Man Builds His Own Expandable Lightweight Micro-Camper

Trailer parked in grass with the door open and top popped up
Jurgen Jas

Camping outdoors is great fun, and gives us that all-important sense of connection to nature and general well-being. But the way people camp can be completely different from one person to the next: one may be fine with sleeping out on a tree hammock, another person may crave the comforts of home downsized into a towable, weather-proof package. Unable to find a camper that he liked, Dutch tinkerer Jurgen Jas built this impressive micro-camper himself.

Designed and Made From Scratch

Trailer parked in grass with top popped up
Jurgen Jas
Trailer parked in grass
Jurgen Jas 
Kitchen and table set up
Jurgen Jas 

Spotted over at Tiny House Swoon, the handy Jas explains:

My Micro Caravan [is] made by hand, with not very much machines (handsaw mostly to get real straight lines) and is made in Holland by me (Jurgen Jas). Fed up with camping in a tent and not being able to find a real nice micro caravan I designed one myself, using bits and pieces of earlier designs from others. This micro caravan is towed by a Suzuki Alto wich runs while towing 15,8 km per liter (have fun calculating this in gallons per mile).

Apparently this camper, which weighs less than 500 kilograms (1,100 lbs), gets 37.16 miles per gallon when towed. Jas' website provides more photos of the DIY build. Using a USD $54 trailer base found in a rummage sale, Jas installs a thick plywood floor with insulation. He then installs wooden ribs for the framing, with insulated plywood for walls, and aluminum sheet for the exterior cladding.

Frame of the trailer being built
Jurgen Jas
Frame of the kitchen area being built
Jurgen Jas
Walls of the trailer going in
Jurgen Jas

The camper has a pop-up tent top and an expandable side that detaches and pops out to make room for a single bed, which Jas got some help from a sailmaker to install.

Frame of the trailer with the pop out sections added
Jurgen Jas
Trailer parked showing the pop out section for sleeping
Jurgen Jas

The interior looks incredibly well-made. There's a small stove, sink, toaster, refrigerator and built-in cabinets for storage, above and along the walls. There is a speaker system installed among the cabinets overhead. The dining table is a drop-down leaf type, which can be put away when not needed.

Kitchen showing the stove top, mini fridge, and toaster
Jurgen Jas 
Sitting area and eating table
Jurgen Jas

This micro-camper is a remarkable self-made project that is also obviously a labour of love, as it took Jas two years to complete in his spare time. While it may not be as aerodynamic, Jas' lightweight design is even lighter than comparable teardrop trailers, with the added bonus of being able to fully stand up in it throughout the space, making it a more comfortable choice. See more over at Jurgen Jas' website [in Dutch].