The Handmade Teardrop Trailer: Design and Build a Classic Tiny Camper

The American road trip is a century-old tradition celebrated by families, friends, and individuals for as long as there have been roads. This obsession with the road has propelled an industrial revolution in the camper, trailer, and RV industry. Matt Berger’s book The Handmade Teardrop Trailer: Design and Build a Tiny Camper from Scratch hands you the keys to craft your own great roadtrip adventure.
The Handmade Teardrop Trailer guides readers step-by-step through the journey, from sketchbook to first road trip. It will prepare you to design and build your own pull-behind tiny trailer (or at least consult with someone who can). And you don’t need too much space, just a garage or shared workspace, with basic tools and materials available at your nearest hardware store, or specialty online retailer.
The Handmade Teardrop Trailer in progress in my garage workshop in January 2018. Sharing a workspace with the family gear, bikes, storage boxes, laundry machine, and whatever else gets tossed in the garage is a continuous struggle between gratitude for having the space and indentured servitude to keep it clean and dust free. Photo by Matt Berger from “The Handmade Teardrop Trailer”

Because we all have our own road-trip fantasies when it comes to comfort, style, and purpose, The Handmade Teardrop Trailer will train you up like a pro on the basics of teardrop trailer design, backed up by deep research, sketching, and hands-on experimentation. Hand-drawn illustrations provide measurements and construction details that are easy to adapt for variations in size and configuration.

Day dreaming and day drawing. “The Painted Desert” by Matt Berger
More than 150 step-by-step photographs illuminate every detail in the design and build process and inspire you to get started on your own build. Plus, interviews with teardrop trailer builders of all shape and size from around North America help you make the right decisions (and avoid the wrong ones) before you build.
I’ve been building things by hand, from scratch since the mid-1990s, when I took my first woodworking class at the community woodshop on my college campus. Since then, I’ve built all sorts of objects — from furniture to home-improvement to skateboards — for a hobby and profession. None of that compares to the adventure I’ve taken to build a teardrop trailer from scratch in my garage. I’m posting photos in real time leading up to publication of my book, The Handmade Teardrop Trailer, I hope you’ll follow along on Instagram.
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