Introduction: Camping Car ( Apocalypse Car )


This is my entry into the Motor Vehicle Challenge.

It is my fully functioning mini-camper car; it has everything that I need to go to festivals or camping for a few days; a bed, a cooker, a water tap and sink, lights and curtains.

I can sleep anywhere and make tea or a meal anytime . . what more do I want ?

Some of my friends have proper, big, lumbering Campervans but I don't envy them; this is bijou and perfect.

This is honestly one of the best things that I have done and I use it most summer weekends and I love being in it; everything is within reach and, once the curtains are up and the fairy-lights are on, it feels like everything is going to be alright.

. . . . however, if everything is not going to be alright , then . . . . .

It can also be used as a bug-out vehicle when the Apocalypse comes.

Contrary to the Mad Mad films, when the fuel dries up and the world collapses, the Wasteland Warriors will not be driving souped-up V8's that do 9 miles to the gallon, they will be driving tiny eco-cars packed with baked beans and wet wipes and big guns. . . This Instructable accepts the inevitable and prepares my little eco car for the approaching Apocalypse . . . please read on . . .

In the spirit of the apocalypse, virtually every accessory will be a found object or left over ( except the paint and fixings and magnets)


An Angle Grinder.

A jigsaw ( optional)

A Welder ( you could get away without this).

RivNut tool.

A riveter.

Cordless Drill



Army Paint £20

Rivets £2 Rivets £4

Bolts + Washers £4

Dish Sponges 30 pence

Welding Rod 50 pence

Grinding Discs £1

Sandpaper £1


Metal Grill FOUND Axle Stand FOUND



Stage Light FOUND

Axle Stand FOUND

Various Handles FOUND

Old tent frame FOUND

Cooker £13

Tap £6


Bullet Belt £7

Chevrons FOUND

Pickaxe FOUND


Fairy Lights FOUND

Bed + Kitchen LEFT OVER WOOD

Magnets £5 + HARD DRIVE

Step 1: Sanding

My car was a Cat C write-off when I bought it, so it was quite bashed already; even so it feels bad to do this to my shiny pal but I know that he will look like a king among cars, eventually.

I have to roughen old paint make a surface that the new paint will be a be able to grip to.

I hand-sanded using 120 grit sandpaper.

I had to do the sanding in stages during my lunch breaks.

I wiped off the icing sugar-like residue with a petrol soaked rag.

Step 2: Paint Your Wagon

I bought some genuine army paint from Ebay £20; matt olive green.

We are having a particularly rainy month and I am desperate to paint.

I got the bonnet done during a lunch break, I used a roller; it was almost drying as I rolled.

The result was a rough textured finish; that's what I wanted, fortunately.

I'm now using a dish-washing sponge which is much better and I have been very sloppy, but it doesn't matter.

Step 3: Introducing RIVNUTS

These are Rivet Nuts or Rivnuts.

I was looking to attach things to my car and be able to remove them easily.

A Rivnut is a big rivet with a thread in the centre that you can put a bolt into.

Simply drill a hole, push in the Rivnut and tighten the tool.

The pictures explain it all..

Step 4: Side Panels

I cut out two panels of some spare 1mm sheet with a jigsaw, this is to cover the rear windows.

They needed a slight fold; just bending over a plank with my foot did the job.

I RivNutted them onto the door frames.

It is now looks like a little van.

Step 5: Window Grills

I cut a slot in each panel and bolted a combination of found meshes and grills to the panels.

The rails were found in a skip and are IKEA saucepan racks; I riveted them on.

I like the look.

Step 6: Jerry Can

I found this small Jerry can at a junk sale for 50 pence.

I cut some flat strips off a scrap tent frame and bent them to shape and then riveted them together.

I sprayed with matt olive and riveted on.

Step 7: Headlight Grills

This was a simple step; just cut the mesh to size with an angle grinder and RivNut on, making sure that the bonnet will still open.

Step 8: Wheel Arches

The bars that I put against the rear wheel arches were part of a scrap, tent frame; they already had a bend in them.

I welded part of my mesh sheet to each bar and held them to the wheel arches with RivNuts.

Step 9: Bonnet Racks.

I am not sure what this is but it has an IKEA label and is very light ; each bar is threaded.

I put several of these U-shaped parts on the bonnet .

To these racks I strapped an old oil can ( that I had painted to look like a ammo box), a broken pick-axe handle, a foam roll mat and a Jerry Can.

Step 10: Chevron Strips

These found items were a bit too shiny and fresh so I distressed them a little and put one on each bumper with RivNuts.

Step 11: Grab Rails

I took the handle off a rusty tool box and off a broken heater; I riveted these around the driver door.

Step 12: Black-out Panels for Camping- 1st Attempt.

I needed these to block out the light when camping.

They were made from simply from hardboard.shapes held on with Meccano struts.

They worked but I did not really like the look of them.

I went for a different solution a bit later.

Step 13: Machine Gun

Using an axle stand and a old stage light and a found fake CCTV camera, I cobbled together a machine gun.

Unfortunately these steps were lost when my camera was stolen but it is fairly easy to work out as I all I did ( apart from cutting out a metal disc shape) was bolt parts together.

I bought a plastic bullet belt for £7 on eBay.

This part of the build was a lot of fun.

Step 14: The Bed

I took the passenger seats out, which were simply bolted on.

The bed is made from scraps of wood and is two lengths of studding with slats and some MDF screwed on.

On top of this I laid an inflatable camping mat and a duvet.

For me it is very comfortable, luxury camping.

Plastic storage tubs fit easily under this, for food, books and clothes etc.

The bed can just be lifted out when society is stable again.

There is also a parcel shelf that acts as a bookshelf and lamp holder.

Step 15: The Kitchen Unit

I started building a fitted unit and then realised that it was better to have a removable one that could be taken out of the car and be used outside if needed ( this turned out to be great when wanting to cook outside with other survivors).

I used a shallow storage box.

I used spare MDF as a lid/ worktop.

I cut a hole in this for the sink.

The sink was an old bowl that I was using as a bird bath.

I bought a small gas cooker for £13 and screwed it onto the MDF.

After trying to find a way to fit a working tap to the unit, I found these pump-taps on Ebay, £6.

It just fits into a water bottle and works perfectly.( the bottle has a hole cut into it.)

There is plenty of room under the sink for storing cutlery, sponges, a toothbrush etc,

Step 16: The Curtains

I initially just draped this canvas over the car but even in the Apocalypse we can't let standards slip.

I cut out the shapes and sewed on hems, all in a very basic way.

These are held on with magnets and are totally effective as blackouts but still let the air flow through if the windows are open.

The two rear glass panels were painted over ; it looked great but the new insurance company didn't like that; I scraped the paint off and made some small cardboard panels for camping.

Step 17: Extra Bits and Conclusion

- I painted some fake rust on certain areas using acrylic paint and gave the body a light wash of black paint to give a well used look.

- I added some homemade stickers, reminiscent of military vehicles.

-I hold on to things;I had been waiting 11 years for chance to find a use for this lamp:

Because the car sits Idle at festivals, the battery can go flat- I bought a solar panel off Ebay that can trickle charge the battery or charge an old motorcycle battery to run/charge things off

The upsides of this project are that is was absolutely great fun to do and so very useful.

I go camping in this most summer weekends, usually at the same campsite; unbeknown to me , my friend regularly told other campers that I drive this because I couldn't get into the army but don't mention it as it upsets me.

The downsides of the styling are that I can feel like a complete idiot when pulling up in front of a group of normal humans.

FYI -In the UK if you want to be legal, you may have to investigate some form of specialised insurance if you start tinkering around with your car.

In the UK, practically the only company to do this is Adrian Flux and it costs more than standard insurance; but you can be pretty sure that no-one will steal it.

Eventually, because society hasn't collapsed yet, I took everything off apart from the panels.

I like it better with just the paint and panels because it makes me smile without being too silly.

I fancy a change and am about to paint it Matt Black , with my trusty dish-sponge,

When the Covid lock-down is over it ( or society collapses) will be time to go camping

Thanks for viewing.


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