Home-Built Compact Camping Trailers

This page is home-built compact camping trailers I've come across or customer's creations to help stimulate your planning/thinking of a diy project.  If you have something you'd like us to consider including, send a brief description and photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We also have several customer build photos in our Gallery and threads at Tventuring.com a Trailer Supported Adventure Forum.


Here is Ed and Lorraine from Arizona Gear Haul trailer built on a frame from use for trips to Baja. The trailer box is laid out with places for everything.



Here is Doug’s from Oregon Explorer Box trailer with a MOAB tent unit kit on its maiden voyage for some camping in the Nevada desert.He built it with high ground clearance for towing behind his Jeep.On his Explorer Box he used waterproof marine deck hatches as side doors instead of a front door.



This is Max’s trailer from Texas. Although it’s heavier than most compact cars could handle towing, it has a very interesting raisable deck. He build it so he could haul a DualSport motorcycle around, then raise the deck and convert it to a camper when he got to his destination. The tent panels snap in place after lifting the deck.

Max from Texas Raisable Deck Trailer Home Built Camping Trailer from Max in Texas


This is a Kozy Kamp replica that Kim from southern Oregon built for towing behind his 1936 Hot Rod. He did a very nice job of replicating the overall look and how the side beds fold out.



This is Kevin’s trailer from Canada. It’s setup for off-road towing and uses a Family Size Safari Style Rooftop Tent Unit.

Kevin from Canada with Rooftop TentKevin from Canada's Roof Top Tent Trailer


Here are some pictures I received from Buck in Washington of the Tent Topped Camping Trailer he is building with one of our safari style Tent Units. He plans on towing it with a sidecar equipped motorcycle. It’s built on a bolt-together 40” x 48” trailer frame kit.

buck's tent topped motorcycle trailer Buck's motorcycle tent topped trailer with sidecar


We normally build them compact, but we’ve been seeing an up tick in folks building micro motorcycle versions. Here is George Miller’s from Illinois, he built a motorcycle sized tent trailer using one of our MOAB tent unit kits. His MOAB was a production prototype, so it has a little different color scheme. George has documented his build on the forum MotoCampers, check it out at George’s Build Story .



Here is a nice motorcycle sized camping trailer Jim from North Carolina built using one of our M.O.A.B. Tent Units.  More about Jim's trailer on our Blog.



Russ came down from Canada to purchase a Roof Top Tent Unit and an Explorer Box Build Manual.  He tweaked the design for a pull out propane stove.  Read all about it and see more photos on our Blog.

Russ's pull out propane stove galley  Russ's Explorer Box






Here is Bud from Ohio’s version of an Explorer Pod Tent Topped Camping Trailer. For sleeping quarter he used one of our DIY MOAB Tent kits. In the rear, his tail light housings are a good example of adding your own personal touches.



This is Pat from New York’s recent Camping Trailer, he calls it ROAM (Recreation Optimized All-terrain Module).  He uses a Tent Topped approach like we do, although his trailer box is “super-sized” compared to an Explorer Box. He is an example of how “addictive” home built projects can be. This is his second camping trailer project and he is already talking about idea for the next one. For a detailed chronicle of his build click here.

Pat from New York and His ROAM Tent Topped Camping Trailer Pat from New York's ROAM Tent Topped Camping Trailer


Bob from Oregon. He has highly modified an old military for camping and uses a standard size Safari style tent.

Roof Top Tent on Cluster's Military style trailer Roof top tent on Cluter's old military trailer


David of Oregon. Here is their Explorer Box trailer on a tour of Route 66. They moved their Tent Unit between the Explorer Box and a VW Transporter pickup.


Evert from Washington returned home from deployment wanting to do a family project and get out camping. Here is his Explorer Box.

An Explorer Box Build by Evert Explorer Box and Roof Top Tent by Evert


David from Arizona. He is using one of our Family sized folding style rooftop tents on his trailer.

Roof Top Tent used by David in Arizona Roof Top Tent used by David in Arizona


Lance from Arizona. Here is an adaptation done from the Explorer Box plans using a HF 40x48 frame kit.

Lance's Explorer Box


Here is our first International Home Built Explorer Box!  Jay in the UK kept us updated then sent us photos and comments -we've written a post on our blog that you can read here.

 Jay's Rig with the Explorer Box


Here is Jess's Sawtooth trailer.  It is an interesting off-road version of the old GrassHopper design.  I was happy to see it finished after a long delay because of funding challenges.

Sawtooth Trailer - Compact Camping Concepts Sawthooth Trailer - Compact Camping Concepts


A Multi-Purpose slide in style camper Matthew from Australia built and sent in to us.



Here is Leonard Taylor’s homebuilt camping trailer.



Here is a homebuilt I saw on Craigslist, not beautiful, but functional



Here is a homebuilt by Patrick Lambert of Beacon, NY







This is D. Hogue's trailer.  It began life as a military flatbed 3/4 ton ammo trailer.  He framed it, put on accessories and has camped with it for about ten years now.  As he said; "The recent RTT addition has made it complete


This is Chris G’s micro camper, It’s built on a 4’ x 4’ HF frame kit and is towed with a SmartCar.



Here is Randy S’s Explorer Box trailer. It’s built on a modified HF trailer and is towed with a Honda Fit.


This is M. Adams second trailer.It uses an angled popup roof approach like the old VW campers and has under bed storage.

Customer Build Roof Top Tent Camping Matt Build Roof Top Tent and Great Trailer


M. Adams of Oregon. His is a multi-purpose where the box can be removed to use the trailer as a flatbed also.It has water and 120v plug-in and a swing out rear sink / counter top for a stove.


If you would like to build a stand up style hard-sided camper, the Squidget Tiny Travel Trailer is something you might be interested in. It's looks affordable to build and has a full set of plans available, even if it's a little bigger than what I'd normally consider compact. Check it out at The Squidget.

The Squidget Tiny Travel Trailer The Squidget Tiny Travel Trailer


If a hard-sided camping trailer like a Teardrop is what you're looking for; here is a directory of plans hosted by Lil'l Bear Tag-Along Trailers

To start your home built DIY Explorer Box today check out our Explorer Box Build Manual