We present another competition camper , made by our reader.
We are creating the competition together with the organizers of the Caravans Salon fair, which will take place from September 24 to 26, 2021 in Poznań.
There, in a special zone, owners of selected vehicles will be able to present them to fair participants. Therefore, a very interesting event is being prepared for the upcoming edition of the fair.
Detailed information about the competition itself and entries can be found here:Did you build a camper yourself? – we are waiting for you .
We are also creating a series of posts on our Facebook fan page that will introduce readers to the competition vehicles and their creators. We invite you to like our Facebook profile to stay up to date with all the news.
In the next article about self-made camper trailers, we present to you a project prepared from scratch based on a Mercedes Sprinter.
Interview with Kasia and Maciej Jeneralski - the creators of Yenncamp
Is your car the beginning of your adventure with caravanning/camping and what prompted you to build your own camper?
We started our caravanning adventure many years ago with the Knaus Südwind trailer, which we have traveled across the length and breadth of our country many times. This is where it all started. Why only our country and why should I torture myself with this "necessary" part of traveling , i.e. the road, the trivial movement? In some situations it is not pleasant in any way. My wife became very attached to our "Jaskółka", it was difficult to be with her break up. So I decided to move her to the car. Not literally, but to maintain the atmosphere at least. Why this decision? A nice camper is a bag of money, and an old camper is worth a few socks and the smell of them for free, but I am extremely allergic to this. So we decided to build a camper.
Tell us more about the history and parameters of the base car - how did you find it and what did you do?
The choice of base was absolutely by accident the Mercedes Sprinter in the "Doka" version, i.e. a brigade truck. The car is a bit narrower than the Ducato I use at work, but much longer. I came across a copy with original side windows on the rear doors , which always saves a few thousand in my pocket... The rear drive, in my opinion, is definitely better suited to a car that is ultimately "weighted down" by the bodywork. It undoubtedly handles better and can cope in situations where we have to deal with snow or mud or slightly more difficult terrain to reach the destination. We found ourselves in such conditions several times, and once we even had to pull a semi-integrated Ducato-based bike out of the sand. Since the premiere of our hauler, we have already covered 4,000 kilometers on the odometer.
How and from what materials did you make the supporting structures, insulation and furniture?
I have a large fleet of machinery (I run an advertising agency), machine tools for steel, aluminum, plastics, lasers , CNC and others. At some point I realized that if I had to have a camper that would meet my friend's wife's expectations, I would build it myself, and in my case the motto was: "hold the beer and watch." My long-term recipe for work: think, plan, think, design, check and think, and you won't get hurt. And so it was. The project adapted to the technical plans of the Sprinter, based loosely on the idea of our Knaus, was implemented step by step under Kasia's supervision.
What was the biggest challenge for you in the construction process, what did you cope with yourself and in what aspects did you use the services of external specialists or companies?
Nothing! It worked. After implementing thermal insulation (polyurethane, polystyrene and microrubber) and acoustic insulation (bituminous mat), installing water, sewage and 12V and 230V installations, laying the floor (PVC panels) and walls (Dibond), I started working on the development . My CNC processes all materials: from metals, through laminates, composites, plastics, foams, rubbers... to carpentry materials (plywood, MDF, HPL and others). A well-written program according to a well-prepared project (here we come back to thinking) turns work on the building into adult LEGO play. Drilling, cutting and milling grooves are very precise and performed by a machine . During this time, we drink coffee and think - what next. I had my own idea for the implementation, I didn't follow anyone else's example, I didn't look at it. I don't know if it's a good thing, but I dare say it worked.
How long did it take you to build the vehicle? What turned out to be the biggest challenge? To what extent did you do the work yourself and what did you entrust to professionals?
In total, the car was ready in two months. However, I worked overtime so as not to disturb the work of the advertising agency. After all, you have to make a living. Nothing, in words: zero - I did not commission anything to professionals. I had a situation where I woke up at night several days in a row because I had no idea for a shower tray , there was no typical commercial size that would fit my design. At one point, an idea came to my mind and from then on I could sleep soundly ;-) I made it myself from aluminum on CNC - put a primer on it, ceramic enamel and that's it! I even made the simple kitchen tiles myself.
Have you summarized the costs associated with the entire project?
Not yet. Due to the lack of a large garage to work in the winter, we postponed some things until spring, all adhesives and sealants need the right working temperature, just like I do. Although since starting the camper we have already covered over four thousand kilometers, including Karpacz in December at a temperature of -15. A moment ago I installed a stationary roof air conditioning system and a skylight. At the moment I am installing a roof rack on which the photovoltaics and the awning will be mounted. However, I am sure that I have already far exceeded the value of the car.
There are often comments, especially from Internet users, that it is not worth investing in dedicated, often more expensive equipment for campers and that you can always find substitutes. Is this approach correct? What compromises can and should we not make?
We have to take into account that if we mess up somewhere, we will have to live with it. Staying, using and enjoying all the things in the camper cannot be a torture. It's like with ski boots: if you try them on in the store and they are a bit uncomfortable, it will only get worse while skiing. Well, we're back to thinking before acting. Most things dedicated to campers are expensive or very expensive. You can look for them at sales, you can use second-hand ones, but I wouldn't recommend this, or I would advise you to be careful when rummaging through junkyards, unless you "find something" in good condition. The technical and visual condition should come first. Let's go back to fragrances... As for substitutes, just take, for example, a washbasin faucet from a supermarket and a dedicated one: a dedicated one is 30% of the market weight and 200-300% of the price. And this is the case with most things, and the weight is the nightmare of builders. Compromises in my case: sockets and electric switches, LED lighting used in advertising, various furniture fittings that can be replaced, and that's probably all.
We know that you are already planning your next project, how will it be different from the previous one?
Yes, I have already bought another Sprinter. This one is a real "rojber". It is graphite and has black glazing. Such a bandit. The motor is chipped - it rolls up asphalt, but fortunately it has a muzzle for 125 km/h. The development will be quite similar. Why fight proven patents? Besides, I want to make it before the season. Of course, using the experience gained during the first installation , I will improve this and that. However, ours passed the test with two hundred percent, so I will focus on design issues. The kennel will have graphics in a contrasting color, the internal furniture will be high gloss with delicate accents in the color of the external graphics. We make everything simple and clear to "add" space.
The camper in a nutshell:
- a car suitable for a family of three,
- sleeping for two people in the back of the car, under the bed a rack for three bicycles and more luggage,
- sleeping for an adult teenager in the "living and dining" section,
- water tank 75l, boiler 6l,
- no gas installation due to bad experiences
- gas stove with cartridges - just in case,
- bathroom with shower, chemical toilet,
- a wardrobe and a wardrobe dedicated to shoes,
- external table integrated with the structure,
- Webasto diesel parking heater,
- Sinclair parking air conditioner with heating function,
- absorption refrigerator 60l,
- 230V and 12V electrical installation,
- on-board batteries,
- all 12V on-board devices,
- Thule Omnistor 4m awning,
- custom-made internal blinds for all windows plus thermal mats for the front windows (cabin),
- additionally a suitcase power generator - for any need.
Ultimately, in the near future:
- photovoltaic installation - planned
- roof rack – purchased
Yenncamp's Facebook profile: link
We also invite you to read previous interviews with the creators of the competition campers: