It's got everything you need for camping at Area 51, including a ray gun. Seriously, a ray gun.
Here’s something a little different in the camping world. Actually, it’s something completely different for pretty much anything, and it’s gloriously awesome. No, this isn’t something from the new release of Fallout 76, though anyone familiar with the post-apocalyptic video-game franchise would agree this could be an epic addition to the action. In the game, we reckon this would be made from a fun spaceship ride or even an old nuclear bomb, but in the real world, this crazy camper isn’t made from anything. In fact, it’s just a couple years old, and it was hand-built by a guy in Alaska named Bill Guernsey.
The Anchorage Daily News has the complete story on this epic project, but here are the details. After surviving a plane crash (yes, a freaking plane crash), Guernsey used his recovery time to design and build the Atomic Camper in his garage. At least, it started that way – the total project took two years to complete, but the extreme level of detail and various gadgets both inside and out are a result of his downtime, when the injuries limited what he could do. He must have been pretty beat-up because looking through the photos you’ll see a lot of detail. The ray gun is among our favorites. Did we just say ray gun? Yes, we did.
Once that hurdle was cleared, he designed the camper with a 1950’s atomic-age theme and set to work fabricating the frame in a process not unlike building a canoe. The skeleton is bent wood over ribs, with fiberglass and a variety of other materials combined to make the interior and outer skin. Guernsey is obviously a seriously talented fabricator, but his efforts didn't stop with just the shape. The Atomic Camper is wired up for DC power and has batteries that are charged via solar panels, so it's self-sustaining for off-grid power. There's a 20-gallon water tank, and three separate water pumps are used to supply the propane-powered hot water heater, an internal radiator for heat, a sink, and a shower. Yes, this cool little rocket-camper has a shower.
Actually, it has pretty much all the amenities you’d expect in a camper. The small shower has a curtain that can be set up to keep water out of the interior. There’s a portable toilet, and a 10-gallon propane water heater supplies the warm water. An outdoor camp stove also uses propane in the small kitchen, which is equipped with drawers for utensils and cooking supplies. The onboard electricity is enough to power the lights and the TV for a few hours between charging. A pair of cushioned benches are mounted inside the Atomic Camper for sitting and sleeping, but they don’t combine to make a bed. It’s about the only party trick this cool 16-foot RV/spaceship doesn’t offer.
As you might expect, the Atomic Camper attracts a lot of attention. Guernsey sold this gem to current owners Victor and Carrie earlier this year, and they’ve wasted no time in taking the trailer to all kinds of camping destinations around Alaska. They also inherited the Facebook page created specifically for chronicling the adventures of the Atomic Camper, and we’re extremely grateful to both of them for sending us photos and sharing the story of this awesome machine. Be sure to check out the camper’s Facebook page for lots more photos.
The duo plans to embark on all kinds of camping adventures in the Lower 48 next year, so if you happen to see a big red bomb parked in the RV stall next to you, don’t panic. It’s just Carrie and Vic touring the world in one of the coolest spaceships we’ve ever seen.