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Explorer Box Camping Trailer

Check it out at Explorer Box Camping Trailer Collection

The Explorer Box Camping Trailer is designed as a straight forward, DIY friendly project with room for personalization and tailoring to you specific needs. The detailed 81 page guide we have written takes you step-by-step through the process. It utilizes a plywood building method that home-builders with basic woodworking skills can use to create a durable trailer that will give you many years of service.

Here is a Cost Breakdown illustrating how budget friendly an Explorer Box Camping Trailer is to build.

A standard Explorer Box Camping Trailer is design around a 4’x6’ flat deck trailer frame. To keep the project simple, we show you how-to modify a readily available Harbor Freight bolt-together frame kit as a base under your Explorer Box. Here is a PDF format version of “Modifying a Harbor Freight Frame.”

Although originally designed as a Tent Topped Camper, an Explorer Box is equally at home being built as a Gear / Cargo Hauler. They are the perfect blend of compact size and supplementary storage. At less than 300 lbs. configured as a Gear Hauler, almost any vehicle can handle towing one.

The design is inspired by the simplicity of vintage Tent Trailers with some Teardrop Trailer influences. These notably expand your available space providing ample storage and gear hauling capabilities for smaller vehicles. There is a front kitchen/galley area with organized, shelved storage compartments and counter space. When in transit, the front deck area provides open storage for your cooler; making it accessible without unpacking. In the rear is a large general storage compartment for bulkier items and storage containers.

In a Tent Topped configuration, when it’s bed time, you’re off-the-ground for a comfortable, restful nights sleeps. Our self-erecting, instant up Tent Units are a breeze to setup and require no unpacking to use. Simply remove the travel cover and pull it open.

When built as a Gear Hauler they can handle a wide range of gear, luggage and cargo hauling needs. You can delete the shelved compartments, for a large enclosed storage area if that better meets your needs. With a rack system on top you can handle 175 lbs. of gear such as bikes, kayaks, or canoes. Equip it with a rocket box for additional enclosed storage or a soft-sided storage bag. You can also initially build it as a Gear Hauler, then upgrade it later with a Tent Unit. This is a great way to spread out the cost.

The Explorer Box Plan Manual

  • 81 pages that include:
  • Detailed drawings and photos for each step
  • Step by step building guide
  • Plywood sheet cutout maps
  • General building notes
  • Complete materials list
  • Necessary tool list

We have a thread on our Tventuring forum that is an index of people’s Explorer Box (and variations) build threads and pictures customers have sent of their project.  Check it out at Explorer Box Trailer Collection.


(based on using a bolt-together frame kit with a 4 x 6 deck)

  • 375-425 lb. dry weight
  • 1000 lb. GVW
  • 80-110 lb. tongue weight
  • 4.80 x 12″ tires with 12″ steel wheels
  • 1 7/8″ or 2″ coupler
  • Box width – 48″
  • Overall width – 63″
  • Box length – 56″
  • Front Deck – 16″ x 48″
  • Overall length – 120″
  • Height with tent closed – 49″
  • Height with tent open – 85″
  • Bottom of frame to ground clearance – 16′
  • 32 cu ft. of interior storage space