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DIY Truck Camper Made From Reclaimed Materials Used As Mobile Ski Chalet

DoItYourselfRV reader Mark Rislove sent us these pictures of his homemade truck camper he calls the Hippy Shack.

DIY truck camper
Mark Rislove

He tried to source materials as cheaply as possible by,

  • reusing redwood siding from an old deck
  • salvaging insulation from a dumpster at a demolition site
  • recycling old bamboo flooring

Mark said that he, “…always wanted to build my own “Rolling Home,” and after buying and selling about a half dozen different truck campers that never quite fit, I built the Hippy Shack.”

He uses it as a mobile ski chalet, and installed a heated ski boot locker and a 7′ long ski locker. To keep himself warm, there’s an antique wood burning stove and a radiant propane heater for backup.

Mark’s truck camper in warmer times.

Homemade truck camper
Mark Rislove

Here’s some background on the build from Mark,

“I found the truck abandoned in a warehouse parking lot, and after a little detective work, found the owner and offered him $500. He readily agreed, which made me wish I had started at $200… but in any case, a new set of tires, a head gasket and a timing chain and the truck was road ready. I removed the bed and built a 9’x7′ flatbed of 3/4” plywood on a cedar 4×4 and 2×4 frame. Then I just started building up with what I had and when I had it.

The thing that saved me was answering a craigslist ad titled “free wood.” When I got to the location it turned out to be a huge pile of 20′ long 2×6 redwood from  a demolished deck.  Much of this I ripped right down the middle and used for (2×3) framing. The rest I ripped into about 1/4″ strips (thousands of them), and, after wrapping the whole thing in Tyvek purchased from a Habitat Restore, lapped them up the outside for the exterior siding. Most of the insulation (2″ styrofoam) I salvaged from a dumpster at a demolition site.

The floor is salvaged tongue and groove bamboo and the interior siding more of the 1/4″ strips of redwood. The door, windows, heater, stove, sink, ice box, skylight, almost everything was purchased from thrift stores or obtained for free off of craigslist. The antique wood burning stove came from ebay for $100. I did buy $130 worth of metal roofing from The Home Depot, because I couldn’t find any used roofing anywhere and it was raining in on my bamboo flooring.

I’m not a carpenter, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I did a lot of things twice… but I did accomplish much of what I intended. I wanted a camper I could stand up in (I’m 6’4″) and that one that I could lie down in comfortably. The side entry allows you to exit at night from one bed without disturbing anyone in the other bed. It’s well insulated and stays warm and comfortable in cold weather. It has a locker for my skis, and a heated cabinet for my ski boots. It weighs about 1350 lbs. so the 4 cylinder Toyota can carry it, although not very fast uphill. Most of all, it’s impossible to go anywhere in it without making new friends and having a great time.”

Mark Rislove truck camper
Mark Rislove
Completed large truck camper
Mark Rislove

The twin bed sits next to the cooktop.

Stove and sleeping area inside small RV
Mark Rislove

While the galley has an icebox and a stove with an oven and sink.

Wooden cabinets in the mini RV
Mark Rislove
Cooktop inside the mini RV
Mark Rislove

This couch wraps around the living space and connects to the twin bed. Mark sleeps in another Queen size bed over the truck cab.

Sleeping area inside a small RV
Mark Rislove

There’s a skylight for staying cool in the summer.

Truckcamper with a skylight
Mark Rislove

And a wood burning stove…

Wood burning stove inside a truck camper
Mark Rislove

For staying cozy in the winter.

Truckcamper parked near a ski run
Mark Rislove

Thanks again Mark for sharing your sensational truck camper build with all of us!

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