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Step by Step DIY  Instruction Guide

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Step 9 - Skin the trailer (Optional )


Very Important. When you install your 4 x 8 1/8 inch thick STD hardboard, make sure you start from the hinge to the front. Do not go from the front of the trailer to the hinge. Why ? You'll come up short, and its easier to hide the extended piece at the front of the trailer instead of trying to hide it on the roof. Notice the missing piece of hardboard on the bottom of the picture ...



An 8 inch checker plate trim and a trailer tounge hides it quite nicely. Much better then trying to add an additional piece of aluminum on the roof to cover it up.

Note: As you install your hard board, you may want to

temporarily install your hinge at the same time, in order to keep everything aligned. Also place some shims on either side of the galley door to stay in place.

maple side walls
checker plate accent
checker plate roof
Step 10 - Aluminum Extrusion and The Doors


Now is the time to put everything together.  The walls, the roof, the doors, the hinge and the trim. I have been through lots of different sites and seen many different methods in putting this together, and In my opinion, If your doing aluminum walls, there is no need for contact cement. First, sit your aluminum walls in place. ( If your doing a "woody" you don't need to worry about this part ), then, Install your doors. It's now that you want to make sure your aluminum walls and door cut outs are lined up properly.

Now, Secure the bottom of your walls with your aluminum trim. Once the bottom and the doors are in place, Take a bead of caulking all along the roof and wall seam from top to bottom, then start screwing in your extruded trim. Try alternating sides every 4 or 5 screws, constantly making sure your roof is lined up with your walls. Once you've screwed in all your trim, push in your PVC to hide the screws.

Aluminum with fastec locks

What about the doors ? Well that's a loaded question. I've talked about it before in my blog, I have very nice doors imported from the USA in my virtual parts store, and I also include them in some of my kits. I even have a video on them on youtube to promote them. It really boils down to price. Yes, the manufactured ones are easy to install. They come with an outer ring that fits on the inside of the teardrop trailer wall and you sandwich the door through the 3/4 inch wall screwing the door frame and ring together.


But, They are not cheap. So far, I have not found a manufacturer in Canada. There is duty and taxes that have to be incorporated into the cost. If you bought one of my kits that included the doors, then go ahead and install them now. If you have not purchased a kit and want to make a set for yourself, Go ahead. I am currently working on making custom made doors myself, and once I have figured a way to make them look esthetically pleasing to the eye and water proof, I will add them to my Step by step guide as an alternative less expensive option. But for now, If you're making your own doors, now is the time to do it. If you get frustrated and want to get the nice aluminum set instead,

check out my virtual parts store.

rear galley
Step 11 - Hurricane Hinge


The hurricane hinge is a 2-Piece Extruded Aluminum Mill Finish. Line up your roof and your galley door, screw in the hinge, making sure your door is lined up properly with a few temp shims keeping it in place. I like installing a second extruded trim on the opposing side for extra support. Make sure you use lots of caulking under the lip of the hinge and outside. This is where you have the best chance of water leakage on your trailer. Water tends to create a pool on the top of the roof and seaps into anywhere it can find a hole.


 2-Piece Extruded Aluminum - Mill Finish

After you have installed your hinge, remember that it is two seperate pieces. In other words the hinge can slide back and forth, and if your not paying attention, Can go out of alignment.


The following video is a conversation with Len Daddona, a teardrop trailer builder in Philadelphia. We discuss his methods of installing the hurricane hinge, and how he found an effective way to avoid leaks.

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