A DIY Teardrop Travel Trailer

Sunday, August 11, 2013


The electrical system on a custom teardrop can be very complex depending on the electrical components installed.  I will be doing a combination of standard 110 and 12V.  I will be putting a Air Conditioning / heater, with the standard internal and galley lighting with 12V receptacles.  You can charge your 12V battery with power from the car, or use a battery charger connected to the 110.  I may also put in a invertor and potentially solar.  I've been thinking about the electrical part of the build ever since I started, but thought I might as well get some things drawn.  These designs will most likely change as I go, and will look for input from the TNTTT.com forum.   Please note that these drawings are the initial draft and will change.

Wiring Considerations:


  • Internal Power Outlet
  • Battery Charger
  • Galley Power Outlet
  • A/C - Heater


Trailer Wiring

  • Brake Wiring  (Blue/Black)
  • Marker Lights
  • Brake Lights
  • License Plate Light

Initial schematic for lighting:

I thought that creating a drawing that had visual representations of the actual electrical components would be a good idea, so I came up with this mock up. 

I'll be hiding some of my electrical wiring beneath the raised flooring, and I'll be using these junction boxes along with blue cable conduit to hide and organize the wires.  I've added plastic cable glands to some of the junction boxes where the cable will exit.  This will serve as strain relief as well as preventing moisture from getting in for the wiring that goes to the outside.  Wiring for the trailer brakes as well as brake and marker lights will also go through a stainless steel cable gland.  Probably necessary, but my teardrop OCD kicks in when it comes to ensuring everything is organized properly.

14 Gauge wiring is being used for the marker lights and trailer brake wiring.

I'm using a mesh sleeve for the exposed section of wiring that leaves the underside of the deck.

I'm running the 110V wiring in a separate run up the middle of the raised deck.

I'm also going to be installing a Clarion stereo in the cabin of the teardrop, and the speaker and remote wiring back to the galley.

I created a wire whip using some mesh wire cover and heat shrink.  This group of wires will go from the trailer tongue back through the 2x2 tubing and into the raised deck.

Near the front of the trailer tongue on the middle 2x2 frame tubing, I drilled a hoe big enough for this group of wires to be fished through the tubing.  I will use a grommet to help protect the wiring and seal the hole.

On the top side where the group of wires enters the raised deck, I chipped a bit of the plywood down and added a large washer to the Stainless Steel wiring flange.  This will be secured by bolts and epoxy.

Using the cookie cutter approach, I filled epoxy just over the rim of the washer which sealed the entry point.

Underneath, the wiring is protected by some left over blue conduit and heat shrink as it enters the 2x2 frame tubing leading up to the exit hole.

The wiring is a mess as it converges to the middle of the front of the raised deck. 

Somewhat cleaned up, you can see that the marker light wiring and trailer brake wiring go through the conduit to the outside edges.  The top conduit has the radio remote and speaker wires for the galley speakers.  The middle blue conduit has wires for power to the 12V receptacle, USB outlet, and return wiring for the galley light switch.  The bottom conduit has the wiring for the 110V outlet.  Holes will be cut into the top deck to allow these wires to pass through, but this will be within the space of the front cabinet, so hidden.

Stainless flange to get the brake wiring from inside the deck to the outside.

The marker light wiring willl be routed through the wood frame.

View the Raised Deck Page to view more images of how the cables were routed inside the deck:

You can see once the top deck was installed, the cables will come up through the deck within conduit into the area which will be the front cabinet, hidden behind an access panel.


  1. I'm really interested in how the AC unit will be installed. I would like to start my build in a year or two and being from south Texas the AC is going to be a must.

    1. Right now I'm leaning towards a ClimateRight. They are going to be coming out with units that have AC and heating in 2014, so I'm waiting to see the price point on those.

  2. These Hoffman accessories enclosures are designed for harsh outdoor environments requiring NEMA 3R or 4X ratings. Check out these fiberglass boxes if you need a good waterproof enclosure or weatherproof box. Enclosure Types: NEMA 4X Premier Series.

  3. It looks like you're a talented guy. Your wife got lucky with you. You've great skills. However, this is not that easy as at first look. Personally, I prefer to leave some things to pro's. Back last summer I decided to install air conditioning system by myself. Nothing good have happened, glad for me, that guys from http://myairmatics.com/ saved me. Since that, I never attempting to do huge complicated taks only by myself.

  4. I always trust ‘Electricians-Auckland’ for all sorts of lighting solutions and electrical repairing because they are trustworthy, punctual, and affordable.

  5. Wow! its great blog with a clear diagram of electrical wiring.I think you should use Patch Cable to connect computer type appliances.