Outdoor enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve their experiences while on the road. With advanced hardware tools and accessibility, you can “DIY” almost anything—including creating a home-like space and bringing it along on your outdoor adventures. One of these DIY options is to convert a utility trailer to a camper.
Isn’t it amazing to be able to travel at your own comfort? What’s more is that you’re able to create that homey space all on your own, however you want it to be! In this article, I will be sharing a simple conversion guide of utility trailer to a camper.
Different Stages of Converting Utility Trailer to a Camper
When converting a utility trailer to a camper, you need to do it in stages to ensure that everything goes smoothly. The different stages are:
- The Basics Stage
- The Getting Started Stage
- The Interior Stage
- The Final Setup Stage
The Basics Stage
First, an essential step to any kind of building is MEASUREMENTS. This cannot be stressed enough.
Measure your utility trailer, and plan ahead as to what you are expecting the end transformation to look like. Write all measurements down and keep them accessible for future reference as well as for the building process.
The basic amenities that the trailer can accord is a shelter, a sufficient supply of electricity and water, a simple kitchen, a lavatory (including bathroom and toilet), and typical sleeping facilities which include a bed and an RV mattress.
Additionally, take notes on other aspects, such as the door, roof vent, and windows too. After all, this is a process of replicating a home-like space.
What would also be useful is a fundamental understanding of construction and a fair knowledge of how to handle tools. Consulting an experienced friend for key principles can go a long way too.
The Getting Started Stage
To begin, the utility trailer must be lined with plywood in accordance with its measurements.
Make sure the exterior plywood, or the “shell’ of your camper, is cabinet grade plywood. Cabinet grade plywood is studier than classic plywood because its composed of multiple layers of cross-banded wood. It not only provides protection from external elements but also gives the camper a solid frame.
Apart from that, leave room for the door, roof vent, and windows, and test fit them accordingly. Once they are attached, make sure to paint the plywood with waterproof wood protector paint.
Follow the instructions on how long they should be left to dry, and then start priming the shell, followed by a paint of your preference. This step is going to determine the whole outlook of the camper, so it is important to choose a color that is both easy on the eyes and reflective of the heat.
The next step is to install the door, roof vent, and windows; make sure that they’re sealed tight. At this point, the utility trailer will begin to look a lot like a camper.
The Interior Stage
Start off the interior work by installing insulation panels that fill all the hooks and nooks of the plywood. The very common recommendation for camper insulation is aluminum foils or liners; there are also foil panels that do the exact same job. Insulating the camper is important because it keeps the inside of the camper at an optimal temperature.
While this next step is optional, the floors and walls could use some varnishing to protect the wood and to give it a nice, completed look.
Once the varnish has dried, the furniture can be set up, depending on the space within the camper. A utility trailer’s space can be limited, so to ensure that there is not any congestion, choose only requisite amenities to be installed.
The first amenity to install would be the sleeping facility. Fix a collapsible berth that could work both as a couch and a bed so that it can be an efficient space saver. You can also opt to build your own bed frame, but it’s so much easier to simply put away the bendable futon mattress with zero hassle.
Space Saver Furniture
Space-saver furniture is another great addition to your new camper. A wall-mounted table, for instance, is a great alternative to typical tables, which are usually rigid and consume plenty of space.
There are also options such as convertible tables that can change from shelves to tables in split seconds. Similarly, for chairs and shelves, look for convertible models so that there will be more space for you to utilize.
As previously mentioned, utility trailers have limited space, so including a kitchen or a lavatory would not be advisable. However, it is possible for an electrical supply to be installed. This way, the camper can have lights, entertainment gears, and few simple kitchen appliances, such as a waffle maker, an induction stove, and a mini fridge for RV.
That said, one can put together a basic water supply system too, but be mindful of the holding tanks for both fresh water and water waste. Due to the non-existence of septic tanks in campers, it will be important to locate proper dump stations.
The Final Setup Stage
Since a utility trailer is an unpowered vehicle, it will always require another mobile vehicle to pull it along. Hence, assembling a sturdy wheel bearing and tow hook is very crucial. These are the two key components that allow the camper to move around.
Converting a utility trailer into a camper provides desired comfort while traveling, but it is also cost friendly to some extent. The price of a hotel room per night costs more than the overall budget of this conversion, and that is not taking into consideration the fact that the hotel room could be undesirable or not to your liking.
Some might say that tents are a cheaper option, but utility trailer campers fulfill almost of the owner’s needs. Plus, a utility trailer camper is way more practical than a tent, and it’s safer too.
A Simple Generic Conversion Guide
There are many different types of outdoor travelers, and this conversion is completely customizable according to the preferences of the user. Now, with this guide, you can convert your utility trailer to a camper with the style that you’d like.