This post contains affiliate links.
Teardrop camper door construction is part of a series documenting our homebuilt teardrop trailer. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for links to previous articles.
While it's all well and good up to this point, it doesn't do anyone much good if there's no way to get in and out of the trailer!
This post will detail and source how we constructed the doors for the sides; there are doors on both sides, but I'm only talking about a single door. Of course, it's your call if you only want to install a door on one side, but we do love having them on both sides; it gives us flexibility in placement and lets one person get out to pee without climbing over the other. 😉
The basic door shape was decided back in the planning and framing days; Jamie set the arch and then inset the negative of the cut piece into the frame and the piece itself became the top of the door frame, so everything fits perfectly.
The door construction itself is pretty simple, it was framed, insulated and skinned the same way the rest of the walls were.
I made curtains for simple shade and privacy. We chose an indoor/outdoor fabric so that the color will stay longer since it's made to be exposed to the elements. They're about a simple as you can get, hemmed and sewn onto a dowel curtain rod that is actually simply double-stick taped onto the inside of the door.
You can see, in this top corner shot, the layers of the plywood inside, then the frame. The exterior metal trim and then the weatherstripping foam.
The door is attached to the frame using freezer hinges, with weather sealing putty between the door/trailer and the hinge. The part on the trailer itself is layered with a sheet of aluminum as well, to help fill the gap created by the T-molding around the door.
The door handles (scroll over to see inside and outside shots) are standard trailer latches. I like that they are lockable, so we can lock them up tight if we're leaving the campsite for any reason and need a safe place to stash our stuff.
The last piece of the teardrop camper door is the window. It's a “crank out” window style, so we can open them for ventilation. Between the windows and the awesome fan in the ceiling, it's a blissful spot to nap when you're camping.
Previous posts: Planning & Framing | Walls & Interior Skin | Galley Counter & Flooring | Insulation | Interior Ceiling & Fan | Exterior Wood Skin & Sealant | Hatch Construction | Child's Hammock Bed | Galley Design (and Redesign) | Exterior Aluminum Skin
Shawn Bishop says
I love the posts. I’m planning to build a teardrop similar to yours. You gave me several ideas so keep it up. Mine will be smaller and more complicated but you have some good descriptions that will help me alot.
Thanks for your time and let me know when you post more.
Can you tell me if the rest of the posts for your teardrop trailer build are posted and how you find them past number 11?
We only got up to 11 done, but the main build is all covered… the only posts left I want to do are the little details we’ve since added. (Like we bought fenders recently, and I’ll probably post about those) Was there something specific we didn’t cover that you’d like more info on?
I would love to see a post about how you did the electrical system
Your link to this page and the next page are not working. I noted your page naming scheme and was able to type in the url to this page. Going to try the next page the same way.
Oh! Thanks so much!
Wayne Lowe says
The bent piece of metal used on the door how was that bent?
What would be the total cost of materials for the door, window, hinges and latch to make a complete door installed?
Wayne Lowe says
I have not seen any emails addressing my questions about the doors.
Hi Wayne, sorry for the delay, my husband just replied to your comment.
The metal on the door was bent as by hand. the aluminum T moldings were quite soft and would hold their shape very easily. I didn’t break down the costs in that way, but I think that the doors have about $200 worth of hardware.
Wayne Lowe says
Is that $200 per door or for both together?
That’s per door, but includes the windows, which were around $80 each.
Can I ask where you got the windows from?
Wayne Lowe says
This gives me a budget number so when I start to put together a cost list for materials.
Impressive and inpirational! I’ve been thinking about doing this for a couple of years now. Time to pull the trigger. What size mattress do you have– twin or queen? I’m tall as well, so having sufficient legroom and elbow room is important.
Looking forward to your “if we had to do it over again” post.
It’s a standard Queen from IKEA, we’re totally comfortable in there!
Do you think the aluminum T would bend around an 8″ radius without splitting? My doors are essentially rectangles with rounded 8″ diameter corners (looks great with the radius’s of my trailer) so I’m trying to see if this stuff will work or if I’m going to have to look for something else.
Great build BTW! I’ve purchased the hinges and the door handles and are building my doors like yours!
Also – the link to the windows isn’t working – could you update that? Wanted to see the price. I’m considering just building my windows! Thanks for a great site!
Hey Mike! Thanks for the kind words! My husband says that 8″ might be too small, but that it’s worth a try. lol (So helpful, right?)
We paid about $80 each for the windows…I’ll have to look for a replacement link, but at least that Amazon link shows you what we bought!
This whole thing is incredible! I’m just curious if you have an estimate of hours put into making this and a total cost of materials? If that’s private, I understand.
Thanks for sharing!
Hi Johnny! I want to say we came in around $4000? I’ll bug my husband to come and answer if he says differently, and he might have a better answer about the hours. A lot. Is that helpful? lol
Haha super helpful! Just wanted to get an idea.
Thank you thank you thank you!
My guess would be about 7-800 hours. total guess though Your results may vary.
Kevin Verville says
I really enjoyed your teardrop post, I own a factory built teardrop and I am disappointed in the quality. I have been studying different homebuilt tutorials with the thought that I might build my own homebuilt teardrop. By the way I think your tear drop looks awesome. So I would really like to ask on question, that is what would you do different if you were to do another build?
Hi Kevin! I think the biggest thing is that we would have started with a heavier-duty base trailer than the one we used. Otherwise, everything has pretty much gone as planned, other than the galley redesign after our first night out!
Becky M. says
I think this is amazing. I want to build one, I just have to work up my courage. This tutorial will be a wonderful guide. THANK YOU!
Amit Varma says
I’m trying to find the same hinges you used for the doors. The exterior swing door hinges. Would you happen to know where you got them from?I’m in Canada and I’m trying to find those exact ones.