Jurgen Jas makes things- a mini Smart bike/car for his nephew, a fully-furnished mini-camper for another, a backyard workshop and hundreds of Bowers-&-Wilkins-inspired speakers for himself- so when he couldn’t find a popup micro-camper that he liked, he built one.
Beginning with just a donated chassis, he began to built all the components of his future micro mobile home. “I have been a carpenter for a company that builds exhibition stands so I am used to working with plywood – making very thin and beautiful things without any weight – so I saw how extremely strong it is.”
On top of the trailer base Jas installed an insulated plywood floor, wooden ribs for framing, plywood with insulation for walls and sheet aluminum for cladding. Despite his degree in technical engineering, Jas admits he didn’t calculate anything. Instead he relied on his familiarity with other campers- particularly Airstream and Basecamp- and his belief that “seeing is knowing”. Fortunately the camper came in under the weight limit for towing by his Suzuki Alto (total weight is under 500 kilograms).
The finished camper rivals any off-the-shelf micro camper, complete with popup top and popout side, full kitchen (Dometic refrigerator, 3 burner gas stove, sink, toaster oven), a drop-down dining table that slides/retracts into several positions/sizes, a couch that transforms into a king-sized bed and plenty of storage.
The total cost was 8,500 euros, including all appliances (650€ for the refrigerator, 350€ for the stove, 185€ for the sink). As a comparison, an Airstream or Basecamp in the same model would be about 34,000 euros. Jas spent 2 years crafting his tiny mobile home, but he didn’t do it to save money.
“It’s nice to make your own environment. People have lost a bit the feeling of making things for yourself,” he explains. “A lot of things are made in a factory just for somebody else. So perhaps people go to the factory doing their job without them really wanting to do their job. They make things for somebody they don’t know. And it’s nice to make things for yourself, you enjoy it more, it’s more fun actually.”