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]

Instructables Vardo

For anyone dreaming of their own vardo wagon to sleep in or rent out, this sweet, little red wagon was built by J.M. Labrosse and featured by Instructables. J.M.’s step-by-step guide breaks this project down into manageable parts and a PDF of the project can be downloaded from the Instructables website.

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The insulated vardo features a classic shape with a Dutch door, stained glass windows, decorative trim and an unusually shaped deck. It contains a full bed with storage underneath, bench seating, a heater and a fan as well as 110 power and plugs. The 4×8 foot vardo was built on a 48×96 inch Harbor Freight trailer with a 1,720 lb load capacity. The trailer weighs under 1,200 lbs and was framed with both 2×4 inch and 2×2 inch boards.

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The wagon is currently available as an Airbnb rental in Seattle, Washington along with an additional vardo J.M. built.

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Photos by J.M. Labrosse

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Collaborative Vardo

If you are thinking of building your own vardo as a tiny house or for camping, Instructables recently featured a collaborative wagon built by Paleotool (author of Building a Gypsy Wagon), PaleoPunk and a friend of theirs, AmericanPikey. The instructions for this tiny, wooden wagon are available as a free download. AmericanPikey recently retired and wanted a mobile retirement home, but not an RV. He also wanted the utility and towing cost to be small. The total cost to build the wagon (including the trailer) was $2,400.

 

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The wagon is built on a 10×5 foot flatbed utility trailer. PaleoPunk mentions that flatbed trailers, while expensive ($1,000 for this one) are much easier to work with than a re-purposed trailer which sometimes have to be dismantled and prepared for building. This particular trailer had metal side rails to support the wagon’s walls. The overall length of the wagon is approximately 10 feet long and is 7 feet wide. The floor on the inside is about 5 feet across with one-foot ledges extending over the wheels.
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The wagon has a Dutch door,  the 20 inch porthole windows are made from actual ship portholes, and a Lexan window was placed in the front of the wagon. The bed is about four feet off the floor and has storage space underneath. There is a trap door under the storage area that opens to an enclosed space underneath. Several benches by the bed also serve as steps up into the bed. The wagon also contains a small wood stove made by Marine Stove and a portable propane stove for cooking. The wagon does not have electricity or plumbing.
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Photos by PaleoPunk