Last Updated on December 22, 2021
Converting a horse trailer into a camper sounds challenging. Your horse trailer may seem like a cozy place for your horse, but have you ever thought of living in one? Here is how to convert a horse trailer into a camper, an eco-friendly and creative project.
What You Will Need
While the idea of converting a horse trailer to a camper is simple, both preparation and a good plan are necessary to achieve your goal.
To start, getting a horse trailer is a priority. You may have upgraded recently and had an old trailer you’d like to convert. As an economic option, older two-horse trailers can be found online also for an affordable price.
It’s important to remember that in order for you to register your camper as a living space, there will be code requirements that need to be met. It would be wise to do some research ahead of time to make sure you are building according to code.
You will also need to schedule inspections throughout the building process. While this can be tedious, it is better to know if adjustments need to be made along the way. This ensures that your new camper is a safe place to spend some time.
Additional planning will be needed to make sure you have all the necessary tools and supplies. Do you have a generator? Will you sleep on a mattress or a cot of some kind? No doubt you would like a kitchen, have you looked into what size camper oven and fridge would fit in your space?
When you have ensured your plan is up to code and you have all the supplies needed- congratulations! You are ready to start building.
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How To Convert A Horse Trailer Into A Camper
Now that you are ready to build, you want to start with wiring your horse trailer. Electricity is a necessity in most campers. You may choose to hardwire lights in, in addition to outlets. You may also want to plug various items in, like kitchen appliances or entertainment devices. Make sure you plan out ahead of time everywhere you would plan to put something that would need an outlet.
Insulation And Plywood
Next, you can finish the interior walls. Your horse trailer may have already had a wall base. If not, that step would need to be completed before you start wiring. After your wiring is complete though, you can add insulation and plywood. You may also choose to add a trailer vent so that you have circulated air still coming in your camper. This is when you can start to add a little of your own style too. Once the walls are up you can paint and decorate the base of your camper however you’d like!
Plumbing – Converting A Horse Trailer Into A Camper
It’s now time to think about plumbing. You can make this as easy or as complicated as you would like. A simple hose that drains outside would be enough for a low-maintenance option. If you are looking to make your horse trailer a little more upgraded, you can add a toilet, shower, and sink with plumbing to the outside. Planning to put these things in the same general area of your trailer makes your plumbing more simplified as well.
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The same is true as you install your kitchen. You may choose to cook your meals outside your trailer or on a small hot plate. However, depending on the size and budget of your project, you could also install a stove, gas tank, and vent hood to cook warm meals. As mentioned before, you could also include a microwave and fridge for convenience.
Once everything is in its place, it’s time to install the floors. Many people choose to go with a linoleum floor as a cost-effective and lightweight option.
Bed And Decorations
Now it’s time to make your camper more “homey.” You can install a bed of some kind. Some people prefer to sleep on a bed frame and a mattress, while others install a cot that can fold up on the wall. You could also install a bed that turns into your sofa during the day. Depending on the room you have left, you can add a table, chairs, and other furniture that can anchor either to the wall or the floor.
And now it’s time for decorations! Little personal touches can make your converted horse trailer unique and a place that feels cozy and inviting to you.
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Real-Life Horse Trailer Conversions
Fred Cote from British Columbia restored a horse trailer from the 70s into a camper for him and his wife. His trailer has been featured in many videos and online articles, as it was an impressive project. Initially very rusted and in bad condition, Cote and his wife demoed the trailer back to just the frame. Then the husband and wife team reframed parts of the trailer and rebuilt the walls and interior. The inside of the trailer was decorated with birch wood, pairing well with the soft yellow exterior. The Cote’s trailer also has a kitchenette, a hidden bathroom, and a large bed that doubles as the living room area.
Chris Strathy, a builder of tiny homes, successfully renovated a horse trailer into a camper using only $10 on materials. Strathy, also known as the “Capable Carpenter” used free palate wood to build and decorate a ‘bedroom’ and sitting area in the old tack room area of the trailer. The back two-stall area of the trailer will also soon be renovated. He plans to use the new camper as a rental on his property in Alabama, where he also has a village of tiny homes.
Many others have gotten creative in their renovations of horse trailers. Some have turned their old horse trailers into small businesses. Many have been converted into mobile bars, food trucks, coffee stands, and even a cheese shop.
Converting A Horse Trailer Into A Camper
Converting an old horse trailer into a camper is a big project to take on. However, the end result is a creative, eco (and budget!) friendly camper that you can be proud to show off.