CAMPER

A HANDMADE WOODEN CAMPER

After my final thesis „Camping –Homes on the move“ and our journey I couldn´t wait no longer to start building and developing the Kaloha Camper. But the first questions has been: where could I build the camper? And which material would be appropriate to build the camper? Wood normally is more or less heavy and a dropside van just has a certain loading capacity.

Because of a happenstance I was able to win a carpenter for my project. With his advisory support and his contacts to a boatbuilder company I decided to use the „DuFlex“ balsa panels which are normally used for building yachts and boats. That wooden material has the advantage of making the camper more weatherproof, more stable and lighter. The panels are made of the balsawood as corematerial and two tissue layers that provide the material with the required stability. After the assembly the surface needs to be treated with epoxy resin to assure its resilience to bad weather. Unfortunately the camper needed a chemical aftercare but this makes it more durable and therefore more sustainable. To maintain the wooden character I decided to use clear lacquer.
In addition I developed the camper further so that it is not just adaptable to one type of dropside vans but to different types that make the camper more flexible and versatile.

Now it was up to raelize everything that was planned in the run-up. All the materials had been ordered and available – just waiting to be used for being a camper. According to the motto „learning by doing“ I started building the camper in a carpentry with a lot of support. I constantly had to enhance all the necessary craftsmanship and the different steps, like cutting the material, assembling all single parts, milling the rough edges, making the concave profile, laminating the glassing as well as shaping it several times after each layer of base coat, to build the camper. I was really relieved as the framework was done but now I had to deal with the details. How could I insert the windows and flaps in a waterproof way? Which type of cupboard is the most practical for traveling? Where do I have to do the drillings for the fittings?

After many ups and downs the Kaloha Camper stood on four wheels for the first time in december 2016. It is incredible to see something grow constantly and in the end you created something you planned for such a long time with your own hands. The best thing about it is that now I know every feature and detail of the camper by heart which gives me the possibility to repair it all by my own.

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