CLC Teardrop Camper in Germany

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    this post is about my experience registering a CLC Teardrop Camper in Germany. The purpose is to encourage potential builders over here to deal with the authorities & do a tiny bit of promotion for this wonderful design. Since this is an American forum, I’ll stick to English and highlight specific German terms like this. All information is provided without warranty.

    So, we built a CLC Teardrop Trailer like everybody else did. We bought a custom transport trailer which we paired with the camper and, due to insurance requirements, decided to register it as a recreational vehicle or RV (Wohnwagen). One can, in principal, use the transport trailer with the camper as freight, but good luck getting insurance for that combination, which will be most likely worth several thousand Euros. But beforehand, check with your insurance company, if the accept self-made campers.

    To gain RV acceptance (Wohnwagenzulassung) according to the German road codes (Strassenverkehrsordnung), here’s what one has to fulfil and how we solved it:

    – place to sit, and a foldable or removable table -> the mattress seems to be sufficient as a place to sit. We built a small table that is stored underneath the galley flat, and can be mounted underneath the cabin shelf. Picture will follow.

    – a place to sleep -> this of obviously the mattress

    – a cooking device -> this one must be a fixed installation, and qualified to be used indoors. We first thought about those small portable gas stoves, but they are not for indoor use. We ended up buying a 2000W portable electric stove that runs via 230V shore power, and bolted that through the galley flat. Picture will follow.

    –  a cupboard (Schrank): rules say you have to be able to carry food and clothes inside the camper. We thought the storage box and place in our custom galley module would be too small. So we built a cabin storage, which sits on the upper part of the galley bulkhead. We used an 8mm plywood sheet of 2400x600mm to build both the storage, and the folding table. Picture will follow.

    – Loose objects need to be restrained: we bought heaps of affordable bungee cord, webbing, and buckles (elastische Spanngurte, Rucksackgurte und -Verschlüsse) at, which is CLC’s German partner.

    Once we felt everything is alright, we made an appointment with the inspection company TÜV Nord for a modification inspection (Technische Änderung). There are other companies for inspection works, too, but we read that some are more strict than others. We live where TÜV Nord is present and where under the impression that they are not too strict. In advance we had to weight the empty camper at a public weight measuring station. The inspection itself went very well. It was directly recognised as a RV, and the main inspection items were how the shell is mounted to the trailer (we used six M8 bolts with self-securing nuts), and that there are no sharp or protruding objects which can harm pedestrians. If they ask:  you don’t need a anti-shatter certificate (Splitterschutzzertifikat) for a trailer… They might ask who’s the maker of the shell – just tell them to put in your name. We paid 100€ for the inspection, and another 12€ to the administration (Zulassungsstelle) for the change of registration papers.

    That’s basically it. Many worries beforehand, not much stress getting it done… If you’re interested in more details, and information in German, leave your mail address here, I’ll occasionally tune in.

    BR, Johannes


    Table storage position & deployed. Mounting points underneath the shelf not show.


    The cupboard – note all the bungee cords, and the webbing running along the bulkhead:


    Here’s our almost finished camper. The 2m long awning (Markise) sits within the footprint of the camper, and was also accepted and registered by the TÜV Nord inspector.

    CLCTeardrop 623

    Beautiful work –



    ich habe meine Teardrop fast fertig und komme aus der Nähe von Bonn.

    Ich muß jetzt auch noch über den TÜV. Ich möchte ihn aber als “Anhänger geschlossener Kasten”  zulassen, da dann das Problem mit der Zulassung für die Scheiben entfällt. Es wäre schön wenn wir uns mal unterhalten könnten.




    Hi Claus,

    that sounds good!

    If you like to talk on the telephone, e-mail me at my (spam) e-mail address dasjo[at] with your number and times of convenience. I’ll call you back then. Please post here if you want to do so, so I remember to check that e-mail inbox.

    Otherwise, at my inspection, the windows, or lack of certificate for the windows, were no problem at all. The certification seems to be important for DIY camper vans, where people sit within the “hazardous zone” in case of a crash, but not for trailers. I saw that requirement written on the TÜV Nord website,  but concluded for myself, that this page was more about DIY camper vans, and not about trailers.

    I did not consider registering the trailer as a “Anhänger geschlossener Kasten” (enclosed box trailer), so I can’t help with that specific direction.

    Best regards, Johannes

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