camper (1)

Rolling Homes Adventure Jeep

Rolling Homes, by Lloyd Kahn, focuses on do-it-yourself vehicles crafted by people searching for something more. Of the 75 folks featured in the book, 29 are full-time residents in their rigs, whether they live in vans, trucks, sedans, trailers, or buses. The book contains practical information, solutions, and stories. It doesn’t describe van life or the lifestyle or feature nomads; instead, it describes the creation or building of homes on wheels. 

picture of jeep with camper from rolling homes book

The excellent cover image is of Erik J. Howes’s Adventure Jeep. Erik has said, “This little adventure-mobile is constantly evolving, as I do with it.” He was previously a mechanic at a Jeep dealership, working more than 40 hours a week. Over 10 years ago, Erik discovered rock-climbing, bought his Jeep, and planned to travel for a few months. Realizing that mechanic work wasn’t for him, Erik eventually sold his tools and started a new life.

Adventure Jeep’s Evolution

The 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0L is a 5-speed manual with 195,000 miles and a leaky fold-down canvas top.Since the first road trip, Erik has remodeled almost the entire project, using salvaged materials, scraps from an old farmhouse for the metal roof and frame, and used chimney pipes for the flashing. Every year, the cedar shakes get cleaned by a power washer, along with some repairs and upgrades.

picture from inside jeep camper

  • Insulation: 2″ rigid foam board and spray foam
  • Heater: Webasto Air Top 2000 gasoline heater
  • Electricity: Goal Zero Yeti 400 battery-powered portage power station
  • Bed: Salvaged Styrofoam, scrap yoga mats, and army surplus blankets
  • Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket

Erik’s Advice

Be sure not to limit yourself by what you imagine converting a vehicle will look like. Be creative but realistic about your capabilities, and make sure you make a sturdy rig. It will be a rough ride with unexpected complications that will be scary or uncomfortable. It will take time, energy, and sacrifice. Be sure to breathe through it and take breaks when flustered.

If he could do it all over again, he would start with a bigger vehicle than the 20-square-foot rig that is only 1 inch longer than himself. 

Be sure to check out Erik’s trolley project at www.instagram.com/squallythetrolley.

More Homes on Wheelstwo book covers, rolling homes and tiny homes on the move

If you loved Rolling Homes: Shelter on Wheels by Lloyd Kahn (2022), check out his other book, Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water (2014). This book features some 90 homes—including vans, trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats, houseboats, and a tugboat—and almost half are lived in full-time. The book is a continuation from Tiny Homes: Simple Shelterwhich was a hit that showcased many homes on wheels or water. That success led Lloyd to gather nomadic living stories from the 21st century, along with some 1,100 photographs, in the book Tiny Homes on the Move. If you enjoy reading about unconventional housing, these titles are for you!

Shelter is more than a roof overhead.

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