Friday, November 29, 2013

The Camper- The Inspiration

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My inspiration to begin my journey as a micro-camper came about from a variety of sources. The first one, as always, was practical: I'm an avid snowboarder. But, like most snowboarders, I'm also a snowboarder on a budget...

So, my idea was in order to save hotel money- as well as, to escape the "party atmosphere" that you'll find in most hotels, hostels, and campgrounds during snowboarding season- I searched around for an alternative that would suit my budget. The ideal situation would be to have a well-equipped, fully stocked, comfortable, warm (preferably, heated), portable, and mobile place to hang out, get a little bit of peace, and a lot of well-deserved sleep. After researching different types of campers- and keeping in mind that my car is a very small Toyota Yaris- I came to the discovery that a "micro-camper" was exactly the solution that I was searching for. Small, lightweight, efficient, cost-effective (that's a fancy term for "cheap", right there)- and, best of all, something that is easy to build and maintain- the "micro-camper" idea quickly became the object of my desires.

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Most "teardrop" campers are indeed, do-it-yourself projects that are built at home by semi-skilled individuals. Although they're well within reach, and they are attractive little trailers... teardrops had two eventual drawbacks. One: their overall layout aren't particularly space-efficient. And secondly, for my purposes, they're actually (generally) over-built and over-equipped, with very ornate galleries, cabinetry, et cetera. So while they're aerodynamic and easy on the eyes (and the wallet), they still weren't the ideal solution that I was looking for.

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But, they're quite close. The home-built nature of teardrops, and the individual interpretations of their builders, was quite an influence. Plus, they're generally built out of an entirely accessible, inexpensive, and infinitely amendable material: wood.

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And, many teardrops can be towed by even the smallest of cars. By the way: these are not my photos. I claim no ownership, or copyright, of any of them. They're just random photos that I downloaded while doing my research. Just sayin'.

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Now, this was closer to what I needed. A simple box on a trailer. Lots of interior space, easy to design and build, not a whole lot of cutting or complex curves involved... we're getting there...!

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My camper very nearly ended up looking like this one...

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Ultimately, the rear-entry layout, and "box" shell, became the cornerstone of my design. If I had the resources, I might have just bought one of these. But then, I always like the challenge and the adventure of just building something myself, that ideally suits my needs, and my tastes.

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As such, this trailer right here, I finally decided, was probably the very best template to start my design work from. Stay tuned for the plans that I created for my trailer, as well as a photo-journal of the actual build.

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