Cargo Trailer Camper Conversion | A Comprehensive Guide

Cargo Trailer Camper Conversion | A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably dreamed of converting a cargo trailer into a camper at some point. It’s a great way to save money while camping, and it can be done relatively easily if you know what you’re doing. This guide will show you how to do just that.

First, you’ll need to find a suitable cargo trailer. If you’re handy with tools, you can probably find one for relatively cheap on Craigslist or at a local garage sale. Otherwise, new trailers can be purchased from most RV dealerships.

Once you have your trailer, the next step is to start planning the conversion. What kind of amenities do you want in your camper? Will you need a kitchen, a bathroom, or just a place to sleep? Make a list of what you want and start shopping for the materials you’ll need.

If you’re not sure how to do the conversion yourself, there are plenty of resources available online or at your local library. YouTube is also a great resource for finding step-by-step tutorials on just about anything.

Once you have all of your materials, it’s time to start the conversion process. Begin by gutting the interior of the trailer and removing any insulation. If you’re planning on adding a kitchen or bathroom, you’ll need to install plumbing and electrical lines as well.

After the interior is finished, it’s time to work on the exterior. You’ll need to add siding, windows, and doors as well as awnings or another shading if you want them.

Once your camper is complete, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the benefits that come with owning one. You can take it camping, use it as a guest house, or even live in it full-time if you so choose. Just make sure to follow all local regulations regarding RV living.

Converting a cargo trailer into a camper is a great way to save money and have a unique home on wheels. With a little planning and some elbow grease, you can have the camper of your dreams in no time.

From Nothing, a Cargo Trailer Camper Conversion Is Possible

To begin with, consider a scenario in which you don’t have a cargo trailer. Yes, even after the invention of the cargo trailer camper conversion, this desire is still relevant and practical. No, purchasing a recreational vehicle or a campervan isn’t always preferable in such circumstances. Campervans priced at fair rates are seldom worth purchasing.


To start with, you’ll require a sturdy and dependable structure, as your cargo trailer camper conversion will be subjected to a lot of stress. You’re undoubtedly aware that metal roofs are found on freight trailers. This is an important feature. A trusty heavy-duty chassis should be chosen.


Choose a big enough cargo trailer that you can easily transport with the vehicle you have and which will not inconvenience you in any way. You must not feel claustrophobic, yet you do not need too much shoulder room or headroom. With clever designs, you can guarantee ample space. For campers, there is no shortage of retractable, fold-down, pull out, and recessed fittings.

While you may opt to forego the many different types of tanks and other complex setups that take up a lot of room, you cannot get rid of all plumbing. You can have one channel to connect your sink to a water line. If you don’t have a tank of your own, you may need an intake if you don’t even have one for washing and drinking. Excluding other tanks is beneficial because it allows you to have a larger living area.


The transformation of a cargo trailer into a camper is an ambitious project. You have complete control over the practical and ornamental aspects. You may add as many or as few accessories as you wish. You may create add-ons as you go. Perhaps you’d want a dry rack for outdoor usage or a deck. You have the option of choosing a more elaborate design to create a high-end camper. A composting toilet, a dependable propane system, electric burners, solar panels, and powerful batteries should all be at the core of your cargo trailer’s camper conversion. An energy-efficient heater and air conditioner are required. Instead, go for open fireplaces or wall-mounted stoves. If you are not able to transport a large propane tank, gas-powered equipment should be avoided.

A cargo trailer is generally smaller than the camper’s or RV’s chassis or shell. There may not be enough room or provision for two propane tanks. One isn’t possible. You’ll require a battery pack, no matter how many gas tanks you have, because one is required for every propane tank.


You must give priority to general safety and the optimal operational status of all equipment. If you are not sure whether or not you should have a rooftop water tank, don’t have one. The windows should serve as fire escapes as well. These are installed in such a manner that they may be easily withdrawn and dismantled. Carbon monoxide detectors and monitors are critical devices to have on hand. When you’re working on the wiring and installation, be cautious. It’s a good idea to hire an electrician to handle these things for you.

Unless you’re an electrician, plumber, carpenter, or expert camper conversion installer for appliances of various sorts, it’s best to leave the technical details to the experts. You won’t be charged a lot for it. The work will be neat and dependable. You’ll still save a ton of money compared to investing nearly $100,000 on a high-quality camper.

After comparing the different aspects mentioned in this article, a cargo trailer camper conversion should not cost more than $10,000. Some people will be able to acquire all of the components discussed, keeping the price under $7,000. Heavy-duty flooring, a metal roof, and all major systems are examples of this expenditure.

Conversion of a Cargo Trailer Camper By Stepwise Planning

Make a note of where you are right now. Do you have a cargo trailer or will you purchase the chassis? The answer to this question determines your future choices. What sort of camper do you require? It may be a modest one that can accommodate two adults. It might be for a family of four. You may not want an entertainment and recreational console. You may wish to have some extra features, such as consoles or anything more luxurious. Start with the basic structure and work your way up to the next stage.

  • Take measurements of the area. Include the height next. Make sure you have enough room inside. Now figure out how much space you’ll need to keep your things folded up, stored away, rolled back or pulled in. This will provide you with the square footage of the area to dedicate to installations that can’t be retracted or moved in some manner. Cabinets, for example, require a specific amount of room. Because tanks require a certain amount of area, they will need their area. When the bed is folded up, even a sofa requires some space. You can’t expect the necessary area to be small. The mattress alone takes up a few inches in thickness as well as several feet in length when fully expanded.
  • Once you have the numbers at your fingertips, make a checklist of all the essential components you’ll need to install in your cargo trailer to turn it into a camper. Do not forget small items that aren’t necessary but can be overlooked. When it comes to the necessities, make a list of everything that you require. After you’ve completed your shopping, examine the choices you have and calculate how much space they’ll take in their respective locations. This is important since it will assist you with planning the layout. Many people suggest starting with a layout and then working your way through the process. When you don’t know what types of components you’ll need to create room for, it’s pointless to plan a layout. The designers and, of course, the manufacturers of recreational vehicles know exactly what components may be placed into the shell to match their floor plan and overall design because they have planned it ahead of time.


  • The structure should be useful. Forget about what is perfect. When it’s impossible to obtain an elusive room, don’t yearn for it. Avoid thinking about ways in which you won’t be able to implement because of obvious reasons. Manufacturers of recreational vehicles over-complicate their products, which is one reason why things get dirty with time. You should keep your cargo trailer camper conversion simple. You don’t need a lot of components in your camper. Ensure that you have everything you need before moving on to the more complicated aspects. If you try to cram too many things inside, you will be unable to construct a feasible plan. Remember that the layout is something you’ll have to live with for the rest of your RV’s life unless you intend on remodelling it. You can replace a faucet or a foldable component in a matter of minutes. You are not permitted to modify the plan at a whim.


  • The final stage before purchasing is to complete the layout and make a shortlist of all the elements. It’s then simply a question of getting the appropriate stuff and having it installed, preferably by professionals. If you’re doing it yourself, be sure you understand the procedures and that there aren’t any issues with the actual installation. The screws and nuts, as well as bolts and seals, are some of the most vulnerable components in many installations. The joints and attachments are where the whole constructions are weakest, whether it’s glueing something to the wall or nailing something into the woodwork. Connecting a few electrical systems or fastening chairs to the heavy-duty floor are all examples of where the joints and attachments are weakest. If you make mistakes with these, it’s possible that something will come apart or collapse in a short time.

There is a quicker method to convert your cargo trailer into a camper. You may hire firms for the entire conversion process. You have the option of utilizing your own freight carrier. You may choose to purchase one, perhaps after hearing about it from the firm. Every unique option will be available to you, and the designer will work with you until their engineers and technicians are ready to begin working on your cargo trailer camper conversion.

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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