Downsizing for the Camper

Currently, I live in a studio apartment.  You’d think this wouldn’t leave much room for unnecessary stuff, but you’d be surprised.  Sometimes we hang on to things because of sentimental value, clothes that *almost* fit, books that we’ve read partway, or art supplies we’ll swear to use one day.

I am in the habit of getting rid of many of these things.  It’s been a summer long process because one of my goals is to not buy much new stuff for living in the camper, but at the same time get rid of stuff I really don’t need.

After reading multiple articles on how to downsize your wardrobe, it all boils down to pretty much three simple steps.  First, look through your stuff.  Second, determine which of these three categories it fits in: 1)keep 2)maybe/put in storage for a bit 3)donate/give away to friends.  The third step is to take action with the stuff.  I’ve still got a couple bags of clothes, books, kitchenware, etc. that I don’t use sitting by my door waiting to go to Goodwill (or to be given to friends).  It’s been a process, but finding out what items I really use has been good for me – it’ll save me money in the long run and contribute towards the challenge of fitting all my stuff into the camper.

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Alaskan Camper Interior Prior to Renovation

When I first got the camper the cushions needed to be taken out, curtains replaced, some water damage dealt with, seams resealed, and more.  Following is a photo of the interior prior to any renovation being done on it.  You can see the hydraulic jacks in the back that support the top of the camper (there are four in total – two towards the front too).  Raised, the roof gives roughly six feet of headroom, so even taller folks can feel comfy (and I’ll be more than fine at 5’3″).    On the left is a kitchenette with counter space, a fridge, sink, and storage.  On the right is a dinette that folds down into a bed if needed, as well as a place for a toilet and more storage.  More interior photos to come, as well as some of the process if I remember to take them.

The Beginning…

Hello folks!

This blog is a documentation of my experiences purchasing, cleaning, mildly refurbishing, and living in my Alaskan camper.

This past spring, I purchased a vintage Alaskan camper bolted to the bed of a 1991 Ford F250 Diesel truck.  Both were in decent workable shape, but a little rough around the edges.  As I recently graduated from college, this was my graduation present to myself and (hopefully) my entrance into tiny living.

Like many, the tiny house movement has caught my attention.  However, I as a recent college graduate, I don’t have the funds necessary to build a tiny house.  I also decided I wanted my tiny home to be mobile, and so began looking into truck campers, trailers, school bus conversions, and the like

Alaskan campers caught my eye because as a truck camper, they can be separated from the base vehicle if either needs repairs or replacement and they are also a “top up/top down” hard sided camper.  The top raises via a hydraulic lift and then rests back down on the base while driving, thus reducing wind resistance and sway (a nice feature for someone who’s used to driving an old toyota corolla).   While researching different types of campers, I found the cabover camper format appealing – something with a designated sleeping space but not too cramped at the same time.  So, when the pickup and camper popped up on craigslist together, I decided it was the right time to invest in a rig.

I’m headed to the family’s this Sunday to complete work on the camper and truck and hopefully take it out on its “maiden voyage” this August.  Fingers crossed.