Couple transforms a fire truck into a cozy camper for traveling Europe

June 15, 2018 by  
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When Anna and Sebastian Schlüter decided to take a break from working in Berlin to embark on their long-awaited trip around Europe, traveling via fire truck wasn’t the first thing on their minds. But on the advice of Sebastian’s father, and after coming across a deal on a 1987 Mercedes-Benz fire truck, the duo found themselves in a year-long conversion project that turned the vehicle into a cozy travel camper. Nicknamed ‘ Bombero ’ (Spanish for “fireman”), the converted fire truck took about a year to complete and has provided the perfect travel wheels for Anna and Sebastian, who have visited 19 countries and counting thus far. Purchased for approximately $14,700 USD, the 30-year-old Mercedes Benz fire truck conversion involved a gut-renovation that decreased the 11-ton vehicle to a weight of 7.5 tons. The couple initially parked the vehicle on the Schlüter family farm in Nottuln, Germany, where it was worked on with help from Sebastian’s brother and father, who has experience with converting a Unimog into a camper . Thanks to Sebastian’s father’s experience and many helping hands, the project was relatively low-cost. Sebastian handled the engineering and construction, while Anna led the interior design. The cost of materials, some of which were gifted or found in secondhand shops, is estimated at around $29,520. In addition to emptying out the interior, the Schlüters made the fire truck more livable by lifting up the roof to add extra windows and inserting insulation and wiring. Custom-made upholstery, a mix of birch , oak and spruce as well as decorative elements like porcelain door knobs make the space cozy and inviting. The fire truck was outfitted with all the necessities, such as a full-size bed, closet, dining area, a bathroom and a full kitchen with an oven and electrical appliances. The off-grid home is also equipped with a gas tank, fresh water and gray water tanks and rooftop solar panels. Related: The Beer Moth is a Sweet Room in a Refurbished Fire Truck in Scotland “Many decisions were very deliberately led by quality over price — keeping in mind that anything that keeps you from having to fix it while on the road will give you peace of mind and let you enjoy traveling rather than being stressed out and having to find solutions while in a foreign country,” explained the couple. “This decision paid off very well — no items, besides the brake lights, has broken down during the last 11 months! Not one thing!” Anna and Sebastian hit the road with their dog, Lotta, in June 2017 and have clocked more than 10,000 miles in their ongoing trip around Europe. You can follow the Bombero Travel adventure here . + Bombero Travel Via Dwell Conversion image copyright Anna Schlüter, all others copyright Seraia Photography

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Couple transforms a fire truck into a cozy camper for traveling Europe

Go glamping in this retro Airstream camp surrounded by redwood forests

May 3, 2018 by  
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Traveling the country in an renovated Airstream is a dream for many, but those looking for just a little weekend Airstream glamping will find all they need at this beautiful retreat. Located by the Russian River in the heart of Sonoma’s Wine Country, AutoCamp is a picturesque getaway that offers custom-made Airstream accommodations with luxurious amenities, all surrounded by majestic redwood forests. The Airstream resort offers a number of custom-made Airstreams that were designed by Dan Weber Architecture in collaboration with Airstream USA. While the vintage charm of the Airstreams is clearly visible, the campers were created to provide guests with the ultimate glamping experience. The designers outfitted each suite with plush, modern interiors and amenities that rival any top-quality boutique hotel. Related: This dreamy boutique hotel in California is made up of 11 refurbished Airstreams Inside, guests can enjoy a comfy queen-sized bed with high-quality linens. The iconic campers also come with small kitchens with basic cooking utensils, wine glasses and silverware. The spa-like bathrooms have a large walk-in showers and custom vanity sinks. Each camper features a large sofa bed to accommodate additional overnight guests. To best enjoy the surrounding nature, each Airstream comes with a small deck and fire pit. Guests can rent bicycles from the site to explore the beautiful redwood forests or head to nearby Guerneville. The campsite also has a beautiful clubhouse, where campers can visit the reception desk, canteen and cool lounge areas with hanging rattan chairs. + AutoCamp + Anacapa Architecture Via Dwell

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Go glamping in this retro Airstream camp surrounded by redwood forests

Magical new classroom reconnects children with nature in the UK

May 3, 2018 by  
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Dramatic swooping roofs top this new timber-clad building designed by Studio Weave for Belvue School, a secondary school for children aged between 11 and 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties. Appropriately dubbed The Wooden Classroom, the building was created to help reconnect students with nature and opens up to the adjacent woodland recently acquired by the school to serve as an educational nature reserve. Constructed from a low budget originally allocated for a cargotecture school expansion, the 1,600-square-foot The Wooden Classroom comprises a “cozy lounge” informal teaching space and a “sociable kitchen” student-run school cafe next to the woods. “We identified that the boundary between the playground and woods marks the border between familiar school territory and the magical, mysterious world of trees,” said Studio Weave. “This very important threshold, symbolising the entrance to another world, like the gate to the secret garden, or the cupboard to Narnia became a focal point and we consequently designed the woodland classrooms to act as a gatehouse between one world and another.” Related: Free off-grid shelter pops up for urban explorers in Bordeaux The wood-lined interior is flooded with natural light with curved ceilings and clerestory windows . The Wooden Classroom is entirely naturally ventilated. Large window walls frame views of the outdoors and bring nature in. Studio Weave also worked with a forest management specialist for their sensitive approach to the landscape. + Studio Weave Images via Studio Weave

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Magical new classroom reconnects children with nature in the UK

Tipoon’s tiny home on wheels triples in size with the push of a button

May 2, 2018 by  
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Travel campers : they’re here to stay, and they’re becoming better than ever. Case in point? French startup Tipoon’s new mobile and modular camper pod triples its size with the push of a button. The startup says the easy-to-tow, lightweight, and expandable Tipoon Travel Machine can switch between three modes—closed, half open, and fully open—in mere seconds. Designed to sit atop a utility trailer , the Tipoon Travel Machine measures approximately 5.5 feet in height and 5.5 feet in width when closed for transport. When switched to the ‘open’ mode, both sides expand to increase the width to 10.5 feet and the height to 8.4 feet. The half-open position is designed for temporary stopovers. This remote-controlled expansion also comes with a manual crank backup. Tippon Travel Machine is crafted with an insulated poly-composite mono bloc shell with a galvanized subframe. It’s designed as a standalone pod that can be removed from the trailer and stored in a garage when not in use. The unit itself is between 13.5 and 14.8 feet in length. Related: Airstream launches its first-ever fiberglass camper for under $50K The interior is available in four configurations: single sleeper, two-bed sleeper, king-size sleeper, and dining area, as well as a bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. Transforming and space-saving furniture make the most of the small footprint, as seen beneath the fixed bed, where a dining table, benches, and even storage slide out. With deliveries planned for this year, the company estimates a base price starting at €24,000 (approximately $30,000). Tipoon is finalizing its pricing and equipment lists and is accepting pre-launch reservations now. + Tipoon Via New Atlas

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Twisting infinity-loop roof tops this prefab bamboo pavilion

May 2, 2018 by  
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Archi-Union Architects combined traditional Chinese construction techniques with prefabrication technology in ‘In Bamboo,’ a pavilion located in Sichuan’s Daoming Town. Created as a multi-functional rural community cultural center, the project celebrates the town’s renowned bamboo weaving craftsmanship with a material palette mainly comprising bamboo and tile. An eye-catching Mobius-shaped roof tops the building and is finished with traditional ceramic tiles. The nearly 20,000-square-foot In Bamboo building is located on two adjacent plots of land of unequal size. The architects drew two circles—one large, one small—on each parcel and joined them together to form the beginnings of the infinity loop -shaped building. “These two circles came together determining the large contour for our building while still preserving the surrounding bamboo forest and trees,” wrote the architects. “Within this new boundary we sought to maximize the continuity, horizontality and ductility of the space.” Related: Robots construct an art gallery in Shanghai from recycled gray bricks An unexpectedly rushed timeline meant that the architecture, landscaping, and interior were completed in just 52 days. Thankfully, the use of a 70% light prefabricated steel frame and other prefabricated timber construction—completed previously in the span of a month—helped increase the speed of installation. Traditional bamboo weaving was used in the facades. The speedy and relatively low-waste project has encouraged Archi-Union Architects to promote prefabrication in more rural construction projects in China . + Archi-Union Architects Images ©??

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Twisting infinity-loop roof tops this prefab bamboo pavilion

Airstream launches its first-ever fiberglass camper for under $50K

April 12, 2018 by  
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The makers of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer just launched their highly anticipated Nest travel trailer – and it’s unlike any Airstream you’ve ever seen before. Designed as a home away from home, the Nest is big on comfort and amenities but also resilient and easy to tow — making it the ideal adventure camper . Airstream’s newest trailer also marks the company’s first departure from aluminum for the world of lightweight fiberglass – and it’s available starting at $45,000. Nest offers more than just winning good looks. Created by designer Robert Johans, who was also involved in Airstream’s in-house development, Nest blends form and function in an aerodynamic semi-monocoque structure. Ski goggles inspired the shape of the wide and slightly rounded front windshield, while five additional tempered tinted windows, a skylight , and a vertical window on the doorway come together to create a nearly panoramic view and flood the interior with natural light. Space-saving techniques create a sense of roominess inside the 16-foot, 3,400-pound Nest, which manages to pack a surprising number of amenities into its sleek and minimalist interior. When the rear doorway is opened, the eye is immediately drawn to the cozy living area and views beyond the front windshield. The bathroom and storage immediately flank the entrance, followed by a galley kitchen with a two-burner stove, sink, fridge, and microwave, and finally by the primary living space in the back. Related: 10 things you need to know about living in the 2018 Airstream Globetrotter Customers can choose between two floor plans: one with a U-shaped dinette that converts into a queen bed, and another that features a permanent queen bed with a plush Tuft & Needle mattress. “There’s really nothing else like it,” said Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler. “Nest acknowledges Airstream’s lasting legacy, while anticipating a new potential for outdoor adventure.” Airstream’s Nest is priced from $45,000 MSRP and will be sent to Airstream dealers nationwide this month. + Nest by Airstream Images via Airstream

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This tiny house on wheels can expand to meet the owner’s needs

March 30, 2018 by  
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Owning a house no longer means you have to stay in place. This tiny house on wheels, built to withstand extreme climates, can both change locations at a moment’s notice and expand in order to adjust to specific user needs. The Tiny House Company’s newest design, named Swallowtail, can be used as a primary home, weekender, studio, extended living space, or anything in between. Post-war homes inspired the tiny house’s design – it features a butterfly roof , timber screen, plywood cladding and corrugated sheeting. The butterfly roof has an integrated box gutter and downpipe for easy connection and rainwater collection , all hidden from view beside a paulownia timber screen. Related: This huge ‘tiny house’ on wheels can fit a family of five! The location of the doors and windows maximizes  cross-ventilation , and the walls and roof are well insulated. Durable and low-maintenance cladding and flashing ensure that the house retains a watertight seal at all times. The minimal floor plan keeps the interior looking uncluttered and clean, accommodating a range of optional extras and different furniture arrangements. Owners can add storage, shelving, optional window/door upgrades and additions, awnings, a planter box, higher-end fixtures, and additional cabinetry. Basic models of the home start at around $62,500. + The Tiny House Company Via Apartment Therapy

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10 things you need to know about living in the 2018 Airstream Globetrotter travel trailer

March 29, 2018 by  
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Have you ever dreamed of packing your bags and hitting the road on an Airstream adventure? You’re not alone. The Airstream is a modern marvel that promises freedom, comfort and self-sufficiency – and it has captured the hearts of dreamers, explorers, and design-savvy travelers for decades. We recently had the chance to take a brand new 2018 Airstream Globetrotter for a trip along the rugged coastline of California – read on for 10 things we learned on the way. 1. Don’t fear the tow Prior to this trip, I had never towed a vehicle before – so the prospect of flying down the freeway with a 3-ton, $100,000 aluminum bubble made me just a little nervous. Still, I found myself at Bay Area Airstream Adventures with a media loan* for a 2018 Globetrotter and a Nissan Titan. Their knowledgeable, friendly team taught me everything I needed to know, sat me in the driver’s seat, and I hit the road just in time for rush hour. Despite the traffic, the trip went smoothly. The Nissan Titan has plenty of power, and the Airstream team coached me to make slow starts, gradual stops, and “unapologetically wide right turns.” Once I made it through San Francisco and hit the Pacific Coast Highway, the rest of the drive was a breeze. 2. The world is your oyster The Globetrotter can adapt to pretty much any environment – but when it came time to select a campsite, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Costanoa KOA is an eco-adventure resort set amidst one of the most scenic stretches of California’s coastline. Located about an hour south of San Francisco, Costanoa is the perfect home base for exploring the region’s rocky coastline, lush green hills, and prime surf breaks. Elephant seals populate Año Nuevo State Park to the south, while the historic Pigeon Point Lighthouse lies just a few miles to the north. The campground has the feel of a cozy coastal village with communal fireplaces, wooden lodges, a restaurant and a general store. It also offers full RV hookups and it’s great for kids, with activities ranging from nature hikes and whale watching to falconry presentations and photography tours. 3. It has all the comforts of home This isn’t your grandfather’s airstream . The wood-heavy interiors of yesteryear have evolved into a light, bright space lined with skylights and panoramic windows. The Globetrotter packs pretty much every amenity you could want – including air conditioning, heating, a full kitchen, a microwave, a refrigerator, a Polk sound system, and two TVs with satellite cable. 4. Bring your friends Thanks to some seriously impressive interior design, the Globetrotter is able to sleep six people. The master bedroom holds a queen-size mattress, another bed slides out from the sofa, and the dining table lowers and locks to create an additional sleeping platform. There’s plenty of room to comfortably lounge and sleep with four people, although I can imagine the quarters get pretty close at full capacity. 5. Smart storage saves the day Organization is the key to living in a tiny home – and Airstream packed clever space-saving features into every nook and cranny of the Globetrotter. Eye-level cabinets are lined with lights and mirrors so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. Additional storage can be found beneath the banquette seating, within the wardrobe, under the sink, and even below the queen bed, which conveniently lifts upwards. 6. It’s chef approved Despite its small size, the Globetrotter’s kitchen can make short work out of even complicated multi-course meals. The oven is topped with three gas burners, and a microwave slides stealthily out of a side cabinet. A full sink makes cleanup a snap, and it can be covered up with Corian insets to create additional counter space. It’s crab season in California, so we whipped up a seafood feast with a pasta course and a blood orange salad. 7. It’s off-grid ready Thanks to smart systems design, the Globetrotter is equally adept at plugging into the grid or ‘boondocking’ in the middle of nowhere. It can tap into district water at a campsite, or you can draw upon its 39-gallon freshwater tank. Heating is provided by an electric heat pump or a propane furnace. The refrigerator can run on electricity or gas, and the roof comes ready to accept a solar array. These systems maximize the trailer’s flexibility and comfort in a wide range of environments and conditions. 8. But there’s definitely a learning curve It takes knowledge and experience to maximize your efficiency – especially if you’re camping off-grid. Knowing which systems to activate at what time can spell the difference between a comfortable stay and a dead battery. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available online to help light the way. 9. Get ready to measure your footprint With all the luxuries that the Globetrotter provides, it’s easy to forget that you’re working with certain constraints. A handy panel keeps the score, measuring the Globetrotter’s battery charge and fresh water levels (critical when boondocking) as well as how much room is left in the gray and black water tanks. Having access to this information really makes you consider the resources you use – and the waste you produce. 10. It’s built for the long haul The Globetrotter appeals to a certain kind of traveler. It takes some effort and knowledge to get it to its location, set it up, and operate it efficiently, so it’s not as quick or easy as tent camping. But it’s definitely more comfortable, durable, and versatile – and with the right setup and practices, it can serve as a cozy, stylish, and modern home on wheels practically indefinitely. + 2018 Airstream Globetrotter + Bay Area Airstream Adventures + Costanoa KOA Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat Full disclosure: Airstream and Nissan Titan loan provided by Bay Area Airstream Adventures and JMPR Public Relations . Costanoa KOA reservation provided by Allison + Partners

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Conservationists sound the alarm to address ‘America’s wildlife crisis’

March 29, 2018 by  
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A coalition of conservationist groups have called for urgent action to address the drastic decline in American wildlife . According to the groups’ recently released report, one in three animal species in the United States is vulnerable to extinction, while one in five face a severe threat amid a serious decline in American biodiversity. “Fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates are all losing ground,” Collin O’Mara, chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation, told the Guardian . “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to prevent these species from vanishing from the earth.” Over 1,270 species native to the United States are listed as at-risk under the Endangered Species Act, which include such iconic creatures as the grizzly bear and the California condor. In their recent report, the National Wildlife Federation, American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife Society argued that the actual number of at-risk species is significantly higher. The difference in numbers is accounted for by the data source. While federal authorities document species on a case-by-case basis, the report relies on data from  NatureServe , which determines the health of any particular species on a sliding scale. Related: Spending bill would open the world’s largest intact temperate forest to logging Some kinds of animals have fared worse than others. 40% of all freshwater fish in the United States are now endangered or at-risk while amphibian populations shrink within their known territory by 4% each year. “This loss of wildlife has been sneaking up on us but is now like a big tsunami that is going to hit us,” Thomas Lovejoy, a biologist at George Mason University who advised the report, told the Guardian . Species decline can be attributed to a variety of factors, including habitat loss, increased spread of disease, climate change , and pesticide use. The report emphasizes the need for a federal response to deal with this crisis, citing successful examples of species recovery efforts throughout the United States. This increased threat to biodiversity is not unique to the United States. “ Extinctions are ramping up, and if that continues it will be one for the history books for the whole planet,” environmental scientist Erle Ellis told the Guardian . The world is getting very humanized and I’m very concerned about the cost to biodiversity . It’s a challenge that will face us throughout this century and beyond.” Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Conservationists sound the alarm to address ‘America’s wildlife crisis’

"The only way to see Iceland" with adorable mini Mink Campers

March 13, 2018 by  
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Photographs of Icelanic landscapes tend to incite serious wanderlust — add a tiny camper to the scene and you’ve got the makings of a swoon-worthy outdoors adventure. Local company Mink Campers is offering their little trailers for rent, saying they’re “the only way to see Iceland,” and from the pictures, we just might agree. Ever wanted to explore Iceland? Mink Campers allows you to get out there in nature without completely waving goodbye to the 21st century. Their two-person campers, rented with a 4×4 vehicle, allow you to sleep under the stars while also enjoying electricity, WiFi, USB charging, and a Bose sound system. Related: Off-grid camping just got so much better with these solar-powered teardrop trailers The Mink Camper, which is around nine-feet by five-feet by six-feet, has a queen mattress inside. A Webasto heating system provides warmth while campers gaze at the sky through a roof skylight. Round side windows also let in light, while LED lighting brightens up the camper when it’s dark. Scandinavian linen, a blanket, pillows, and a duvet will keep explorers cozy. Two adults can snuggle in — or around four kids, as seen in the Instagram picture below. Kids are brutally honest critics and by the look on these faces we need not say more..#kids #campingwithkids #summer #campinglife #minkcampers #hastens #bose #roadtripiceland #campinginstyle #campinginiceland #wanderlust #adventurecamping #travel #travelblog #travelphoto #iceland #roadtrip #exploring #lovecamping #outdoorlife #outside #enjoylife #hästens A post shared by Mink Campers (@minkcampers) on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:02pm PST What about breakfast the next morning? There’s an open air kitchen around the back of the trailer, equipped with a gas stove, illuminated ice chest, kitchen tools, and a table and chairs. During summer 2017, people could rent the camper with a 4×4 Dacia Duster supplied by Avis . The camper cost 119 Euros, around $146, per day, with the Duster costing 150 Euros, around $185, a day, bringing the total, which Mink Campers said included cleaning and value-added tax, to 269 Euros, or around $331. Mink Campers recommended people rest at dedicated camping sites, which they said cost around $10 to $15 per person and often offer showers and toilets. They included warnings for adventurers who might not be familiar with driving in the country as weather can change rapidly. Beyond watching out for gravel roads, single-lane bridges, and blind hills, drivers also need to keep an eye out for another potential hazard: “numerous sheep roaming freely.” You can find out more information on the Mink Campers website or check out additional images on the company’s Instagram page . + Mink Campers Images courtesy of Mink Campers

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