If there was one single car that defined environmentalism in the first decade of the 21st century, it was the Toyota Prius. It has become synonymous with the word hybrid, and though plenty of people take issue with its sometimes-smug drivers, it also has an avid fanbase that has done some pretty cool stuff to Prii.
This includes a young Australian landscaper named James Lawler, who the Herald-Sun reports converted his Prius into a motor home of sorts by building a tiny house where the hatchback used to go, and for just $113 in recycled materials. The lofted bed rests on the car’s roof, and there’s even a chimney for heat in addition to actual insulation. The corrugated metal roof gives it that Cuban refugee aesthetic, though Lawler says its far more comfortable than a tent. He’s not the first guy to convert the Prius into a camper, though I’d be willing to bet his was the lowest budget. You can hardly get a tent for $113 these days.
So why make this odd conversion? Lawler was on his way to a music festival, and rather than opt for a standard, boring camper van, he decided to do something different. Way, way different. Unfortunately, Australian authorities didn’t appreciate his liberal modifications to the standard Prius, and he was forced to destroy his budget motorhome build. But that’s only motivated Lawler to come up with an even better, perhaps even street legal solution. Considering his budget constraints, and the fact that not everyone can afford to sleep in a Tesla Model S, I applaud Mr. Lawler’s resourcefulness. And as a frequent music festival goer myself, I’m inspired by his dedication, if not his choice in vehicles or materials.
Sorry, but I still can’t see myself in a Prius. Ever.
Images: Mitch Bear/The Herald-Sun