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How To Build A Truck Camper For Dirt Cheap

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How To Build A Truck Camper For Dirt Cheap

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How To Hack Your Truck Camper Design To Save Tons Of Time And Money

The best trick to dramatically simplify your design is to realize that your “needs” are not really what you need.

In other words, the FEATURES — the actually material products you imagine you need in your camper — are not actually what you need. What you need is more general than that.

For example… One of my own criteria is “to be off the grid”.

When you think of what it means to be “off the grid” you probably have lots of images coming into mind, right? Maybe those words conjure up images of windmills and generators and wood stoves, or digging wells and farming animals.

But none of those things is what to means to “get off the grid“. It just means “no hookups”. That term isn’t as much about features that you DO have as much as it’s about features that you DON’T have! The only requirement is that you’re not connected to the municipal utility grid, and there are are hundreds of ways to do that.

So when you’re thinking up ways to get your camper off the grid, the issue isn’t that you NEED a wood stove and a generator. You’re in a truck — it’s already off the grid! What you need are ways to cook and get electricity. And there are TONS of those… (that weigh much much less than a ton).

So what’s REALLY essential?

On the “Captain Obvious” side of things, the truck itself is probably kind of essential, and a solidly enclosed weatherproof place to sleep is probably another — (Otherwise, you’d be researching tent camping, right?) But beyond that…

  • You probably would like a way to cook… but there are plenty of ways to cook that don’t require a traditional kitchen setup.
  • You probably need a way to store your food… but that doesn’t necessarily imply a traditional energy-guzzling refrigerator.
  • A shower certainly seems like a convenient thing to have… but it’s possible you may find like I did that a daily shower is completely unnecessary to stay clean.
  • Staying cool in the summer is certainly nice… but if you’re aware of much cheaper options, you can possibly eliminate any need for a battery-draining air conditioner.

Which brings me to my purpose in building this website:

The primary goal of this website is to collect and present inspiring ideas for “hacking” your off-grid ambitions so that you can start living the dream even sooner (“by next weekend” if you’re so motivated) — for much less investment. (As close to “zero” as possible).

And if you’re familiar with the idea of lifestyle hacking, then you know that a big part of that mission involves being willing to “think outside the box” and entertain unusual ideas that would strike most people as pretty eccentric (if not downright strange!) in order to find the perfect combination of unique perspectives that will best work FOR YOU.


So in the next section, we'll get started trying to figure out which parts of our feature wish list we can really "hack to pieces" to dramatically simplify this camper building process.

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