Skinning the Exterior | How to build a Teardrop Trailer #13


Total time: 8-12hrs

Difficulty: Expert

Total cost: $500+


Materials used

  • 2 sheets of 4x8 0.32 clear coated natural aluminum

  • 2 sheets of 4x8 0.40 clear coated black aluminum


    • 24' of flat trim

    • 32' of roof trim

  • 1 tube of TREM PRO Sealant

  • 1 tube of aluminum safe silicone

  • 50' Roll Butyl sealant tape


How to 'skin' the exterior of your Teardrop Trailer?

I have to admit, this is probably one of the scariest but most rewarding parts of this build. I was mainly concerned about the time it took to get the aluminum sides in. It took almost 4 weeks, so if I made a mistake here, then I would have to wait even longer! Luckily, nothing major happened.

After I attached the bottom trim and taped all the edges snug, I took the plunge and cut the side using a flush trim bit in my trim router. Another trick I did with the door was add a larger bearing to the flush trim but to give a "lip" on the aluminum and the door seal. This is not a must but it's something I wanted to do to feel better about the seal.

After the sides were cut, I carefully slid the top into place. I lucked out and my roof fit perfect so I didn't have to trim it! The top sat just over the side aluminum almost perfect! #dumbluck After taping the roof on, I started on the trim, working my way from the rear bottom to the front, alternating sides. This is very important to reduce buckles in the roof. I am very happy how it came out!

Now I have to think of a cool design for the side! This was a mock up of what I am currently thinking but that could always change!

The final thing I did after everything was done, was to put a coat of wax on the roof and sides. You don't want to get fingerprints all over your hard work!

I am using PureBond plywood, see more details here. or


Zach's pro tip

I didn't want to cut more holes in the side of the teardrop so I chose to use 3m outdoor double sided tape. These lights can with incandescent bulbs that I later changed out to LED's and the outer shell of these lights were white. I used 3 coats of plastic paint, sanding in between and took my time. They turned out great!


Not caught up yet? Check out the whole series!