Homemade Cargo Camper Trailers

••• red horse trailer image by studio vision1 from Fotolia.com

Cargo trailers are ideal for camper conversions because they are lightweight and have a nice open space. The trailers are already watertight and no major modifications must be made. To convert the trailer you must build furniture and secure it to the floor. You can also use furniture that is already constructed as long as it is secured to the floor of the trailer. The space in cargo trailers allows for creative design and you can add as many custom features as desired.

Use a pressure washer with a mild soap and water solution to clean the interior of the cargo trailer. Leave the doors open and allow the water to drain from the trailer. When the trailer is dry, sweep out any extra dirt and debris with a broom.

Construct a base frame for a bed using 2-by-4 lumber and three inch wood screws. Make the frame to the exact width of the back of the trailer. Determine the length based on your height and the height of others who will be using the bed. With the rectangular base in place, attach a metal "L" bracket to each side of the frame and connect it to the floor with one inch sheet metal screws. Attach several upright supports to each side of the bed and build a rectangular top frame to match the bottom. Cover the exposed sides with 1/4 inch plywood but leave one side open to allow access to the area beneath the bed. Cover the top with 1/2 inch plywood and one inch wood screws.

Place a cabinet in the trailer or build a new cabinet using 2-by-4 lumber and 1/4-inch plywood. Place the cabinet next to the bed and use metal "L" brackets and one inch wood screws to secure three sides of the cabinet to the floor. Attach a pin and loop piece of hardware to each cabinet door to prevent the doors from swinging open.

Build a table for cooking and general use purposes. Make the height about the same as your waist to make cooking easy and allow for storage beneath the table. The width should be two feet for most cargo trailer sizes. Use 2-by-4 lumber to create one leg for each corner and an additional leg for each long side. Use one inch wood screws to attach a piece of 1/2-inch plywood to each table. Use a metal "L" bracket and one inch sheet metal screws to secure each leg of the table to the floor.

Place a mattress and pillows on top of the bed. Store extra gear in plastic containers and place them under the bed and the table.


  • Do not leave loose items on the table while driving. All of the loose items are likely to shift and become damaged.


  • Attach ground loops to the floor and hook bungee cords on the loops to secure storage containers while driving. You can also find manufactured furniture for a good price by searching classified ads and garage sales.


About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a freelance outdoor writer specializing in hunting, fly fishing and the general outdoors. He guided fly fishing trips for 10 years in Colorado, Alaska, Montana and Patagonia-Chile. Zach lives in Montana and splits time between the river and keyboard.

Photo Credits

  • red horse trailer image by studio vision1 from Fotolia.com