Roll Your Own-The Complete Guide to Living in a Truck, Bus, Van or Camper – 1974

Hi guys,

I found this aged photocopy while going through a box of files from years past. It was tucked in with folders of research notes, press releases, rough drafts and galleys of articles for various publications and several rejected or killed stories that I’d had vague hopes of placing in other print media; all this from the days before the Internet. Everything looked so crisp and quaint, especially the neatly typed articles on 20 lb. bonded stationary.

Times do change. Something that has held fairly constant for me my entire more-or-less adult life though is an interest in vehicular living in long or short form.

 I had already been doing it in station wagons and a van by the time I came across this book in my local library. “Roll Your Own” by Jody Pallidini and Beverly Dubin was a classic of nomadic literature, a period companion piece to “Caravan” by Stephen Gaskin and “Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa” by Ed Buryn. I never once found a copy of “Roll Your Own” outside that lone library copy. I ran this copy off a dried-out, tattered, yellowed, and bug-eaten copy of the Whole Earth Catalog if memory serves me. It came out maybe 40 years before Tiny Homes on the Move, proving to me at least that good things never go out of style.

 Nels Norene

Thanks, Nels, I was able to track down a used copy on Amazon for our archives.- LK

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

6 Responses to Roll Your Own-The Complete Guide to Living in a Truck, Bus, Van or Camper – 1974

  1. Lloyd;

    Nearly from the beginning of my now-defunct website, I offered a review of Roll Your Own. Before all of your readers go out and scour the used book market to obtain their own copies, thereby inflating the value of this book, consider that unless you are a die-hard collector of such memorabilia, there is little in the way of useful information in this book that can't be had elsewhere. Save your pennies and pick up one of the other available books on the subject instead, you'll learn more and enjoy better.

    (And yes, has a semi-complete snapshot of my old site, including reviews of the books to which I refer above…)

  2. I still have my copy of 'Roll Your Own' that I bought new 40 years ago. I've just dug it out for a nostalgic browse. $3.95 was the price back then.

  3. yeah ,roll your own inspired me to drop renting and get into living truck house style ,I found a 1956 camperized Metro International step van with a blown motor for 450.00 and bought a used motor ,a 264 c.i. I believe .lived in for about 5 years then finally bought a 1956 fargo three ton flat deck and made a nice wood house on the 8 x 16 foot deck ,lived in that truck house for 7 years and it still is being used as a guest house to this day ,One book though that had most beautiful house trucks was Rolling homes ,it was quality house trucks ,nice to see people rethinking smaller spaces as a possibility!

  4. I bought that when it was new – still have a copy on the shelf next to more modern books on architecture, FLW, MCM, and SHELTER

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