Jump to content

Telescoping camper


Recommended Posts

My missus, who is not a camping or caravanning person (although we took a hired Apollo Motorhome - the biggest one they have, with dual rear wheels and shower and toilet) from Perth to Darwin in 2012, and she coped with that O.K. Emptying the toilet cassette was not something she liked, though!


But when we went to the local Royal Show a couple of years ago, I was surprised how much she was taken by the pod camper trailers. I could cope with one, but I think SWMBO might have second thoughts about actually living in a pod camper, particularly if the weather turned a bit adverse. 

I must say the Rover Stockman is very well done though, and if I was still a camping person, I'd probably have one of them. But the problem is, I spent around at least 1/4 of my working life, working out of caravans, and I have no real desire to spend any time in one, in my twilight years! I much prefer 4 star hotel accommodation. But the problem then is, if you want to get into "Outback" (or even rural towns), then good quality hotel/motel accommodation is pretty hard to find.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some very clever designs there. There has been a boom in sales of RVs, Campers, Caravans, etc. in recent years. I believe lots of talent from our defunct car industry got work in this booming sector.

Lots of people you meet have bought a unit and are planning to hit the road.


 Last year my wife announced she was buying a small camper, which would use up all her savings.

I told her I’d build a better one based on my large box trailer, so she could keep her Super.

400 days of hard work and about $5k later our camper is about to get used over Easter.

I spend weeks dreaming up various exotic designs to maximise space, but eventually realised that everything that folds, slides, rotates or expands adds enormous complexity to a build. Time, money and skills I’m short of, so I opted for simplicity. We can park, open a hatch and climb in. The camper is largely made of left-over materials from building aeroplanes, is very streamlined and can be lifted off so I can use my box trailer. 

Tomorrow I plan to connect the solar and get the 12v system powered up, then start on the swing-out kitchen benches. This is almost as exciting as building an aeroplane!


  • Like 1
  • Informative 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

I woz worried someone would ask that!

Wait till Sunday, when the kid and her family arrive- I need them to complete the paint job before I take pix.


This is what the inside looked like six months ago:



Another entrant into the "What I did during Lock-down" competition.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can buy a pretty good camper for a reasonable price.

I have a Jayco Penguin which has done nearly 100110km around the country, A lot of that on dirt roads and also 4WD tracks, still in good nick, but i did have to remanufacture the awning when it got damaged in the aftermath of a cyclone. I could have bought spares, but cheapskate me had to make the needed pieces to repair it.

  • Informative 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

No unfolding; just open the rear hatch and kitchen hatch.

That's what I am asking. Kitchen innovation.

Everybody works out their own list of 'must haves', so it is always interesting to see the result when it is not shop bought.

In our case, we have an old, basic 1980's soft campertrailer.

I like simplicity when I camp. But when I go away, it is important to avoid being a slave to the kitchen, and many campers spend too much time packing and unpacking kitchenware from plastic tubs. So I made a plywood kitchen that fits in our alloy toolbox canopy on the back of our twin cab ute. It contains all cooking utensils and most of the food for a couple of weeks away from shops, yet is simple to open up for roadside lunches or a quick cuppa.


So, OK. Show us your kitchen?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw a design some years ago that intrigued me. Basically it was a Caravan that doubled in size like opening a swiss army knife. The bit that folded out had a floor and roof and the rear wall folded down when it was open & it was a large space the size of the original caravan that was then used as a lounge or living area.

  • Informative 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I delivered some unique fibreglass sandwich sheeting to a mate in Nannup last month, he's building a caravan with it. The business is called Advanced Fibreglass Australia (and it's owned by a Kiwi!).

He utilises an advanced Italian-made fibreglass sheet, and bonds two sheets of this fibreglass to a slab of high-tech Dow Corning styrofoam (the thickness varies according to buyers specifications), to make a thick sandwich panel.


These panels are then used to make caravans, cool rooms, insulated truck bodies, insulated lunchrooms, and a host of other types of bodies and rooms. 

My mate bought a pop-up caravan chassis and is going to build a new caravan on the pop-up chassis. The sheets come in huge sizes, I think you can get 14M x 4M width.


He bought one slab for the roof and ends (the panel is slotted with closely-spaced cuts on the inside, and then curved - with a sheet of fibreglass glued to the inside to hide the slots once it's curved), one slab for the floor, and a slab for each side wall.

The edges are fitted into aluminium extrusions that hold the slabs securely at 90° to each other, then you just glue the slabs in place with a big tube of Sikaflex sealant/adhesive.


It's not all that cheap, IMO, my mate paid $10,000 for the 4 slabs, but he reckons he can build a van for about $25,000, because there's no buggering around with sheeting, rivets, timber, bracing, brackets, or all the other fiddly stuff that consumes a lot of time in building a conventional van. You just cut holes for windows and doors and other openings - and for running wiring and piping, you get rectangular PVC tubing inserted into the sandwich panel, when it's being made.


Scroll down the FB page and check out the charcoal-coloured caravan a bloke is building with the sandwich panels.





Edited by onetrack
  • Informative 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...