If you’re a fan of self-sufficient holidays and DIY, have you ever considered building your own caravan?
The Slidavan is a lightweight 2-berth telescopic DIY caravan designed to fit on a small un-braked trailer with a gross capacity of 500 kilos.
No special materials or skills are needed to build a Slidavan, but you will need to dedicate around 200 hours to the project. If you buy all new parts to build your Slidavan, it may cost around £3000 which is a fraction of the cost of other small caravans available to buy today. However, using second-hand parts and reclaimed material can reduce this cost considerably. For example, there are many second-hand trailers available to buy on the eBay.
Most interestingly those with a smaller car, is the weight of the little DIY caravan. With an unladen weight of 300 kg, the Slidavan can be towed by a city car. For example, the Fiat Panda 1.2 has a towing capacity of 400 kg, giving the caravan a payload of 100 kg.
Slidavan DIY caravan key features
- Six-foot headroom with roof raised
- Choose between two wide single berths or one large double
- The roof can be raised in less than a minute
- Can easily be built in a space no larger than a one-car garage
- Two settee bunks
- Enough room for a small hob and sink
- Fuel consumption of tow car barely affected
The designers of the Slidavan will plant 5 trees on your behalf if you buy the plans to build your own Slidavan. The plans cost £50 at Woodenwidget.com
Driving to France this summer?
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Bicycle DIY caravan
Prefer to tow your DIY caravan by bicycle? The company behind the Slidavan has thought of you too. The world’s smallest bicycle DIY caravan is the Foldavan – a lightweight design that collapses for easy storage and towing.
Built from wood, carbon fibre and reinforced PVC cloth, the teardrop-shaped Foldavan has three modes. When being stored, or transported on a car roof rack, it collapses flat. While being towed by a bicycle, it opens to 60 cm – about the same as the width as most handlebars. Once at its destination, it takes less than five minutes to transform the Foldavan into camping mode. Fully-extended, the caravan measures 1.2 m wide and offers over one metre of headroom.
The Foldavan weighs only 30 kg and has a low centre of gravity, which means it can negotiate even quite rough terrain – in high winds, the sides can be unzipped to let the wind pass through.
The Foldavan trailer is available as a set of plans for £35. The tiny caravan takes about 50 hours to build with materials easy to find in varying qualities to suit any budget. The environmental impact of building a he Foldavan can be reduced by using reclaimed timber and secondhand parts.
When you buy cycle insurance from the ETA, rest assured you are going with Britain’s most ethical insurance company. Furthermore, every policy you buy helps fund our campaigning for sustainable transport, including Back on a Bike.