A motorcycle camper trailer is often called a teardrop trailer due to its teardrop design, which makes it aerodynamic. A motorcycle camper trailer is only large enough to sleep in, and may have a small kitchen in the rear for cooking. Building a motorcycle camper is a challenging task, but allows you to design a trailer that is ideal for your motorcycle, and one that offers all the features you need, such as solar connectivity or an electrical system.
Determine your motorcycle's towing capacity. The capacity may be listed somewhere on the rear of the bike or in the paperwork that came with it. Contact the manufacturer and inquire about your model's capacity. Using a trailer that exceeds your motorcycle's towing weight may cause you to crash, or cause damage to your bike.
Purchase a trailer that is lightweight and closest to your required dimensions without being too small. For example: purchase a 4-foot by 8-foot trailer if you require a little more than 6 foot in length. Make sure the trailer is rated to handle the weight of the frame you're going to build on top of it, plus any weight added to it, such as batteries or water jugs.
Measure the floor of the trailer and mark the dimensions on a sheet of plywood using a tape measure and pencil. Cut the plywood with a power saw along the dimensions you created. Discard the excess wood. Place the rectangular sheet of plywood onto the trailer. Insert a pencil through the bolt hole in the bottom of the frame to mark the hole's location on the plywood. Repeat this process with the rest of the holes, then remove the plywood. Drill a hole through each mark on the plywood using a drill bit the diameter of the bolt holes on the trailer frame. For example, use a 1/2-inch drill bit if the frame has 1/2-inch holes. Place the plywood onto the trailer. Insert a bolt with a washer through one of the holes and tighten it in place with a nut and socket wrench. Repeat with the rest of the holes.
Trim a sheet of OSB board to the length of your trailer. If your trailer is 8 feet long, for example, trim the OSB board using a power saw to 8 feet in length. Draw a camper shell pattern from one end of the OSB board to the other, then cut it out with a jigsaw. This will be one of the side walls of the motorcycle camper. Lay this OSB board onto the second sheet of OSB board and trace along its edge with a pencil. Cut the second sheet of OSB board along the traced line. This is the second camper wall; it should be identical to the first wall.
Measure a door on one of the sheets of OSB board and mark the dimensions with a pencil. Cut the door free with a power saw. Set that piece of wood aside; you'll attach it to the camper with hinges after the wall is mounted.
Mount the walls to the side of the trailer using bolts, washers and nuts. Seal any gaps between the walls and trailer frame with silicone.
Measure the distance between the two side walls; mark that distance on a sheet of OSB board. Trim the OSB board down to that width using a power saw. Cut the OSB board into sections and mount those sections onto the edges of the side walls to form a roof. Screw them into place, then fill the gaps with wood glue for extra strength. Allow to dry, then inspect for any gaps you might have missed. Fill those gaps with silicone and allow to dry.
Sand the camper with a power sander to remove splinters and sharp edges. Wipe the wood with a damp cloth to remove wood dust. Paint or spray the camper with wood sealant. Allow to dry.
Screw hinges onto the section of OSB board you removed to form the door. Mount the door onto the door frame on the sidewall. Run weatherstripping with adhesive along the edges of the door so that it forms a seal when closed. Add a locking knob and latch following the instructions that came with the device.
Glue a 2-inch foam pad to the floor inside the camper, or fit an exercise mat into place. Screw an LED battery-powered light to the wall inside the camper. Add an air vent to the wall if necessary for your climate; simply purchase an air vent, trim a hole in the side of the camper with a jigsaw, and mount the vent in the hole. Seal the edges with silicone.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Power saw
- Power sander
- Wood glue
- Wood sealant
- OSB board
- Socket wrench set
Homemade campers must be registered with your state DMV and inspected to receive a title.
Based in New England, Quinn Marshall began her writing career in 2004. She was a featured writer for Laptop Logic and contributes to publications such as "Smashing Magazine."