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Have you ever considered building a cargo trailer conversion? Cargo trailer camper conversions can be done on almost any budget, and can be as simple or complex as you want.
In this article I’ve found 9 incredible cargo trailer conversion ideas to inspire you to get out there and build your own!
Can You Convert a Cargo Trailer Into a Camper?
Yes, you can convert a cargo trailer into a camper, and in many cases, it’s much cheaper than buying an RV. Cargo trailers are typically boxy with no curves or weird angles, making these trailers easier to convert than vans or school buses.
Cargo trailers aren’t insulated or ventilated, so there’s a lot of preparation and work that goes into creating a camper. But, with time, resources, and ambition, you can create an amazing camper out of a cargo trailer.
9 Cargo Trailer Conversion Ideas to Inspire You
Are you considering converting your very own cargo trailer into a camper? Here are 9 conversions to inspire you, built out of all different sizes of cargo trailers.
My personal favorite is #7 – it’s a cargo camper with washer, dryer, crypt bed, shower, living room, and more!
1: 6×12 Cargo Trailer Conversion
A freeskier named Cedric built this 6×12 cargo trailer conversion so he could have a warm place to live while hitting the slopes.
This camper is both beautiful and functional. It even has a rear garage area for snowboards, skis, a ladder, and the electrical system. This cargo camper is totally off-grid with a solar electrical system to keep everything powered up no matter where Cedric travels.
The interior is simple, functional, and elegant. There is a converting couch-bed, a wood stove, a spacious and functional kitchen area with cabinetry, a removable table, and lots of storage. Check it out!
2: Unbelievable 7×16 Cargo Trailer Conversion
This 7×16 cargo trailer conversion is simply unbelievable. You can’t tell the difference between the interior of this cargo trailer and a luxury, modern RV or camper van.
The builders included a full bathroom, an air conditioner, a refrigerator and large kitchen, a king sized bed, and so much more.
This cargo camper has plenty of storage, too. The owners added an awning and an RV door to the exterior of the cargo trailer, and these touches make it feel a lot more like an actual RV.
Watch the video walkthrough and see for yourself!
3: 5×8 Cargo Trailer Camper Conversion
A 5×8 cargo trailer is smaller than most campers and conversions that you see today, but you can still make a beautiful and functional camper out of this size cargo trailer.
This cargo trailer conversion has a convertible dinette-bed, an exhaust fan, a heater, a sink, a stove, and the entire interior is pine-clad. I bet it smells amazing in this camper!
This camper has LED lighting and a window on each side of the cargo trailer for natural lighting and fresh air.
This camper is off-grid capable with a power system, and there’s plenty of storage all around.
This 5×8 cargo trailer camper tour gives you a great idea of all the things you can do with such a small space.
4: Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion
If you’re looking for a cargo trailer toy hauler conversion, check this out. The video is a little shaky, but this build is beautiful!
This toy hauler cargo camper was built in a 6×12 cargo trailer. It’s complete with a kitchen, two fold-up twin beds, a refrigerator, stove, toilet, and tons of storage.
I think the design and implementation of this cargo trailer toy hauler build is awesome, but it does lack a few things I’d want myself, like windows. Overall, this is an amazing build!
5: Cargo Trailer Camper Conversion with Bathroom
This is a 7×14 cargo trailer conversion that feels more like a tiny house than it does a trailer. It’s complete with a bathroom, toy hauler, shore power and city water inlets, a patio deck, and so much more.
The builders wanted a cabin vibe and I think they did a great job creating it with this camper build.
This cargo trailer can still be used as a toy hauler, the bed in this trailer can be converted into a couch to free up plenty of floor space.
Much of the accessories and furniture in this cargo trailer camper are from Ikea… Ikea is a great stop for all things van-build and camper conversion related!
6: Off Road Cargo Trailer Conversion
If you’re the off-roading or overlanding type, you’re going to love this off-road cargo trailer camper conversion.
This rig was built by Ramblin Man Conversions and his brother, Allen.
Allen wanted a “go anywhere” camper trailer, and they accomplished that with this awesome off-grid cargo camper.
This trailer has everything you could ever need – 200ah of lithium batteries, 400 watts of solar, hot showers, a full kitchen and big refrigerator, and more.
This off-road camper can be pulled with a Jeep, and Allen says it has no problem going anywhere his Jeep can go.
The kitchen on this camper was built in the back of the trailer and accessible from the outside.
The interior of this trailer is small and just holds clothes storage and a queen sized mattress. This no-frills camper is everything you need for overlanding and off-roading.
7: Mind Blowing Conversion With Living Room, Crypt Bedroom, Shower, Washer and Dryer, and More!
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this incredible cargo camper conversion. Michael, the owner of this amazing camper, built it himself for his own needs and desires. That’s why he included a washer, dryer, toilet, full shower, living room, and crypt-like bed!
What exactly is a crypt bed?
The living room in this cargo trailer conversion is built on an elevated platform. Under the living area is an enclosed, insulated, vented, and soundproofed “crypt”. The crypt has a couple feet of headroom and a queen sized mattress. What’s best is that it’s totally concealed from the living space! Michael can crawl in at any time, day or night, and get restful sleep in the silent darkness of his very own crypt.
This cargo trailer camper is also totally off-grid. When I saw this build, I was absolutely blown away, and I think you will be too. Just check out the video!
8: Unique 7×12 Camper Conversion
This 7×12 cargo trailer conversion is stylish, open, and spacious.
There’s cabinetry, an elevated couch-bed, a large countertop with a sink, and a dinette that converts into a second bed.
The walls and ceiling are wood-clad, so this cargo camper feels like a log cabin.
There’s even a Thetford toilet in this cargo trailer, and a diesel heater to keep it warm in the winter.
This is another great example of the creative things you can do with a cargo trailer.
9: Solo Female Nomad Minimalist Conversion
I love to see solo female nomads and the different ways they’re living.
Lex travels with her dog Riot in a converted cargo trailer that has everything the pair needs on the road.
This is a smaller cargo trailer with a minimalist design, but it works for them!
The trailer is a 6×12 off-road cargo trailer by Colorado Trailers.
This trailer has a lift, double torsion axle, mud tires, ladder rack, solar, and much more.
Lex opted for a diesel heater for her cargo camper instead of a wood stove simply because a diesel heater is easier and doesn’t always have to be tended to.
The interior has a bed, kitchen, and plenty of storage.
There isn’t a bathroom in this cargo trailer. Instead, Lex uses the composting bucket method… which is preferred by many nomads, especially off-grid.
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Cargo trailer campers are a great option for the DIYer or for someone who wants to build their own camper, but either don’t want to buy a van or can’t afford one. They’re a lot cheaper than RVs, too! Here are some frequently asked questions about cargo conversions.
How Much Does a Cargo Trailer Conversion Cost?
The price of a cargo trailer conversion varies. You have the price of the trailer itself, and then the price of the build materials. For example, the cost of #5 on this list, the cargo trailer camper with a bathroom, cost $7200 in total. The trailer itself cost $4,000, and materials cost $3,200.
The price will vary depending on size and type of cargo trailer and whether or not you have any build experience. It will also vary depending on what kind of gear and how in-depth you want to get with the build!
Is a Converted Cargo Trailer Welcome in RV Parks?
Yes, cargo trailer campers are welcome in many RV parks and campgrounds. But not all!
The same goes for RVs, campervans, and skoolie conversions, too.
The best way to find out if your converted cargo trailer will be allowed in a campground is to ask when making a reservation.
Can You Find Cargo Trailer Conversion Plans Online?
Yes, you can find cargo trailer conversion plans online, but you have to look really hard! I spent some time digging and came up with a few for you. Here are some cargo trailer conversion plans:
- Operation Off The Grid Cargo Trailer Blueprint
- 5×8 Cargo Trailer Conversion Plan on Instructables
- Check Pinterest For More!
There are many layouts and blueprints on Pinterest, but I didn’t feel comfortable linking them here because I can’t find the original authors.
Are There Cargo Trailer Conversion Companies?
It’s hard to find cargo trailer conversion companies, but they do exist. Here are a few that I found while researching:
- Outlaw Conversions
- Millennium Trailers
- Trailers Plus offers basic features like lighting, electricity, air conditioner, etc
If vanlife is more your thing, check out the best van conversion companies here!
Camp Comfortably in a Cargo Trailer
I’ve gotta be honest, after spending so much time reading about cargo trailer campers and watching videos of the conversions, I really want to do one myself.
Everything about cargo campers are attractive! The price, the right angles, the head room… What’s not to love? I hope these conversions get your gears turning!
Carrie WilderCarrie has a passion for location independence and nomadic lifestyles. After traveling full-time in an RV and living the van life, she created Making Money and Traveling to help others make the switch to a remote lifestyle. Learn more about Carrie on the About page or connect on social media below.
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