College senior Sarah Hastings is building a DIY fifth wheel in an attempt to get two birds with one project: have her own home, and have financial freedom.

Hastings is a senior at Mount Holyoke College where she studies architecture as her major. She desinged the tiny house on wheels in her sophomore year. It was a timber-frame design.

She’s building it now behind a garage at the school. Mobile tiny houses are often built on 8 foot wide trailers about 20 feet long. Hasting’s design is larger. It’s 200 square feet.

It sits on a 5th wheel trailer with a gooseneck hitch, which has safety advantages over a bumper hitch.

Hastings hasn’t yet decided on a vehicle to move her project around. She said she was looking for some land around Amherst and the surrounding area where she might reside.

The simplest camper trailer you can build in your driveway

If you’ve ever wanted to build or customize your own camper or trailer but didn’t know where to start, we’ve found the perfect project for you. Compact camping has become more and more popular in recent years, but not everyone has the money to invest in a top of the line model, and it’s really not a necessary thing, especially if you’ve got the tools, materials, and willingness to experiment a little and make something tailored to your needs.

The Explorer Box is a small, beginner camping trailer with enough nooks and crannies to outfit you for a weekend (or two) of fun. Simply plop your tent on top and get rolling. You can see photos in the overview at Compact Camping Concepts, as well as a list of what comes with the purchase of the blueprints – materials list, building notes, and the like.

You’ll need to have three pieces in order to complete the project: a flat bed trailer (you can purchase an already-made trailer or buy a kit), the Explorer Box, and a tent to go on top. Once you have all these items put together, you’re ready to start your life as a weekend nomad.

You can also click through the other pages on the Compact Camping Concepts site, which boasts a store, a gallery, and a blog.

Super-small rooftop tent

While in the past people have been concerned with amassing every single item needed for the perfect camping trip, nowadays it seems that less is best. There’s not so much stress when it comes to ensuring all the things are included and there’s more thought behind the why of camping – getting away from the rush, enjoying nature, and spending time in solitude.

It’s also easier to do these days, especially with the uptick in interest around nomadic travel and designers who understand that simple, aerodynamic shapes are easier to work with. Sebastian Maluska, designer of a rooftop tent that affixes to the top of a vehicle, knows that very little is needed for a quiet weekend getaway.

Lightweight materials such as aluminum and waterproof fabric make up the entire tent, leaving room for one or two sleeping bags. The tent folds up quickly, and provides shelter whether in rain or sun. A ladder is also provided so that entry and exit are easy to attain.

If this type of tent camping interests you, there are plenty of photos and a write-up about this particular rooftop tent over at Bless This Stuff, which also notes that the model, named “The Nest”, is not only lightweight but cost conscious as well, taking up very little room and keeping costs down not only by materials but by conserving fuel as well (due to the shape and weight).