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  • Writer's picturekimhuntauthor

The Double-Banger: Fake Fur and Fairy Lights

The missus has an upcoming exhibition up North and I want to be there to support her, plus a roadie is long overdue. However, my little camper only accomodates me and the dawg, Gabby. And it's a cosy fit at that.

So I decided to make a slightly larger camper so the three of us can have adventures together. I still plan to take off with Gabby at regular intervals in the Lil Monster.

I wanted to make something light and towable with room to sleep two adults and one lump of concrete canine. I also wanted to use materials I already have to keep the costs down. I began with a second-hand jetski trailer.

Traditional stick building requires framing, outside sheathing, vapour barrier, insulation and inner lining. Then painting or some other waterproofing finish. Quite a number of steps and weight and complexity.

I decided to use second-hand refrigeration panels. These come in large pieces which are riveted or screwed together to form walk-in freezer rooms and the like. They're thick poly foam sandwiched between thin steel or aluminium skins. I bought 4 for $30.00 on Marketplace. Approximately 2.3m long and 1.2m wide, they looked ugly and battered but were mostly sound and you can get big sections cut and mounted very quickly. They're also relatively light and strong.

I cut a curved front to make the leading edge of the camper more aerodynamic for towing. We discussed the dimensions of the build at length wanting to get maximum height within the wind-shadow of the truck. Ditto staying within the wheel track so we decided not to bump-out the camper sides over the wheels.

For the time being, the camper is just for sleeping. We'll carry a small camp sink-unit I made which just slides out of the back of the truck.

I've spent about 8 days so far on the build and the outside is pretty much done.

Nearly everything is recycled. I mixed paint from a whole lot of free stuff I got at the Tip-Shop. The inside walls are lined with hessian fabric I paid $8 at an op-shop several years back and have used on many projects so far. The roof supports I cut from a leftover piece of 2x2 from a previous project and doubled up ply cut to size. All the trim timber and corner pieces were scavenged from roadside throw-outs from joinery businesses and an old collapsed lattice screen from the garden. The corro roof was second hand from my dismantled sheds. The wool carpet for under the mattress was given to us. It will also provide floor insulation. The door I made from more rescued timber, the hinges were reused from an old gate set. I de-rusted and tarted them up with black zinc paint. For the door handles I repurposed old TV screen legs.

The front 'light-well" was created with an old piece of polycarb panel bent into a curve and topped with a piece of corrugated Clearlite, also reused.

The three vents and wide door should give ample fresh air and the fabric on the walls will prevent any condensation issues inside. The doorstop was made from a rubber cup-washer and a length of old broom handle. The vent cover hinges were all second hand ones I've collected. The covers were made from ply off-cuts.

The only unavoidable new purchases were butyl tape for waterproofing the outside seams and joints, tek-screws, brackets and rivets for attaching the sides, floor and roof. Also sealing caulk, back-door paint and spray adhesive for attaching the hessian to the inside walls.

I'm leaving the inside fripperies for the missus to attend to once her exhibition is over.

Meantime, I'm off for a quick a test-run with Gabby.

Happy days.

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