Fantasy Craft: 5 Unique Campers Built for Land, Sea & Sky


One man with many ideas, Jay Nelson seems to have a custom camper or mini-home in store for every occasion, including tree houses, a sleeper boat, unconventional caravan and scooter camper.

It would be too easy to classify his work, which is not ‘neo-hippy’ nor ‘steampunk’ but a blend of childhood fantasy tempered with adult reality, always carefully responsive to practical needs and functional materials.

A common theme: space for a surfboard on top, whether it be a water- or land-going vessel, and unconventional shapes, be they angular or curved.

There is no mistaking his conversions or additions for being anything but new and different, but there is also a way that they work with what is there – in this case, for instance, extending the lines (and thus streamlining) an otherwise clunky white Honda Civic.

And it is amazing what he manages to pack into a single project, especially starting roughly from scratch: “The Golden Gate is an electric camper car measuring 96″x54″x64″. Made with fiberglass, epoxy resin, plywood, glass, bike parts and electric motor. The vehicle can drive 10 miles on a charge and goes up to 20 mph. The interior has a kitchen with sink, stove, cooler, storage cubbies, toilet, a bed and storage below the bed. All of the controls are in the steering wheel. The driver sits cross legged while operating the vehicle.”

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