I think this photo was from my first day camping in Flagstaff back in spring 2014. This particular camping area is near the Naval Observatory and is one of my “go to” sites when I’m in the area, as it’s the closest to town. Not this exact site of course — there are over a dozen campsites completely separate campsites out here, and I’ve seen as many as 20 vehicles parked on certain days. I have my own dependable “semi-secret” site that I enjoy for its solitude.
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Happy Saturday, Readers! I’m excited to announce that the first preliminary version of Free DIY Truck Camper Plans are available to download.
This first version covers the basic design leading up to the pop-up roof, which I’ll explain in the next release. Along with more extensive details and step-by-step instruction, later versions will also include plans to build lots of DIY sustainable-design “appliances,” ex. a long-lasting cooler you can make for free, a built-in multi-use solar oven design, a way to use that solar oven to make ICE (really!), a makeshift space-saving indoor shower you can tuck away… and lots more coming up.
NOTE: At some point I’ll put the plans up for sale, but at least for the first few versions, they’re still free. BUT, it’s possible that I may simply release the next edition as “Part 2” and retire the Part 1 preview… So if this is something that interests you (or someone else you know), please get it while it’s available.
In other blogging-related news…
I like to share how my blogs are progressing, especially since a lot of you reading this are also bloggers and/or camping full-timers hoping to turn your blog into a little extra income. I know I’ve had a tough time getting realistic figures on how much money you can expect to make blogging, so here are my rough numbers.
It’s been about six months now since I set up my main site at MobileRik.com, and about three months since I installed Adsense and Amazon ads. After a very slow July, my traffic has picked up a lot, and this week I’m finally averaging over 200 visitors a day. Adsense income has been slowly rising accordingly, and is up to $15 a month. At this rate of growth, assuming it continues, I can expect at this time next year to finally see about $200 per month from Adsense.
Obviously, that’s nothing like the full-time income anyone hopes for, but it’s not bad either. Because in the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of stuff to increase the growth rate. Now that the camper is nearing completion, I can finally start getting around to publishing the photos and videos I shot, being more active on social media, writing more articles… and tons of other stuff depending on how much time I can find. On the money side, I can start looking into compatible affiliate programs and ad sponsorships, which will widen my income streams beyond Adsense and Amazon and pay a lot better in the short term. And of course, I’ll be selling ebooks full of plans for my DIY camping/boondocking hacks.
So overall, I’m very happy with the progress. The most important thing for me is that I’ve set up a good foundation that’s easy to build off of, even when I’m off wandering in the wilderness kicking at funny-colored rocks.
(Hope you like the animation I made. First one ever, so I’m pretty pleased with that!)
CAMPER BUILD UPDATES — What You May Have Missed From The Past Few Weeks:
New Roof: I just put another day of work into the body of my self-built truck camper. It now has a solid roof — as opposed to the tarp that was covering it the last few weeks — and it’s sturdy enough for me to sit on (pic). (The pop-up function should be ready within a week or so.)
Homemade Door: I built a homemade camper door from free wood (pic) that came from some old drawers. To keep it closed, I’ve been using a spare doorknob set I had lying around, and a simple combination padlock for minimal security until a friend who’s moving to a new place gives me her old keyed-entry knob and deadbolt.
Innovative Solar Oven: I’ve been experimenting with a tiny roof/ceiling installed solar oven (pic) made from free cardboard boxes, aluminum foil and an oven bag. (The recommended materials.) The main innovation, besides the ceiling-installation, is that this solar box cooker opens from the front (pic – top left), so I can use it from inside the camper after opening up the reflectors above the roof. Despite some problems due to its small size and way-too-thin walls, I’ve been able to boil water and cook rice and pasta (inside view) with it.
If you’d like to keep up to date with ALL the rapid developments, be sure to follow Mobile Rik – Living In A DIY Truck Camper on Facebook.
If my calculations are correct…
I oughta be able to build the new truck camper… “Soon”. 🙂
There really isn’t much wood needed for the my version of a Four Wheel Camper style RV. I should be able to haul all the wood in the bed of my truck. (Which should be pretty obvious, since the end result is going to fit in the bed of my truck!) It should cost about $100… or possibly $50, depending on what’s available at the salvage yard. Barring any extenuating circumstances, I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be fully assembled and usable within just one weekend.
Though since “extenuating circumstances” is not showing any signs of debarring itself… I may have to wait it out a bit longer. We’ll see…
In other news
As I’ve mentioned (I think), my hope is to eventually turn blogging into a self-supporting income. My goal this month has been to lay more foundation in terms of social media and satellite blogs (like this one) that can help refer visitor traffic to my main site. I also spent quite a bit of energy over a few days reprogram the site to be faster (a tad faster than maple syrup in December at this point) and also to allow me to use “post formats” — like you have on WordPress.com but isn’t standard in self-installed versions, because it still doesn’t work the way one would prefer it to work, i.e. like Tumblr.
So far the effort is paying off — all things considered. My main “big” site MobileRik.com (please visit if you haven’t!) is steadily attracting more visitors and has just started getting some random social linking. A great sign from the last few days is that the site has gotten record numbers of visitors, despite my taking the last few days off.
As for tricklings of ad money… Despite hardly doing any sort of optimization beyond just installing an Adsense plugin, over the month of June I’ve made a total of $9 from Google (!), and I’m finally starting to see a much better selection of relevant ads, which should help a lot. I’ve also gotten about $1 in commissions from Amazon. Ultimately I think Amazon will work out much better, but I haven’t really worked it in all that much. And beyond that… I’m really just waiting to build more traffic before I get into all the other ways to “monetize” it, with sponsorships and products like DIY camper plans and ebooks that could possibly fund more than a weekly cup of coffee or two.
For right now…
The key order of business is to finally get this damn camper design built and tested! Once that’s done, you can look forward to tons of photos, videos, and plans on down the line.
Thanks for reading!