The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 57,849 veterans are homeless on any given night. There are more than 600,000 homeless people in America.

This project actually started out as a design for a small survival camper for Veterans and other homeless people and is one of my extreme weather designs for small affordable off-grid houses for the homeless, Veterans and disaster relief. The camper is designed to be easy to construct using SIPS Structural Insulated Panels System made from commonly available materials, low cost and super insulated for year round living in extreme weather. It was designed to be a mobile house that could be parked in someones yard, in Federal and state campgrounds or be used for temporary homeless shelter or for housing for disaster relief but it would also make a great small camper for people that enjoy outdoor sports and adventuring in extreme conditions and because it is light weight, super insulated and super strong it would be perfect for people that have Kayaks, mountain bikes and other equipment they want to take along.

Many of the products made/carried by Oru kayak, Alite Designs and Brown Dog Solar would work perfectly with the Vetsport Extreme Microcamper because they are light weight and designed for rugged outdoor use. I am not associated with any of these companies but I like their products and designs.

If you are wondering why I have only the plans and designs and not the actual model it is because I have 3 camp trailers of my own including a similar small camper design and an insulated shell camper so I am not in need of another camper but I am a professional off-grid house designer and architectural draftsman/builder so rest assured if you follow the plans they will provide enough information for building the camper.

I am an avid outdoors-man and I live full-time in a small off-grid cabin so I know what is required to be comfortable and safe in a small structure or camper as I live that life every day. I was also homeless for two years and I survived in a small camper and I understand how difficult that life can be without a proper shelter.

All I ask in return for the use of these plans is that you include the name Vetsport on the camper exterior which stands for Veteran Sports, send me pictures of your completed camper and consider helping me to spread our mission to provide shelter designs for the many homeless Veterans and other homeless people all around the world.

You can see many more small off-grid house designs on my website: www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

Simple Solar Homesteading is a Not-For-Profit social and cultural service organization dedicated to producing affordable off-grid housing designs and projects so that everyone everywhere can have a safe and sustainable home. Please share our vision on your facebook, Google+ and other social networks and help us end homelessness and poverty once and for all!

You can read my story of homelessness here:




Legal Note: All images are the property of LaMar Alexander. I am not associated with any of the companies that may be mentioned in this Instructable. These plans require basic construction skills and you assume all risk for any use of these plans. If you do not agree to that DO NOT use these plans. Vetsport Extreme SIPS Microcamper is a Trademark and copyrighted design of LaMar Alexander www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

Step 1: What Makes Vetsport So Special?

You have probably seen other small campers and teardrop campers but you have never seen anything like the Vetsport because it utilizes SIP Structural Insulated Panel construction for super insulation and strength while keeping the towing weight to a minimum.

Average small camper walls are 2 inches thick with R5-8 insulation and are not designed for extreme weather all year use. The Vetsport walls and roof are 4 inches thick with an R rating of 18 (more than most houses) and that will allow a person to stay warm in the coldest of winters and cool in the hottest of summers. In most cases body heat alone will keep the Vetsport comfortable and it can also be heated with a small propane heater like the Buddy heaters designed for interior use. The Vetsport has a white ceiling to reflect heat and a roof vent and side window vents for passive cooling. There is room in the exterior walls to install a small AC unit if desired but if you park the Vetsport in the shade of the trees it would probably not be necessary.

Pictures 1-3:

The Vetsport was designed to be towed by a smaller car or truck and is on a 4x8 trailer so it can be parked in a small lot or even a standard parking space. It has a super strong 4 inch thick roof with braces to hold a Kayak, mountain bikes, skis, or a whole lot of camping gear or supplies. A roof rack design is included in the plans or you could use a commercial rack.

Pictures 4 and 5:

Vetsport is designed with a kitchen food preparation in the rear which includes a sink, cutting board, fresh water tank, single burner propane/butane stove, and ice chest cooler space. Storage is provided for lots of canned and dry goods, pans and dishes above. Unlike other small campers the doors swing out and not up so that you have maximum headroom to work and the interior edge of the door provides additional storage space.

Pictures 6-8:

Vetsport has a 3'4" by 6'6" bed space which is adequate for two people and very comfortable for a single person. Above the head of the bed are open shelves for storage and two LED positional lights for reading. Built into the wall by the bed is an integrated fold-up table for eating or studying.

Pictures 9 and 10:

Vestport has storage cabinets above the foot of the bed with a space for a smaller LED TV or tablet, Ipad with speakers, CB emergency or ham radio and DVD/CD player or this space under the cabinets could be used for drawers. All gadgets would be powered by the solar panel that is on the front of the camper.

Picture 11:

Vestsport is designed to have a 100 watt (or smaller) solar electric panel mounted to the front of the camper that can be tilted for best sunlight and can be removed and stored in the camper when you are traveling. A 100 watt panel and one or two deep cycle batteries and inverter will provide all the power you need for your gadgets like a laptop computer, cell phone, window fan, LED lights and even a DC fridge and cooking appliances.

Picture 12:

Vetsport has a front nose over the trailer neck that is used for storing a propane tank, deep cycle battery and portable toilet or other items you may need for long term camping or permanent living situations.

Picture 13:

Vetsport has a 2'6" by 3' door for easy access and the door has a porthole window so you can see who is at the door but small enough a person (or bear) can not break in and open the door. There is a 1x2 window on the opposite side for light and ventilation and a tilt vent on the roof.


The Vetsport camper is designed specifically for extreme weather conditions and to handle heavy roof loads making it unique in the small camper design field and it is designed for long term year round shelter for people that may be living in the camper for months or years.

The best thing about the Vetsport is it is easy to build from commonly available materials, basic tools and by people with basic construction skills so you can make one for your self or they can be produced rapidly for homeless or disaster relief housing.

Now let's build one!

<p>Hey, just wanted to let you know I built one of these. It's seen a couple of nights below freezing so far and with two dogs inside, I actually have to sleep with the window open. Thanks for making this available!</p>
<p>That is awesome jeremiah! Would it be OK if I posted your pics to my website and if you have more as you finish it that would be great?</p><p>LaMar</p>
<p>I hope you enjoy the Vetsport Microcamper plans and please VOTE on the orange vote tab in the upper right corner. I would sure like to have that Kayak!</p>
<p>This is the most advanced design I've seen yet. I'd love to be in a position to build this but sadly that won't be for quite some time unless of course I win the lottery! I love the motivation behind this especially. Well done.</p>
<p>inspirational-esp solar-toilet-roof rack manythxs</p>
Great design, wonderful story,great cause.
As a disabled Vet... Thank you Sir! One of the better plans I've seen!! About the only thing I might change is a tad bigger cabinet space inside... I camp in bear country and leave all food and coolers inside (in my car right now until I build this camper!). I could keep more canned foods inside and propositioned for quicker getaways. Thanks again!
<p>I am currently in the process of building this model. I'm making several changes to the design. Main changes are to rip the 2x4 outer floor studs down by half to increase floor space and to change the galley so it, or a good portion of it, will pull out on heavy duty slides. I'm covering the site build on my channel at </p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3J47flP6iO0qrVwL9ijuCw" rel="nofollow">https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3J47flP6iO0qrVwL...</a><br><br>Jon</p>
<p>I will make sure to post images here of the build and ultimately a complete build log so people see what it's like to do the build in detail in addition to my videos.</p>
<p>I want to build one of these campers. I was wondering what the formula is for the R 18 Rating for the insulation?</p>
<p>What program/app did you use to draw your plans?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
Approximately how heavy is this trailer, without interior furnishings? This would be just right for our camping trailer when it's time to move home to Talkeetna Alaska. I like that we could live in it while our 1st camping cabins are being built. Besides, moving with several cats and a dog could make finding motels difficult. <br>
<p>Hey, I built one of these and although I'm not sure exactly how heavy it is, I can lift the tongue up to hitch it to the car if I need to. I'm towing it behind a 2003 Toyota Camry with a 2.4L engine and I'm not having any problems except for speed bumps :)</p>
<p>Jah love! Hi my name is Adam and I'm currently a street kid in Chico, California and this would help keep me safe. I would dig to make this and it be perfect to live in! It's all I need. x] Blessings and loving you!</p>
Really nice design! Your cabin on your website is pretty sweet too!
<p>This WILL be my project for the winter! I do have a few ideas that I plan to change but the majority of the plans are exactly what I want.</p>
I really wish you would use real photos of you making this instead of what you did
<p>If you would like to see the many off-grid houses I have designed and have been built from my designs please visit my website: http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com</p>
<p>Architects and designers rarely build all the projects they design. I have hundreds of off-grid structure designs and these are FREE plans for people that want quality plans by someone that builds off-grid projects.</p>
<p>I love this idea. I am seriously considering making one of these. We don't have enough money to buy a camper, so this would be a great solution. I definitely voted for this. </p>
<p>What a great idea! I really would love to see this in real life!</p>
<p>Thanks- you could be the first to build this design. I have 3 campers I built/remodeled and I can't afford too build all my designs so other people will have to do it if they want one.</p>
<p>I'm tempted but I just bought an RV and I've been putting a lot of work into it!</p>
I don't get what this is it just looks like a model
<p>It is the step-by-step plans for building the micro-camper. All houses and structures use architectural drafted dimensional models.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a long time off-grid homesteader and I live year round in a solar cabin I designed and built myself. I use solar and ... More »
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