If you’d like to go on road trips and camp out more, on a budget, a utility trailer camper conversion is a great solution.
Utility trailer campers are homemade mini travel trailers, built on top of a utility trailer. People build them in their back yard in their own time and they can be made for under $1,000.
You can decide exactly what gear to install, when you have the funds available.
Depending on how and when you’ll use your trailer, you can go for a full camper with a box-style structure on top of the trailer, or a cargo basket with a rooftop tent mounted on a metal structure.
You could go even more basic and just install a cargo basket on the trailer and camp in a traditional tent.
All you need is a good-condition utility trailer, some tools and materials, and decent DIY skills.
You can save by buying almost everything used, if you need to. Or you could go all out and build a custom high tech mini camper with all the options. It’s up to you.
No professional conversion company will give you as much freedom as a DIY build.
Here are the five coolest utility camper trailer conversions we could find out there.
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American Jeeper’s Off Road Utility Trailer Camper
American Jeeper had a folding trailer knocking about in his garage. He used it to haul his kayaks and SUP and to carry camping gear on family trips.
During a heavy storm, his family tent got severely damaged and broke. So he decided to look into camping trailers to keep his family comfortable, especially the little ones.
He soon realized that these cost anywhere between $10K and $30K to buy, brand new. The logical conclusion, as he already owned a trailer, was to build a DIY utility trailer camper conversion.
In the following weeks, he attacked the project. He installed a floor made of plywood on the folding trailer and then added the side panels and the insulation.
To keep the interior waterproof, he sealed all the walls and roof with caulk and added aluminum trimmings for the corners. He then painted the exterior of the utility trailer camper conversion with a primer and top coat.
Inside, he installed an AC unit, LED lights, vinyl tiles for the floor, wood-like panels for the walls, and a foldable foam mattress.
To finish off the utility trailer camper, he installed a rooftop tent on the roof. He even installed Jeep Wrangler TJ fenders and trimmed the exterior with a second accent color.
American Jeeper estimates the whole build came in just under $2,000. This little build is fantastic. It looks so cute but rugged at the same time and the fine details make it look professional.
Devin Lovell’s Utility Trailer Camper Conversion
Devin Lovell, who loves to renovate old trailers, managed to build his own travel trailer out of a utility trailer. And it looks like a professional custom built utility trailer camper conversion.
The whole structure is built out of plywood and glassed with marine fiberglass.
Inside, Devin built a counter with storage, which he uses as a kitchen. As well as this, there’s LED lighting, a small AC unit, a radio, and plugs. This really sets this build apart from the others we have seen.
On top of the structure, he installed a roof rack to carry more gear. At the front of the camper, there’s space to store some tools and other extras.
The coolest thing about it is that it looks like a professional build, because he painted the shell with a geometric modern design.
Devin says the whole build cost him about $1,000 and the conversion weighs about 680lbs. When he went to license his utility trailer camper conversion, the authorities instructed him to classify it as a teardrop trailer, due to the dimensions.
Chud Channel’s Homemade Utility Trailer Camper
Wondering if you could build something a little bigger? Chud managed to build a camper on a 6′ by 16′ utility trailer. It sleeps all of his eight kids!
Chud loves all quirky vehicles – from mud mowers to tiny houses. His channel revolves around reviews of these. On the channel, he shows how he also built a big utility trailer camper all by himself to go camping with his kids.
The shell has just over 6in headroom, which is incredible. He created a custom steel tubing frame to hold everything together.
The walls are made of tin roofing, which is very sturdy. At the back, he installed a lot of reflectors to stay safe on the road.
Inside, there’s a mini fridge, four wide bunk beds, and lots of camping gear. He tends to cook and eat outside, so he keeps a foldable camping table and chairs inside.
There’s even a small AC unit attached to the front of the camper. He installed insulation on the side panels and carpet on the floor to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature.
Chud managed to keep the cost of the build at about $1,100. It’s great value for money.
Getting Along Alone’s Micro Utility Trailer Camper
Kevin is a YouTuber who makes videos about camping, especially DIY and review-themed ones. He is super skilled at DIY and it really shows in his work.
Among his DIY projects, there’s a micro utility trailer camper. Kevin managed to give it a professional-looking shape, typical of more costly custom travel trailers.
The whole structure is made of plywood panels and wooden battens. Everything looks very solidly built and the trim he installed adds to the high-quality feeling of the camper.
On the roof, he installed a hatch for ventilation. There are also three windows and one door.
Inside, there’s a platform, lined with carpet, which slides in to offer more legroom to sit inside. On top of this, he placed a foldable mattress, so he can use the platform as a sofa or bed.
Kevin can attach a small wooden panel to the side of the camper, which serves as a table. It’s not permanent, so there are no obstacles when he needs to use the full interior as a sleeping platform.
Overall this utility trailer camper looks gorgeous and we can’t believe it was made DIY.
The Cube Homemade Utility Trailer Camper
The YouTube channel M Langford is about everything outdoors – from DIY-built trailers to open boats. M loves to dive into DIY projects and he records each build in detail.
A couple of years back, he made a box-shaped DIY utility trailer camper. The light blue color he chose for the exterior makes it look extra cute.
The structure is made out of plywood. On the front of the trailer, there’s a box where he stores any extra gear he wants to take with him. On the side of the camper, he installed an outdoor light, so he can sit outside after sunset.
There are two windows and one door. The door features a mosquito screen, which is a super clever addition for those hot summer nights.
Inside, there’s a solar fan and a small AC unit. The floor lifts to offer access to some extra storage space. There’s no furniture inside, leaving all the room available for the mattress.
M also built a DIY 5×8 teardrop trailer. If that’s something that interests you, head over to his channel.
Compact Camping Concepts’ DIY Kits
If you love the idea of owning a simple trailer camper, but you lack the DIY or engineering skills to build one, you could buy a kit or a plan.
This is a great way to keep your project DIY, customizable and low cost.
Scott Chaney, the owner of Compact Camping Concepts, specializes in producing small adventure camping trailers for DIYers.
His utility trailer camper models keep the trailers semi-pure. Most of the builds involve installing a metal frame around the trailer, creating a roof, and mounting a rooftop tent on top of it.
It’s a simple concept that allows you to camp out of your trailer on a budget, off the ground.
This solution allows you to haul a lot of gear. You can keep your camping table, chairs, refrigerator, portable kitchenette, toilet, and more in the cargo basket. It’s accessible any time and, if you wish, you can keep it dry with a drop-down tarpaulin.
You can buy a kit or a plan, so you can choose the amount of help you’d like to get. Scott also sells frame racks, box parts, and various accessories. Some of these include slide out tables, where you can set up your cooking gear, and fenders.
Find out more on the Compact Camping Concepts website.
Conclusion On Utility Trailer Camper Conversions
You can build it from scratch, buy plans, or get a DIY kit. This will allow you to fully customize it according to your needs and preferences. You’ll be able to hit the road in no time.
Check out these other campers you will love:
I spent my childhood holidays exploring Europe on my parents’ motorhome. Now, I live, work and travel on a sailboat with my husband Ryan. If you like, you can follow us on our YouTube channel, where we’re documenting refitting and cruising on our Tayana 37.