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  • Writer's picturekimhuntauthor

The Stealth Camper Build-Part 1

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

Sometimes, you just have to get away, and when I go, I like to get isolated. The car isn't very comfortable to sleep in, so, I figured I'd turn my 1960's homebuilt farm trailer into a camper, a micro sleep-pod.

The original trailer was built tough. Most of the weight is in the wheels, axles and hubs, likely taken from an old Landrover. Weight can be an issue when you're towing, but I'm glad this base is robust, and I figured if I kept the build simple and lightweight, the starting weight wouldn't be an issue.

I had a tiny budget so most of my building materials have been repurposed. All the framing is recycled timber, much of it fencing rails. Over the frame I used black builders plastic as a waterproof wrap. The nails, paint, screws and brackets are mostly stuff I already had or had been given. The corro roof is recycled and I gave a slight overhang to improve the watertight factor. Ply cladding is lightweight 7mm as the structure beneath is solid. I cut all the trim pieces from leftover ply and whatever else was to hand. Sealants I had to buy. I used a flexible, paintable black mastic in any vulnerable joints. I built the camper shell out over the original trailer sides as a further waterproofing measure. I want any water to be shed out beyond the base. Warmth and dryness the aim.

The insulation is 25mm polystyrene, light and easy to use. I didn't want to line the interior with more sheathing, and attendant cost and weight, so I covered the interior with a burnt orange hessian, a roll bought years ago from an op-shop which has aided many other projects already. I spray-painted the lining fabric using a glue/water mix to bind the surface fibres. The missus says I'll wake up thinking I've fallen asleep inside a mandarin. I can think of worse nightmares.

Next up, finishing the interior fit-out.

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