Utility Cargo Trailer Camper Conversion

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Why did I build my own mini-camper?

Having previously owned a large toy-hauler, a small trailer was appealing because:

  • Larger camper means having to own a large tow vehicle

  • The need to have or rent a place to store a large trailer

  • Paying high gas consumption of the large tow vehicle even when you are not towing

  • Difficulty in maneuvering around gas pumps and other tight spots

  • A small camper, designed to suit my personal taste, met our needs very effectively

  • We still needed a utility trailer functionality on occasion to haul large items


6 x 10 Cargo Trailer Conversion Project

A used cargo trailer was converted into a combination mini-camper / utility trailer with:

  • Shower & sink

  • External gray water tank or hookup

  • On-demand water heater

  •  2-burner stove

  • Mini-refrigerator

  • 15 gallon swappable fresh water tanks

  • 12v water pump

  • 12 v lighting

  • 120v Connection and sockets

  • Solar panels & charge controller

  • Inverter provides 120v AC from camper battery

  • City water connection

  • Mini-wardrobe

  • Split fold-down beds (1/2 used for bench seat)

  • Fold down table

  • External remote controlled air conditioner and heater

  • Powered roof vent

... all while still remaining usable as a utility trailer.

Update 2020:

  • We have spent well over 50 nights in this trailer and over 9,000 miles of travel. Other than a few minor changes and repairs, it has served us well.

  • Using this small efficient camper is a process. Because of its small size, we found our daily routine that works for us.  It involves deciding when to raise or put down the left bed, fold up/down the table and when we can access storage containers we keep under the bed for cooking supplies and clothing etc.

  • I added a second, but smaller, fold-down table above the original table to provide more working space for cooking and eating.

  • If the full bed is down, the dressing area is limited to a few feet between the bed and the counter. We can fold up the left bed first thing in the morning and/or make a reasonable compromise since the shower and dressing area is considered a one-at-a-time ordeal.

  • I added wall anchor strips (harbor freight e-track) on the walls under the bed to enhance the tiedown locations for cargo hauling.  I have folded up the beds and used it to move pianos which is why I originally purchased the trailer. (I am a piano tuner/technician)  

  • We have received numerous questions about the camper build which we don't mind answering. It's nice to meet other persons preparing to embark on a similar building project.

The author of this web page and builder of this camper constructed the pictured camper for personal use and makes no claims regarding the accuracy of the design, it's safety, nor fitness for any particular purpose.

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