Tiny Off-Road Camper Built From Scratch Is A Tent On Tank Treads

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This is a do-it-yourself camper project you won’t be taking on cross-country journeys. From what we can see it has a top speed of maybe 5 mph, so you won’t be venturing down roads, period. And frankly, with a frame made of wood and a ride height just a few inches off the ground, we wouldn’t want to go anywhere near a place with high-speed traffic. However, none of that makes this little home-built, track-drive camper any less awesome.

And this time, do-it-yourself camper takes on a whole new meaning because it’s literally 100 percent built by a YouTuber going by the name Quiet Nerd. The project starts with a whole lotta wood – 2x4s are used for the frame, with metal corner braces added for extra support. Extra pieces are bolted into place to support the rear axle and 24-volt electric motor, which are connected by a single chain. Instead of tires, small tracks are used on the axle and as we in the video, they work quite well for crawling through a dense forest.

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Home built tiny camper
Home built tiny camper

Tires are used at the front, bolted to small spindles and connected with a simple, custom steering system. More wood is called upon to mount the steering wheel to the floor, but the “body” is actually a small plastic greenhouse that fits perfectly on the wood chassis. According to the video, this helps save weight on something we suspect is already quite hefty for a 24-volt motor to handle. And being a greenhouse, the covering is clear so the driver remains fully enclosed in the event of inclement weather. A yellow tarp provides secondary coverage for privacy.

So basically, we have a motorized tent on a wood platform that turns and has reverse, and we adore it. Bright lights are mounted front and rear; there’s a simple fan attached to the roof for cooling, and it’s all powered by a single 12-volt car battery with a shut-off switch for safety. There’s room enough to stretch out inside with a sleeping bag while carrying a plethora of items in storage bags, and there’s even a simple propane stove in there.

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And you know what? It seems to get the job done. The 40-minute video shows the build but also a night in the woods with the finished product. It’s not fast, and it doesn’t seem very maneuverable, but the little rig doesn’t struggle to cross unbroken sections of dense forest. You won’t crawl over downed trees, but hey. Leave that stuff to the likes of Earthcruiser or campers made from repurposed military vehicles.

We offer kudos for clever use of wood in a true DIY camper build. Will we see a super-sized version anytime soon? The clip mentions going with a larger motor, so color us intrigued for the next Quiet Nerd project.