Building a trailer at home offers a great deal of satisfaction to those DIY individuals who appreciate good old-fashioned quality craftsmanship and enjoy admiring the finished product. The sense of achievement applies to all types – mobile homes, campers, utility trailers, and even horse trailers.
The DIY trailer has several advantages over a manufactured model. It offers total control of the final result (if executed correctly) and savings on labor costs. A trailer can be assembled from a kit or, for those who want greater flexibility and have the time and skills, can build it from scratch. In the case of a utility trailer, it can be created from low-cost materials such as a used pickup truck bed and rear wheels.
Frankly, while they offer benefits, some DIY trailers are poorly designed or inadequately constructed and should be scrapped at the outset. Others have simply become worn out with years of use or abuse.
Here are twenty pics of DIY trailers that belong in the junkyard.
20 Abandoned Construction Trailer
While this brightly colored trailer looks like it might have been the home of a wandering member of the “hippie” generation, it was once used as a construction trailer.
At one time, it might have held trade secret documents: hence, the padlock on the door. The custom-built mobile office has a smokestack in the back, suggesting a wood-burning stove inside for those cold winter days.
19 The Toilet Survives
This commercially built trailer home was customized by the owner, who added a shingled roof and wooden front porch. Once modified, the owner no longer had plans to move this house trailer located in the forest near Lyons, Oregon.
Although years of harsh weather and a lack of maintenance doomed this mobile home, the toilet may be the only salvageable part left.
18 1982 Homemade Utility Trailer
Although this 1982 homemade trailer has deteriorated to the point of no return, what remains demonstrates a high-quality original design and construction. The metal frame was made with metal insert holes supporting the wooden stakes and walls that keep cargo on the trailer. The entire unit, including the fenders, was painted a baby blue color.
Broken wood and rust, no doubt including the wheel bearings, mean this trailer is destined for the junkyard.
17 Crash Test Trailer
The crash test trailer appears to be in good condition. It shows no signs of peeling paint, very few rust spots on the frame, and the seats look almost new.
However, it’s not the condition of this trailer that relegates it to the junkyard; it's the design. A crash trailer is useless to all but perhaps the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the organization that conducts automobile crash tests.
16 Worn-out Homemade Horse Trailer
The long homemade horse trailer combined with the pickup truck, undoubtedly exceeds the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) when empty, and well over the limit when it's full of horses. The trailer shell is a patchwork of sheet metal, and it would be no surprise if the equipment like brakes and taillights malfunction, let alone work at all.
This trailer is best left at the junkyard before it's confiscated for noncompliance with towing laws.
15 Flatbed Truck DIY Trailer
The unique and useless design of this trailer makes it more attractive as a conversation piece than a functional hauler. The back wall of a pickup truck, including the rear window, has been welded to the front of the trailer. A tailgate has been installed toward the back of the flatbed, but not at the end. Both attachments serve no purpose and even inhibit the loading and unloading of cargo.
14 "Mr. Backwards" Rear Car Trailer
Many DIY trailers are made from the bed of old pickup trucks. This rusty trailer is unique in that it is the combination of two car backends.
Complete with a side door on hinges, the RV-style trailer boasts a retractable canvas awning ideal for sitting in the shade next to the “rust bucket” on a hot summer afternoon.
13 Wheelchair Converted Mobile Home
Made from recycled materials, this bright red and yellow metal box is supported by a cement block on one end and wheels from a wheelchair on the other. Glassless windows allow some air inside and the red tarp keeps the rain out, but it's unlikely the wheels can support any weight or allow towing the home to a new location.
12 Wooden Vardo-style Trailer in Nevada
The steer horns mounted over the door, and the bottle opener on the door frame suggest this wooden Vardo-style trailer in Nevada belongs to one of the “good ol’ boys.”
Although the dually tires have been recently greased, the shingled roof and wood sidewalls show evidence of harsh winters and the hot desert sun.
11 DIY RV Trailer Dismantle and Parts Salvage
An alternative to hauling a worn-out, broken-down older RV directly to the junkyard is to dismantle it and salvage the parts to build a custom trailer.
One enterprising do-it-yourselfer decided to do just that and discovered the costs might not warrant the effort. Licensing, diesel fuel to tow it home, and a local landfill fee (fiberglass, broken glass, and plywood) were just a few of the unexpected expenses.
10 Tiny Mobile home Built from Recycled Materials
An enterprising real estate salesperson promoted the “Tiny Home” option as an inexpensive way for first-time home buyers to enter the market. Furthermore, it was suggested that buyers can design and build their homes for much less than a traditional house using recycled or salvaged materials. The houses are highly affordable and truly unique.
This ugly trailer belongs in the junkyard, back where the materials originated.
9 Old Step Side Chevy Truck Bed Trailer
This old side step Chevy truck bed trailer has been partially loaded with junk, destined for the garbage dump. Perhaps, upon arrival, the owner should disconnect the trailer from their pickup truck and leave the entire load, trailer, and all.
The owner listed it for sale, alleging the trailer, complete with axle and tires, has a “nice old look.” However, it’s a description that should be reserved only for well-maintained old vehicles (or trailers).
8 Ford Wire Wheels on a Rusty Pickup Bed Trailer
Custom-made with wire wheels that need some maintenance, this trailer may have once been used for camping. The rusted top is hinged on one side, allowing it to flip over and make a table supported by two poles. It includes a spare tire mounted in front next to a small storage area (ideal for carrying tools needed to repair the trailer when it breaks down). The tires have plenty of treads, which indicate that the camper has not been used much but was left sitting to rust for some time.
7 Trailer Built from Bell Systems Utility Truck
In its present condition, this trailer is an embarrassment to tow behind any vehicle. However, the hauler, built from a Bell Systems utility truck, has potential should the owner repair a few rusted spots, install new taillights and give it a fresh coat of paint.
Rumor has it that the trailer was sold to the builder of a custom ‘47 Ford rat-rod pickup, so it may stay in its current condition to match the Ford.
6 DIY Studebaker Box Trailer
As if the half-buried tires weren’t enough to reveal, this Studebaker box trailer has been sitting out in the sun and harsh weather for years – the body rust confirms it.
In 1963, after 114 years in business, Studebaker ended production of its U.S. cars and trucks. A restored Studebaker vehicle, whether it's a car, truck, or even a converted trailer, is a collector’s item. However, this one may be beyond restoration.
5 Aerodynamic DIY Horse Trailer with Windows
The builder behind this aerodynamic homemade trailer wanted to ensure his horse had a good view of the countryside when being transported.
The trailer has windows all around, including curved shaped glass on the front. The patched-together front and side panels look like they came from a Winnebago recreational vehicle, but the misaligned green strip gives the trailer a “thrown together” appearance.
4 The Junkyard Smoke Bloke
The proprietors of The Junkyard Smoke Bloke claim they serve some of the best American-style barbecue found on this side of the Atlantic (so, it doesn’t include Europe, which is located on the other side of the Atlantic), out of their customized, redneck style, trailer.
Although their claims may true, just the appearance of this trailer with salvaged side wood planks, rusty license plates, and STP oil funnels holding flowers is enough to deter any potential customer from trying their specials.
3 Home-Brewed Corrugated Metal Camper Trailer
The corrugated metal is ideal for conforming to the curved roof shape on this home-brewed camper trailer. However, in its present condition, it's unlikely that the metal keeps rainwater out.
The weather-beaten wood walls give it a rustic look, and the galvanized steel round tubs cut in half for fenders are a nice touch. But, sleeping in this tiny camper would be uncomfortable for anyone over five-feet tall.
2 Wood Plank Camper Trailer
The wood planks that make up the walls of this camper were either poorly matched during installation, or they have warped with time and severe weather. The wood construction certainly makes the trailer overweight. The fixtures installed near the roofline indicate the awning has been removed, and the trailer is ready for transport. However, the partially deflated tires are struggling to support this wooden monster indicating it may be best to leave it parked (or haul it off to the junkyard).
1 DIY Pop-Up Tent Trailer Conversion
The owner decided the canvas tent feature of this Pop-up trailer lacked the structural integrity they hoped for in a mobile camper. So, they removed the tent and added this awkward-looking “building” on top of the original aluminum-walled trailer. The flat front wall will provide plenty of wind resistance when the camper is traveling at highway speeds on the next vacation.
Sources: jalopyjournal.com, heraldnet.com, howstuffworks.com, us.letgo.com