Homemade Motorcycle Tent Trailers

Updated May 23, 2018

Motorcycle tent trailers can be constructed at home with a solid plan and a few tools. The trailer must be lightweight and small enough to pull with the bike. It also must be easy to erect and have enough space for sleeping and storage. Most tent trailer use a lift system but it is often bypassed in order to save weight on motorcycle trailers. Use a minimalist approach and eliminate as many options as possible. Also use the lightest materials available.

Locate a trailer that is small enough to be pulled by your motorcycle. Do not choose a trailer that fits the maximum weight capacity because you will need a cushion for the tent trailer materials. The size of the trailer will depend on the size of the motorcycle.

Measure for the trailer box beginning at the top rail of the trailer. The top of the box should not be taller than the back seat of the motorcycle. Weld an aluminium frame to the trailer. The frame will have an upright at each corner and a top rail that follows the circumference of the trailer.

Weld aluminium side plates to the frame to create and enclosed box. You can bolt the side plates to the frame but it will not be water tight.

Place an aluminium lid on top of the trailer. Bolt hinges to the lid and to the frame to create an easy opening top. Bolt legs to each side of the lid with a locking bracket hinge. When you open the lid and the legs, it should be stable on the ground.

Weld a thin rail along the inside of the trailer frame. Store a flat piece of aluminium in the bottom of the trailer and slide it onto the rail to create a large, flat bed.

Build a tent frame that uses four uprights, four corner connections and a diagonal connection. Bold pipe sleeves to each corner of the trailer for the uprights. Connect the frame and drape a piece of canvas over the top to create a tent.


Use tie downs on each corner to secure the canvas to the ground. Cut a slit down one side of the canvas and sew on a door with clips.


Store all of the materials on the inside of the trailer while driving. It is not safe to drive while the tent is erected.

Things You'll Need

  • Trailer
  • Aluminium railing
  • Aluminium panels
  • Hinges
  • Tent frame
  • Pipe sleeves
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About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at