Tiny Trailer Camper from Casual Turtle Campers


by Peter Pavlowich

Here’s a new model that I’ve been wanting to build for a while. It’s in the size and tradition of a teardrop, but in Casual Turtle Campers style – dead simple, cedar, domed roof, with lots of windows. In fact, it’s quite a bit roomier than most teardrops – and by leaving the entire trailer area as living space, the cabin feels damn near palatial! Not really, but it is a nice little space that two people and a couple dogs could be perfectly comfortable in.

As an unsolicited build, I had planned to insulate and finish out the interior myself – but then I thought it might appeal to someone looking for either a dead simple, lightweight little camper, or someone looking for a project. One could add nothing to it and have a very comfortable, capable, simple camper – or features could easily be added to their desires – storage, gear hooks, bed platform, etc. And I’m perfectly happy to discuss building out an interior for someone.

Peter inside of it

Here are some of details… It’s built on a very nice, custom 5’x8′, fully boxed trailer frame with 13″ tires from a great manufacturer here in northern Colorado. The cabin’s frame is mostly western Hemlock (1.5″x1.5″), with Western red cedar siding. The bottom of the cabin has a 90 mil PVC membrane covering, and the roofing is a fully adhered, 60 mil, ivory-colored TPO membrane – thermally welded at the seams. It has four opening windows with screens, and two large fixed windows (forward bulkhead and door) for pretty good through-visibility. It weighs 840 lbs, with about 110 lbs of tongue weight. There are more specifications/details on the website –casualturtlecampers.com.

I really like this camper, and I can see using it just as it is – or with a more developed interior. Either way, its a great platform for someone looking to get into a very easily towed, comfortable, unique little camper. At 840 lbs, this model could work with a wide variety of tow vehicles. The forward bulkhead is short enough (66″) to tuck in well behind most crossover and small SUVs. I even towed it around town with our little Subaru Impreza.

light trailer

I’ve included a couple photos of the camper with my big ass in it for scale. I’m 6’2″ and 195 lbs. As a shell version, the walls and roof assembly are left open, showing the OSB roof deck’s bottom side – though it could easily be insulated and closed in. If anyone has any thoughts/ideas/questions please email me at casualturtlecampers@gmail.com. I’d be happy to discuss this camper or something similar/different that you might be interested in. And I’m also happy to discuss full or partial delivery from Fort Collins, CO for a rather nominal mileage-based fee.

Thanks for having a look – and please share it with anyone you think might find it interesting. I’m tentatively calling this model the Hatchling, but any other ideas for a model name would be welcome, too!

Price – $6,250

Peter Pavlowich
Casual Turtle Campers


8 7 6111213

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Jeff - December 4, 2014 Reply

This would be neat on your trailer

    Christine - January 14, 2015 Reply

    Sweet, sweet as can be -called my two dogs to look. They wagged their tails! Much luck with it. I am trying to inspire young lads in the south of Spain here to look at such options. Great weather but 60% of 20- 30 year olds unemployed. This is private space man. Sleep, wash , eat. Sun all day and doggie buddies. Doesn’t get much happier . Yeah! Congrats to you!

Kilby Hanna - December 4, 2014 Reply

Nice work! I can see using this a lot for getaways with my husband and dog. Perfectly cozy. I like the light inside too.

Robert - December 4, 2014 Reply

Hi Peter
That is a great looking trailer. The only thing I would like to see is never use OSB. It flexes to much and will break down over time, if it ever gets wet it will come apart. While the effects aren’t immediate it will fail. Other than that it is a fantastic build and looks fantastic.

Pat - December 4, 2014 Reply

Absolutely beautiful workmanship!

Donna - December 4, 2014 Reply

Love it! Being from Colorado as well, this should go over big here.

Becca - December 4, 2014 Reply


Barbara Kvistad - December 4, 2014 Reply

Very nice. Great craftsmanship. I wish it was 22′ long w/all the bells and whistles. You are clearly a talented builder.

SAM - December 4, 2014 Reply

What is OSB?

    alice h - December 4, 2014 Reply

    OSB – oriented strand board. Like plywood but made with chips and flakes of wood.

      Trey Sturgis - December 8, 2014 Reply

      I was thinking the exact same thing….super cheap material. Why not pay for the real thing and have it last forever.

Lauren - December 4, 2014 Reply

Pair it with a folding mattress that doubles as a couch and you’re set! https://www.linenspa.com/products/4-inch-folding-mattress-sofa/queen/

(I really just want a reason to buy that mattress. My husband and I have been camping in our Prius and it won’t fit.)

    Keren - December 4, 2014 Reply

    Hey sis! I want to make one kind of like this next summer! I have the 5′ x 8′ trailer already and plans in my head. Great minds and all that good stuff.

Thomas - August 6, 2015 Reply

Extremely nice but why does it have to be so pricey?
It would be great for my homeless situation. But $ 6 k and not insulated ????

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