Convert Your Cargo Trailer Into an RV Camper

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

Cargo Trailer Campers: Everything You Need To Know

Vans aren’t the only mobile cargo hauler that can be converted into a home on wheels… cargo trailers can be turned into amazing and versatile campers, too! 

What Is A Cargo Trailer Camper?

Cargo trailer campers are exactly what they sound like: an enclosed cargo trailer that’s been converted to a camper! Cargo trailer campers are versatile, cost-effective, and suitable for many different types of RVers.

Almost any cargo trailer can be built into a camper, making this a great choice for handy people on a budget that want something specifically suited to their tastes!

Convert your cargo trailer into your personal RV camper.

Why Cargo Trailer Campers Are A Great Idea

There are many reasons why cargo trailer campers are a great idea. These campers are perfect for handy people looking to design their own home on wheels. Cargo trailers are cost-effective. Many factors will determine the cost of a cargo trailer, especially buying new vs buying used.

For a new enclosed cargo trailer that you can stand up in, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $9000 and up – depending on axles and length. This is much lower than you can buy any new camper for!

Completely Customizable. Cargo trailers are just an empty space when you buy them and are completely customizable. That’s the best thing about starting with a totally blank slate – you can make it into anything you want it to be. A cargo trailer camper can have all the amenities of an RV or campervan if you want it to – as long as you stay aware of your axle and tire weight capacity.

Pro Tip: We think any RV or Cargo Trailer should include a cell booster during the modification process. With a cell booster, you’ll rarely have no service, and internet speed can be much faster when you’re on the road.

Cargo trailer campers are also discrete. Cargo trailer campers are great for urban stealth camping in areas where you typically wouldn’t be able to get away with it in a motorhome or travel trailer. For the most part, they still look like cargo trailers. This can open up a world of possibility for exploring cities. 

You can also camp discretely at Walmart in a cargo camper.

Car with a Trailer moves on a country road in the summer

Cons of Cargo Trailer Campers 

As awesome as cargo trailer campers are, there are downsides. These campers aren’t for everyone, and here’s why: 

Must have the skills to convert. Converting a cargo trailer into a functional camper takes skill, tools, time, and money. Unless you’re a handy person or have someone that can help you, this can be a huge barrier to having the cargo trailer camper of your dreams. 

Not a lot of insulation. Since cargo trailers aren’t built to be lived or camped in, they are typically not insulated. You will have to insulate your cargo trailer yourself before you convert it in order to make it efficient and economical to heat and cool. Insulating will cause you to lose a couple inches of interior height, so be sure to take that into consideration when shopping for a cargo trailer.

Water tanks can’t be placed below due to low clearance. You will have to find creative ways to work your fresh, and dirty water tanks into your conversion on the interior of your cargo trailer. Most cargo trailers have no room to spare underneath for tanks. 

Fortunately, a simple fresh-water jug from Amazon can supply enough water for multiple days.

Is a Cargo Trailer Camper Right for You? 

If you don’t have the skills to completely build a camper from scratch, this is probably not the right choice for you.

However, if you are handy (or know a handy person), are on a budget, and/or want something discrete and stealthy that you can make totally your own… a cargo trailer camper is perfect for you!

If you’re not convinced a cargo trailer is a good fit, we have a few additional options for you.

Discover The 20 Best Free Camping Spots in Your Cargo Trailer Camper

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy). You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

2 comments

  1. We are van people. However, we have small single axle 6×10 cargo trailer we take when we are going to stay for any period of time. We installed a kitchen and and use it for bathing and bathroom use also. The kitchen cabinets were purchased at Lowe’s and required almost no skills at all to install. It cost less than $500 to convert. It is ideal for winters in Arizona Boondocking. Total stealth. We use a portable battery pack for power and recharge it from the van solar system.

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