Polly – An Ingenious Self-Build Camper made from Salvaged Materials

Polly is approximately 90% recycled/salvaged materials. She is constructed predominantly with pallets packing cases and other wood picked up from the side of the road. The only new materials were acrylic plastic cut to size for the windows, a skylight and interior plywood. Her wall linings are carpet (with the Hessian side facing outwards) and roof and walls are lined with zinc-galvanised corrugated iron.


Polly - Micro House - New Zealand - Exterior - Humble Homes

Polly is completely insulated with wool offcuts. She is also removable from the 7 x 4 trailer and has a 40 litres of potable water, a 40 litre waste water tank, a solar charged LED lighting and a water pump.


Polly - Micro House - New Zealand - Entry - Humble Homes

The table and shelf consist of small panels that can be stored under the cushions of a narrow bench that’s supported by the wall. Panels under the pillows of the wide bench span the companionway leading to the sink bench/stove, transforming the seating area into a double-sized sleeping area.


Polly - Micro House - New Zealand - Interior - Humble Homes

There is room for a chilli-bin under the bench and a porta-loo too! Polly can actually sleep four, with two canvas bunks slung between aluminium poles that are supported by brackets on the walls – kids only! Total build cost $2200 NZ (excludes trailer which was around the $2200 mark too a few years ago).

Polly - Micro House - New Zealand - Fold-Out Desk - Humble Homes

The tiny-house movement is gaining momentum in New Zealand but Polly is the first micro-house! Polly was the product of a goal to have camping holidays in style. Now she performs multiple tasks from mobile office to kid’s playhouse. She’s even a conservatory, staying warm and cosy long after the sun goes down.

Polly - Micro House - New Zealand - Cooktop - Humble Homes

This is post is a user submission – many thanks to Craig for sharing his awesome little project with us.

Have you got a project or tiny house plan you’d like to share? Tell us about your project with a photo or two attached and we’ll share it through our website.

For more user submitted projects check out this Dome Home that was built for $200 using reclaimed materials. Or, for more tiny houses check out this converted boiler room by Christi Azevedo. See all tiny houses.

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. This is amazingly well done. It is so functional and shows a well thought out spacial planning for a maximum functionality. Great job! Polly is a winner and a keeper! ;)

  2. Very nice design and use of materials. What is the overall weight of the trailer?

  3. This is one of my favorite designs I have seen here. I love the tiny house/ micro camper hybrid. So cute!

  4. I like but mostly cosmetic touches with white on the walls or batting and either sliding doors or cabinet doors to open instead of the open storage space with the milk crates for storage. I think that sliding doors probably would be better for the storage below instead of open storage on the floor and would also keep things from rowing around the floor when driving and had to take a sharp curve. Interesting though.

  5. I just love the Vardo concept. I have developed quite a facination in the Vardo roof design.

  6. Good afternoon,
    First of all, hello from Baltimore, Maryland. A transition zone in the northeastern United States. We get all four seasons with summer being so brutal because of the humidity that you don’t want to go outside. Winter, with it’s short days, propensity for ice storms, blizzards and just being wintertime is absolutely boring. My background is in Botany and Ornamental Horticulture, so I always want to be outdoors and always travel up and down the east coast. I don’t have a very good connection at the moment with my phone, none of the pics came up for me to view anything you built. I picked up a large utility trailer last year for 100.00$ dollars and a Dodge Ram 3/4 ton V8, 5.9 Liter Magnum with utility boxes and a 1200 lb lift gate that works and I drive with it opened/down which extends the bed by a few more feet. I wanted to build inside of the truck bed with a loft overhang but it seems too narrow and too high. I’d have to add stairs to an entrance permanently or if they were removable I would probably forget about them and go through ten a year. The trailer or 12′ x 6′ ft. much lower to the ground and no frills at the moment. I read the part about warmth, and the use of insulation , but couldn’t find anything about cooking the space for summer weather. Leaving windows open with screens probably won’t work for me, I like the feeling of security when I sleep and being a combat veteran with the U.S Army, 101st Airborne Division, I don’t sleep sound at night, and can be awakened by a floorboard creaking. I’ll upload pics for you later today if you like. But, what would you recommend for an air conditioning system outside of a generator? I’m trying to find something that is natural and isn’t going to have me charging batteries and replacing them, if that’s possible. I’m definitely adding a loft as a sleeping area, I like small spaces that are efficient, comfortable and appealing. I’ve had my fair share of large homes and it’s a waste for me at 53 and a single man. I always upcycle and recycle, and have been studying, reading and planning a tiny living space/home for the past six years. I’ve also have been using pallet wood well before anyone caught onto that free benefit. I actually started to become annoyed thinking someone was bound to come along and being in the capitalist U.S.A would find a way to start charging for them. I look forward to any suggestions, and your response. My apologies I couldn’t be more succinct but I pay close attention to details, which the Army beats into you and it sticks! Thank you in advance for your time.

    Chris Chance