This is the story of one couple’s enclosed trailer camper project.
They took a used 6 x 10 cargo trailer and turned it into a mini-camper with lots of amenities. I’m pretty sure you will find it impressive. It not only has loads of amenities, but it can also still function as a very useful cargo trailer. Take a look below!
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Couple’s 6 x 10 Enclosed Trailer Camper
It looks like a cargo trailer but it’s a camper.
This is what it’s like camping with it.
It has slim rooftop solar panels on it.
Take a look inside the enclosed trailer camper. In this mode, you can easily use it as a cargo trailer.
Here it is in camping mode. Ready for bed time.
There are other ways to use it, too. Here it is as a workspace.
And back to sleeping mode!
Did you notice the overhead storage cabinets?
There’s also some space under the bed for storage too.
The camper even has a tiny ceiling fan.
What do you think of the floating desk system?
Another look at the ceiling fan. And yes, there is a shower!
The instant hot water heater is located here in the kitchenette area.
Overhead ceiling/vent fan.
The toilet is portable, but stored in the shower.
The wardrobe. Very simple!
Here is a look at some of the systems of the camper.
Want to see what’s outside? Just install one of these.
Construction / How They Built It
- On-demand water heater
- 2-burner stove
- 15-gallon swappable freshwater tanks
- An external gray water tank or hookup
- Shower and sink
- 12v water pump
- 12v lighting
- 120v connections and sockets
- Solar panels and charge controller
- City water connection
- Split fold-down beds (1/2 can be used for bench seating)
- Fold-down table
- External remote-controlled air conditioner and heater
- Powered roof vent
- Fully insulated
Learn more: http://www.sound-expressions.com/Camper2017/
Our big thanks to GR Horst for sharing!🙏
Can you use an enclosed trailer as a camper?
As you can see from this story, yes it is most definitely possible to use an enclosed trailer as a camper with appropriate modifications.
Is it safe to sleep in an enclosed trailer?
The answer is simply no. Unless the enclosed trailer has been properly modified it is not safe to sleep in. Many modifications must be made to turn an enclosed structure into a safe space to sleep.
Can you insulate an enclosed trailer?
Yes, it is possible to insulate an enclosed trailer and build it out much like you would any other structure.
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More Like This: Travel Trailers | Micro | DIY | Cargo Trailers
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Congrats on a lot of work well done. Unfortunate truth is, you can buy a similar, used travel trailer cheaper than a used Haulmark.
It’s practical. Maybe they didn’t pay much for the trailer. I lived in a travel trailer for 2 years and was going to turn it into a tiny home, but things changed and I sold it for half of what I paid for it. If I were to do it again, I’d opt for starting from scratch on a used trailer frame. : )
I’d build a small houseboat on boat trailer travels better and a lot of places to live free on the water. Or live cheaply in expensive downtowns.
This is a nice one though I’m more for the couch-bed/settee, storage under on each side so you don’t have to move stuff to sleep and a full lounge chair for each using cushions or a hinged bed board to make the couch-bed into a lounge chair.
A seat back can fill the in between to make full size if wanted.
Alex can you cut the number of photos to enough to show well as more often I just click away to somewhere else instead of going through so many. I only did all these so I could write this note as was ready to leave before 1/3 way through.
Not bad at all! Looks like you touched all the bases and made it work. I would change two things for your own needs down the road. I can see you are not an electrician. Make a common box for power distribution including the main 120/240v breaker and branches (I see a 120v two breaker box near the floor and an outlet), solar, and 12V. Now, all that cannot go into one box or pipe. Create a panel with terminals fused for 12v would be nice and run power to type and voltage in one direction for in and the other for out. I would encourage using EMT and stranded wire like THHN instead of Romex. If you have an electrical issue you can pull and replace it with one pull without additional wall damage. Plumbing the same, run the plastic pipe through EMT into a duel manifold – hot and cold, each has its own stop valve. If something breaks or freezes causing an issue just pull it out and slip another in the pipe. Two things that are not thought about in a build. Keep it simple, neet and easily repairable. I still like the trailer, a great idea!
The main thing I do not like about this cargo trailer is the fact that it is not sitting in my driveway ready for me to use to go camping & fishing.
What a sweet setup; I love the on demand water heater.
Beautiful build. I loved every picture until I saw the fuse block under the water hoses and my heart stopped. Water goes under electricity not over it. It could cause a tragedy.
Nice job, has inspired my project in process. Learned from Roberts post as electrical mechanicals has me a little frustrated. Did you run mechanicals under trailer or along the wall ? Thx
Sandra, thanks for the comment. As noted on the web site, some changes were made in this regard after these photos were created.
That’s great! I really like your content, it teaches me step-by-step how to turn a cargo trailer into a camper. This is useful for a new RVer like me. Thanks so much for sharing!
I also have a way to cargo trailer and someone can reference it. Firstly, you should set up plumbing and electrical lines, followed by floor and wall treatments. Lastly, you can start shopping for doors, window frames, kitchen counters, cabinets, and other furnishings that will make your new travel trailer feel like home. I hope that it is useful for someone.
We’d love to feature your home, Samantha! Email us at [email protected]
We also have the same trailer that has been converted as well. Would love to know where you found the upper cabinets, and the tall cabinet. I know they are RV cabinets as we live full time in a 5th wheel. Our toy hauler does have a water hookup but no shower area in the toy hauler, but are looking to renovate it some.
Thank you for the inspirations.😊😊
Susan, To answer your question, I hand made all of the cabinets. I have a half-decent wood shop in my basement and some basic skill. But the cabinets are not real fancy, but quite functional.
GR (camper owner/builder)
Very nice overall, I too am in the process of a build. The electrical components and locations should be looked into. Minimum NEMA 3R for the main in that location. Another for the cord we plug our trailers in with should be at least 12awg for 15 amp feed. 12 awg sow cord minimum, although I used on sale outdoor extension cords(christmas extension cords at home depot) for my runs, 12 awg for 120vac and 16 awg for 12vdc inside my rig. And by all means bond the main breaker box to the frame of the trailer. Be safe have fun, we are all in this together!
I love your trailer. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any pointers on where I can get more in-depth information On your solar set up?
There is an electrical block diagram at this site. It gives more information on the solar set up.
You can download a PDF that includes electrical information here:
To learn about electricity, mobile solar power systems and their components, how to calculate what size system you need, and have a source of information for pre-configured types of mobile solar power systems based on the amount of power you require, I recommend that you check out, “Mobile Solar Power Made Easy!” by Will Prowse. It is available at Amazon in either digital or paperback versions.
I’m not affiliated to Will or his book in any way. I just like the book and what it has to offer.
I am sorry if I missed this information but where did you get the beds or the mechanism to make them? Cathy
Thanks for the question. The bed is a simple design of my own. I purchased the mattress on-line, but sorry I don’t remember where. But they are a 4″ structured foam (different materials glued together to make the mattress) that have worked out well.
As far as the bed construction, there is 2″x3″ wood for frame and support legs with a 1/2″ plywood top and a few cross-pieces for additional support. The wall side has a small support area 4″ deep so there is room for the 4″ mattress when the bed is folded up. The hinge is a long “piano-hinge”. I don’t think stores commonly carry a hinge this long, but most on line hinge suppliers have them.
Let me know if you need more details or pictures.
I would love more information/pictures ok how you build these beds!? I am trying to do a similar set up in a. 8’x16’ trailer I just picked up.
I think I have some additional information and pictures of the beds the make the construction easier to decipher. I would need to email these to you or perhaps they can be uploaded?
I too would love more details or pictures regarding the bed construction. My spouse and I are trying to do something similar in our 6×10. Thanks.
I can forward you a PDF with additional info on the fold-up beds. If you want to contact me via email I could return the pdf which has 4 pics and some additional descriptions.
Clever! You have everything you need and still have a lot of moving around space. Very nice job!!
One more thing, I love the versitility of this build, especially the bed set up. Very clever!
It’s not House Beautiful, but, I’ll tell ya, it’s House More Than Useful. My favorite of the whole thing is the split bed/bench/table system. You get all the bed space for sleeping, and all the convenience of having it out of your way for anything else and leaving back door open.
So true. Well-thought-out.
This is EXACTLY WHAT I WANT ……i am not a builder but i really want to do this …..did you draw plans or have more info ??? Something a newbie could try to copy
Where did you buy the switches that are installed in the cabinet in the kitchen? Can I please get information on that? Thank you.
Lucy, I don’t recall where I ordered the switches. But it was on-line after searching a bit. You may want to look for switches intended for marine (boat) usage. I seem to recall that it was intended for use in a boat 12-v system.
Creating a camper from a cargo trailer necessitates taking measurements, drawing a plan, locating and purchasing necessary components, and finally installing each component. It may appear to be a difficult task, especially for novices.
Do you know about how much it weighs?
Natasha, It’s a common question about weight. However, I don’t have a definite answer. My best guess is 6-800 lbs. I pull with a Toyota Tacoma with the V6 motor which pulls it fairly comfortable.
Well, if you want a definite answer you could always just take it to a weigh station or truck stop using CAT scales, there’s a fee, usually $10-$15, but it’s how truckers, RV’ers, etc. check their weight… May have to go through twice if you don’t know your vehicle weight to subtract from the total…
I should weigh it one of these days. I hope I can find a free scale someplace 🙂
Where is your fresh water tank, where is your gray water thank for the sink and the shower
Where is the water tank ? And where is the gray water tank.
Click the link to their website (if it allows you, it’s not a secure site) > Click Construction > Water… and it’ll show you the water tanks under the counter and explain the set up…
The fresh water tank(s) are under the stove in the left cabinet door next to the shower. There is a 10 gallon tank that is permanent. Above that tank is a 5 gallon removable. The 5-gal connects to the lower 10-gal via a quick-connect garden hose type connector. If we are not where we are connect to a water supply, we can carry these 5-gal containers, place one on top of the 10-gal permanent tank and it will drain down to the lower tank. This provides up to 15 gallons of fresh water that is refillable in 5-gal increments.
The gray water from sink and shower drains through an external faucet and into a wheeled gray water tote so we can easily take it to a dump station. If there is a sewer hookup, we connect a short hose to the campground sewer connection. We carry a hose-to-4″ adapter for this purpose.
No reply on the fresh water and gray water tanks locations.
Sorry I didn’t read far enough.