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How to Build a Lightweight, Homemade Camping Trailer with Pop Up Roof

I wanted to show you Big Al’s homemade camping trailer.

He has nicknamed it ALVAN the camper caravan.

It’s a pretty simple structure on a 8′ x 4′ trailer chasis that he ordered on eazytrailer.com.au.

Once he put that together he set up a foundation right on the trailer and began framing the walls.

Then he proceeded to add more of the camper’s features like:

  • Lounge that folds to double bed
  • A pop up roof
  • Kitchenette area
  • Windows
  • Awning
  • Aluminum cladding
Homebuilt Micro Camper named Alvin - Home made Travel Trailer

Photo Credit AlvanH on YouTube

In total the Alvan is 10′ by 5.25′. It can be towed with pretty much any small vehicle since it weighs less than 1000 lbs.

I almost forgot to mention, he even added a 12v refrigerator, 12v lighting, and a DVD/MP3 player.

There’s also a tank that holds 6.6 gallons of water.

Homebuilt Micro Camper named Alvin - Home made Travel Trailer Homebuilt Micro Camper named Alvin - Home made Travel Trailer Homebuilt Micro Camper named Alvin - Home made Travel Trailer Homebuilt Micro Camper named Alvin - Home made Travel Trailer

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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 }
  • February 1, 2012, 10:08 am

    I love this homemade camper! One day I’m going to build my own camper from scratch…I’ve been designing dream campers since forever. Right now I’m retrofitting an existing one to live in full time, but one day I hope to build my own like you have done! Thanks for sharing!


    • February 1, 2012, 10:36 am

      Glad you liked it Mariah, your site’s looking SWEET. Cool helmet, too.

      What a cool find.. http://cometcamper.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/camper-of-the-week-2/

      • chris
        February 18, 2016, 7:39 pm

        I have started a small trailer like yours. How was the pop up constructed? Side material, top material, more important – what holds the top up.

        • Douglas Good
          June 8, 2017, 12:34 pm

          We would love to buy or can you give us your plans for that pull behind camper we love the design…Thank you

  • TomLeeM
    November 17, 2012, 8:55 am

    I noticed a link on one of the photos. I tried it but it does not work. The above link works.

    I think Harbor Freight has similar trailers.

  • Bob
    January 5, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Its good,well,nice!!!!!!!

  • tessa
    June 22, 2013, 5:03 pm

    hi, cool photos and video, but i was wondering how to make a pop up roof
    can you help me with that?


  • Greg Burns
    December 2, 2013, 9:10 am

    Concerning the follw-up story about the “mobile homeless”…WOW! What a GREAT term for it! I’ve done it briefly until I lost my car. I know of another woman who did it for years in Maine and LOVED the freedom of doing it! Seem to recall that most “Walmarts” allow overnight “camping”, but not sure if you actually “need” an RV or can just use a car, SUV, or van. Would pay to check with your local “big box” store…

    January 28, 2014, 6:36 pm


  • James
    May 28, 2014, 10:56 am

    I was wondering if anyone has put a material list together for one of these home made campers as well as a list of venders for parts. If so that would be very helpful to anyone that would like to build one of these jems of there own.

  • paul jeffrey
    May 31, 2014, 4:38 pm

    Love the rig. Working on a plan of my own, but would really like to see how you raise the pop up roof? We have a 29 footer, but am trying to talk the wife into a much smaller outfit.

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