Tag Archives: camper

Bicycle Camper Improvements So Far…


I don’t always posts pics of myself on NaggingInspiration, but when I do, it’s always with bicycle campers…

So the biggest exterior improvement has been mounting the wheels further back. I did so using firring strips and frustration, more of the latter than the former. I will have to do it again with electrical conduit, at some point. Also, the tow bar needs some work, I’ll see what I can do, but frankly I think I’m going to have to have the male offspring of a firearm welded.

This blog is primarily about the interior improvements, so here we go!


I’ve reinforced some of the seams with more gorilla tape and painted the walls and ceiling white. It helps to brighten it and make it seem a little bigger (a couple centimeters of perception makes all the difference in the world when it comes to less than 14 square feet!). Here you see two press dome lights attached with velcro in the foot bay.


The thermometer is resting on the shelf from the last blog, below that is a new shelf, 5 and a half inches high by 3′ long.



That’s quite a bit of extra storage for clothes, canned goods, toiletries and a folding chair, among other things. All in a space that I wouldn’t be using anyway, as it’s too small for any other part of me other than my legs.

My next favorite addition was my curtains!


Every day is Halloween! I love how the sunlight filters through these, and with a little velcro they’re going to be perfect for sleeping in when the sun starts rising at 5:30 am!


Crappy shot with the lights on inside.


Here’s the 3rd of 4 dome lights.


The 4th dome light over my folding table.


Presto! Cooking surface!


These Instabulbs light the whole thing up while I’m in there well enough without the dome lights.

The next thing I’m going to work on are four vents. I’ve discovered that when it’s 20 degrees out or warmer I don’t need my alcohol heater, body heat alone raises the temp by 30 degrees. But my breath condenses on the windows and on the ceiling by morning. The vents will help, even if I have to use a candle heater or alcohol heater, but I doubt I will. I may have to add even more ventilation come Summer, we’ll see.

After the vents I’ll add a cup holder. Then I’m going to work on exterior improvements and be done with it….yeah right, I have a feeling I’ll keep adding stuff to the Pedal-Inn =)



My Bicycle Camper: the Pedal-Inn

Let me start off by saying that this was just quickly scrapped together, I’m still working on the tow bar, and the wheels need to be moved back for it to tow properly. Plus I’m not done working on the inside. So there will eventually be more!


The over all length is 7′. The first 4′ it is 2′ wide, 38″ at the highest and 33″at the lowest. The last 3′ is 22″ wide by 26″ high. The two window are each 8″x15″ and are scavenged plexiglass. When warmer weather arrives I’ll have to make some modifications so they open and add screens. The black vertical and horizontal lines you see are seams taped with gorilla tape. Like I said, this was made from scraps, ideally it wouldn’t have all those seams, but I have to tell you it is much stronger than I thought it would be! It’s seen some rain and a few inches of icy snow in its week of existence and is holding up fine and leak proof! It probably weighs 20-30lbs, I just know when my friend helped me carry it out the house (where it was put together) we both said “Wow! At least it’s light!!”.


If I was working and not so broke I could make it so the rear section slid in like a drawer for travel.


Front shot. The walls are made of 1″ dow tuff r insulation board.


Rear. You can see the back two legs, which are just some steel tubing pressure fit into wood blocks. Give them a little wiggle with no weight on the rear and they pull out. It has four more legs, scavenged from an old folding table…so to be clear they fold up =)


Close up of the door.


Under that blue sleeping bag is a smaller sleeping bag for insulation, below that is reflectix, basically bubble wrap with a reflective foil on it. You can see 2 of the 3 strips of dow to help weather proof the door.



It’s a shame that wire coat hangers are harder and harder to come by, they’re almost as valuable as duct tape or MacGyver’s army knife!



This shelf is the roof of the rear section, and perfect for holding the contents of my pockets and my trusty lantern.


That alcohol heater, on it’s lowest setting, keeps it 70 degrees when it’s 20-30 outside, and raises it to that temperature within 10 minutes! Behind the heater I punched 4 small vent holes so it would not burn my oxygen. That block you see buy the door on the left is what the clothes hanger door latch latches on.

I’m pretty proud of the Pedal-Inn, it works better than I hoped for being something made from scraps and in haste. It could be better. All in time. I can’t wait to finish my motorless home, and to make more versions of it and smaller campers like this!

Bicycle Camper Pre-blog

I’m currently out of work, and don’t know when I’ll have the money to finish my motorless home. I know some of you have been waiting patiently to see it, and I apologize that it’s taking so long. I promise you that someday it will be finished. I already have several ideas for different bicycle campers, all of which have solid walls. Tents on platforms are LAME.

I’ve been bored and itching to make something, pining over the camper, so I decided to use scraps leftover from the motorless home to make a small camper. It took me two days, and part of today, but I’ve got it made. I slept in it last night, and while it’s a bit cramped, I loved it! It was about 30 degrees out last night, but with my alcohol heater on the lowest setting it was 70 inside! I also did some cooking with the Nomad, and had to prop the door open as it was over 80 degrees! I’ll sleep in it tonight with a candle heater, maybe a new one, and see how that works out. There are a couple of things I’d like to add to the camper, so once that’s done I’ll post a real blog and some pics, probably tomorrow.

Pics and blog HERE

Camper Progress 3/22/12

I haven’t done much at all with the camper since the last post. I’ve been very busy with work, working long hours and sometimes 6 days per week. What little creative boosts I’ve had have been spent tinkering with the wood stoves…but at least they’re for the camper! I feel bad I haven’t been working on it though. I do have a tendency to start things and not finish them, but that’s not going to happen. I have some other cool projects I’d love to do, but I won’t until the camper is finished, that’s a little incentive.

I’ve never installed piano hinges before, and I just winged it for the first two floor panels. Just lined the hinges up and started screwing away. Worked fine. Then I tried the same method with the largest panels. Got all done, tried to fold them closed, and they stopped 6″ short…expletive. So I thought about how it should be done…the pain in the donkey method. Lay the panels next to eachother, line the hinge up, mark the holes, drill them. then install the hinge on one panel, then the other. Googled it after work, and yes, the painfully slow way is the right way. Barbara Streisand!!!

So I’ll get back to it soon. The good news is it’s all on the downhill now, though there’s still alot to do.

Camper Progess 2/22/12

I’ll admit it, I’ve been lazy. Making the camper floor is like taking work home with me. I finished the last two floor panels this morning, reinforcing the 1/4″ plywood with firring strips that is. Maybe I’ll get to the piano hinges later.

But my laziness wasn’t without productivity. I’ve finished a solar distiller, and have most of a solar pasteurizer done. I finally found a medium size cast iron frying pan, used, for $5. That’s needed for the woodstove, which was started yesterday. I’m using a Heineken draught keg, 5 liters, for the stove. As it will be a horizontal stove, for ease of use and longer burn time than a vertical one, it has no flat cooking surface. My plan is to inset the frying pan into the top of the stove a bit. It may be a challenge to keep it from leaking smoke…we’ll see. Inspiration for the wood stove comes from:

Heineken Wood Stove

I’m sorry, this link didn’t work, I’ll have to figure that out. In the meantime, just go to youtube and type diy tent stove proto 2 part 2.

This guy has a plethora of outdoors information. There are alot of other videos of this wood stove as well.

A while back I’d made a heiny keg fire pit, upright. It worked well, but it was alot of work to keep it working well! And I’ve seen a few wood stoves made from it that were vertical, they seem to work well…but I don’t want to have to babysit this thing. So hopefully insetting the pan will…”pan out”, hyuck hyuck! If it doesn’t I’ll have no choice but to mount it on top, as Sousaville did with his soup lid. But I’m envisioning steel half tubes, round on bottom and flat on top, under the right and left sides of the pan, filled with sand. That should make for better heat dispersion and retention.

Another reason for trying to inset the cast iron is I’ve noticed alot of the old time horizontal barrel stoves had a lid that you removed, so the cooking vessel could be placed on the flames.

Camper Progress 2/13/12

I didn’t work on the camper floor at all over the weekend, after working in the cold all week, I needed the down time. Funny phrase if you think about it. “Down time” lifts your spirits, it’s recuperating. I finished one of the smaller panels tonight, all the firring strips have angle cuts. On the previous panels most of the strips were straight cuts…but I discovered I should have been cutting the ends at 45 degrees. I don’t have enough strips to replace them, but I can drill and screw ’em together, so all is good. I’m going to do the same with all the corners, 45’d or not.

Tomorrow is my last day of siding until next monday. That’s lower case on purpose. mondays are a horrible way to spend 1/7th of your life!!! More than likely I’ll only get one more panel done. I may have some window work to do Wednesday and Thursday, maybe Friday too, but they’ll be short days, so I should have the remaining floor sections done on Wednesday. After that I can start connecting the floor panels with piano hinges. I bought four 6′ sections on Saturday. I only need 20′ of that, but I’ll find a use for the leftover, prolly for the shower floor section. Total cost of that is $64.

So far the total camper cost is $344. My $400 total cost hopes are probably done for. If I’m lucky (and anyone else who wants to build this!) it’ll be under $500.

Well, that’s all for now, I’m beat, time to relax.

Camper Progress 2/9/12

I’ve been busy with work lately so I only have five out of nine floor panels finished. I’ve walked on all of them, and they all pass. I have to cut 1/4″ off of all the screw tips, after they’re through the plywood and firring strips of course…although if I’d clipped ’em before that would certainly explain the slow progress!!! The problem is I can’t find screws that are shorter than one and a quarter inch. Ran into this problem with the cargo trailer, but it didn’t matter then. It does now!

The bathroom floor section, the shower area, to be specific, is giving me some challenges. It is because of this section that I want to elevate the entire camper 2′ off the ground. I know I’ll have to sit in order to take a shower, but that sure as hell beats squatting on the balls of my feet! I could not add any firring supports to that section, and it would keep it simple…but then I could never utilize that particular floor panel space, you WILL crash through 1/4″ plywood without proper support! I’m willing to elevate the entire camper 2′ just to make showering more comfortable.

I want this to be a home away from home, you know? It’s not like I’m in danger of becoming homeless or anything (or else I wouldn’t be spending hard earned cash on this!), but I do have a place in my heart and mind for the homeless. I was homeless once, when I was very young, and while I learned alot about life, society, and the nature of people (trying to make a negative possitive here!), sleeping under a bridge sucks! So making showering in a compact space just a little more comfortable is important to me.

I know most people have never/will never be homeless, and therefore will never know what it’s like. I also know how most people think of the homeless. Guess what? They’re people too. Anyone can become homeless. I often find it curious, the ammount of right wing christians who say things like “get a job” or “stop leaching off society”…when their very god himself was homeless, and advocated it! Oops! I just got a little philosophical there, something I try to keep out of this blog. I guess my point is that not all people who are homeless are addicts or mentally ill or thieves. Just like not all people who own homes are outstanding citizens. Some of them are drug dealers and murderers, or worse.

I guess my intention is to say that once you’ve been homeless, it’s always in the back of your mind. So this isn’t just a camper, it’s a “if the fecal matter hits the fan” back up plan of sorts. I call it a “motorless home”.

I’ve got the shower floor panel sitting in front of me, so that I can obsess…er, I mean meditate, on how to make it work. I’m sure after a walk or two I’ll figure it out.