When I came across a website that showed one guys DIY teardrop trailer in incredible detail, I was ecstatic. A guy from Wyoming named Ryan decided to tackle this project himself and the results are simply astounding. He set up a website called teardropbuilder.com that goes into full detail with over 1,500 images and blueprints. The website also has a complete cost breakdown detailing every single bolt and screw. What more could you ask for if you ever pondered building something so useful and beautiful. Before I start rambling too much, as I’m seriously envious of this project, let’s jump right in and take a look at the DIY teardrop trailer named the “Wyoming Woody”.
First things first, the base frame. Ryan ordered a frame that he had to assemble in his garage. The dimensions are 5′ x 8′. It simply came in a kit and bolted together.
He then built the deck using poplar. He sandwiched foam insulation between birch plywood to keep the temperatures constant inside.
The deck was covered and the underside was sprayed with asphalt emulsion to protect it during travel from weather and debris.
The walls needed to be made next. He connected two pieces of sheeting together in order to meet the dimensions he desired.
He used a router in order to remove material around the edges to fit over the deck and headliner.
He cut out large holes in the wall panels to allow for insulation as well as a path for the wiring that would be installed later.
The walls were placed in for a dry fit. Then the measurements for the cabinets and shelving were made.
He assembled the entire front cabinet section in one piece. Once the glue dries it should slide snugly into place.
The rear cabinets were assembled and completed on the deck following the contours of the walls.
With everything test-fitted and glued, the walls were installed.
Ryan was then able to fit, assemble and install the front cabinets.
All of the main structural components were clamped and glued in stages. Deck screws were used to sandwich everything together while the glue dried.
The inner ceiling skin was then carefully wrapped over the cabinets and glued in place. He used ratchet straps to hold it in place while it dried.
The roof spars were then added for structural rigidity. They are held in with more glue and deck screws.
He added some framing to the roof that will eventually contain a fan and a skylight window.
With the roof framing creating a template to follow, he cut the interior skin to match.
Ryan decided to build some clean and simple cabinet doors for his storage. I especially like the hinge system he used. He will have no problem with them ever wearing out.
The rear cabinets need to be covered so a galley hatch had to be built. He framed it to match the contours of the walls and allow room for insulation.
Using clamps and straps, Ryan glued the inner skin onto the galley hatch.
I’ve wired a few trailers before and they can be difficult to work with if they’re finished. Right now while the DIY teardrop trailer is a skeleton is the perfect time to start running the wiring.
Using the cavities he created, Ryan was able to run his wires precisely where they needed to be.
After the wiring was ran, Ryan filled every cavity with insulation. He allowed room for the wiring so nothing would be pinched during final assembly.
The cavities he cut out of the walls were filled with insulation after the wires were ran so the outer skins could be installed.
Ryan decided to go with okoume wood skins to sheet the exterior because of the beautiful grain that would stand out when it’s finished. He filled the wire cavities with expanding foam for maximum insulation value.
With the exterior wall skins installed, he test fitted the roof window and the fan before the exterior finish work started.
The rear galley hatch was installed and covered with the exterior skin. The excess was trimmed to match perfectly.
He used aniline dye to give the wood a bit of color. It really makes the grain pop.
After laying on the first coat of epoxy, the true colors really show their potential. Two more coats to go.
After 3 coats of epoxy were applied, Ryan brought the DIY teardrop trailer into the light to check out his work.
He sanded the epoxy down to a perfect finish in preparation for a spar varnish that would really make the color pop as well as add protection from the sun and weather.
The spar varnish gave the trailer a beautiful mirror finish.
After 3 coats of epoxy and 3 coats of spar varnish the finish is absolutely perfect. It looks like it’s wet but it’s just that smooth. This is where patience comes in handy.
The interior deserved the same attention to detail so he painstakingly applied polyurethane to every inch of the cabin interior as well as the rear galley.
With the exterior finish complete, it was time to install the main accessories. The door, windows, fan and other accessories were carefully set in place.
Don’t forget about the safety features like the trailer lights!
He hid the fuse panel behind a small compartment in the galley. This will be completely protected from the elements at all times.
Ryan installed a tongue box which contains the battery, an electrical cut off switch, the main circuit breaker, a trickle charger along with some miscellaneous maintenance tools.
Well here it is in all of its glory! The Wyoming Woody DIY teardrop trailer! I’m still in awe that this was built by hand in someones garage and I’ve gone over these images at least a dozen times or more.
The front cabinets in the cabin.
The interior roof of the cabin equipped with a fan and a window.
The rear cabinets above the bed in the cabin.
The fully functional galley.
A view of the gorgeous exterior.
Now Ryan gets to take his brand new DIY teardrop trailer along to any adventure!
Here the Wyoming Woody relaxes in its natural habitat, The Wilderness!
I’ve always loved these teardrop trailers. I’m used to camping in tents or even in my hammock under the stars but I’ve been in so many situations where I’m stuck in my tent for hours waiting out the rain. The worst is trying to pack up a tent to go home after a week of camping while it’s raining outside. Everything you own gets wet and dirty, then you have to throw it in your vehicle and smell it the whole ride home. These teardrop trailers are incredibly light and pretty much any vehicle can tow them. Because they’re so small you can take them virtually anywhere your car can go. They have everything you need and even a little more. This one is perfect for me because its more or less the nicest tent I’ve ever seen, on wheels, with storage and a comfortable bed. What more would you need when taking on an adventure? The exterior finish is so beautiful. The finish turned out much better than I expected it to be and I almost want to see it on the interior as well. I do prefer the two-tone combination of the trailer but I can’t get over how pretty that exterior color is. You can get all the build specs, plans and a cost breakdown by visiting his website at teardropbuilder.com. I love that he put his build into such detail and provided images for everything. He’s sharing his experience with everyone and is probably inspiring builds across the country right now. My hat goes off to you Ryan, you are truly a craftsman and have sparked my builders thumb to start a project like this on my own.