Unlike other camper companies that just want to sell you a shiny, new camper, Compact Camping Concepts wants to help you build your own. Since 2007, the company has been offering DIY guides and components. The Dinoot is the latest design in its line-up. Much like the Teal Camper, the Dinoot is modular design that can serve as a gear trailer, a camper or both. Unlike the Teal, it doesn't build up to a hard-sided camper but uses a pop-up tent configuration.
You start off with a trailer frame that you can purchase or build on your own. Compact Camping Concepts recommends a welded trailer frame for heavy-duty uses and mentions that a bolt-together frame can serve for lighter usage. The outfitter offers a full guide on how to build the frame to fit its various camper tubs and sells its own heavy-duty welded frame kits (without wheels) starting at US$799.
Once you have the frame, the next step is building the plywood floor. While CCC offers a set of building instructions, this is largely a DIY effort that requires procuring, sawing and bolting the plywood.
At this point you're basically building your own trailer and probably wondering what, besides building guides, Compact Camping Concepts actually provides. From this stage on out, you'll be working largely with the company's equipment. CCC offers several sizes of fiberglass tub kits that bolt on top of the frame and create the body of the trailer. There are both solid-rear and tailgate options.
You could use the Dinoot tub alone alone as a sort of tow-along gear box, but the real fun is in outfitting the trailer with your choice of accessories. To create a full-blown camper, CCC offers a Tent Top fold-out tent that mounts above the trailer tub. Owners can also equip the trailer tub and greater frame with all kinds of other hauling equipment – gear baskets, boat and bicycle racks, water jug holders, etc.
Perhaps the best part of the Dinoot is that with the right accessories and equipment, it can take on all kinds of different trips and activities. One trailer can serve as a camper, bike trailer, boat hauler, gear box, or whatever you wish. CCC founder Scott Chaney estimates that it would take about 10 to 15 minutes to remove a pop-up tent's eight bolts to make way for a trailer configuration. CCC sells many of accessories directly, and buyers can shop for others on their own.
"Dinoot trailers offer DIYers a budget friendly way to build a trailer tailored to your needs," Chaney explained to us. "If saving money is your only motivation, you might not have a rewarding experience. Now combine saving money, being mechanically inclined and getting satisfaction from building things with your own two hands; that’s a recipe for success."
The Dinoot trailer launched this summer. The Compact kit, which includes the panels needed to build the tub, costs $789, or $859 for the model with a tailgate cutout (actual tailgate sold separately for $172). The Extended version retails for $889, $959 with the tailgate cutout. CCC suggests using a Harbor Freight bolt-together trailer for light-duty usage, and a search indicates that you can find one of those for around $300. So that's roughly $1,200 plus the cost of plywood and supplies for the most basic gear-hauling trailer. Chaney's estimate of $1,300 for a completed basic hauler agrees with our figures.
The cost of more elaborate Dinoot rigs will, of course, depend on the specific frame, tub and accessories that you equip them with. Chaney estimates that a basic camping trailer will start at $2,400 in parts and materials.
As Chaney intimated, building a trailer from the ground up is not for everyone – road tripping and camping are supposed to be at least somewhat relaxing, after all. For those types that prefer to pull up, bolt a hitch to their brand new trailer and drive away, CCC does offer assembly services. It's also working on a few fully-built models, including a sleep-in camper that adds a pull-up hard top (similar to the one used on the Ursa Minor camper) to the Dinoot tub. An off-road teardrop camper is also in the works.
Source: Compact Camping Concepts
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