The ZOEBEAR Off-road Teardrop in So Cal

Hello All,
I have been looking at this site for over a year now and have to say there is so much information you can get from this place. That being said I started out wanting to build an off-road trailer to tow behind my 02 TJ. I started out wanting to build a 4x6 steel box trailer with a RTT on top. I drew a lot of information from a couple of people from the Portal, JAH310, MARTYINCO and others for this style of trailer. After A year of thinking and researching I decided to go with an Off-road Teardrop. I have five people in my family. There will be times when only two go and times when 5 go. So being able to have 2 in the Teardrop and 2-3 in a RTT was the ways for me. That way I can add the RTT as need and not always have to carry the added weight.

The design I chose is the rectangle 5x8. With two side windows a Stargazer front on a slant and a rear Door. I did not want the weight of a rear kitchen plus I am 6’3” so needed all the inside space. We will always cook outside on a table. I would like to thank LACOFDFIREMAN, KINGAIRNEAL, JAYDON44, DIYCAMPER AND OTHERS FOR YOUR GREAT BUILDS. I have stolen many ideas from all of you.

So let's begin.
I searched for a while for a used trailer on Craigslist and OfferUp her in SO Cal. I was looking for a 5X8 trailer with a #3500 axle with very little extras. I wanted to pay no more than $300. Pretty simple request you would think. I looked and looked would find something call and would be sold or a 4x8, or #2000 axle. Or wanted way to much money. Then one day in late October one popped up on craigslist. I just happened to be the first one to call. He was firm on $300. So I left my house drove 20 minutes near Angel Stadium and saw the trailer in the dark. It was in rough shape the wood was rotted out which was fine because I was going to remove it anyway. The bonus was there was a 200 gallon water tank on top of it. It had no paper work so Offered $250 he said no. THe answer is No unless you ask. I paid the $300 hooked it up to my suburban and went home, the lights even worked that was a bonus. The next day was Saturday so that worked out good. When I saw the trailer it was rough, but exactly what I wanted.

So the work began. I took a picture of the water tank and put it on Offerup right away. I had that thing sold by 4PM. Saturday for $100 so now the trailer was $200 bargain.

I could not find the original pics of the trailer. But her are a couple as I started to cut away the rails.

TRAILER 10-8-17A.jpgTRAILER 10-8-17.jpg

Recommended books for Overlanding

Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
From $25.52
Jupiters Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph
by Ted Simon
From $17.49
Morocco Overland: A Route & Planning Guide - Southern Mor...
by Chris Scott
From $29.95
More info on build

I wanted to give you more information on what I am doing with this build.
Once the trailer is enclosed, I will be adding aluminum sheet to it .043 to .050 thickness. I am trying to get a light gray color if not then I will go with natural look and seal it. I will also look at getting it wrapped, but not sure how expensive that is. I will have to wait and see. I will be putting aluminum diamond plate on the front up to the slant. I got 2-32” windows from a salvage in Corona. I only paid $64 for both of them. With screens and rings. Compared to Ebay it was a huge savings. For the Door, I am going to get a standard RV door and cut it down. I can get one of those from the same place for $100 to $150 depending on condition. I hope I can find one with lower fame damage since I will be cutting it anyway. The inside will be wired for a roof vent fan, lights and a rocker switch panel with USB and voltage readout. There will be a front box, that will house the battery, battery shut off and fuse block and some other electrical items that come up.
I will add more as I remember.
Thanks for reading.
The Trailer is coming alive.

Over Thanksgiving Weekend I was able to accomplish a lot of work.
I was able to build the floor platform. I used 3/4 in pine plywood and 2x3 boards. I cut the plywood to 5' lengths. I decided it was better to have a 5 ft. seam versus a 8 ft. seam. Once the platform was glued and screwed together I coated the bottom. I used Gardner Flexx-Guard Rubberized premium fibered asphalt coating for waterproofing roofs. I brushed 2 coats on the bottom. I will eventually coat the front and the sides as well.
Floor before coating. The picture with the coating will not upload. I will have to take another one.


Walls Cut
walls cut.jpg
Front supports and stringers

Got the front supports, all the stringers and rear outer framed in.


Getting There!

Trailer hooked up to my jeep. Once the right tires and rims are on the height will be right on.
Waiting for fan then I can finish the roof. Get door next weekend will be ready to skin with aluminum.

trailer on jeep.jpgtrailer n jeep.jpgIMG_2199.jpg
Well it has been some time since my last post. Had to wait for the Holidays to go by, so I could continue on. I have done a lot, changed some things and wished I had done a couple of things different.
Here are pics as I continued on. Finished the front and cut out all the windows, door and roof vent. Used a lot of short strand bondo to fill holes and imperfections in wood as much as I could. The black coating you see is Gardner flex seal. This brings me to one of my, I wish I would have done things different.
I was originally going to skin the trailer in black aluminum or steel. But after searching the cost was getting in $650 range, or they would only come in 49”x 96 or 120 material. Since I am 97x 60” wide and 49 ½ tall. I did not want to have all the seams on the roof and sides. There was one place that would do 60” wide any length polished Aluminum like Airstream trailers, but it was too expensive for me. So I searched for an alternative. That’s when I decided to use Raptor liner. Extremely tuff and waterproof. It ended up costing me $225 with 2 spray guns on Amazon.

That leads me to problem 2. I had used ¾ pine sanded plywood on the bottom, sides and rear of trailer. But the front and top was ½ plywood not the good sanded type because I was going to skin it. Well that came back to bite me in the rear. The bottom front will eventually get diamond plate but not to worried about that. The slant piece has some small marks that I did not get all the smoot. The Raptor fills in a lot of the imperfections and makes it hard to see them.

I installed foam insulation on the front and roof. I ran the wires for the fan, 2 interior lights and rear flood lights . Next Up, Prep for Raptor
I prepped the outside for the Raptor Liner. It was fairly easy to do. Just a lot of sanding and re applying bondo. Once that was done, I tapped off the trailer and wiped it down with a damp cloth per Raptor’s instructions on wood.
I purchased 2 kits with a total of 8 bottles. I also got two of the spray guns one with the air control on it. I did not want something to happen when I started and not be able to finish in the middle if a gun broke. Since they are $13 it was worth the added safety. Once taped and everything was dry I started to mix and spray. It is as simple as that. I want to get as close to smooth as I could without thinning the product. So I made a test board I Started with 3 test strips. One at 45psi 0ne at 60psi and one at 75psi. The 45 was the roughest then it goes down from there. The 75 was just what I wanted for all four sides. The top I did in the thickest application which is 45psi. That way it would fill in as much of the imperfections as possible. I finished with 1 full bottle left and a ½ of one with the hardner in it. That is with doing 2 coats on the entire trailer. Don’t throw the last leftovers away. Take that with a small brush and use to do touch up after you remove the tape. You can use it up to 1hr after mixing the bottle. Works great!.
You do not get a lot of over spray like you do when painting. I got it on my garage floor but that was it. Which I don’t care about. Make sure you use a good mask and goggles. It has a strong smell to it.
I scored a great deal on my door. It was a side cargo door from a Salem trailer. It had some scratches on it so I sprayed it to match the rest of the trailer. If you are looking for windows or doors and live in So Cal you need to go to They have hundreds of used windows, doors, moldings etc. The windows are $1 per inch in length. Does not matter on height. The door I paid $50, I had to cut it down but that was easy to do. . I had to buy a new lock because there were no keys. Ebay $20 with keys.



Active member
lookin good man! i might have to stop by and check that bad boy out! was my original plan, but i went another route, the already done route, lol...

cheers to a local guy!

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.02
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Wo...
by Rolf Potts
From $14.29
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Sur...
by Dave Canterbury
From $9.99
Motorcycle Messengers 2: Tales from the Road by Writers w...
by Jeremy Kroeker, Ted Simon, Lois Pryce, Billy Ward,...
From $9.99
I have a deadline now and lots to get done. Going camping Fathers Day weekend with family. Time is going fast.

Here Is my TO DO list to go Camping: In a week and a half.

  • INSTALL ROCK LIGHTS (can do after trip)
  • PAINT CEILING (can do after trip)

Got the aluminum angle iron installed. All windows and door installed. Mounted box to trailer. Got the rims and tires on as well. Rims 15x8 steel from Quadratec $44.95 cheapest I could fine. Tires 31/10.50/15 I found on Offer up for $75 mounted for both. Still looking for one more for the spare. I still need to figure where to mount the spare tire at.