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Friday, October 16, 2020

The Debut of Suelo's Bicycle Camper

So I've been pretty confined the past five plus years since I've been my parents' (now just my mom's) live-in caretaker here in Fruita, Colorado. But I've been working on stuff, when I can.  

Here's evidence I still have moneyless life on the road in my visions:

My bicycle camper!  

I started working on this bicycle camper a couple years ago, then put in on hold, then, a couple months ago, got inspired to work on it again.  It's made of all scavenged, discarded & recycled materials, nothing bought (except I cheated a bit and the glue is purchased). 

The inside isn't completed yet, but I did just take the camper on the road a few days ago, going 100 miles (161 km)!  Thanks to my brother, Doug, staying with our mom for 3 days, I could do this.  He did some of the video filming, too.

Yes, here's a video of my 100-mile bicycle camper debut journey from Fruita, Colorado to Cisco, Utah (and back again)!  I got to see Eileen Muza along with Jon Bartel (her artist in residence) and his art exhibit there.


It was grand to see some other old friends from Moab and around I hadn't seen for the first time in like forever, as well.

The 100-mile round trip went well, though I did have a camper tire blowout on the way back to Fruita, limping back home.  

It was a great trial run for possible future life on the road again.  

Pics of the camper's building progress

I started this in the summer of 2017.  It started with a bicycle trailer my friend Tim had found abandoned in a Wal Mart parking lot in eastern Oregon.  

The frame is made from several aluminum camp chairs I found in dumpsters.  It was almost mystical how they fit together perfectly, with minimal alteration, like a rector set.  I also used some discarded aluminum strips from my friend's camper-trailer-building workshop (where the first pics here are taken).

I then paneled it with cardboard.  The windows are made of cross-sections of 5-gallon plastic buckets and clear plastic sheets I found in dumpsters.  The windows are double pane, openable, and with screens.

The outer paneling is made with corrugated plastic campaign signs.  The shingles are made with soda and beer cans, attached with staples made of discarded bailing & hanger wire.

It even has an aluminum screen door, cut to size from a regular house screen door.

The uncompleted interior:

My brother said the scale-like shingles reminded him of a dragon, so this inspired me to go with a dragon theme:

It was even decorated for Fruita's Christmas Light Parade in 2018

My sister-in-law, Elaine, helped me decorate the camper as the Snow Queen's castle, while I decorated my mom's wheelchair as the Snow Queen's sleigh.

And my (then 91-year-old) mother, Laurel, was the Snow Queen!


  1. the you-tube link doesn't load from the website, and i can't find it anywhere else.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. Not sure why it doesn't load for you. It does for me. I just edited the actual Youtube link into the post, & here it is again. Hopefully this'll work:

  2. This is great! I don't know if I could ever truly commit to being moneyless (still $28k of student loans), but I'm working on minimizing my dependence on it. I definitely feel like at best it's a tool we use to navigate life, nothing more. You are truly an inspiration!

  3. Draggin' the dragon. .. Sitting in a house the scene never changes, I know. Great little video; love the art community. Long live the creative gypsy spirits ��

  4. Dan, that's an awesome ride! The photo of your mother as the Snow Queen is really sweet. Glad your trip was safe...hope you are well and happy!