Note: If you prefer reading this build log on, here is the link:

... else, continue reading.

My name is Ioan and I'm Romanian, so If you find spelling mistakes, you'll know why. I live in Oregon USA.

My day job is software programmer. This is my first build. I have basic knowledge of wood working and I have some tools. The build is going to take a while (a month? two?). I only have time to work on it from 8PM until I go to sleep (about 3 hours) and in weekends when we have nothing else planed.

My plan is to keep the price under $1500 $2000. You can buy already made teardrops for $4000-$11000.

My Hyundai Sonata can pull a trailer of 1000lb max. My plan is to make the teardrop be under 700lb with all the equipment inside.

Here is how the side wall of the trailer should look like. We need a 4'x8' plywood for that.

A list of parts with links from where I got them:

  • Trailer. I'm going to use the 4x8 Super Duty Utility Trailer from Harbor Freight Tools to built the teardrop on. On the time of creation of the website, the trailer was on sale for $350. I got in mail a %20 off coupon and that made the price $280. Note: If 4' wide is not wide enough for you, you can use this trailer. It's a little more expensive, but 1 foot wider.
  • Doors. You can build your own door. I won't. I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to make it water tight, so I'm going to use already-built doors. I was lucky enough to find two brand new doors for $230 both, from someone who builds teardrop as a business. Here is his business website, he sells anything you need for a teardrop, including kits and custom made teardrops ( Note: You can use only one door on one side, and a window on the other side. I got two doors because they were cheap and I won't have to step over my wife if I have to pee at night.  You also can get them from eBay for $240. 
  • Vent. I need a vent to put on the top of the trailer. I need one that's able to move lots of air (the door windows won't open on my doors). From my research the best vent is "Fan-Tastic Fan". I already ordered one from eBay for $120.
  • Hatch hindge. For the big door that lifts open at the back of the trailer. This should be water proof. I'm using a "Hurricane Hinge". Already ordered from eBay for $71. You also can get it from here.
  • Porch Lights. I need two porch lights to install above the doors. Ordered 3 from eBay for $63. 12V LED.
  • Dome Light. I also need some dome light for the inside the teardrop. Already ordered from eBay for $17.99. 12V LED.
  • Water pump. The best pump I found is the 12V Whale GP1352 submersible water pump. You can buy it from eBay for as low as $25.
  • Hatch handles. Got those from eBay.
  • Aluminum. I called around all the sheet metal places that I found in my area until I got the best price. I got mine from , they are from Portland Oregon. The aluminum I used is .032-5052.
  • Aluminum Molding. Go here and click "Online parts catalog" then go to "Moldings"
  • Sink/Stove combo. Got it from here.
Tools I use:
  • Box cutter
  • Pencil
  • Framing square
  • Wrenches. Big ones. You'll need for the trailer 16mm, 17mm, 18mm wrenches (I suppose this depends on what brand of trailer you are using)
  • Wireless drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Chop saw
  • Table saw
  • Sander
  • Belt sander

Cost so far:

Doors  $230
Vent (Fan-tastic Fan)  $120
Hatch hinge (5' hurricane hinge)  $71
12V LED Porch lights (3 pcs)  $63
12V LED Dome light (1 pcs)  $18
Black spray paint (2 bottles)  $12
1/2"x4'x8' Birch plywood x 3pcs (one for the floor and 2 for the side walls)  $120
5mm Utility plywood 4'x8'  x 2pcs (for side walls interior)  $23
2x4x96 x 8pcs (for the frame, not sure if I'll use all 8 of them)  $22
Exterior screws (1box)  $8
Henry Asphalt Emulsion (1 gallon)  $12
Brush  $3
Bolts & washers & lock washers & nuts to bolt the floor frame to the trailer (3/8" x 3" 20pcs)  $26
Bolts & washers & nuts for spare wheel (1/2" x 6" 2 pcs)  $6
Hard foam insulation 1/2" 4'/8' (one sheet)   $10
Hard foam insulation 3/4" 4'x8' (3 sheets)  $30
Sink-Stove combo  $187
12V Cigarette lighter socket (2 pieces)  $16
Automotive Fuse Holder Box Holds 6 Blade Fuses  $14
Electric Facet & Pump System  $50
1/8" birch plywood (3 pieces)   $70
Molding  $16
Wood stain  $12
Aluminum sheets 4x8 (1 pcs) 4x12 (2 pcs) $170
Aluminum molding, plastic insert for molding, External Drip Cap  $160
1 Gallon Contact Cement  $10
TOTAL $1759

NOTE: For plans, go to this address: and in the menu, go to "Design Resources".
Also, you'll find many friendly people there, all of them building Teardrop Trailers.

Email me with any questions you may have.

Day 1 - Feb. 8th 2012