When Dave Moult pulls up to a camp site, people gather around to see what he’s hauling. There are few things that will beat a mid-1960’s dove blue, split window Volkswagen bus in the looks department, but Dave’s homemade steampunk camper, the Campenarti, does it with ease.
This absolutely gorgeous teardrop camper is built mostly from scavenged parts. That well worn look isn’t just some nice finishing work on Moult’s part. He sourced old bits and pieces to bring back to life in his teardrop.
For example, the chassis was a rotten camper beyond repair. Ripping the camper off the frame gave Moult a solid foundation to start with. The side panels were scrap wood sitting on the side of the road with a sign on them that said: “free fire wood, get it before it snows.” The copper sheeting on the sides were old water cylinders, headed to the scrap yard, and the leather interior panels were salvaged from a £15 sofa with a bit of help from a friend.
Moult and his wife enjoy participating in a lot of events that are based around camping. “We camp almost every weekend from May up to the end of September,” they say. Since the couple spends so many weekends in their teardrop, they wanted something comfortable and luxurious.
One aspect that is particularly great is the functionality of all the bits and pieces. The steampunk aesthetic too often stops with style and doesn’t delve into function. Moult opted not to go that route, building his system to not only be pretty, but also practical. This functional nature can bring its own surprises during the design. Sometimes realizing an idea will not only look good, but also make your camping experience better is a really great surprise. For example, Moult says,
One of the best moments of the build was when we thought of putting the lower hatch on runners so it could slide under the trailer and tuck it away.
The functional additions don’t stop there. Bundled in this wood and leather second home are a plethora of beautifully functional features. Another great example is the sink, seen below. When in use, it’s an ample-sized and pretty sink. When not in use, it hinges up, flush against the side of the teardrop, looking good and being less of a bashing hazard.
Moult shares some tips with us. You don’t necessarily have to start out with the item you’re after. Some clever repurposing can go a long way. For example, port holes can be difficult to find, especially if you want one with some nice flourishes of style. However, you can find decorative metal trays easily and once the bottom is cut out, they work quite well as a window.
This fine piece of craftsmanship looks like an absolute pleasure to spend time in. Everything works on 12V car power or propane, meaning that wherever you stop, you’re ready to go. You don’t even need to worry about finding a nice scenic view — this thing is so pretty you could always just turn your chairs around and stare at it instead.
Here are a few more pictures, but there are tons more pictures in Moult’s Facebook gallery of the build.