Everyone loves a budget camper build, but can you actually create something decent for less than $1,000? According to the President Chay YouTube channel, the tiny blue camper seen here amassed a final cost of just $890, and that includes the purchase price of the trailer. It has tile floors, two beds, windows, a kitchen (with a sink), and it’s wired for electricity. But as you might imagine, there’s a bit more to it than that.
The trailer was found on Facebook Marketplace, selling as a basic utility trailer for $100. It was stripped of its small wood sides, power washed to the nth degree, and fitted with a subfloor consisting of a moisture barrier, foam insulation, and strand board. Presumably, the trailer’s frame and original wood floor were in good shape; it certainly looked spiffy after the power wash.
The bulk of the expense came with constructing the wood sides. To keep costs down, the build used glue and drop cloths on the exterior which was then painted to make it waterproof. Inside, electrical outlets were wired up using extension cords versus household wiring – a technique that may or may not be advisable but nevertheless, it kept costs down.
Prolific use of repurposed items also kept the cost down. Old pallets were sourced to make the countertop. The kitchen cabinet was made from scrap wood. The windows, metal trim, and tile floors – prominent items not often found just laying around – came from a previous bus camper build that was sold prior to the trailer project. Without these items handy, the cost likely would’ve topped $1,000 but we’re still talking about a shockingly inexpensive camper here.
And that’s exactly what we get with the finished product. A single rear door opens to a small kitchen on one side with two single-person beds on the other. The lower bed doubles as a sofa, and there’s even a small air conditioner installed at the front. The sink is functional, though there’s no mention of how much clean/gray water storage is on board. Similarly, there’s no onboard power system, but the trailer can be plugged into shore power to make everything work.
It’s not an off-grid camper, and it does lack some features like onboard power or a small bathroom. But considering the plethora of tiny trailers we’ve seen costing well over $20,000, this budget build isn’t too shabby.