Teardrop Camper Rebuild #1: Gutted, flooring, and beginning cabinets

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 04-14-2010 02:59 AM 5989 reads 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Teardrop Camper Rebuild series Part 2: Galley Countertop, shelfbrackets, some trim »

I’ve begun. This build could probably work in the sister site, Home refurbers but it’s a trailer and most of it is wood with some cabinetry so here it is. Besides it’s what I’m doing now. The wife and I will be using it to do a complete loop of the US on the cheap, beginning in late August with no time limit for return. We’ll hit the federal and state campsites and see America’s wonders.

Awhile back I blogged about the acquisition of a “Little Guy Camper”. It’s a teardrop camper.

It looked like this before I began:

The Camper is cool. Used, 2006 but in great shape. I Wasn’t too keen on the interior. It was made of that enameled particle board stuff that cheap cabinets are made of and some of it was coming apart. So, I decided to rebuild the interior.

The first thing I did was to remove all the interior cabinetry. It was put in with screws so it wasn’t hard and is in a pile in the driveway now.

Second I felt that there was a little give to the floor when I crawled around on it so I picked up some 3/4” underlayment, placed it and screwed it in place.

I was going to put in some self stick tiles but when I went to the big box store the only ones that weren’t way overpriced were not very nice. But, I noticed a sale of a pergo brand of oak design flooring so I picked up a couple of boxes.

I wanted some cubbies instead of cabinets with doors. here’s the start I got on them using a 3/4” sheet of oak plywood and some oak scraps to frame it with I had hanging around.

I also had to put in some main panels to hang the cubbies on so the galley in the back is partially done too. My plan is to put up some lipped shelves here and install a cook stove on the countertop.

I’m going to tap a 12 volt on my SUV connector to charge a deep cell battery and run some power transformed to 110 volts using a small inverter. I’m mounting my Mac laptop in the center of the cubbies. It will give us DVD’s, internet (when next to wireless) and Local TV using an elgato HDT device with it and an antenna I’ll make. I’ve already made one for the house so I’ll just downsize it for the camper.

My next steps are to work on the galley countertop and shelves. Then I’ll need to pick up some hardware to install. I’ll finish it off with a couple of coats of water based poly.

Thanks for reading… I’ll add another installment when I’ve made enough progress. We’re expecting rain in a couple of days.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

16 comments so far

View Hacksaw007's profile


621 posts in 4686 days

#1 posted 04-14-2010 03:05 AM

This is outstanding. Makes my head swim….....

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 5230 days

#2 posted 04-14-2010 03:09 AM

Nice job! You’re getting to do what I have always wanted to do – tour the entire U.S. Always wanted to take a train through Canada and the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, drop south to the U.S. and rent a motor home, then tour most of the western parks from Glacier to the Grand Canyon, especially Yellowstone and Yosemite! But too old now and no money so I guess it will stay a dream. Oh well….


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3897 posts in 4934 days

#3 posted 04-14-2010 03:20 AM

Thanks Jim. The plan is to downsize so that the trip won’t be as much as it could be. Less Gas, no or few motels, Buy your own food. I’m kind of a cheapskate. I love to do stuff and see with how little I can do it. When I go to Disney I drive and stay in Kissimmee out of season. Good motels for $29.95 a couple miles from the park. I’m retired so I don’t like plane schedules and return dates. The only way you can do that is to make the cash stretch. There are ways to do that.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5145 days

#4 posted 04-14-2010 04:09 AM

this is awesome! my wife and I did a cross country trip some years back – hit all the campsites along the way to keep expenses to a minimum, but we used a tent! this looks easier!

oh… the places you’ll go :)

have fun!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5271 days

#5 posted 04-14-2010 04:37 AM

Hi Daniel

I really love these tear drops but my days of sleeping on the ground, on the floor, in a tent or in a trailer are over.
These old bones love my king size bed. You are really doing a great job on your trailer and they are a great way to travel. Keep the pictures coming and thanks for sharing.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 5282 days

#6 posted 04-14-2010 05:07 AM

I completely understand, Im also a cheapskate. But my bride, she tends to like the hot showers and prepared meals when we are out and about.
I cant wait to see the finished project.
Nice job so far!

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Woodstock's profile


266 posts in 4785 days

#7 posted 04-14-2010 07:12 AM

I’ve been keeping a file of Teardrop trailer sites for a while now just for the inspiration. Always wanted to buy/build one. So what is the grated area in front of the shell & behind the storage box right behind the hitch for? I’ve never seen one with this feature before. Bikes? General box storage? Front porch?


-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4929 days

#8 posted 04-14-2010 12:24 PM

Very interesting, Dan…
These little babies are well worth the work.
And… there is nothing as nice as waking up in one to hear the birds and rustling of trees… I can just taste the bacon and eggs cooked over that campfire and the coffee with water from a sparkling stream…hmmmmmm!!
I envy you and I look forward to the next installment.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3897 posts in 4934 days

#9 posted 04-14-2010 02:43 PM

N5DSW, This model has the ATV trailer on the front. It’s one model that Little Guy Trailer company sells. When I bought this used (half price), I was apprehensive about it but then as I thought about it I began the realize that this little trailer needed storage room. I like to build a fire at campsites, have a table, bring lawn chairs, etc. etc. So the 5×6 extension will be good for that. I’m planning on bolting a couple of those rubbermaid hinged cover patio boxes on it to put stuff in. Most states won’t let you haul firewood across state lines because of disease so I’ll get some pellet bricks. They sell them all over up here. They’re like stove pellets but in the shape of a brick. They stack nicely too.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5897 days

#10 posted 04-15-2010 01:01 AM

It’s looking great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View hunter71's profile


3564 posts in 4683 days

#11 posted 04-15-2010 01:04 PM

Stop by another LG’s place. and visit.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4800 days

#12 posted 05-29-2010 01:51 AM

this is a sweet deal…i love camping and traveling on the cheap..if you come south at all…stop on by..ive got plenty of room for you to camp right here…and ive got a great fire ring…good luck on the rest of the sure looks fun…that will be one heck of a trip…with no return date…yea,,,,,,,,hit the road…......glad you didn’t sink…i had missed this post…glad you gave me reference…thanks…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3897 posts in 4934 days

#13 posted 05-29-2010 02:01 AM

That might just happen sometime Grizz. My youngest just graduated from college and moved down to the Charlotte area last week. The trailer is in part because the chicks are spreading out. (I’ve got another one in grad school in Ny but who knows where she’ll end up).
Anyway, during the winter we’re tentatively planning on a teardrop trip to the Carolinas to visit with her. It’s a 1000 miles from Maine so while were down there we might decide to see your neck of the woods.

I hope you followed the build to the end.. there’s a few more installments till it’s finished

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5074 days

#14 posted 05-29-2010 02:19 AM

Great job Dan It looks like you zooming ahead full speed


View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5170 days

#15 posted 05-29-2010 02:21 AM

Great job, Dan.

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