Thoughts on How to Build a Teardrop Trailer Hatch Door

Hatch doors are a defining feature on a teardrop trailer. I’m building more of a mini camper than a standard teardrop but I still am going to have a nice big hatch door. There are a couple different ways to build a hatch and make it watertight, I’ll cover each one. I love the idea and look of a big hatch door.

My teardrop is going to have an open section between the galley and the interior of the trailer. I’m not going to build the normal standard galley, I’m going to make that area an extra bed. Let’s look at how to build a teardrop trailer hatch door.

Thoughts on How to Build Teardrop Trailer Hatch Door

How to Build a Teardrop Trailer Hatch Door

At first, the thought of building the hatch door scared me and sounded really complicated. After watching more than a few youtube videos I have a good idea of what I want to do. There are a few different ways to build the hatch door and depending on the shape of your teardrop or camper will determine the best method for you.

This youtube walks you through one good method for a standard teardrop shape. He is pretty thorough in explaining what to do.

There’s a few videos in a series that walks through all the steps. Make sure you watch all of them.

Some people use a piano hinge for their hatch but the hurricane hinge seems to be the best option. The hurricane hinge is built to be waterproof.

Here is a great example of a good hatch build.

Sheathing a Teardrop Hatch

I’m debating on how I want to build mine, in the video above you can see he uses cross bracing. I’m not going to use the cross braces because I am going to sheath the inside of the hatch as well as the outside.

Sheathing both sides not only looks good by hiding the wires and giving a finished look but it also adds strength by locking the bend in place.

This video from the guys at Oregon Trail shows another great method for building the hatch. This is the style I’m going to build on my mini camper.

Since I’m not using aluminum (I don’t think) I’ll have to find a way to seal the edge. In the video above they use the aluminum trim pieces. I might still be able to trim the edges with aluminum but I’ll figure that out when I’m actually building the hatch and I can see how it looks and what will be most efficient.

Thoughts on Building a Teardrop Hatch

I have a feeling that the guys at Oregon Trail make it look way easier than it is actually going to be. I’m sure the first time I build I’ll have to work out a good system as I figure out how to build a teardrop trailer hatch door.

One thing I have been mulling over is possibly putting a window in the hatch. I’m not totally sold on that idea yet though.

Building the back hatch is not a project to to be taken lightly. It needs to be watertight or you will be redoing it in a year after you start finding rot. It’s worth it to take your time and do it right the first time.

My hatch Is going to run the whole back of my teardrop so I am going to have to consider running the wires for the brake lights and license plate light. I’ll do all that before I install the inside sheathing.

Have you made a hatch for your teardrop?

What issues did you run into?

Louis Gilliland

Louis Gilliland

He began his career as a mechanic, working on cars, trucks, and trailers in Michigan for over 20 years. He quickly developed a passion for towing and hitches and began specializing in that field. Louis started his own business installing hitches and providing towing services, quickly building a reputation as one of the best in the state. He also began teaching and training other mechanics on proper hitch installation and towing safety.