If you are thinking of saving money while planning your vacation, one of the best ways is to build a DIY off-road trailer. It’s possible, easy, and a fun activity you can do. However, before doing anything, first, realize what you need.
Off-trailers come in different shapes and sizes, so you have to plan accordingly. Once you’ve decided what type of DIY off-road trailer you want, let’s construct it.
Steps to Build an Off-Road Trailer
The following steps will help you build an off-road trailer by spending a small amount of money. If necessary, you might have to ask for help from a luxury travel trailers professional.
You must be clear about the purpose of the off-road trailer you will build. No doubt, the basic needs will remain the same, like accommodation, ventilation, and roof.
But you have to think one step ahead. How many people should your off-road trailer accommodate? Will you need to install AC or just flow with the weather? What about in-house cooking?
These types of questions will determine the size and vents of your DIY off-road trailer. But what about its overall structure?
The following questions will clear how your off-trailer is going to perform:
- How will you haul your off-road trailer?
- Will you sleep inside your camp or the trailer?
- What facilities should your off-road trailer provide?
- What vehicle do you have to haul the trailer?
Note down everything in the planning phase. If you miss out on anything, your whole hard work might go in vain.
When you are done planning, recheck your DIY off-road trailer plan. Go through it once, twice, thrice, and once you are satisfied, let’s assemble the required material.
First of all, you need a trailer. Experts recommend getting a folding trailer and using it as a base. You can then build walls around it and a roof at the top.
While looking for what folding trailer to buy, go for the standard size, i.e., 48 – 53 feet (length), 8.5 feet (width), and 13.5 feet (height).
However, you can choose any other dimensions according to what you have planned. Of course, the bigger the trailer is, the more spacious it will be. But keep in mind that bigger trailers are difficult to carry unless you have a powerful vehicle like a heavy-duty pickup or GMC Terrain.
Typically, an 11-feet-long, 5-inch-wide trailer is enough to accommodate two persons. You can easily sleep in as well.
While buying a trailer for your DIY project, also check the load capacity. It should be enough to carry the weight of walls, roof, camping accessories, and your weight as well.
As a recommendation, look for a teardrop trailer as it’s more mobile, lightweight, and can be assembled all at once.
After getting a trailer, let’s floor its base as it’s the fundamental step of any construction. Remember that weak flooring might be less expensive for you, but it’s a risk not to build a strong floor.
Get a plank of wood at least half an inch thick and of the same size as the trailer. After that, properly bolt the wood in the trailer. You have to make sure that the wood is evenly fixed at all places.
Once you are done with the wooden flooring, you can consider spraying a rubber-coated protective layer. This layer will protect the floor from water. However, it’s optional, and you can process without spraying the protective layer.
Create Frames for Wall & Roof
Now you have to build frames for the walls and roof. This will include wooden or metal support as well. So, according to your plan, start creating the frames using 2x3s. It’s the standard size for interior wall construction.
Moreover, you have to fix two 2x3s where there will be windows.
If you have already prepared the metal posts, you might not have to place additional wooden support. That will eat up the space, especially if you are constructing an A-Frame camper trailer for your off-road trip.
However, if you want to weld the frames for the wall and roof, do it before creating the floor? It’s because the metallic frame is stronger than a wooden frame. Also, you can add more panels and support after you are done creating the frames for the walls and the roof.
But if you are an inexperienced welder, it’s highly recommended to go for the wooden frame.
Besides, you have to make frames for windows and doors. Of course, you can create them after fixing the walls and roof, but that might not be easy for everyone.
Attach Walls & Roof
You can use either wooden or aluminum walls and roof panels for their attachment. Like you fixed the flooring using a wooden plank, it’s recommended to follow the same method to panel the walls and roof.
You have to fix them on the frames and firmly bolt them. You can deal with the insulation and wiring later.
Besides, you can go for aluminum paneling for the walls and roof as well by using strong double-coated tape.
Don’t forget to add a waterproof layer on top of the roof so that you don’t have to spot leakages in the rainy season.
Add Windows, Doors & Cabinets
For the windows and doors, choose any material and make sure that the size is accurate. You can add hinges and locks for your off-road trailer’s safety as well.
After adding the doors and windows, let’s add the cabinets inside the trailer.
Follow the blueprint you created in the planning phase and mark the spots on the walls. Make sure that the cabinets won’t disturb you while you are standing inside the trailer. You can add any type of cabinets you want.
Insulating your off-roader is one of the most important safety measures. It prevents the external temperature from affecting the trailer’s inside condition. So whether it’s hot, cold, or rainy outside, the insulation will make sure you are safe and comfortable there.
One way you can insulate your trailer is by using polystyrene sheets. These sheets are lightweight, last long, waterproof, and keep the temperature normal despite the harsh weather conditions.
Moreover, seal the doors and windows using a sealant because applying the small pieces of a polystyrene sheet might not be effective. You can also place foam at the borders of the doors and windows.
If you don’t have any experience with wiring and electricity, it’s better to bring an expert friend or a professional. Proper wiring inside your off-road trailer is necessary. For that, you have to arrange the following:
- Switch/Fuse Panels
- Deep Cycle Batteries
After arranging the required goods, it’s better to take help from a professional to avoid any risk associated with electricity. Therefore, you don’t have to experiment on your own because if you do that, you might have to spend your camping days without electricity or some blown-up appliances.
These are the basic steps to building an off-road trailer on your own, except for the wiring part.
When you complete your DIY off-trailer project, you can add additional accessories and furniture like AC, stove, and beds. That doesn’t require any specific planning. However, it’s a suggestion to keep your trailer as minimal as possible to comfortably enjoy your off-road camping.