Can I Convert This Camper to an Enclosed Trailer??

by Nate
I was looking at taking an old camper and converting it into a enclosed trailer (gutting it and creating rear door). I can't find it anywhere so what do you guys think??
  24 answers
  • William William on Jan 08, 2017

    I have seen cargo trailers converted into campers! I see no reason a camper can't be converted to a cargo trailer. It already is capable of handling the weight, so there wouldn't be the need to reinforce the frame. Less work involved in converting it into a cargo trailer. Just creating a rear door. GO FOR IT!

    • Nate Nate on Jan 08, 2017

      awesome. That is what I thought but I haven't seen anyone do it. If I go through with it, I will take pictures!!

  • 169756 169756 on Jan 08, 2017

    I'm not sure what you mean by enclosed. Are you totally changing the concept of a travel trailer and turning it into something else? This would be a fabulous project to just redo as a camper but you probably have another use for it. Hope it goes well, no matter it's use. Good luck!

    • See 1 previous
    • Nate Nate on Jan 08, 2017

      I would be just removing the interior guts to make it "empty" and be like a enclosed Empty trailer. Also, I plan to cut off the rear and add a big door

  • Ann Ann on Jan 08, 2017

    I was going to turn a trailer like this into a craft room but then we got a new house! We planned to gut it, make a work table area and plan a huge amount of storage for the space. Only planned to keep cold water to the sink and a way to heat it. In my imagination it looked awesome!

  • Chris Chris on Jan 08, 2017

    The only things you likely need to worry about are adding strength when you remove the wall as a trailer doesn't have much framing and second, the weight of what you will carry. Have a professional determine load for the frame.

    • Nate Nate on Jan 08, 2017

      Where would I find a proffessional that specializes in this? Thanks.

  • Chris Chris on Jan 08, 2017

    Try a trailer sales office, either a travel trailer site or a utility trailer site ad they often have repair people who could advise you.

  • Chestef Chestef on Jan 08, 2017

    Good plan. Check out the floor, the sheathing may need to be covered in plywood to strengthen it. I had a similar camper and floor rot was taking over.

  • J Jo J Jo on Jan 09, 2017

    I'm not positive, but if you contact your state's Vehicle & Registration Department, they might have Codes which would spell out what reinforcements should be present for load-carrying. I wish you well with this project.

  • Patricia Patricia on Jan 09, 2017

    I would put siding on it so it looked is like a tiny home.

  • Pallet Man Pallet Man on Jan 09, 2017

    I would be concerned about the weight limits of the running gear. It likely has a weight label that explains the max towing weight. The gutting would reduce the empty weight but the question is how much weight the trailer can safely carry. Changing the weight distribution by gutting it may make the trailer tongue light when empty. This condition would make it unsafe to tow when empty.

  • Karen Karen on Jan 09, 2017

    I think it would be wonderful to renovate the travel trailer!!!!! Also, RETRO is in!!

    • CecileH CecileH on Jan 13, 2017

      Glamping is all the rage, clean it up, spruce it up, toss in some dazzle and sell it to buy your closed in trailer! Check out Sisters on the Fly of neat ideas!

  • Ronnie Brello Ronnie Brello on Jan 09, 2017

    It would be an easy DIY project. Just use a blade for cutting through metal to get the outside shell to height then drop top down to required height and trimming off inner wall first. Next run a metal strip around join by using screws that are used for roofing which will not come loose.The door would be the hardest .I would probably get a caravan place to do that. Nice coat of paint to the new trailer and you will have a great retro talking piece. I find most projects are scary before you start but when you are into the job it becomes a fun project.

  • 3cookies 3cookies on Jan 11, 2017

    The inside can easily be gutted, gas lines removed or capped off, same with plumbing. The electric will run differently. You have electric to run inside but you also have lights that plug to truck when being towed...brake turn signals, reverse lights and running lights. When cutting in the door in back you need to be mindful of the elements you need to keep...such those lights and maybe interior lights. Just some thoughts. I think the process wouldn't be too difficult for a handyman though.

  • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on Jan 11, 2017

    Here is a way to get ideas. Chris is right...check out the free advice at trailer sales centers. But, having done this three times now I can attest to some of the advice. Secure the flooring and make sure you are not covering up bad wood. It's like a cancer, it will continue to rot. Also, find the specs for the camper and see where the wood frames are inside, so you can cut between them and not into them. It will also give you the wiring specs so you don't damage it.

    Other than those two things, gut it to your needs and when you are done...please SHARE with us???

  • J747725427 J747725427 on Jan 11, 2017

    Sure can. Get a Welder to make the cuts and get a carpenter to frame and install new doors

  • Ply14355843 Ply14355843 on Jan 12, 2017
    I'm sure the conversion can be done but will the cost out weigh the benefits? You will need to build in a lot of structural integrity around the rear door area to keep the walls from twisting sideways at the top. This would be a weakness that would make the large door hard to open. The flooring and support would be another concern as you don't want the load to bend the floor. Others have already discussed the weight capacity of the frame and suspension and the balance issue. Retro camp trailers are very much in demand right now. You might be able to trade for an enclosed cargo trailer or sell yours for enough to get one. Good luck with your endeavor.
  • Rod Howerton Rod Howerton on Jun 20, 2018

    I'm wondering if you made good with your thoughts and plans. I plan to do the same thing. I got my Idea from an article I saw on line showing a guy load his 2 seat vintage sports car into his.

    Plus I have seen other campers converted, below are the only pictures I have of someone else doing this.

  • Randall Randall on Dec 24, 2018

    I did that and drove it 4300 miles with 8000 lbs including the trailer weight. I took a trailer just like that, gutted it, added 6x6 rear door, mated 2x3s all the way around the inside, added 4 sheets of Luan for strength, cross braced it, filled it with atv's, furniture and dishes and drove from MS to AK. $800 trailer, 400 tires, $700 new brakes, $100 new lights, $400 wood for 28feet and 8000 lb capacity. Would have been 10,000 to buy that. Now it's a storage unit waiting for next move.

  • Randall Randall on Dec 24, 2018

    I should have taken it down to the frame and built a new box on it for the amount of time it took me to do all that's and fit the door to it.

  • Randall Randall on Dec 24, 2018

    Pic of gutting it.

  • Mark Mark on May 03, 2020

    any updates on this? found it while planning something just like it (on a smaller camper). would love to hear anything on outcome (good or bad). thanks!

    • Randall Randall on Sep 11, 2021

      It worked out fine. Drove it 4300 miles to Alaska with a total weight of about 8000lbs. Had 3 atvs, dirt bike, furniture... I drove really slow. I mounted hooks to the top of studs and another hook on the floor on the other side and used ratchet straps to cross brace it every 6 feet for lateral strength. And the rear wooden door I screwed shut to give it more strength. Ill use it again on the next move summer 2022.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on May 22, 2021

    Hope you got this done well.

    Be aware that some RV's are framed with metal studs and you'll need sheet metal screws. Aluminum studs and steel screws create a galvanic reaction and you'll need stainless steel screws, to stop that.

  • Cody Downard Cody Downard on Jul 28, 2021

    I know this is older, but it is possible if you know what you're doing. Tons of work though. We took a 1972 28ft camper and turned it into a enclosed race trailer. Had to gut the thing, which made the walls flimsy, we then cut the back off, even more flimsy. Made our own doors out of 2x4's and paneling. Then took 2x4's and made frame work from front to back, every 5-7ft. What I mean is, 1 2x4 up the wall connected to the floor, 1 on the ceiling and another one down the other wall. When in transport mode, we take some small metal brackets that make the rear doors 1 solid piece as a wall and it is stronger now than, when it was complete camper. We put new paneling on the walls and new wood for the floors. It weighs a decent bit less now then when it was complete, before we gutted it. So by our weight we can have 2 race cars, spare parts, fuel and tires in it without maxing the weight, but our cars only weigh maybe 800 lbs, very rarely have 2 in it at once. If you know what you're doing it helps, for us it was a lot cheaper then going and getting an actual 24-28ft enclosed trailer. I bought the trailer for $250, with all the wood, new electrical, air lines, all new outside lightning etc.. Total price maybe $1000-1500.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 23, 2024

    Thanks for following up with pictures!