Your New Vacation Home Can Be Towed by a Fiat

Here's how to build it with your own two hands.

By Shari Gab

Your New Vacation Home Can Be Towed by a Fiat
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29 June 2017

We’re big fans of do-it-yourselfers around here. Their motivation. Their gusto. Their I have a problem I'll fix it myself-ness.

Robin Benjamin, affectionately known as Benjy, responsible for the ever-inventive company Woodenwidget is a prime candidate to single out. He’s got a slew of easy solutions from wooden boats to accordion campers one can tow behind a bike. His latest: this new take on the classic pop-up camper.

The Slidavan is a simple pop-up camper that you can build yourself in the space of a one car garage. Hopefully you can read plans. If not, there's your step one.

Slidavan (7 images)

When planning his build, Benji wanted to avoid the ultra-compact teardrop style. So he started sketching. "If the initial design is too complicated then the plans will be too," Benjy said. "If I couldn't make the Slidavan aerodynamic, I could at least make it reduce in size when being towed. If you can make the caravan the same size and height as the tow car, you can cut down on drag massively."

The result is the Slidavan, just 8.4-feet long with 7.7-feet of headroom, that can be built with basic tools you probably already have in the garage. The camper sets up easily in just a few minutes using a screw-based system that raises via a battery-powered drill.

It’s everything one needs and nothing more, complete with a humble but comfy area for sleeping, a removable table (those two are kind of a combo, naturally), a kitchenette and rear swing doors for easy loading of bikes and whatnot.

And for those rainy camping days, one of the end walls has been painted white to double as a 60-inch projector screen.

All in all, the Slidavan weighs in at 661 pounds, light enough to be pulled by an economical vehicle for certain. Benjy states that the buildout is simple enough for amateurs, but will cost an experienced builder around 200+ hours of labor. The downloadable plans cost just $64 online and the cost for materials he estimates at around $3,850, which could vary if you’re planning on using new or salvaged goods.

The DIYer has been traversing France in his build recently putting it to the test — and you can follow his journey here at Benjy's blog.

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