Build your own bike camper out of old campaign signs for $150
This might be one of the best possible uses for plastic political signs.
We've covered a number of different bicycle camper projects in the past, some of which have merit and some that are just plain silly, but this lightweight DIY bike camper trailer looks to be a strong contender for a usable tiny mobile home. Not only does it cost just $150 for the parts, but it also weighs in at about 45 pounds (20.4 kg) and repurposes those corrugated plastic campaign signs that are popping up on lawns right now like dandelions after a good rain.
© Paul Elkins
Paul Elkins, an inventor and DIY maker we first wrote about when he released his "Cadillac of Homeless Shelters" project, built his innovative bike camper with a decidedly Airstream-esque profile that forgoes a frame and instead relies on the sturdiness of the corrugated plastic sheeting (Coroplast) to maintain its shape. The design includes a stove, a sink and counter, shelving for food, bins for clothes and other storage, LED lighting, insulation, a skylight, a stereo, and more.
The "micro airstream bike camper" uses six 1" x 2" pine boards for the frame, a pair of wheels from a secondhand bicycle, and plenty of duct tape and zip ties to hold the whole thing together and seal any gaps in the structure. For the inside of the camper, Elkins again uses Coroplast as the basic building material (it's lightweight, sturdy yet flexible, and easily lends itself to DIY fabrication), allowing him to have shelves and drawers and a very tiny kitchen setup.
The door, also made from corrugated plastic, swings up to become a sun shade (or rain deflector), and once parked, wheel chucks keep the unit from rolling and a set of retractable legs on the front hold the weight and keep it from tipping forward. The tow bar is made from 1/2″ electrical conduit and a swiveling ball joint, which allows the bike to be laid flat on the ground when it's parked.
If this sounds like something you'd like to build, Elkins is selling the 50-page plans for the 'Nomad' micro camper at his website for $20. And even if a very tiny bike camper isn't your thing, he's also got a number of other DIY project plans for sale (such as a dog house, a kayak, a tiny speedboat, and a Coroplast tipi), as well as a bunch of other interesting designs on his site.