Author Topic: DIY Retro Camper Fix-up to AirBnB (on our property)  (Read 869 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 4
DIY Retro Camper Fix-up to AirBnB (on our property)
« on: February 27, 2017, 09:29:55 AM »
I am brand new to this forum, so glad to have found this community!

I am looking at the possibility of purchasing a retro trailer and fixing it up to airBnB on my property. Here are the details: Me and my partner own our house (SFH) outright (no mortgage) and live in it (with roommates). We have a large yard with gardens and chickens. We have a semi isolated corner under a tree we have thought about parking a camper in for guests. We live in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado which is a quickly growing area with a large (and seemingly growing) tourism industry built largely around the many micro and craft breweries (New Belgium started here as well as many others) as well as being close to the mountains (climbing, rafting, hiking, etc.). We are a less than 5 min bike ride from many of the breweries and want to provide a couple of cruiser bikes and a map of recommended breweries and food spots for guests to tour.

We are looking at doing something like this camper in Austin:

We have found a 1971 camper for sale locally that has no water damage and is in good working order (with chemical toilet) but would need to be "all pinterested" out and painted. I am thinking of offering $5000 dollars if I decide it is a worthwhile investment.

I have carpentry and some plumbing and electrical experience and would do most or all of the work myself.

We have also considered living in it and renting the rest of the house during the slow/colder months.

I would love any feedback if people have experience with this sort of thing or have any opinions on this as an investment.

Thanks so much!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 2
Re: DIY Retro Camper Fix-up to AirBnB (on our property)
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 12:32:14 PM »
I really love this idea, but I've been hoping someone else would reply, because I am also pretty new to this forum.

I wouldn't look at this much of an "investment" in the sense that a retro trailer is definitely a depreciating asset and being a non-permanent/mobile structure it will not add any value to your land/property. BUT it should generate a bit of rental income for you and be a fun project.

One of the major things airBnBr's seem to require is adequate plumbing. Does "chemical toilet in good working order" at least mean "works well enough to not stink up the whole trailer?" How many uses can the chemical toilet handle before the black water tank needs to be emptied? How are you planning to handle emptying the tank and disposing of the contents?

Does the trailer have a shower or can you build an outdoor shower similar to the Austin trailer? People tend to want to shower after mountain biking, skiing, adventuring outdoors, etc.

Ft. Collins is a super cool town with a great outdoor scene and I think you have a great location to implement this idea, especially if you go with the super "pinterest-y outdoorsy" theme. Providing cruiser bikes is also a great idea.

As far as living in the trailer goes, it again comes down to the bathroom situation. I've had a few friends live in trailers while building houses and they all said something along the lines of "I could have lived in the trailer forever if it had a better bathroom". Turns out modern plumbing is a "non-badass modern luxury" that drastically improves people's quality of life.

If you are satisfied that you can get the plumbing/bathroom to a reasonable state, then I say go for it! Good luck with the trailer project!