The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to lloydkahn.com.

Tiny Homes on the Move Book (49)

Mike Basich's Custom Snowchaser

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Photo by Evan Kahn

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Photo by Mike Basich

He bought a 1999 Dodge Ram and started by cutting out the back cab and fitting a massive custom roll bar made out of 2″ square tubing where the end of the cab used to be. He then built a custom camper to fit the truck bed, with a liftable top. This way, after the snowmobile is secured, the roof could raise to allow for a more comfortable living space…

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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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Dave Koszegi and His Tiny House on Wheels

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Dave Koszegi, his wife Erin and their children Julia, Francesca and Matteo were on their annual Hornby Island, BC camping trip two summers ago when Dave happened to read Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes on the Move. When the family saw the photos of Derek Diedricksen’s tiny house on wheels, Dave and Erin realized it would not only be a perfect addition to their overcrowded Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, it would also a great family project…

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Zyl Vardos' MoonDragon

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One of my favorite tiny house builders is Abel Zyl of Zyl Vardos. He is a creative genius and has come up with some very unique tiny homes on wheels…

He just completed his latest called the MoonDragon and is getting ready to deliver it to the new owner in California.

Abel Zyl’s Fortune Cookie was also featured in Tiny Homes on the Move.

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Mike Basich's Tiny House Adventure

I met Mike B. when we started working on the Tiny Homes and Tiny Homes on the Move books. Amazing builder, snowboarder, traveller. This guy does it all, one of the most inspiring people I know. Here is a newly released video by GoPro and him detailing the build and trip to Alaska.

www.241-usa.com

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French Carpenters Stop by Shelter on Their Way Home

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Yogan and Menthé, carpenters from France, who have been featured in our last two books, stopped by here yesterday on their way home. They have spent the last three months hitchhiking and working on the West Coast, from Northern California up to Orcas Island. Kindred spirits, these two have had a wonderful time, working with a variety of people, trading work for room and board.

We’ll be posting photos of their projects in the near future.

From www.lloydkahn.com/…

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The Terrapin Trailer

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Peter Pavlowich’s Casual Turtle Campers were featured in Tiny Homes on the Move (pp. 26–27).

Shelter guys,

Hey I thought I’d pass along a few shots of the another recent build. This one was for a gentleman here in Colorado — the model I call the Terrapin. We went with a pretty full interior arrangement on this one. He opted for no painted surfaces (which I usually do), so we incorporated several different species on the cabin’s interior — oak, birch, cedar, and beetle-killed ponderosa pine — so it wasn’t a one-tone wood overload. It weighed in at 1,300 lbs, max headroom around 5′9″, and it goes down the highway just great.
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Andrew Campbell's Gypsy Wagons

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Hi there,

My name is Andrew Campbell. I live in Plain WA, and was staying in my new gypsy wagon in Port Townsend last week when I ran across a copy of your book Tiny Homes on the Move. Lo and behold on the cover was a picture of Steve and Katy’s bus. Steve works with me here in Plain in my wood shop. Anyway he said I ought to send you some pics of my gypsy wagons. The red one I built two years ago and the blue one I built for my oldest son to live in when he goes to college in a couple years. We will camp out in it in the meantime and use it for guests to stay in. Will send more pictures and info, if you are interested. I have no website. Just finished the blue one so no great pictures yet, but that can be arranged any time if you are interested in more.

Love your books, love what people are doing with small spaces. Started my woodworking career building boat interiors, so I love fitting out small spaces.

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Jay Nelson's Suzuki Camper Built for Foster Huntington

Jay Nelson’s work has been featured in Tiny Homes and Tiny Homes on the Move. Foster Huntington’s Toyota Tacoma camper was featured in Tiny Homes on the Move.

Camper completed

From Foster:

The car is a Suzuki SJ410. It’s the predecessor to the Samurai and has a 1-liter 4-cylinder enqgine.

The camper is made out of marine plywood and thin copper sheeting. The camper has a sleeping space that’s just over 6 feet long over the cab.

Jay Nelson designed and built the camper in two weeks with some help from some friends.

From www.lloydkahn.com/…

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French Carpenter Seeking Work in California/Oregon/Washington This Summer

Yogan is an accomplished timber framer (and treehouse builder) from France. His work has appeared in our last two books. He will be traveling along the West Coast this summer and wants to hook up with builders, homeowners, homesteaders, and/or people of like interests. He’s open to any kind of arrangement, including working for room and/or board.

IMGP6230You can check out his work here: yogan.over-blog.com

From Yogan:

Hi, friend builders, carpenters, inventors…

I’m Yogan, a carpenter of Southwest France,

I’m coming in August, September and October to walk on the West Coast, from California to Seattle. My goal is to meet, visit, help, places and people where there are amazing shelters, cabins — in the woods, if possible.

If I could find a community of carpenters living in cabins in the forest, it would be perfect!

I’d also like to go to any carpenters’ or timber framers’ meetings.

I will be hitchhiking frequently with my backpack and accordion!

You can email me at: Yogan Carpenter <yogancarpenter@gmail.com>

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A Few Great Days in Napa

House in Napa, California

Last week, I did a slide show on Tiny Homes on the Move at the Napa Bookmine bookstore. A great bookstore, a wonderful crowd, all of us on the same page. Made me think of Sam Cooke saying to the audience on his “Live at Harlem Square” album, “I can see you’re with me tonight.”

Rapport has been wonderful lately. 45 years of doing these building books; there’s a thread through these books and people who’ve read them. A tribe of us interested in a certain kind of shelter, warm, inviting, full of life, the antithesis of the Dwell magazine aesthetic.

“…all rooms ought to look as if they were lived in, and to have, so to say, a friendly welcome for the incomer.”

–William Morris

And working with our own hands.
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