A stay-at-home dad is turning a Boeing 737 plane into a camper trailer for family vacations

Melissa Wiley
·5 min read
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Stay-at-home dad and former aircraft technician Steve Jones is converting a Boeing 737 plane into a mobile home. Courtesy Steve Jones
  • Stay-at-home dad Steve Jones is converting a Boeing 737 plane into a camper trailer.

  • Jones has been renovating camper trailers for over a decade.

  • Jones' plans for the Boeing 737 camper include adding French doors and a rear balcony.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Steve Jones knows his way around a plane.

A former aircraft technician turned stay-at-home dad, Jones has found a creative way to combine his love of planes with his duties at home.

Last year, he transformed a 13-foot-long nacelle of a VC10 jet engine into a camper trailer for family road trips.

Now, he's set his sights on something much larger: a decommissioned Boeing 737 plane.

Take a look inside what he calls his "craziest project" yet.

Stay-at-home dad Steve Jones is transforming a decommissioned Boeing 737 plane into a camper trailer.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
Steve Jones poses outside the Boeing 737 he plans to renovate. Courtesy Steve Jones

A former technician for the Royal Air Force, Jones has been renovating camper vans and trailers for over a decade and calls the Boeing transformation his "craziest project to date."

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
Steve Jones poses for a selfie. Courtesy Steve Jones

The plane, which Jones purchased through industry contacts, originally belonged to the low-budget UK airline BMI Baby that was grounded in late 2012.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The decommissioned plane belonged to a now-grounded airline. Courtesy Steve Jones

Jones wanted to convert as much of the plane as possible, but also knew he had to transport it 130 miles from the Bruntingthorpe Airfield to his home in Lancashire, so decided to cut off a section just before the wings.

Plane Cut Skitch
An arrow shows where Jones, with the help of friends, cut the Boeing 737 fuselage. Courtesy Steve Jones

The dimensions of the future camper trailer came to 32 feet long and 13 feet tall.

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View of the Boeing 737 section that Jones will transform into a camper trailer. Courtesy Steve Jones

To transport the plane in October, Jones hired a specialty company that was able to lift the aircraft onto a wide-load trailer using a crane.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
A truck lifts the Boeing 737 onto a wide-load trailer using a crane. Courtesy Steve Jones

The aircraft turned quite a few heads on the highway, especially in Jones' hometown, he told Insider.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The Boeing 737 is hard to miss. Courtesy Steve Jones

"It was just a funny sight to see, because I live in a very rural area. Most things you see down my lane are tractors and trailers, not aircraft," he said.

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The Boeing 737 arriving at Jones' home in Lancashire, England. Courtesy Steve Jones

Jones' first order of business after receiving the plane was to pressure wash the outside, since it had accumulated dirt and grime from being exposed to the elements.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The Boeing 737 looks very different after a wash. Courtesy Steve Jones

Next, he built a steel frame, or chassis, for the plane to rest on.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 - Diptych chassis skitched
Courtesy Steve Jones

Jones' vision for the trailer includes a fully restored, authentic cockpit, he told Insider.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
Jones' sons pose in the cockpit. Courtesy Steve Jones

Tracking down all of the parts, which were scrapped when the plane was decommissioned, will take the longest amount of time, he said.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 - Cockpit functioning v scrapped diptych skitched
Left: A BMI Baby cockpit before the fleet was grounded. Right: The scrapped cockpit of Jones' Boeing 737. Courtesy Steve Jones

While he tracks down parts from the cockpit, Jones is mapping out how he will renovate the rest of the Boeing 737 interior. Jones has budgeted around $21,800 (£16,000) for the entire project.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The Boeing 737 sits in a shed on Jones' property. Courtesy Steve Jones

His plans include French doors with a glass balcony at the rear and a walk-in shower toward the front.

Sketch of plane plans BW - Steve Jones - Boeing 737 caravain
A sketch shows Jones' plans for the Boeing 737 static caravan. Courtesy Steve Jones

The camper trailer will be able to sleep four with a cargo deck bedroom and double bed suspended from the ceiling that can be lowered to the floor.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 interior skitched bed placement
Arrows show the approximate locations of Jones' planned ceiling bed and the lift-up hatch to the lower cargo bedroom, looking toward the rear of the fuselage. Courtesy Steve Jones

This is not Jones' first aircraft conversion. Last year, Jones transformed a 13-foot-long engine shell from a VC10 jet plane into a camper trailer.

VC10 caravan pod transport
The VC10 engine shell on a trailer being prepared for transport. Courtesy Steve Jones

The build took him an estimated 1,000 hours, he previously told Insider.

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The renovated VC10 caravan pod is 13 feet long. Courtesy Steve Jones

Jones has much more space to work with in the Boeing 737 than in the VC10 engine shell, which he said will make the renovation easier.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The inside of the Boeing 737 fuselage looking toward the cockpit. Courtesy Steve Jones

Beyond moving the location of the galley kitchen slightly, he plans to maintain the plane's original character. "It's all about authenticity," Jones told Insider. "I like things being as they were."

Front of plane bathroom and future kitchen diptych
Left: Inside the Boeing 737 bathroom. Right: Looking toward Boeing 737 galley kitchen. Courtesy Steve Jones

Jones plans to keep the camper trailer at a friend's caravan park nearby once complete and rent it out to families and other travelers.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The Boeing 737 is seen from above. Courtesy Steve Jones

Jones' goal is to allow families and other renters the chance to "get up close and personal with an aircraft" and "enjoy a bit of a different experience," he said.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
Jones will begin renovating Boeing 737 later this winter. Courtesy Steve Jones

"What better way than to go into a flight deck, sit down with your partner, get yourself a gin and tonic, and sit down and have a laugh and a joke," he said.

Steve Jones Boeing 737 camper trailer / caravan
The sun sets behind the Boeing 737. Courtesy Steve Jones

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