home Guide Building Modular Rooms for Your Base Camp

Building Modular Rooms for Your Base Camp

How often have you needed some form of small building, but the usual solutions were too expensive, too much of a good thing, or just not flexible enough for what you have in mind? Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

I was living in a small motorhome at a fixed camp for a somewhat extended period of time. After a few days I began to realize that, while the kitchen and bathroom facilities in a motorhome or travel trailer make them suitable for traveling, those same facilities become very limiting once one is parked for more than a day or two. With a small piece of land all to myself, it just didn’t seem right that I could sit on my bed and put one hand on the stove and the other on the bathroom door. The motorhome was fine for sleeping, but I wanted to do my cooking and bathroom needs somewhere else. It also would be nice to be able to get some of my stuff out of the motorhome, instead of having it all in my way.

My first thought was a storage building, which I would convert to a small cabin. I thought about that for a couple of days, finally coming to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t work. For one thing, it would cost a thousand dollars or more upfront, which I couldn’t afford. For another, it would simply become an expensive, fixed cabin, and having spent so much money and time on it, I would probably just move into it and use my motorhome for storage, while still living in cramped quarters. Not the solution I was looking for.

I was sitting by the fire outside my camper one evening, cooking my supper over the coals, when a solution occurred to me. I had been picking up pallets for use as firewood at nearby businesses that stacked them out at the road for disposal, and some of the pallets were quite heavy duty, with solid plywood or plank decks. One such pallet was lying on the ground a few feet away and, thinking what a shame it would be to break up such a well-built pallet to use as firewood, I realized that it was larger than the floor area of the shower stall in my camper. So I chose a spot just to the side of my “patio” area, where it would be handy and perhaps even block the wind a little, and dragged the pallet to the spot, envisioning a shower stall. The next day I found some gravel and dumped it on the spot under where the shower would be, built a rudimentary foundation of four concrete blocks, and replaced the pallet. Then I went to town and got some 2x4s, a cheap plastic tarp, a new pump-up sprayer, and some barn paint. In short order I had built a framework of 2x4s, painted them and the pallet, and when that dried, stapled the tarp over it to form walls and a roof. Now with the pump-up sprayer I had a shower stall, outside my camper! The gravel underneath the pallet was all the drainfield needed for a daily shower.

Thus emboldened, I decided to apply the solution to the toilet problem as well. And it was getting to be a problem. Those of you who have camped in a motorhome or other camper know that you have to pull into a dump station on a regular basis, to empty your holding tank. If you’re parked in a fixed camp, you quickly come to a point where you have to break up camp, just to drive to a location where you can dump. Well, there are wheeled caddys made for the purpose of dumping your tank into the caddy for transport to a dumping station without the necessity of moving the camper, but a better solution is to have a portable toilet and not have to deal with the holding tank at all when not on the road.

A portable toilet is perfectly comfortable to use, and is designed with a handled holding tank that separates from the rest of the toilet for transport to a dump station. They are quite easy to deal with and not messy at all; in fact, they are easier to deal with than the hose that is used to dump the main holding tank when on the road. So the solution here was obvious: set another pallet beside the shower stall, and build it into a room.

For this one I spent a little more money. I bought more 2x4s, and exterior grade 3/8″ plywood and a sheet of roofing tin instead of a tarp. I managed to scrounge a door, but I would have built one of plywood and 2x4s had I not found one. From there it was a matter of adding a toilet paper holder, a shelf for a bottle of hand sanitizer, and sliding in the portable toilet. After the use of the motor home, they can be sold at we buy any motorhome website. The payments can be accepted in the cash or cheque methods. The services will be beneficial for the selling of the motor homes. 

The final little building I built was similar to the toilet room, but with a hasp for a padlock, and it was used for storage. I kept it simple, did most of my cooking outdoors on the fire, and continued to use the built-in refrigerator, and the built-in bathroom for brushing my teeth, etc. But there is no reason a full-fledged small kitchen can’t be built using RV appliances. Also, the shower could incorporate a water tank and RV-type gas water heater. In short, anything you have seen in a motorhome could be built into four foot square pallet rooms, with those rooms being arranged around a central deck or patio area. They can be dragged to a different spot with an ATV or garden tractor, and up to ten of them can be loaded onto a standard car-hauler trailer, or a couple of them at a time can be hauled on a small utility trailer, if you decide to move the whole camp.


David Robson

David Robson is the founder of Complus Alliance. He has been writing about different topics for almost 10 years. He’s main focus is delivering quality insights to a wide array of audience.