Budget Camper


A Rugged Camper You Build From Plans

This especially rugged camper fits in long-bed American pickups. It was featured on the cover of in Mechanix Illustrated magazine.
Now available for Instant Download!
Digital plans include twelve 17 x 22 inch digital drawings and a 12-page instruction booklet in PDF format.


Budget Camper is 13 ft long, fits on long-bed full-size pickups, and is rugged enough to take the beating of off-road trails – the kind of punishment that would reduce most campers to rubble. The secret of Budget Camper’s strength is in her unique construction method. Campers are usually built up of many short lengths of 1 x 2 wood, which are held together with staples. Budget Camper’s frame is different. It is built with an integral truss-style frame, cut from sheets of 4/3-inch plywood using a portable reciprocating saw. The framing for each wall section is cut from a single sheet of plywood. This creates a structure that is many times stronger, and it also means that there is nothing to come apart when the going gets rough.

         Budget Camper is designed with a removable kitchen module containing the sink and stove. Anyone who has spent much time in a camper will appreciate the option of moving the kitchen outside for outdoor cooking. With a conventional camper, for example, the heat and moisture from cooking can make the air heavy and oppressive. And with the kitchen in the middle of the bedroom, someone is invariable in the wrong place at the wrong time, or worse, ends up with mashed potatoes between the sheets. With Budget Camper you are not confined to indoor cooking. The kitchen module can be lifted from its bay along the left side, carried outdoors, and set up on legs that slip into fittings underneath. A water supply plugs into a fixture under the module near the sink.

         Cost to build is about $1200, depending on how you shop and what type of equipment you install. Click on the image of the rendering in the left margin to see a cutaway of how it’s built.  It was featured on the cover of Mechanix Illustrated Magazine as “MI’s Budget Camper”. 

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