Craftsman Teaches Us How To Make a Budget DIY Micro Camper With a Neat Slideout for a UTV

Micro Camper 24 photos
Photo: Haxman / YouTube Screenshot
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The world of campers is a grand place, so grand, in fact, that these days you can even find instructions on how to build one on the back of a friggin UTV! That's precisely what Haxman has done here, and it's time to dive deeper to see what sort of "RV" you can be living out of these days.
Folks, today we'll be exploring a bit of a DIY project that has me and over 1 million other viewers buzzing: Haxman's Micro Camper. As to what makes this project so special, I invite you to explore the image gallery and video below. Suppose you don't have time for that. In that case, we're looking at a garage-built camper with solar panels, slideout, heated floors, and space to accommodate one person. Oh, and it's all mounted on the back of a friggin UTV!

Now, Haxman has a history of such projects, and for the Micro Camper, everything starts off with a story, a story about the "dangers" of camping out in the middle of nowhere - mainly the wildlife - and something about Bigfoot. The video presenter is actually a pretty funny guy, so be sure to check it out.

As for what's being built, this one's going to take some rather hardcore tools, so be sure you have what you need. Oh, and lots of wood, XPS foam, and adhesives are king for this one; the aim is to build as light a habitat as possible. After all, the Ranger being used for this endeavor can support up to 1,000 lbs (453kg) in the rear cargo bay, but Haxman doesn't get anywhere near that.

Micro Camper
Photo: Haxman / YouTube Screenshot
For example, using XPS foam panels, 3M contact cement, and a 2x4 wood frame, he was able to craft a single wall that only weighs 15 lbs (7 kg). Even the base is rather light, coming in with a weight of just 75 lbs (34 kg) and built entirely out of wood. Haxman is aiming for a unit that weighs 150 lbs (68 kg), so let's see how that turns out.

As we move forward through the project, we're shown how the remaining walls are built, and what I loved most about this thing is the fact that the camper doesn't just include a bed; Haxman also integrates a cargo hold into the thing, windows, the heated floor I mentioned, which, mind you, even has a thermostat. Yes, it's all solar-powered too.

One of the more complicated stages of this build is encountered when you're looking to craft your slideout. But, with a bit of brainpower, measuring twice and cutting once, you'll be able to complete this stage just as easily as Haxman. Do take note of just how small this slideout ends up being, leading me to believe that you'll be extending your legs into it.

Micro Camper
Photo: Haxman / YouTube Screenshot
What I found rather neat about the whole setup here is the fact that it doesn't include any complicated systems to work. It does work manually and, as such, is set on a pair of rails similar to the ones we see being used in our own homes in cabinetry. Even some big-name brands use a similar system for their smaller campers. If you remember the Hitch Hotel we've covered in the past, then you know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Once Haxman completed this stage, it was time to complete the rest of the walls needed to craft this go-anywhere home. This includes covering wall imperfections with drywall "mud," preparing viny-plank the heated flooring - if electrical isn't your forte, be sure to ask for professional help - and throwing on the front wall.

At this stage, one notable comment that the presenter makes is the fact that this bugger now weighs around 250 lbs (113 kg), and the roof isn't even on yet. So the 150 lb target has clearly been overshot, but the unit is still well within the Ranger's abilities.

Micro Camper
Photo: Haxman / YouTube Screenshot
Now, you can't just up and go out into the natural world without any protection; it's one reason why we wear clothing and shoes, and a camper is no different. So, how to waterproof this thing? Cue truck-bed liner! But there's a problem you need to watch out for if you plan on putting liner directly on XPS foam: the liner can eat away at your air-infused panels. As a solution, Haxman adds a simple base coat of paint, and that does the trick.

Once the liner has hardened, adhesives and weather seals are put in, and from here, you and your family members can go nuts on painting the exterior of your camper however you want. By the looks of things, Haxman has quite an artistic side and covered this micro camper with a neat nature-infused paysage. A window, solar panel, and fan later, and this thing is basically done. Time to throw it on the back of the Ranger and take a small tour of the inside.

Aside from the fact that this Micro Camper has a slideout, I loved seeing the whole Murphy-style bedding in action. In short, the interior of this puppy is as camper as possible. There's a day mode, where you can even pull in a table and squeeze in a tad of work or eat, with access to your gear at floor level, and night mode, where the bed drops down and the slideout is extended. Just a little something-something to try out if you're into garage projects. Have fun out there, and be safe.

Before I go, my question to you is: what would you do differently with this build to maximize its capabilities?

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery also display the Hitch Hotel.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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