Cargo Trailer Camping: A Motorcycle Camper Conversion

Set Up at Spring Gulch Resort Campground

I wanted to camp. I wanted to take my motorcycle. I wanted a trailer to fit in my garage. I thought trying to accomplish this with a limited budget would be impossible. I did some research and realized that very few toy hauler campers were available with the height restriction that I had with my garage. It had to less than 9’8”.

Second, I wanted to keep my budget at $5,000 or less. It became apparent rather quickly that a trailer made by an RV manufacturer (new or used) was not going to be an option. I began looking at cargo trailers. Ultimately I selected a Wells Cargo V-nose trailer with a rear ramp door and a side door. I paid $3,500 for the unit. It also had dual wheels and was three years old. No leaks were observed.

The trailer was below 9’ in height and had an inside height of 6’2”. To make this trailer functional as a motorcycle hauler and a camper, a few modifications were necessary. First, a cabinet was selected to install in the front of the unit to store materials. It is important that the cabinet can lock so the drawers can be secured while traveling. This prevents objects from coming out of the cabinet and potentially damaging the motorcycles.

Another important factor was the installation of a system to secure the motorbikes while traveling to any desired location. To accomplish this, a pair of motorcycle wheel chocks were installed to properly secure the bikes. Ratchet straps were added and secured to the track flooring installed on the floors and to D rings in the floor. With these modifications the safe transport of the motorcycles was now possible.

For camping, a few additional modifications were necessary. First the trailer needed some windows. These provide a secondary escape in case of an emergency, they also provide light and excellent cooling ventilation with a ceiling fan. Adding two tinted windows with screens cost less than $400.

For the ceiling fan, the roof vent was already installed. The fan selected needed to be able to use the existing roof opening. A Maxx Air fan was selected and installed. The fan can be purchased for $279. The fan combined with the newly installed windows provided a comfortable sleeping environment by using the fan as an exhaust and opening the windows. The cross ventilation was surprisingly cool.

The purchase of two Coleman cots ($50 each) provides portable sleeping areas and were quite comfortable. A plastic outdoor sink table ($97), porta-potty ($99), canopy ($49) and Coleman gas stove ($119) completed the necessary camping items.

Without insulation, the idea of winter camping was not an option however, air conditioning for extreme summer heat could be accomplished by adding a portable floor air conditioner and a dryer vent installed for the exhaust vent. I haven’t needed air conditioning on the trips.

This cargo-motorcycle hauler-camper was used successfully. It is a great option for folks who want to enjoy the outdoors with a more secure camping option on a budget. It provides protection form the elements and secure transportation for the motos. Consider this option, it is achievable.

And remember … Go have some fun out there!

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