Posts Tagged ‘Stealth Camper’

Cargo Trailer Turns Into Mobile Camper

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

On TinyHouseTalk,  I noticed a cool little cargo trailer turned into a camper.  The owner created a cool camper with neat storage ideas taken from some of today’s micro apartments.  The owner and his wife and dog have traveled over 4,000 miles exploring and saved money on places to stay along the journey.  80 sq ft.

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Travel | The Pursuit To Explore + Experience

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

1-20120103-DSC00972We live in a cool part of the world.  Yes… there are places with so much rich history and lifestyles that are far from what we experience here outside of Toronto, Canada.  There is so many places North that I have not discovered.

Camping, hiking, swimming, waterfalls, lakes, little towns, campfires at night by the water and the black sky with a million stars above you.

I would like to go two places.  I would like to go North and experience trees and streams and everything Canadian + I would also like to go South to see everything “City”

1-20120103-DSC00964These things are simple pleasures for me.  The goal with “living tiny” would to have more time + moo-la to travel places and “travel simple” with AirBnB, CouchSurfing and Camping.

It’s fun to appreciate the little things that go unnoticed.  I want to travel alone to discover myself, with friends, with a women that is in my life and with my Nephew Ray-Dizzle.

Foster Huntington | His Toyota Camper | Van Life

Thursday, February 6th, 2014



A year ago, I started fantasizing about campers other than my VW Syncro. It felt adulterous. I had been living in it for a year and half at this point and the cost of maintenance was catching up to me. Syncro’s are pretty amazing vans. Mine had an Audi engine, front and rear locking differentials and could go any where I wanted it. The problem was reliability. Only 300o were ever imported to the US, and very few people know how to work on them. Many times a minor break down such as a fuel pump or a starter turned into a week long search for a mechanic that was willing to work on it let a lone had access to the right parts. My van was made in 1987 and had 292 miles on it when I bought it. With the right maintenance, It will keep working forever, but my regiment of 40k miles per year were wearing on the car. From afar, VW van’s are very romantic. Living in one is a totally different story.

Unfortunately, there aren’t that many good alternatives to a Syncro in terms of capability, size and efficiently. Sportsmobile’s weigh twice as much and cost between $50-100k. Depending on the, year there are problems with the Diesel engines and the MPG are hard to swallow. Eurovans are plagued with electronic issues and never come in 4wd. A full size truck and camper is way to big. I wanted something, I could parallel park in a city and make my way around narrow forest service roads. Eventually, I settled on a Toyota Tacoma and a poptop camper.

Go to a remote area for an activity like surfing, snowboarding or climbing and you’ll likely see a Toyota truck with a pop top camper. Unlike a rare German 4×4, the parts are ubiquitous and any garage in the world can work on them. Sure they aren’t as “c00l” as a VW, but one break down in the Mojave desert cured me with my fixation of how cool my Syncro was.

After doing a bunch of research on forums like Wander the West and The Expedition Portal, I focused my attention on a Four Wheel PopTop camper. All though not the fanciest, they have been making campers for 40 years and have a cult following of people that use theirs in harsh situations. To maximize usable space, I decided to remove the stock bed and put an aluminum flatbed on the truck. This would allow for the side entry I loved about my van, as well as a lower center of gravity and increased storage around the wheel wells. On a tip from a friend, I got in touch with AT Overland in Prescott, Arizona and they helped design, source parts and work with Four Wheel to build the camper. The whole process from conception of the idea to delivery of the finished product in Prescott took eight months.

The ruberized canvas walls have an insulative layer that helps with condensation and keeps the camper warm in cold temperatures.

The camper is based off of a 2013 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab. The truck has a V6, six speed manual and the off road package. I upgraded the truck with a 2-inch lift from Old Man Emu, an ARB Bumper, Warn Winch, Airflow Snorkel, Firestone airbags in the back and a custom rear leaf set up from Deaver in Orange County.

Parked in Baja on the campers maiden voyage last summer.

When popped, the bed slides out to roughly the size of a Kingsize.

Extra fuel storage and some badges of honor from the road. Between the fuel cans are two Max Trax for putting under the tires in sticky situations.

AT Overland fabricated 4 Lockable aluminum boxes under the flatbed for extra storage room.

A 20,000 BTU furnace keeps me the camper warm during cold nights. This opened up a ton of possibilities for me.

Compared, to my Syncro, the Four Wheel Camper feels like a Four Seasons. It has an electric fridge (powered by two marine batteries and 160w panel) a two burner stove (two 10 pound cylinders) a furnace (runs off the propane and 20 gallons of freshwater and an outdoor shower.

This month marks the two and half year mark for living out of my vehicle. It’s flown by. My initial plan to spend a year on the road has morphed into a way of life. I love living out of a small space. It forces me to limit my possessions and conscious of the mess I make. Instead of buying something when I’m bored, I travel to a new place. My new camper gives me piece of mind to continue my travels . I’m hoping to have it for twenty years.

Here are some more links,

Gone Tomorrow (Ian Durkin),

AT Overland,

Four Wheel Campers.

Van Life > Sorry… Car Life | 2001 Toyota Echo Turned Into a Micro RV For RoadTrips & Camping

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Taken from:


Man Turns his Toyota Car into Micro RV for Stealthy Car Camping

toyota echo transformed into stealth car camper 001 600x449   Man Turns his Toyota Echo into Stealthy Micro RV for Car Camping
Who would guess this unassuming Toyota Echo would be able to sleep 2 people comfortably (if a little cozily, you do have to like your traveling companion)?

I believe you’ll really be awed by the simplicity of this car conversion so I encourage you to read the rest of the story and tour the entire car camper below:


When we make cross country drives it can get expensive to stay in a motel every night.

So for less than the price of one night’s hotel stay I converted our little 2001 Toyota Echo into a stealth camper.

I already had some of the materials on hand so really all it cost was the price of a sheet of plywood and a 6′x8′ piece of indoor/outdoor carpet.

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Above is the back seat in it’s day-to-day mode. Those are camping pads strapped to the front of the seat. We very rarely use the back seat to transport passengers but it’s still possible although not very comfortable at this point. I plan to add some cushions soon.

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Above and below is the trunk area deck. There’s a cut out on the left to securely hold a 5 gallon water bottle in place.

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Under the deck there’s room to store a wooden folding table, camp stove, a laptop and a few other small things. A plastic dishpan will hold our kitchen stuff.

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Above and below the transformation to sleeping deck is taking place. Front seats are slid all the way forward and seat backs are tilted toward the front of the car. The bottom of the rear seat has come off and is placed securely over the transmission hump. Three pins along the edge of the seat will fit into corresponding holes on the underside of the deck so everything locks securely in place.

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Two views of the fully extended sleeping platform. Just over 6 feet of space with your feet extending into the trunk area. With the self-inflating sleeping pads it’s a comfy but firm bed.

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Notice the two white U-shaped things protruding just below the rear deck. They were there to hold the back of the original seat in place. One of my goals in designing this was not to permanently alter any part of the car so that everything can be put back to stock should we decide to sell it. So I built this little folding table that fits onto those things.

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Voila! With the addition of my laptop and a couple speakers the car is transformed into a media room to watch DVDs or listen to CDs.  I’m reclining on the back side of the forward tilted front seats. With a couple pillows it’s actually quite comfortable.

toyota echo transformed into stealth car camper 009 600x801   Man Turns his Toyota Echo into Stealthy Micro RV for Car Camping
And we even have a storage space for it, check it out below:

toyota echo transformed into stealth car camper 0010 600x449   Man Turns his Toyota Echo into Stealthy Micro RV for Car Camping

Here’s the trunk fully loaded for a trip. With 2 of those super comfortable reclining outdoor chairs it’s a pretty nice camping rig if you like to spend time in the great outdoors. It takes us less than 5 minutes to pull everything out and set everything up. I still need to address having some kind of system for privacy though. I’m thinking that one of those old-fashioned roll up shades attached to the rear deck could pull over the entire sleeping area and no one would even know you are there.


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I discovered these great alternate compact camping chairs at Amazon. They hold 300 lbs. and fold into a 4″x4″x14″ case which will allow me to store them under the back deck and eliminate the large amount of space taken up by my current folding chairs (shown above). I plan to have all camping equipment in the car at all times so all we have to do is pack a bag of clothes and go.

Honda Element Camper Wanted | Explore + Everyday Vehicle

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

1-tiny ecamper-001Watch a video on YouTube here about it.

Would love to purchase a used Honda Element and then have the eCamper installed to make it great for camping with the kids.  Imagine using it for everyday commuting and you can easily pop the roof and sleep in the top in the Spring/Summer & Fall with proper sleeping bags.  It would be great for roadtrips anywhere or extended travel that gives you the option to save so much money by not even renting a campground for the night (or expensive lodging).  Use that money for food and adventures instead.

This company also makes one for the Jeep.