Planning a Teardrop Trailer Build

Here’s the plan for my teardrop trailer build. I’m really excited to figure out how to build a teardrop trailer. At least I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a teardrop. It might morph into a taller less teardrop shaped drop though. I have been showing my wife photos of teardrops and she really wants to be able to stand up inside of it. So my teardrop, I have a feeling, might be more of a taller version. Which is fine, I just really want to build anything at this point. I’m going to have to make sure it still has a cool looking design to it though.

I debated on possibly finding a used teardrop trailer for sale, buying that and then working on it. That seemed like it could possibly be a lot more work and hassle in the long run. I thought about buying a DIY teardrop trailer kit too. I think I will just design my own.

My design is going to have more of a vintage teardrop camper look. Maybe even a mini trailer now that I think about it. I’m really looking forward to coming up with my teardrop trailer floor plan too. This should be interesting

Planning Step one of a Teardrop Trailer Build.

I’ve been searching the interwebs high and low for all the available info on building a teardrop and I have come across some great looking designs and some not so great looking drops.

I really want mine to not only be functional but to also look really good. With a good amount of experience in construction and the trades I should be able to pull it off.

I have built houses and done many remodels, roofing, decks, mold remediation. You name it and I have built it, except for a trailer (and a boat, but that’s another project). So Let’s get into the plan.

Teardrop trailer sketch

Pardon my cheesy sketch

Since I can’t start building right this minute I am going to hash out each step of the way and make sure I have as much thought out as I can.

I’m going to try and start this project mid Spring and hopefully be finished early to mid summer. We have a camping trip planned for October at Blue Rocks Campground in Lenhartsville, PA, and would love to be able to test run the new teardrop.

We go up there every October with a big group of people. Another reason I would love to have it done is that my father in law is building one this winter too and taking his up on the same trip. It would be awesome to see two new teardrops make the trip.

What trailer should I buy to build a teardrop trailer.

First things first, I need a trailer. I’ve seen a lot of people use a DIY teardrop trailer from Harbor Freight but it seems like it really needs to be reinforced and bulked up to be safe.

I know some have used it right out of the box and been fine but I know it’s not really rated for higher speeds. With a wife and two small kids I would rather be safe than sorry. Not only do you have to reinforce the frame and do some extra welding but it seems like a good idea to put a new axle on it and upgrade the wheels. That’s seems to be a little bit of a hassle for me so I’m going to go with option two.

Click to see the plans!

I have decided to go with the bigger option and build on a 5×8 trailer frame. Unless one pops up on Facebook marketplace or Craigslist I will go with the one from Northern Tool.

At just under $500 it’s not a bad deal. It already comes with a standard tire and axle so I shouldn’t have to upgrade there. Reading all the reviews on Northern Tools site it seems that most people that are buying it are buying it to build a teardrop and the reviews are almost all positive.

Pros of a 4 foot wide trailer:

There is a debate on which is better a 4 foot wide teardrop or a 5 foot wide build. The reasons for a 4 foot wide seem to be:

  • Cheaper
  • 4 foot wide sheet of plywood fits perfect
  • Lighter
  • Stays true to the classic

Those are some good points but I worry about space inside, 4 foot wide doesn’t leave that much room.

Pros to building a 5 foot wide teardrop:

  • More room inside
  • Easier to build a entryway incase of rain

I’m thinking since I’m already going to modify the original design that I’ll go with the 5 foot wide. It will be nice to have the extra space and possibly a step to the inside.

I will also be building a bunk type of area where the normal galley will be. It will be nice to have the extra head room for the two kids. They will be sleeping sideways above our feet, I just have to figure out how to plan that out.

There are some teardrop trailer floor plans on Amazon and I really want to buy a set just to see and get a general idea on paper. Although I could build a teardrop just fine without plans I know that there’s probably a few details that others have already figured out. I also have to figure out the DIY teardrop trailer cost.

And I’m sure there’s some unforeseen problems and it would be nice to know some ahead of time before I run into them. Here are a few I’m looking at.


Free updates and guides when we post how to videos!


If you are in the middle of a teardrop trailer build right now, let me know.

Did you go with a Harbor Freight trailer or something else?

And what size did you end up building your teardrop?

Let me know in the comments below.

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