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$150 bike camper: DIY micro mobile home (plans to download)

Paul Elkins makes things: driveable plastic cars, tipis, treehouses, fluted-plastic boats and many micro-shelters. He made his first micro-RV a few years ago when he built his post-apocalyptic bicycle camper for Burning Man.

Paul Elkins fell for micro-camping in 2002 when he toured the country in his “stealth camper” (a pickup truck with cabover turned tiny home). Sure he could make something more affordable than a truck-based design and more mobile than his first bikeable model, this year he began building a nomadic micro-shelter based on the Airstream trailer design and his own Emergency Homeless Shelter.

Using 4 recycled fluted-plastic campaign signs from a recent election, a $20 secondhand bike, 6 pine boards ($1 at Home Depot), screws, Duct tape and zip ties, he built his latest micro mobile shelter for only $150.

Calling it a “micro Airstream bike camper”, it’s a 60-pound “home away from home”, complete with butane stove, bread-pan sink, counter, food storage shelving, clothes-storage bins, LED lighting, bed, windows, pee jug, bubble insulation, stereo with MP3 player, and a skylight made out of a 1 gallon plastic tub.

“It does show the possibilities of a new way to get around and travel or to live. you don’t have car insurance, you don’t have home insurance payments. what do you got, food?”, explains Elkins, who thinks this could be a very affordable, and very micro, answer for those intrigued by the Tiny House Movement. “For people who can’t afford a pickup truck and to build a little home on a trailer, maybe they could just do this and tour around… for people who are adventurers and don’t mind pulling a little weight and taking their time traveling, this I think would be a fun way to go.”

* Paul sells downloadable plans for all of his designs on his website.