But that's not to say it's not an impressive build. The RV-ing segment, whether we're talking about products from established makers or DIY builds and conversions, is booming. Now more than ever, people are looking to make the most of every spare day to explore, unwind, de-stress, and reconnect with friends and family. They shouldn't have to postpone these plans because they can't afford the costs of a trailer, and that's where this DIY comes in.
The Internet is filled with DIY videos and tutorials, be they for tiny houses, bus and van conversions, and other towables built from scratch. This one aims to show that a budget of just $1,000 can get you that perfect weekend RV if you plan carefully, use every resource available, have plenty of creativity, and are willing to put in the hard work.
The project started when Chay came across a single-axle trailer on Facebook Marketplace. Priced at just $100, it was small enough for what they wanted – a starting point for a towable in the 992-1,984-lb (450-900-kg) range that could sleep two adults and offer the basics features for an overnight stay at camp. The trailer wasn't in the best condition but was usable, so they bought it and immediately set out to work to clean it and prepare it for the future home on wheels.
In the 48 square feet (4.4 square meters) of available space on the trailer, the three added a moisture barrier, foam insulation, and a wooden frame, which they covered with plywood sheeting and poor man's fiberglass on the outside, consisting of several layers of glue and canvas, for waterproofing. They used fiberglass R13 insulation and drywall for the interior, with leftover wood on the trims. To finish off the exterior, they added paint and metal trimming, both leftover from the same bus project they'd done prior.
They added outlets and an AC unit to keep the interior comfy, though they used an extension cord instead of proper wiring to stay on budget – the one thing Chay doesn't recommend. No word on the size of the water tank they used.
The Dennes' goal was to build a micro-camper on a budget under $1,000, and they attained it: their trailer cost them $890 thanks to a combination of using the cheapest materials they could find and using what they already had lying around, whether leftover materials or scrap. The result is nothing short of impressive, even if it's not your idea of luxury: a trailer that's better than camping in a tent, offering the basic creature comforts in a compact and lightweight form factor that allows easy towing and maneuverability.