How many times have you passed (or been passed by) a small cargo trailer on the highway and wondered what was inside? Could they be hauling a lawnmower heading for a non-descript business park to cut their grass? Could they be hauling dirt bikes or ATVs heading for some weekend fun? Could they be hauling construction materials heading for a house to drywall?
For one California man, the answer to that would be “none of the above”. Jerry’s (last name with held upon request) 2007 Lark cargo trailer hauls his camping weekend with him. Since buying his 16′ Lark new from the factory in 2007, Jerry took the empty shell and has made it into a 16′ comfort castle on wheels.
Inspired by the Tiny House Blog, the affectionately named “Over The Top Cargo Trailer” doesn’t look like a tiny house. Says Jerry, “I just did not want it to look like a house on wheels on the outside and attract too much attention while on the road; it would fit more inside an Airstream Bambi if the panels could be bent.” The OTTCT is 95% complete, and Jerry estimates it weighs somewhere north of 6,000 lbs. He’s put some 500+ hours of labor and $25,000 into the project.
Jerry’s designed the OTTCT to be energy efficient as well, utilizing over 1500 watts in solar panels, powerful enough to run the on board 5,000 BTU air conditioner. The features on the OTTCT seem endless, including 2 37 gallon water tanks, 2 20 gallon propane tanks, reverse osmosis water filtration, a 26″ TV with DVD player, and 15′ of kitchen cabinets. One of the finest pieces of Jerry’s work is in the 36″ X 48″ glass tile shower.
The cargo trailer to camper conversion “subculture” is starting to take root as a niche segment of the travel trailer industry. Granted, it’s entirely a do-it-yourself segment, but as popularity increases, it could easily grow into a business for those, like Jerry, who have the skills to transform a shell and make it into a comfortable living space with as many (if not more) amenities as a standard, mass-produced travel trailer.
To keep tabs on Jerry and the Over The Top Cargo Trailer, visit his blog for more specs, pictures, and updates: http://overthetopcargotrailer.blogspot.com