As we’re approaching summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts naturally turn toward road trips. While most people do this in their car, the [Dangie Bros] built a 500 lb bike camper for their own take on the great American Road Trip.
Taking a maximalist approach not seen in most bike campers, this behemoth has a working sink, propane stove, seating area, and an upstairs sleeping area. A small window in the front of the camper opens to let the passenger inside converse with the person pedaling, and a solar panel charges a small battery for lights and a roof fan.
While the camper is very ’70s retro-chic, its lack of assist (other than the passenger getting out to push) meant that on the second day of their road trip they resorted to towing the camper behind a second bike in a pseudo-tandem arrangement. The fold out bed takes some design cues from RVs, but clearly needed more reinforcement since it collapsed partway through the night. With an e-assist and some refinements, this could be comfortable (albeit slow) way to go bike glamping.
If you’d like to try your own hand at a bike camper but do it more aerodynamically and attached to an assisted bike, checkout this teardrop trailer or this bike camper.
Continue reading “Bike Camper With Retro Flair”
In the world of proprietary protocol darkness, it’s comforting to see that the RV realm (Recreational Vehicle, also known as a motorhome) has mostly settled on RV-C, an open protocol that lets various devices and systems inside an RV talk to each other over CAN. The undeniable openness of RV-C is surprising, but we haven’t seen many hobbyists tinker with it — yet.
Now, [Randy Ubillos] sets an example — his gift to us is an ESP32 firmware called RV-Bridge and it lets you control your RV’s RV-C network from HomeKit. After all, your motorhome could benefit from home automation, too!
The RV-C network in [Randy]’s family RV already had a factory-provided front-end and an iOS app, but naturally, it had a limited set of features. Having looked around online he found that both RV-C and HomeKit had open libraries for them, and set out to join these worlds together.
Now he’s released the first revision of RV-Bridge, fully-featured enough for comfortable day-to-day use, and with a setup guide for those who want to try it out! When it comes to hardware, you’ll want an ESP32 board with CAN support — [Randy] has found a perfect board for sale, and made it even more fitting by designing a 3D printed case for RV use; as usual, files are on GitHub!
Making your stock RV more comfy through hacker methods is exactly what we expect to grace our tips line! The kinds of RV projects we’ve seen so far, are also outstandingly cool, yet of different kind – things like building your own RVs out of something not meant to be an RV, whether it’s an abandoned airliner, a school bus, or a jet engine! Oh, and if your hackerspace owns a RV, you can always convert it to something else, be it a mobile hackerspace or a spaceship simulator.
If you own a camper or RV, you might think twice when taking it out after giving gasoline prices a look. Towing all that extra weight and wind drag along can really eat into your fuel efficiency. [Drew] decided to keep the camper but take gasoline out of the equation by building a teardrop trailer he pulls behind his bike.
It’s a relatively simple idea. A 1″ by 1″ steel tube frame makes up the bottom, which [Drew] welded together. On top of that, plywood walls were built up over a plywood base. The wheels were stolen from an older bicycle and the top was made with many bending techniques using a portable fabric steamer for clothing. [Drew] found used doors and windows right in his backyard, which helped lower the cost. The trailer is insulated with sheet foam because it’s cheap and easy to cut.
In addition to the creativity, there’s a big focus on waterproofing and durability throughout this build. [Drew] applied caulk to the threads of every screw to prevent water from getting in and rotting the plywood. Canvas was used instead of fiberglass to save cost as it provides a fairly high level of protection from rain when finished properly. Cheap LEDs and a USB battery pack created stylish and functional lighting inside.
Overall, we think it turned out quite well, and we would love to bike somewhere and camp out in our own teardrop trailer. It’s a gorgeous example of welding, woodworking, and some plain ingenuity in the face of adversity. We’ve seen solar-powered trailers for e-bikes and campers for custom motorcycles before, and we think [Drew]’s trailer would fit right in. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Custom Cycling Camper Continues Car-Free”
Like many of us, [Paul] enjoys occasionally hitching up his tow-behind camper and heading out to the wilderness to get away from it all at his favorite campsite. Unlike the vast majority of those who share his passion for the outdoors, though, [Paul] is hitching his camper up to a bicycle. Both the camper and the bike are custom built from the ground up, and this video shows us a little more details on [Paul]’s preferred mode of transportation.
While he is known for building custom vehicles of one sort or another, this latest one is a more traditional bicycle frame that he has modified only slightly to fit a recumbent-style seat and a small gas-powered motor. Even though the motor is decades old, it started right up and gives the power needed to pull the custom camper. [Paul] builds one-person campers like this out of corrugated plastic for durability and light weight, and this one is specifically designed for his size and sleeping style. It includes everything needed for a night under the stars, too, including a stove, storage compartments, and a few windows.
With the bike and camper combined weighing in at just over 200 pounds, the motor can be used as a pedal-assist device thanks to the clever engineering behind a front-wheel-drive pedal system on this bike. With all of that custom fabrication, [Paul] is free to head out to the wilderness without all the encumbrances (and high price) of traditional motor vehicle-based camping. For those curious about some of [Paul]’s other vehicle creations, take a look at this tiny speedboat for one.
Continue reading “Bike On Over To The Campground”
While it might be nice to imagine owning a cabin in the woods to escape from society, complete with an outdoor sauna to take in the scenic views of nature, most of us will be satisfied with the occasional vacation to a cabin like that. For those trips, or even for long-term camping trips, [Schitzu] and a group of friends thought it would be nice to be able to ensure access to a sauna. For that, they created this mobile, timber-framed sauna that he can tow behind his car.
The sauna is built out of a combination of spruce and Douglas fir, two types of lumber with weather-resistant properties. For an additional layer of protection, the frame was varnished after assembly. The walls are filled with baked cork for insulation, and heat is provided by a small wood-fired oven placed in the corner of the sauna with a stove pipe plumbed through the roof. Performance of the sauna shows good design too, as it can heat up quickly and performs well in all of the tests so far. The final touch on the mobile sauna was to finish the roof with some solar panels in order to gather some energy for long-term camping trips and also to ensure that the roof was protected from rain and weather.
The sauna is designed for two adults to sit in, but it will also accommodate a single person to lay down and sleep (presumably when not using it as a sauna), so the entire trailer actually makes a fairly capable mobile camper too. With the addition of a panoramic window, anyone can take in the sights as well as someone with their own permanently-located sauna could, which is a win in all of our books. If you’re looking for a mobile sauna that’s a little more discrete though, be sure to check out this one which is built in the back of a white panel van.
It’s possible that some of you will have thought about making a custom camper for yourselves. Some of you may even have gone as far as to build a teardrop caravan. It’s very unlikely though that you’ll have gone as far as [Steve Jones] though, who took an outer engine nacelle from a retired ex-RAF VC-10 airliner and converted it into a camper that is truly one of a kind.
On the face of it a jet engine nacelle should be an easy shell for such a project, but such a simplified view perhaps doesn’t account for the many vents, pipes, and hatches required by the engine in flight. Turning it into a waterproof housing for a camper was a significant job, which he has managed to do while leaving one set of engine access doors available as a large opening for a room with a view.
The nacelle is mounted on a narrowed former caravan chassis, and with an eye-catching window created from its former air intake and a very well executed interior fit-out it makes for a camper that many of us would relish trying for ourselves. You can see a video of it below the break, and we wish we could be lucky enough to encounter it in a campsite one summer.
We’ve shown you our share of campers over the years, but perhaps this 3D printed one has most appeal.
Continue reading “Jet Airliner Nacelle Becomes A Unique Camper”
Many of us have seen an old bus for sale for a tantalizingly low price, and begun thinking about the possibilities. [EpiclyEpicEthan1] is someone who took the next step, bought the bus, and got to work converting it to an RV, with impressive results.
The bus in question is a 2002 International RE3000, which in its former life had helped move school children and barrels of pool chemicals to and fro. The project began, as many do, with a full teardown of the interior. With this done, the floor was treated to remove rust and repainted. Insulation and new plywood boards were then installed, and the fit-out began.
The amount of work involved in the build is immense. There’s a master bedroom, auxiliary bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen area. It’s a fully featured RV in every sense of the word, and yes, there is hot water. There was also significant work done to improve the driving experience, with switches relocated, lights added, and a reversing camera installed for easier parking.
Overall, it’s an impressive project that should serve as great inspiration to anyone wanting to attempt something similar. Then again, if your means are a little more limited, you could always go for a Corolla build.