The Camper Design – Take One

Macy M3 comments6361 views

We took the time to go take measurements of our camper so we could get a good idea if the modifications we’re making will pan out ok.  James sat down and modeled the shell and I took a swing at the interior.  This is what we came up with.

First, I had looked it up and the ’66 Aloha is 15′-6″ long and about 7 foot wide.  I originally had, mistakenly, thought this was the interior portion, it’s not, it includes the hitch.  The interior dimensions are just under 13′ x 7′.  This is the space we plan on living in entirely for a few months at least, it will need to accommodate James and I, Miles, Hazel and of course Denver.  These are our ‘must haves’:

  • A functional kitchen able to store food/supplies as well as work for cooking for the family (this is budget road tripping!).
  • Sitting space for each of us (must be comfy!)
  • Sleeping space for each of us (Also, must be comfy!)
  • I want an indoor potty and shower (not usual in the originals)
  • On grid and off grid capable in terms of water and power (One night it may be one and the next night it may be the other)
  • Room for the clothes we all need (including dirty laundry until we can get it clean)
  • Light weight, we are aiming for a max of 1,750#, loaded, slightly heavier than the original (dry weight) but still able to be able to be pulled with a mid-sized SUV
  • Low VOC/chemical materials, it’s a small space, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds, AKA those nasty and harmful smelling smells that come with most new buildings, i.e. ‘fresh paint’) will be more noticeable
  • An easy to set up and take down ‘out door space’ with a table, chairs and a cover (and blinky lights!)

It seems to work well for us to do weekend projects so in my effort to apply some sort of ‘schedule’ here are the sorts of weekend projects (in no particular order) we’re looking at (we are not in a hurry, we have a good year to get this done but will maybe take it on a couple test outings in the middle of the project):

  • Demo
  • Design (this)
  • Structure rebuild/insulation
  • Relocate ceiling vent/skylight (?? potential??)
  • Paneling interior, install flooring
  • Paint stripping (exterior)
  • Exterior painting
  • Plumbing (new)
  • Electrical (New LED)
  • Build kitchen component
  • Build clothes storage piece (not modeled above but located above the couch)
  • Build couch and cushions
  • Build bunk beds
  • Build potty/shower
  • Build rock shield/outdoor table for front window
  • Build awning
  • Acquire/hook up solar cover on back window

We have some pretty fancy ideas, it will be interesting to see how they pan out in the end :).  I think at this point we have pretty similar material ideas as we did on my tiny house except the dark flooring, it will be lighter.  James and I both like kind of modern. kind of natural, kind of inexpensive ;-).


I think in this case the choices are going to be made based on (#1) healthy (non chemically), (#2) price point and (#3) weight.  With the tiny house, budget drove a lot of the choices, that is a factor here too (We’d like the whole thing to be under $2,500) but it’s not as big a factor, I think the off gassing and overall health of the space is more important now with the littles.  This is another material board option I like… it’s just nice and clean.


I think the thing you may notice is that this is not going to try to look ‘vintage’.   It IS vintage, and adorable, but I don’t plan on the standard restore, it’s adapting to fit us all more than it is trying to become it’s original self again.

Here are some random inspiration pictures I stole from google, I apologize for not citing them, I have just been collecting them and can’t recall where they came from:






  1. I’m really excited to see how you put this camper together! I’ve always wanted to travel around the country this way. I have one kiddo and three dogs, so I’m always on the lookout for ideas on how to squeeze all of us into a camper! 🙂

  2. Have you thought of having walls on the annex? We camped in a caravan every summer, and the annex was important living space for everyone in the caravan park, especially when it rains! The extra space needed to store a full annex is not a problem because it’s never inside when you’re parked.

    I preferred our annex over the standard off the shelf ones because it had a white roof (more light), large windows, and the entire end wall lifted to turn it into a semi-enclosed space, but with a big shady area. I’ll go and look for a similar pic,

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