Ted’s Tiny Pop Camp Trailer

by Ted Morris

My family and I love camping; we started taking our girls camping when my oldest daughter was only seven months old. When went on a trip to Detroit Lake one year in a tent and the day started off beautiful, but one night it rained and it leaked through on my wife and daughter. We were miserable the next morning we woke up and broke down camp in the mud. It was at this point I said never again; I said we needed a camper. But being on a budget and not wanting to buy a cheaply made older camper I decided to build a tear drop.

My thoughts were we needed something to keep us off the ground; something small enough to fit in a single car garage and easy to tow. A tear drop was a perfect fit; but the typical teardrop wouldn’t work because I needed something to fit a family of four and I’m 6’7″. So I scoured the internet for inspiration and ordered a templet and built one that was five feet wide and nine feet long with no plans.

It had a bunk bed that floated in the air that my girls slept on and worked great; with all of us snug as a bug. Eventually though they out grew the bunk and so we sold it to move on to a tent trailer. It was great but on the maiden voyage we blew a tire and packing it was tricky because folded down you had to really plan on how to pack it. I never felt comfortable towing it since the blow out and just found it a lot more work to set up compared to the good old tear drop I once made.

Finally this last year I decided to build another one; but wanted to do something no one else had done. I liked the shape of some of the other tiny campers that had a more square shape. So searching the internet I combined different campers in to my own design. I was inspired to build one that had a easy manual pop up roof with a loft; and again I built with no blue prints just figured it out as I was cutting. So with it being a foot wider combined with a pop up roof I figured the girls would have their own separate sleeping areas and they wouldn’t outgrow it until they became teenagers.

That’s my story and if you would like to see pictures of the builds of both of them I would be honored to accept your friendship request so you could see more. Thanks again for your interest of my story. View construction photos by clicking here.

36 Comments Ted’s Tiny Pop Camp Trailer

    1. Ted Morris

      Claudia,

      LOL; thanks well I learned from my first build. The first one was more of a standard teardrop but 5′ wide and 9′ long. I just didn’t think how fast my girls would grow.

      Reply
  1. Kathy Schnell

    Wonderful story! Wonderful camper! (Oh, by the way, are you related to Clark Griswold of the Vacation movies? haha! I could see Clark breaking camp in the mud!)

    Reply
    1. Ted Morris

      Kathy,

      Tee-Hee !! Thats funny because a good friend called us The Griswolds one time.
      Were defiantly a goofy enough family to flip the bill. :)

      Reply
  2. Ted Morris

    Claudia,
    Thank you, I love sharing; I still need to stain the loft and under the folding shelf though.
    It can be a little challenging when you design as your building.

    Reply
  3. Janel

    Ted, I’d love to see the Facebook pics. Are you aware that you can share a Facebook album with the public? At the bottom of the album page there’s a link “share this album” and you can paste that link right into a comment, then we can all see it. If you do that, we do not gain access to anything else on your Facebook profile.

    Reply
  4. Joe3

    As with JoAnne, I’d like to see the construction photos, I’m interested in building a camper also.
    BUT, there are many Ted Morris to choose from….
    Could we find a simple way to link to your FB page? thanks

    Reply
  5. Kathy

    Sweet! Can you “friend” us on FB too, please? We’re going to spend the winter planning and gathering materials for our own tiny trailer, and will blog about the process for others to enjoy!

    Reply
  6. Anne B

    Wow! All week I have been running ideas in my head to build a teardrop with a fold out extension. I really want to know how you did this, but there are many Fred Morris sites on FB. Can’t tell which one is you. And I very strictly limit my friends on FB. But it would be extremely helpful to me to see how you added the pop-up. And what size/type trailer did you start with?

    Reply
    1. Ted Morris

      Anne,
      I actually used a old fleetwood tent trailer as the platform; it was already striped down to the deck and I traded a much bigger trailer I had for a smaller one. Reason being I just didn’t have the space for the larger one ; I needed something small enough to fit in a single car garage. The size is 6’x9′ the original owner paid me $150 on top of that to sweeten the deal.
      Ted

      Reply
  7. Ted Morris

    Thanks again Everybody,

    Success!!

    Janel helped point me in the right direction to post my Facebook link so anybody interested can see the build process.

    You’ll notice how the build transformed as time went by.

    Ted :)

    Reply
  8. Ted Morris

    Anne,

    :) that’s o.k. it happens.. If you look at my link above you’ll notice I almost stuck with a roof pop up that I could completely stand up in.

    It was great on the inside but I just didn’t like the look;it’s simply hinged on one side while the small loft wall is attached with a piano hinge. So You push up the roof with one hand and tilt up the wall with the other. The roof has a channel so the front wall and side lock into place. I must admit even with it being a shed roof it was still tricky.

    Reply
    1. Anne B

      Awesome trailer and photos! I was really interested in how the pop-up evolved! Or maybe de-evolved… Are the triangular side walls for the pop-up also hinged, or are they separate? And I love the swamp cooler idea! Thanks much!

      Reply
      1. Ted Morris

        Anne,
        There separate I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to do it any other way. I know the arliner and chalet trailer’s operate somewhat the same. I also cut up some painters drop cloth fabric to fill in if it gets too hot up in the loft. Thats another reason I left such a large gap at the loft platform so air could circulate.

        If you build a small camper like this I can’t stress it enough; put two doors on it and consider a fresh air intake of some sort. Such a small space you don’t want to crawl over your partner in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and knee them in the face like I did in my first build. plus with four people in that small of a space it can suck the oxygen out of it quick. Operable windows are key. :)
        Ted

        Reply
  9. observer

    I would love to see more photos. I can’t stand being told to go to facebook. I don’t do facebook or twitter and I really feel people who don’t want to be a part of these silly social networking sites are being descriminated against.

    Reply
    1. alfred

      I have the same facebook/twitter aversion, but unfortunately (or fortunately) the world is passing us by. 1 in 4 people on the planet with internet access have a FB page.

      Its good Ted has posted a link which requires no registration, Thanks!

      Reply
  10. Joy Godsey

    In one of the pics, I noticed you carry bikes on the front of the camper. Is this a handmade bike rack or what? Thanks for the info.

    Reply
    1. Ted Morris

      Joy,

      It’s homemade; but we noticed the day of the first trip there wasn’t enough clearance from the tongue to the truck. I have a strap on rack that you put on the back of your vehicle that works best to carry two or three bikes. so my intent was to put two on the rack and two on the tongue.

      Long story short I cut the homemade rack down and used it to secure the cooler instead.

      Reply
  11. Megan Dillon

    How much does your camper weigh and how much would it cost to build one like it? I’m wondering if I could tow it with a Subaru. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve always wanted to be talented with building, but I’m afraid I would pass the project on to my best friend who is a carpenter. He’s moving to Washington State and he may be forced to build one so I can visit with family ;o)

    Reply

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