MINI Camping Concepts

MINI has a diehard fan base and is teasing them with several new concept cars that may or may not come to fruition. The problem with concepts is that anyone wanting the item aches for it to be available On the other hand, it gives those with imagination and tools the fodder to run with the idea and ask “how small can you go?”

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The Clubvan Camper is being called the world’s smallest luxury camper van and the basic Clubman has been adapted to provide sleeping for one person by removing all the other seats besides the driver’s. The bed (with storage underneath) extends from front to back on the passenger side of the vehicle and the space behind the driver’s side becomes a kitchenette which extends on rollers out the pair of rear doors. The kitchenette includes a two burner stove with slide out counter space, storage and a chest refrigerator. The Clubvan also has an auxiliary heater, a small flatscreen TV and a handheld shower designed to be used outside the vehicle. Continue reading

Do-it-yourself Airstream Renovators

Sharon and Sam and the airstream

DIYer fulfills a longtime dream

Not everyone who dreams of renovating an Airstream should try it. Tackling such a project requires a broad skill set, ample free-time, problem-solving patience and courage. As the Airstream ownership craze grows, an increasing number do-it-yourselfers are stepping up to the challenge, and a family-run Airstream renovator in Santa Barbara is happy to help.
In the past four years, Hofmann Architecture (aka HofArc) has become known worldwide as the go-to standard for custom Airstream design/builds. Their renovations feature clean lines, sustainable materials and spacious interiors. Continue reading

Teardrop USA & Minimizing for Life

Issue 25 of the Tiny House Magazine has an article about Austin and Nicole Barkis, a Southern California couple who sold nearly all their belongings, purchased a teardrop trailer from Craigslist and hit the road with Bowser and Yoshi—their rescued Pomeranian Chihuahuas. All four of them are now enjoying life in 4×9 trailer towed by a Mini Cooper S.

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While you can find out more about the couple and their teardrop trailer life from the magazine article or from their website and Tumblr blog, this post covers their minimizing and simplification process and how they live their life out of 36 square feet—with a few thousand miles as their backyard.

Austin and Nicole decided to simplify after questioning their lives in Southern California. High rent and bills were draining and unused stuff was piling up. After viewing a TEDx video by Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt, the couple put their personal belongings on Craigslist and looked for a trailer that could be towed by their Mini. Austin runs his own business and Nicole telecommutes for her software job, so both knew they could make money on the road.

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When minimizing their belongings to maximize their lives, the couple realized that the process of getting rid of things had to have a forced deadline. Storage units and cabinets were still full until the very last second before hitting the highway. That’s when the virtual fire was lit and stuff began to get tossed.

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“When we first began, we had a ton of stuff sitting in the teardrop trailer (which is just the bed inside) and we had bags and little boxes of stuff overflowing everywhere,” Nicole wrote on their blog. “It got to the point that when we were loading the last few things, we just started throwing stuff away in the nearby Dumpster of our old apartment complex. It’s fascinating, you plan and you plan, but once it’s finally there and you have your trailer and you see the reality of the space vs. what you thought you could keep, you stop caring. All you want at that moment is to get on the road.”

It only took until the second night to realize what they really wanted to keep on their journeys. Along the way nonessential items like throw pillows, extra shoes and even a potted plant were given away.  They kept a few items for comfort and fun, tools for the teardrop and Mini (located in a storage box on the front of the trailer), computers, food and cooking items, and some bins of clothes that will be minimized even further. The Mini trunk and a storage area under the teardrop bed hold items not immediately needed.

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Austin and Nicole’s mission is to live minimally yet to the absolute fullest degree possible. If you are struggling to minimize your life, just imagine having to pack it all away into a teardrop trailer and a Mini Cooper.

 

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Photos by Teardrop USA

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Handmade Matt’s Truck Camper

The December issue of the Tiny House Magazine has a story about handmade, wooden truck campers in it and one of most talked about versions on the Web is the whimsical truck camper designed and built by Handmade Matt. Matt is a craftsman and tiny house enthusiast from Surrey, England and is currently available as a consultant for anyone looking to build their own tiny house—on or off a 4×4 truck.

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Matt’s step-by-step process of the camper build is available on his website, and while the camper has been sold to a new owner in Sweden, Matt has recently finished up a new design. The vision for the first camper was to create a traditional looking removable camper with modern comforts. The camper is fully insulated, has solar power with 12v outlets and inverter. It contains a full kitchen with running water from a 13 gallon tank and a refrigerator, a two burner stove and a heater. There is an emergency composting toilet for when a public bathroom is not available.

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“I wanted a four wheel drive camper and I have woodworking skills. It was the cheapest and most stimulating option,” Matt said. “The design was inspired over the years by all the things I have seen, a lot from Lloyd Kahn’s books. I am actually featured in his latest book, “Tiny Homes on the Move” with another cabin that I have built. I make no real plans when building, it all comes from my imagination. I make it up as I go along, no drawings, limited forethought. The projects just evolve.”

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Matt said his favorite part of this particular build was the finishing touches.

“It’s when the magic happens and the whole vision comes together,” he said. “It’s finally when other people can see what was in my imagination all along. It’s a way of getting something that is inside me to come out into the world.”

Matt and his girlfriend took the camper all over the UK, through the southern English counties and into Wales. It did just fine in the mountains and also served as a home for his girlfriend who worked at various festival events.

For future builds by Handmade Matt, keep an eye on his website or the Tiny House Blog.

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Photos by Handmade Matt

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Tiny Trailer Camper from Casual Turtle Campers

hatchling

by Peter Pavlowich

Here’s a new model that I’ve been wanting to build for a while. It’s in the size and tradition of a teardrop, but in Casual Turtle Campers style – dead simple, cedar, domed roof, with lots of windows. In fact, it’s quite a bit roomier than most teardrops – and by leaving the entire trailer area as living space, the cabin feels damn near palatial! Not really, but it is a nice little space that two people and a couple dogs could be perfectly comfortable in.

As an unsolicited build, I had planned to insulate and finish out the interior myself – but then I thought it might appeal to someone looking for either a dead simple, lightweight little camper, or someone looking for a project. One could add nothing to it and have a very comfortable, capable, simple camper – or features could easily be added to their desires – storage, gear hooks, bed platform, etc. And I’m perfectly happy to discuss building out an interior for someone.

Peter inside of it

Here are some of details… It’s built on a very nice, custom 5’x8′, fully boxed trailer frame with 13″ tires from a great manufacturer here in northern Colorado. The cabin’s frame is mostly western Hemlock (1.5″x1.5″), with Western red cedar siding. The bottom of the cabin has a 90 mil PVC membrane covering, and the roofing is a fully adhered, 60 mil, ivory-colored TPO membrane – thermally welded at the seams. It has four opening windows with screens, and two large fixed windows (forward bulkhead and door) for pretty good through-visibility. It weighs 840 lbs, with about 110 lbs of tongue weight. There are more specifications/details on the website –casualturtlecampers.com.

I really like this camper, and I can see using it just as it is – or with a more developed interior. Either way, its a great platform for someone looking to get into a very easily towed, comfortable, unique little camper. At 840 lbs, this model could work with a wide variety of tow vehicles. The forward bulkhead is short enough (66″) to tuck in well behind most crossover and small SUVs. I even towed it around town with our little Subaru Impreza.

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I’ve included a couple photos of the camper with my big ass in it for scale. I’m 6’2″ and 195 lbs. As a shell version, the walls and roof assembly are left open, showing the OSB roof deck’s bottom side – though it could easily be insulated and closed in. If anyone has any thoughts/ideas/questions please email me at casualturtlecampers@gmail.com. I’d be happy to discuss this camper or something similar/different that you might be interested in. And I’m also happy to discuss full or partial delivery from Fort Collins, CO for a rather nominal mileage-based fee.

Thanks for having a look – and please share it with anyone you think might find it interesting. I’m tentatively calling this model the Hatchling, but any other ideas for a model name would be welcome, too!

Price – $6,250

Peter Pavlowich
Casual Turtle Campers
casualturtlecampers.com

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