Instructables

Do you have what it takes for the Design and Build challenge?

I have been researching and think a lot about mobile structures specifically campers that are light weight and highly efficient. After spending a substantial amount of time looking around to see what designs are out there I have concluded that there isn't much. This fact bothers me for a few reasons but mostly because I have a vested interests in this topic. Come march I plan to begin living in a small camper while traveling around the country for several months the only catch is I am going to build it.
So my question is what idea's can you all come up with that fit within these guidelines.

1- It must be relatively comfortable for two to live in but cannot exceed 60 sq ft.

2- It must include a toilet, shower and sink as well as a space for a camping stove

3- It must be insulated and have windows for ventilation and natural light

4- It must have storage space

5- The interior must be no less than 6ft tall so that I can stand up straight while the exterior cannot exceed 9ft.

6- It must have a water tank but I do not want any electricity / plumbing and I do not intend on carrying water while in transit.

As of now that’s pretty much it for requirements.

I should mention that this structure is going to be towed by a ‘05 Honda civic 4 cylinder automatic so the entire unit cannot exceed 1100 lbs trailer included. I don’t wish to destroy this vehicle by towing a camper 5,000 miles around the country but I do plan to add an extra transmission oil reservoir for cooling purposes.
I hope some of you find this of interest and have some ideas to share with me. I have some thoughts of how I can make this sucker but I wanted to put my thoughts out and see what someone else comes up with.
Thanks and I hope you create something beautiful and functional.

Sincerely, C 

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DIMyself752 years ago
try looking at the plans at WWW.Glen-L.com and see if any of those would work for you

hope this helps
onrust2 years ago
Something like this would be a bit more realistic to your goal.
Small-Camper-Trailer.jpg
FoolishSage2 years ago
There are several designs for micro apartments with all kinds of ingenious ways to solve the space vs habitability dilemma. Some of these ideas could translate to your vehicle. Things like the cube house, or the transformer apartment for example. Other things to look at would be living quarters on yachts, submarines, space modules and even space ships from science fiction (firefly has a couple interesting solutions for example).

The lesson to take from all of those is to make everything as multifunctional as possible. Do you really need a bed to occupy space the whole day or can it collapse into  a sofa or a table or something? If you are not going to be inside of it during transit could maybe the whole structure expand for living and collapse for transport? Maybe you can supplement the fixed amenities of the trailer with the space of a retractable tent.

Another thing to consider is how to keep the weight down. Construction materials will have a huge impact. Replace steel by glass/carbon fibre, hollow out any solid structures etc. Also think of what you take with you. Leaving the washing machine behind is a no-brainer but do you need/want to bring a tv, refrigerator, computer, chairs, sofa, etc?

I hope this (long) post helps.