not adding windows makes it much easier to build.

  • anna April 8, 2015, 11:43 pm

    Very nice ideal

  • JanneZack April 9, 2015, 2:55 pm

    What am I missing? This appears to be a covered bed on a trailer. I’m sure there is probably storage under that bed, but what about what other tear-drop campers have, a kitchen, and entertainment items inside. I won’t lie, I’m not in love with this tiny $700 covered bed.

  • Lisa E. April 9, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I think if this were my project, I’d slant the roof and add eyebrow windows that open on the tongue facing wall. This might help to take down the claustrophobic feeling and add some ventilation. If the windows were casement, then some screening could be mounted outside to keep bugs out.

  • Todd moore April 9, 2015, 3:23 pm

    I built a small tear close to this simple design , I went to a old campground that had old camper windows that I bought used cheap and cut them into my plywood sides to fit. And your right this is a no frills design but that’s the beauty of it almost anyone can build it and can add whatever you want as many extras as ya want or plain Jane function….

  • Tony April 9, 2015, 3:34 pm

    I have to agree that this one isn’t for me. A good size pop up tent would be more roomy and a lot cheaper. You won’t need trailer tags and insurance and you would have more room. I agree it’s just a covered bed.

    • Joyce April 18, 2016, 7:08 pm

      Small flat bed trailers can weigh anywhere from 300 – over 1000 lbs. and be as small as 4ft. wide or up to eight foot wide. Most of these plywood boxes are not insulated and can be outfitted with windows and electrical hookups or solar power. I own a small teardrop type trailer 4×8 with 4ft. height, ceiling power vent fan and two side windows. My camper weight is less than 1000 pounds with the air mattress. microwave and refrigerator. I do carry a variety of other camp gear inside as well. These cargo type ‘bed in box’ trailers are simple to build and can be as creative or functional as the builder is able and chooses to make them.

  • ISABEL April 9, 2015, 4:21 pm

    well if the indians were able to sleep in teepees, all we really need is a space to sleep in,and spend the rest of our time outdoors & live with nature.

    • Josephine May 15, 2015, 11:40 am

      Have you ever been in a proper tipi Isabel? I promise our traditional housing is far roomier, has a lot more atmosphere and feels like a home. And it has built in storage for about 1000 x the stuff you would expect lol. I must admit, I expected more from this $700 micro camper. This is a bed in a box, and not a very welcoming one.

  • Bruce April 9, 2015, 4:56 pm

    Not for me, but for those that are interested, a few more pics would be nice. Entry door? Any extra room at the foot of the bed? Porter-Potti? Needs a roof vent. I would put on a 3′ square roof vent for air circulation and as a safety escape hatch. I’d also invest in a storage box that would mount on the trailer frame in between the tongue jack and the “camper”. It could hold tire blocks, a jack, misc tools, an electrical cord and whatever else you might need but don’t want inside the “camper”. Purchased right, and you’d be at $1,000 or so.

  • David April 9, 2015, 7:01 pm

    Love the article, however, someone may want to check the spelling and grammar. Gear is not spelled “gera”and it’s “than” not then!! Sorry, maybe I’m the one who’s wrong here. Again, I really like the article:)

    • Ralph Sly April 9, 2015, 10:14 pm

      Anything I post must curl your hair David. My grammar is pathetic and spelling, well, let me tell you, just terrible. However, sometimes I get my point across.

  • D White April 9, 2015, 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the article and pictures. I own a teardrop and this is a great alternative to those who can’t afford one. Yes, you could add a vent and some windows. Give the guy a break. New ideas are just what we like to see.

    • Jessica April 10, 2015, 9:42 am

      Yes, Exactly! Give the guy a break!

      This is absolutely terrific – what I love about the most is that it’s a very very basic plan that makes it easy for me to take it as far as I’m able.

      Also – you are so right about it being a possible first step. I’ve got a bit of construction and handy work under my belt but I’m irrationally intimidated by the framing part of building my dream tiny house. So yes, this would give me a chance to sort of try it out…. and then later when I build my Tiny house it will be my guest room – Ha! Thanks soooo much!

  • Mary April 9, 2015, 8:22 pm

    I would change it into a gypsie wagon.

  • Roger L. April 9, 2015, 9:28 pm

    I don’t believe you could build this for $700, considering the price of the trailer, cost of building materials and the mattress and that’s just for starters. I also find the structure design very deficient as far as air flow when traveling, or staying weature proof over time due to no incline on the roof. I could go on but IMHO this is very amateurish at best, sorry but no cigar. Sorry for the negativity but just calling a spade a spade.

    • Joyce January 2, 2017, 5:35 pm

      Give the guy a break for spending on plywood, screws and paint. Trailer can be new or used. I found one from an old 18 ft camper that was reduced to a frame with a new bed cost $300. With the availability of getting used materials or having leftovers on hand the ‘cost’ can vary greatly. It is the joy mixed with frustration, and sweat of labor that has allowed the person to accomplish a task he may or may not have had the skills/knowledge to perform. If the product suits his purpose that is important. We learn from the basics and build or work our way up the skill ladder to something much nicer or more comfortable.

  • Ralph Sly April 9, 2015, 10:06 pm

    Great alternate for a tier drop. Build in a weekend and go. All ideas are good ones, some may be better than others but this is great. Reminds me of the numerous times I have spent hours looking for motels, not with that little number in tow, can worry about a shower or whatever the next day.

  • Ralph Sly April 9, 2015, 10:19 pm

    Nice thing here its ease to repaire, your not going to worry about banging it up in the bush and you can add any theme you please. I could see a little boat on top.

  • Marsha CowN April 9, 2015, 10:40 pm

    Soooo cool! What a great and affordable way to get out there and enjoy life a little! Thanks for sharing!

  • David April 10, 2015, 6:19 am

    Thanks for your reply, good news, I don’t have any hair to curl!! But I still really enjoyed the article regardless of spelling or grammar, keep up the great work,

  • Chris April 10, 2015, 1:56 pm

    I think there is more thought into this thing that meets the eye.
    Simply lift it off and use the trailer for it’s original purpose when needed.

  • Denise April 10, 2015, 5:09 pm

    We have camped a lot in flimsy tents which is ok in summer but this would be great for winter ( in Australia we don’t get snow so much) , it is what it is a cover for a bed, we would make a few modifications but we are definitely thinking about building something similar, well done!

  • Kathy April 11, 2015, 1:30 am

    I love it! Great starting point, and even as a 62 year old female, I feel confident I could put it together. Yes, I would add a couple of small high windows for circulation. I love that it’s light enough to tow with my car.

  • Ray Young April 29, 2015, 9:05 am

    This looks great for stealth urban use. You don’t want any windows that you have to cover up and draw attention to your self. All you need is a computer fan ducted through the floor and a small vent on the upper wall for air. I am building one right now. Mine has a cab over type extension on the front. I have ordered enough fiberglass to cover the whole thing to make it more weather resistant.

  • russell May 25, 2015, 12:29 pm

    I got a 6.6 x 14.6 feet trailer. I have been sanding for almost 2 weeks about 1 hour a day. Will have to add angle iron to frame for the 4×4 post to anchor too. Will send pics when I get to work on the camper. It is rated at 6k, easy for a F-150 to pull. Got to go no time to chat .

  • Norm Ellis January 1, 2017, 5:58 pm

    Just wondering how I go about submitting a post of my
    camper trailer when I have it finished. Would like to compare
    with other builder/campers.
    Thanks,
    Norm Ellis

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