Nomadic Living (116)

Family Sells Their 3-Bedroom House and Move into Amazing House Truck

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Many people would be really apprehensive when it comes to the idea of moving into a small space with a young family. The challenges such as lack of space and privacy are obvious. Perhaps what’s not so clear though, is the benefits. Josh, Naomi and Kilaian took the plunge, selling their three-bedroom home in Christchurch in order to purchase a house truck where they now all live together full time. 

When it comes to House Trucks, this home is pretty large and very child friendly. At 11 meters (36 ft.) and weighing close to 20 tonnes, this home on wheels isn’t one that is perfectly suited for a grand family road-trip — although the family haven’t entirely ruled that out yet either. This home is beautifully constructed, with exceptional woodwork everywhere you look giving the house a rustic charm and warmth. When the gorgeous design isn’t enough on it’s own to keep you warm though, there is a lovely wood stove which sits in the centre of the living room.

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Small Passive House Can Withstand Earthquakes



This small home on wheels is smart, modern, incorporates passive design principles and was even designed to withstand earthquakes! For those who love the idea of getting into an affordable home but are afraid that a tiny house on wheels would be too small, this may be the ideal solution…

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The 2,500-Mile Across-USA Expedition of Bernie Harberts and His Mule Polly

333Hi Lloyd,

Last we spoke, I was telling you about the “Lost Sea Expedition.” It was just mule Polly and me traveling across the U.S.A. in our wagon. We were looking for stories behind the Lost Sea, the ancient seabed that once covered the Great Plains.

I filmed the journey without a film crew, support vehicle or sponsor. I charged my camera gear off the solar panel bolted to the wagon roof. Now, that footage has been turned in to the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series.

First, a bit about the journey:

As I bumped across the U.S.A. in my wagon, I folks what they knew about the Lost Sea. Early on, a Lakota elder told me about “buffalo stones” — fossils from a marine creature called a baculite. From there, the story took off in all directions. I thought I was looking for a vanished sea. Instead, I unearthed an all-American web covering topics as far ranging as the Ogallala Aquifer, creationism, evolutionism, prairie fever, and Depression-era horse breaking.

Who knew that diving in to the origins of a long-vanished sea would turn in to a journey to the heart of America?

2,500-mile wagon route across America

I think I dove so deep in to the fabric of America because I went so small. I traveled in the manner of our ancestors, men in wagons with time and high hopes but not much money. I built the wagon myself. It was so tiny, I could heat it with a few candles and my mule Polly could pull it alone. It was big enough for my film gear, a few clothes and some food … just.

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A visitor checks out the wagon. At just over 30 inches, it soon became clear why my friends referred to it as the MRI machine (or the porta-john). Damn, I could barely roll over in that thing, a task that got tougher and tougher the higher I piled the sleeping bags!

IMG_8712.jpegOut there rolling across the land, I learned that the smaller you travel, the more you expose yourself to the weather, the heat, the cold, the ups and downs and the people you meet along the way. Because my mule needed to eat and drink every day, I was limited in how far I could travel every day. On average, I went 8 to 10 miles before knocking off for the night.

That meant every day, wherever I was a few hours before dark, that’s where I spent the night. That also meant I knocked on a LOT of doors asking my well-prepared line, “Hi I’m Bernie and this is my mule Polly. Do you have a place we could camp for the night?”

And that, that dependence on strangers met along the way, that documenting all weathers, animals and climes, is what gives the “Lost Sea Expedition” such incredible insight in to America.

I made the “Lost Sea Expedition” for all those people who dream of adventuring, running away, or just taking a break from life’s responsibilities. I made this series for all the folks I met on the road who said, “Man, I’d love to do what you’re doing but…” and then they’d give me reasons why they couldn’t break free. Hopefully, it will inspire others to finally break the bonds of what’s keeping them back.

Plenty more about the Lost Sea Expedition at www.lostseaexpedition.com.

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Bernie Harberts' Lost Sea Expedition TV Series

Bernie Harberts was featured in our book Tiny Homes (pp. 188–189). He traveled from Canada to Mexico for 14 months in a 21-square-foot wagon pulled by a mule. Here is a letter we just received from him.

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Howdy Lloyd,

Many mule miles, no letters…

You featured mule Polly and her wagon in your Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter book. That story continues.

What I never really said much about is that I filmed that 14-month voyage across America. That voyage is now the “Lost Sea Expedition” TV series. The site and official trailer are at: www.lostseaexpedition.com.

I’ve attached some photos for you. I’d love to share the story and news with your blog readers.

Hell, I know you’re busy. You write you could use a clone. No worries. I’ll write the content for you. Just tell me what would work for you (short article, picture essay, blog post, etc).

Hope you and the hummers are well. You and I have lived for we know the jubilation of a thawed hummer flying from our hands!

Keep groovin’
–Bernie Harberts
www.lostseaexpedition.com
A Man A Mule America

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Young Woman Builds Beautiful Recycled Tiny House for $19,000



For many, the idea of building a tiny house on wheels is a wonderful pipe dream, however young kiwi furniture maker Annelies Zwaan has turned that dream into reality by building her very own cottage-in-the-woods style tiny home. Despite having gained many skills working with timber as a furniture maker, the learning curve when it came to building her own home was still steep. With the help of YouTube and some instruction videos, she was able to follow each step to completion…

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Life in a Magical Vardo-Style Caravan



Gypsy vardo wagons have become something of a symbol of freedom. The home of the traveller, yet home none-the-less. For Frenchy, a young woman from Wellington, New Zealand who works in performance arts and frequently travels, building her own Gypsy vardo–style Caravan was the ideal housing solution…

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Cyrus Sutton's Van Life (Part 1)

I met Cyrus while we were working on our book Tiny Homes on the Move. He is a talented filmmaker, surfer, traveler, van hacker and an all-around awesome person. He is in the midst of a new van build using a dually diesel Dodge Sprinter van and chronicling the journey for Reef.

I first moved into a van 10 years ago. It was a practical decision. I’d been commissioned to make a 16mm surf documentary and failed to negotiate a living wage for myself during the three years it took to make it. This oversight had me surviving on cans of kidney beans and needing a rent-free place to sleep while I traveled between Australia and Los Angeles shooting and editing…

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Shepherd's Caravans

This is an incredible resource. Richard Harris, English architect, former director of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex, and longtime friend, sent this link to early shepherd’s caravans. This led me to explore some of the other links at this incredible website.

[Inadequately translated from French by Google Translate. Got a better one from “Roulotte No 7” here?]

rambouillet_cabane_roulotteThis shepherd’s cabin trailer is preserved at the National Sheepfold of Rambouillet near Paris, where it was presented to the public at an exhibition in 2010. It consists of a small house with two gutter and two gears joined boards under a gable roof, house that sits on two parallel rails extending to the front of the machine in the form of two arms between which articulates a metal wheel on an axle.

Two iron hooks attached on top of the two arms were to be used to tow the vehicle. Another fixed axle with two wheels in iron, is located under the rear part of the cabin, freeing enough room in front to accommodate an entrance closed by a door hinged on the left against the forearm. This gate is formed of contiguous vertical boards fixed on two large horizontal cross. The roof seems to be covered with waterproof canvas.

On the wall of the front sprocket is fixed a sort of open storage box on the front. one notes the presence of the nearest spar of the observer, two rings, one on the front and one on the back: without hold they used to tie the dogs.

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Jeremy Tuffli's Creations

I met Jeremy a few months ago in Bolinas, meeting young talented builders is probably my favorite part about working with Shelter. Jeremy’s attention to detail is on par with master carpenters twice his age. Here are a few words and builds by Jeremy.

Hi Evan,

Just got your message on Instagram and thought I’d share some photos of my projects with you.

The first two are custom pickup truck campers. I drove one out to Bolinas last year.

The other is a 1961 Winnebago trailer remodel in Colorado.

My latest project is a tiny home on wheels, currently under construction in Sonoma county. The tiny home is still several months away from completion. I will send more photos of that one when it is finished. Hope to have a website up and running by then as well.

Thanks to you guys at Shelter Pub for the inspiration. Builders of the Pacific Coast is one of my favorite books.

–Jeremy


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Nicely Designed Tiny Home on Wheels, 100 Miles From NYC

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This looks like a charming little cabin. And it is … but it’s so much more than that. Trust me.

If you think that what you see below is just an adorable log cabin, you’d be dead wrong. Sure, it looks like a quaint cabin (in almost every way) but thanks to some sneaky architecture that’s just a disguise. Kelly Davis, the architect who created this faux-cabin at Canoe Bay Escape, is a visual trickster (and quite possibly a magician)…

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