When I was shopping at the local thrift store back in July, I saw this pickup playhouse that looked awesome.
It’s obvious that this little house was made for a different truck with a longer bed. They loved it so much that they kept it with the new truck and left the tailgate down.
If you look carefully, you can see a vent on the side, so it must get pretty hot in there, especially since it’s painted black. Good in the winter to keep warm, though.
I wonder what they use this playhouse for. I’ve seen the truck several times in town, so they don’t take it off and put it back on for camping. It’s permanent. I like to imagine that they go camping so often that they don’t feel the need to take it off.
Whenever I see campers for thousands and thousands of dollars, I remember little campers like this one. It probably cost less than one thousand dollars to build in full and it has lasted at least two pickups. Next time you think you can’t afford a camper of your own, remember this little pickup playhouse and know that a good camper is within your reach.
I really love this motivational poster I saw on Facebook a while back:
Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before.
This is an argument that I have every year with Mike. He always wants to go to Yellowstone, which we have been to almost every year for a decade. I want to try new national parks, like Yosemite. This year, we didn’t go on a big trip. Our biggest trip was to Lagoon Amusement Park up north. It was a really fun vacation and we got to see our friends and family while we were there, so no regrets.
Still, the argument rages on. Yellowstone or Yosemite. Mike argues that Yellowstone is different EVERY time we go there. I can hardly describe the difference of Mammoth Hot Springs now versus when we saw it that first time together. I wish I had photos of Orange Spring Mound from that first trip because it has LITERALLY taken over the road and they have had to make a new road around its massive orangeness. Yellowstone is truly different every time we’ve visited from the year with the ten foot snow drifts to the year with the bear with a porcupine quill in its paw. We have never had a repeat experience.
But I have never seen Yosemite. I would feel like an idiot if I never got to see the mountains and trees that so inspired John Muir in his writing and activism. I would regret never seeing El Capitan in person when it was the focus on so many of Ansel Adams’ photographs. How can I keep visiting Yellowstone over and over when Yosemite is there, waiting for me to visit?
Then again, Ansel Adams spent his whole life visiting Yosemite over and over. Georgia O’Keefe loved Taos so much she moved down there. Additionally, every time I visit a place, it looks different to me because I AM DIFFERENT. What was boring to me as a child is gorgeous to me as an adult. What was interesting to me before may be gone, but has been replaced with something just as strange and captivating. When our national parks are different every time we visit them, it doesn’t matter which one we visit as long as we get out.
If I were to change that poster on the top, I would make it MUCH more simple. Instead of it saying, “Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before,” it was only say, “GO.”
It is a tiny and lightweight (only 1100 lbs.) camper that has modular furniture inside that can be moved, stacked and adjusted for whatever you need. Here is a video showcasing that idea.
The modular furniture can be removed from the camper and used outside as well.
There is storage in the cubes as well.
Here is another video showing some of the other features like the cool blind on the window and the lighting.
There is an optional Transcool cooler. They are a 12 volt cooling system that are supposed to work pretty well.
The table can be used in a wide variety of spots in the camper.
There is a cute and lightweight awning that can give you some more shade.
There is a spot to charge your devices using the 12 volt system.
Now, here comes the part where my heart skipped a beat. Because there is a huge hatch in the back of the camper, you can use it to store your gear. It’s big enough to hold a kayak.
You can load up your mountain bikes into it.
You can even use it to transport your motorcycle!
There is so much to love about this camper! The pricing starts at $15,950 for the base model, so it is actually cheaper than the base model T@b, which is really cool. If you are looking for a tiny camper, this one has versatility down pat!
When I was a kid, my parents owned an AMC Hornet. We drove that thing from Salt Lake City to Millwaukee and back so many times and it never let us down. I had no idea that AMC made a camping tent to attach to the hatchback.
Here is a promotional photo from the Seventies.
Instead of having me search for the nearest Holiday Inn when we were tired and it was time to sleep, we could have slept in the car with this sweet tent.
Even as I say that, I realize that my mom would have never even considered that an option. It was Holiday Inn or nothing. Still, I can imagine what our travels to Wisconsin might have looked like if we had camped instead of stayed in hotels.
I didn’t camp until I was in my thirties with my husband. I wonder how my life would have been different if I had camped as a child. Would I have hated it? Would I have adored it and wished to camp even more than now?
Seeing these photos of Hornets with tents attached to them give me a glimpse into that other life I could have lead.
If this looks like a cool thing that you would like, there is something available for SUV hatchbacks that is very similar. It’s called the Explorer 2 SUV Tent.
If you are regretting not camping more, here is an easy tent that turns your SUV into a Tent. I may not be able to go back in time and change the adventures my family had when I was a child, but I certainly can change the adventures I have in the future.
In order to get the setup like you see in that photo (including the mounting plates for the C-rail), you would need to spend 1994 Euros or $2195. When I can get a pretty good tent trailer for only $700, it seems insane to spend THREE times that much for just three little units.
Of course, you could build little boxes just like this to fit into your vehicle. The Cook Buddy is very similar to the plans for the Work Top Box from Blue Sky Kitchens.
They sell it starting at about $200. For a TENTH of the cost, you get a great work station. If you’re handy, you can build them yourself with their plan book:
This Starcraft tent trailer came up for sale on our local classifieds and it is something totally different. At first, it looked completely normal, until I realized that this was the BACK of the trailer.
The bunk ends don’t pull out over the hitch and the back. They pull out over the driver’s side.
And the other bunk pulls out over the passenger side.
They were selling it for only $700. Here was their description:
Awesome little trailer by Starcraft. It has running water, spare, new cables on the winch to pull trailer up. All canvas in perfect condition. No tears, rips or even stains.
I really wish they knew the year and make of the trailer. I am so interested in the history of it and how long they made sideways tent trailers. The inside makes it look like late Sixties or early Seventies.
It has one of those built-in ice chests. We had one of these on our Palomino. I loved it because it would just drain the melted ice out of the bottom of the trailer. It made it REALLY easy to keep it filled with ice and cold. I think that’s the ONLY thing I miss from the Palomino tent camper we used to have.
I keep getting surprised by all the different ways that you can make a camping trailer. This sideways tent trailer is really interesting and I wish I could find more information about it!