Nomadic Homes (174)

Floating Homes of Iraq

www.messynessychic.com:2014:11:12:the-floating-basket-homes-of-iraq-a-paradise-almost-lost-to-saddam:

It was Iraq’s ‘Garden of Eden’; unique wetlands in southern Iraq where a people known as the Ma’dan, or ‘Arabs of the marsh,’ lived in a Mesopotamian Venice, characterized by beautifully elaborate floating houses…

These little-known architectural wonders are known as a mudhif; built without nails, wood or glass in under three days, even the islands the houses rest on are made of compacted mud and rushes.

It’s a construction method that has been used by the dwellers of the plains for thousands of years, but in recent decades, this exotic architecture has almost completely disappeared, and at risk of being lost along with it of course, is the ancient knowledge of the unique building technique itself…

The full article is here.

Also: www.natureiraq.org

Sent us by Rich (Cerebral Vortex)

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Lloyd's Camping Vehicles, Part 3

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In 1988 I bought a 4-cylinder, 5-speed Tacoma 4×4 with the Xtra cab (meaning a 6′ bed). Then in 2003, I got a new one, same model. The engine is a bit gutless going up long hills, but will run forever.

By this time I knew exactly what I wanted:

A metal camper shell made by Tradesman in Winters, Calif. It opened on all three sides, was way stronger than plastic shells. I bought an aluminum rack from Hauler Racks. It came disassembled via UPS and I bolted it together and mounted it. It rests on the truckbed sides, not on the camper roof.

At Campway’s in Santa Rosa, Calif., I got the inside of the bed sprayed with a waterproof membrane to protect the metal. Also a “carpet kit,” with storage boxes along the sides and sliding middle panels inside the bed.

You can see the pull-out drawer and side storage boxes. I shot this photo on Hornby Island, BC on one of my four trips to Canada shooting photos for Builders of the Pacific Coast. I remember one afternoon collecting oysters way out on a reef (beyond the commercial guys and cooking them for dinner on a beach fire with aluminum-foil-clad potatoes, red wine, AND blackberries with …(ahem)… heavy cream and brown sugar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI never mounted the rooftop tent. I bought a used pull-out canopy which is great for Baja surfing, sets up in a few minutes as opposed to 45 min. for the flea market tarp. On camper roof: Yakima Rocket Box, surfboard rack. I slept inside when it was raining or really cold, otherwise outside.

This is a fantastic setup for desert travel; the 4×4 will get you just about anywhere. A 4×4 van is another option, but costs about twice as much.

I can take the camper shell off (four quick-release clamps) to haul straw, topsoil, gravel, etc.

(Interesting factoid: The Toyota Hi-Lux trucks, beefed-up Tacomas, and mounted with machine guns, were used in the Iran-Iraq war and more recently by Afghani rebels.)

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Tiny Nest Construction Videos

Tiny Nest - Jake & Kiva

Jake and Kiva have produced a YouTube series of construction videos documenting a tiny home build on Vancouver Island.  The videos follow their tiny house project, from early design to completion and beyond showing materials, tools, and construction techniques. A 3D Google Sketchup plan is also available as a free download.

Check out their videos below:

  Tiny Nest is a video series following our tiny house project, from early design, to completion and beyond. In this episode, we introduce ourselves and catch you up on what we've done so far.

In this episode, we introduce ourselves and catch you up on what we’ve done so far.

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In this episode, we talk about the trailer that we have acquired for the project, why we chose it, and the process we went through to get it.

Read More …

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Toyota Ski Chalet

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I thought you might get a kick out of this “Hippy Shack” I built on the back of a 1988 Toyota pickup. I use it as my ski chalet. It has a 7-foot-long ski locker and a heated boot locker. A domed skylight provides passive solar heat, but it also has a propane heater and a wood-burning stove.… Also a sink and a stove with an oven. Read More …

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SIP: Mobile Juice and Cocktail Bar

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Portland-based design firm Von Tundra did the conversion of a 1969 Dodge Chinook into a mobile juice and cocktail bar. Their client wanted something a little different to serve street food to the city’s public as well as host guests inside. It went from a bland old white truck to Sip Mobile Lodge, a stylish vehicle that feels right for the American Northwest with its heavy use of wood and comfortable interior.
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Lloyd's Camping Vehicles, Part 2

Camping setup

1983 Toyota 4×4 Pickup Truck

I bought it used from a builder friend. It didn’t have the “Xtra cab,” so the bed was 8′ long.

Tarp for Shade:  I had a Yakima Rocket Box on racks on the camper roof, with a flea market tarp (12’×14′) folded up inside. The frame was 1″ electrical conduit, with special connectors tightenable with wingscrews. The tarp was aluminized fabric. It was weighted down with canvas bags filled with sand and hung from each corner (ingenious!). Took maybe 45 minutes to set up. I’d place it butting up to the truck bed.

BA-03A-copy-lo-resRoof-Top Tent:  This was the star of the camping show. It folded up to about 4′ by 4′, 20″ thick, with a waterproof cover. At night I’d remove the cover and fold it out. The tent popped up when this was done, and the mattress and bedding were already there. The outer cantilivered side was held up by a telescoping ladder (more ingeniousness). It was real canvas, had a raincover, mosquito net. On beaches, I’d park with the open end facing the water and sunrise. It was luxurious sleeping up there. This unit was called AirCamping and was made in Italy; they’re no longer in business, but there are a number of truck- (or car-) top campers.

Cooking:  I had a sliding drawer in the bed with my cooking stuff. Table made from plywood with ¾” galvanized pipe legs that screwed into the four corners.

Other Stuff:  Surfboard, chairs, ice chest, blah blah…

The Baja locals liked this model because it did NOT have independent suspension in the front. The straight axle could take more of a beating.

Articles, photos of my travels in Baja California Sur here: www.shelterpub.com/_baja/baja.html

To be continued…

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Lloyd's Camping Vehicles, Part 1

At my Vancouver presentation of Tiny Homes on the Move, someone asked what kind of camping rig I had. Bearing in mind that most of my camping was in the desert or on beaches in Baja California, I had a VW bug modified for desert travel; then three different trucks, a 1983 4×4 Tacoma (not with the “Xtra Cab”), a 1987 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 with Xtra Cab, finally a 2008 Tacoma with Xtra Cab. I’ll describe these vehicles in that order.

Baja Bug

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I bought this in the early ’90s from a guy who raced cars in the Baja 1000. It was called a pre-runner, so named because it was used to scout out the race in advance. Read More …

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SunRay Kelley's Hybrid Recumbent Bike

Sunray Kelley's Bike“SunRay Kelley’s human-electric hybrid SunRayzor bike is ready to ride. SunRay electrified his made-in-the-USA recumbent Catrike with a 72-volt Crystalyte hub motor and lithium-ion batteries. A custom-built rain shield and interchangeable windshield round out the package.”

Lots of SunRay’s creations — cob, straw bale, timber frameworks, stoves, saunas, yurts, and multiple inventions can be seen on his website: www.sunraykelley.com.

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A Magic Vancouver Morning

It’s a glittering Sunday morning in Vancouver. I SO lucked out in the hotel department. The 901 Beach Hotel, I found on internet, sounded good, turned out to be a few hundred yards from the water in this section of Vancouver (West End, Yaletown, Gastown) that is almost an island; 90% of the perimeter of this area water-surrounded. Totally kayakable (and SUP-able).

Yesterday afternoon I took a ferry across to Granville Island, a thriving public market, 100s of vendors, great food, fruit, nuts, wine, oysters, crabs, smoked salmon, craft beers, art, music, restaurants, food stalls, outdoor wear, kayaks — crowded, lots of tourists, yes, but vital and fun nonetheless. Going back with grown-up camera today. Read More …

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Tiny Homes on the Move Review on BoingBoing

Tiny Homes on the Move

“As a continuation of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, author Lloyd Kahn (former Shelter editor of Whole Earth Catalog) brings us Tiny Homes on the Move, which showcases 90 nomadic homes made from trailers, school buses, vans, trucks, boats, and even a tricycle. Each entry includes an essay by or about the home’s creator, who talks about why and how they converted a vehicle into a house. Each dweller has a unique story…”

The Tiny Homes on the Move book got a pretty nice review over at BoingBoing.

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