From rolling testaments to high-end architectural talent to DIY weekend projects to weird-looking, fiberglass Prius tumors, we love RVs here at Gas2. Why wouldn’t we? RVs and campers can help us get closer to nature like few other vehicles, and while the “glamping” can get a little out of hand, conceptually, you can’t deny the basic appeal of coming back to camp after a long day hiking and having a hot shower, a stocked kitchen, and a soft (lockable) bedroom to waiting for you when you get there.

So, what if you want your own RV, but you don’t want to pay $10,000 (at least!) for a brand new, quickly-depreciating camper that may not give you the outdoor experience you’re looking for?

This article, then, may be for you. It’s from a 1947 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, and gives you a pretty solid idea of how to get from idea to finished product for less than you probably think. Case in point: Jalopnik writer Benjamin Preston “did some digging” around and found a company willing to fabricate a custom, single axle flatbed trailer in the article’s dimensions for under $1600. You can check that out, below …

Mechanix Illustrated Teardrop RV

… once you’ve printed up your DIY dream camper, send in your pics, and compare them to the results Chris and Carrie Himes got with the same plans, below (I think they did a great job with their $3000)! You can follow the Jalopnik link (at bottom) over to Ben’s article highlighting their trailer and see even more great DIY trailer pictures there, and tell us about the choices you make along the way towards building yours. Are you going to stick with wood? Are you going to repurpose old barn wood for a weathered look? Are you going to call up Dragonplate for some lightweight, foam-core composite sheets? Will you make a solar roof that keeps your laptop charged? How will you get your camper into the wild – if it’s by Honda, are you towing it behind a made-in-the-USA hybrid Civic, or with a CNG Civic that you topped off at home?

You tell us – and have fun out there!


Sources | Photos: Mechanix Illustrated, Jalopnik.