You’ve likely come across a few teardrop campers during your walks around your favorite campground. They stand out among the large RVs we often see. If these small but functional campers intrigue you, you may be interested in learning about how you can turn them into a DIY project by using teardrop camper kits.
What Are Teardrop Camper Kits?
Teardrop camper kits allow you to build your very own personalized teardrop camper. A kit generally comes with a supply list and complete building instructions. You’ll be able to put together your perfect camper in no time! Some kits even come complete with supplies, so you won’t have to run around to different stores for tools and parts.
New to teardrop campers? Find out what you need to know first.
Can You Really Build Your Own Teardrop Camper from a Kit?
Sure, you might be handy, but can you build an entire camper from the ground up? Of course you can! While it may seem complicated, many teardrop camper kits walk you step by step through the process. Not only can you do it, but it can be fun. Tackle the project on your own or make it a bonding experience.
➡ Did you know you can also build truck campers? Learn more here: How Do You Build a DIY Truck Camper?
Is It Hard to Build a Teardrop Camper?
That depends on your previous experience. If you’ve never worked with some of the required tools, there may be more of a learning curve. If you’re up for the challenge, anyone can do it, though.
With detailed instructions, you’ll be on your way to building your very own teardrop camper. Push through the few tough moments during your build, and you’ll make it.
How Much Is a Teardrop Trailer Kit?
You’ll find everything from free PDF plans advertised as a genuinely DIY kit to kits that cost thousands of dollars and include absolutely everything.
Free PDFs can be excellent, but try to find someone who completed the plans to verify they work. You don’t want to start the project only to realize the plans were free because they were useless. It may be worth it to put down a bit of cash for a high-quality set of plans.
Remember, with free or low-cost PDF plans, you must buy the supplies on your own. The building costs will vary greatly depending on the quality you choose. Sometimes the supplies come at a higher price than they would if you purchased a kit. Some of those kit makers can get discounts.
A complete kit delivered to your door costs the most. You pay for the plans, the premeasured and precut supplies, hardware, electrical parts, and shipping. Ultimately, you could pay anywhere from $1,000 to upwards of $9,000 for a kit depending on what it includes.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Own Teardrop Trailer?
Since you may likely end up adding costs to your building project besides the teardrop kit, you should factor in an additional budget for features, appliances, decor, and tools. Because of this, there’s no set price for DIY teardrop trailers, but a ballpark range could put you between $3,000 and $10,000. The cost will vary based on the size and features you include. For example, a rear kitchen teardrop will cost you more to build than a bed-only unit. If you add solar panels and bike rack, that could also add up.
If you build without a kit, the costs could be less if you are able to get better deals. But more likely, you’ll spend more time and money on mistakes that could be avoided with someone else’s tried-and-proven plans.
It is possible to save money building than buying a new teardrop. There are several very cheap teardrop campers on the market that might be a good fit for you. Some manufacturers offer very minimal base models that you could add your custom touches to yourself as well.
The good news is you can dream for free! There are plenty of free PDF building plans available on the web to help you design the teardrop camper of your dreams at a price you can afford.
What Is in a Teardrop Camper Kit?
What you find in a teardrop camper kit varies from kit to kit. Some kits give you everything you need, including building supplies. The pieces are all pre-cut to make the process simple. It’s an open-and-go teardrop camper kit.
On the other hand, some teardrop camper kits are simply plans. With these plans, you’re merely getting the instruction booklet and supply list. You have to shop for your supplies, make all required cuts, and assemble each piece individually.
Of course, there are many options between these two extremes. Some companies, offer a la carte purchasing and require local pickup. Others supply some parts, and you have to fill in the blanks.
Where to Find Teardrop Camper Kits for Sale
Thankfully, a simple Google search will lead you to endless pages of teardrop camper kits for sale. It’s essential to do in-depth research on the kit you choose so you don’t end up spending your hard-earned money on a product that will leave you frustrated.
First, decide what type of teardrop camper kit you want. You’ll find a wide array of options for teardrop camper kits. When deciding on a kit, look at reviews. Call the company and ask for references. You’ll especially want to know if the instructions were clear.
We’ve found some of the more prominent teardrop kits out there for you to start your research journey.
Overland Trailers 5′ x 8′ Teardrop Camper Kit
Overland Trailers is a DIY teardrop trailer company in the Pacific Northwest. They offer plans, parts, kits, and tons of information about building their 58 Heald 5′ x 8′ teardrop camper kit. The cost on their store for this kit is $8,200 and you get everything you need to build this aerodynamic trailer.
Chesapeake Light Craft Teardrop Camper Kit
Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) creates and sells unique wood teardrop camper kits that start at the base price of around $3000. Standard and alternative configurations are available to suit your building desires. CLC also offers a camper building class you can join to have guided help in your DIY build.
Big Woody Campers Teardrop Kits
Big Woody Campers offers plans, partial kits, and an ultimate kit for DIY teardrop builders. Their Ultimate kit starts under $1500 and includes components for the shell, electrical, weatherstripping, hardware, and the galley.
Can You Put a Toilet in a Teardrop Camper?
Of course! The sky is the limit when you are custom building. However, you may want to consider what type of RV toilet your want to install. Gravity-fed RV toilets require tanks and cassette toilets require cassettes, all of which take up precious space in your small camper.
If a toilet is on your must-have list, we definitely recommend considering portable toilets or composting toilets. Both are self-contained and require no plumbing. However, the portable camping toilet may give you more headspace depending on how tall your teardrop is going to be. It also gives you the flexibility of where you want to put it at any given time.
Are Teardrop Trailers Worth It?
For many, the hassle of researching teardrop camper kits, choosing one, and building it from the ground up isn’t worth it. It’s much more appealing to head to a dealer and drive one off the lot.
We know building your own camper isn’t for everyone. However, those looking to create a more custom unit will love the sense of accomplishment and control they get from a custom-built teardrop camper.
Does the idea of building your own camper from a teardrop camper kit intrigue you? Which type of kit would be more your style? Let us know in the comments!
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Sunday 5th of June 2022
Check out Chesapeake Light Craft 's tear drop trailer. It's a wood kit that has everything you need to build a neat teardrop trailer that can be towed with a subcompact car.
Mortons on the Move
Wednesday 22nd of June 2022
Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!