nomadlife (10)

Simple Van Setup

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Brilliant simple van setup by Sam Ausden, who is pulling an equally brilliant trailer built with SIPs (structural insulated panels) with solar panels powering a big air conditioner and a 14kw 48-volt battery.

His units were on display at the TinyFest Festival last weekend.

There are 17 $8 milk crates holding everything. They are held snug with powerful magnets. Simple, cheap, practical, lightweight.

Quite a contrast with expensive, overbuilt, heavy Sprinter van conversions.

www.zerohouse.co

instagram.com/tallmaninavan

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Shelter Booth at Last Weekend’s TinyFest Festival in Pleasanton, Calif.

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Our booth at the TinyFest Festival at the Alameda Fairgrounds last weekend, where we sold books and had a great time meeting new friends.

At the booth, we introduced our just-published Rolling Homes book and we sold a lot of copies. Everyone seems to love it. For one thing, the timing — with all the new vans, trucks, trailers and other nomadic vehicles on the roads now.

Two of the contributors to the book showed up and parked their rigs next to our booth: Ben Bloom’s homemade redwood camper shell on his Toyota Tacoma truck and Paul Elkins’ bike-pulled solar- and wind-powered trailer. Both of these generated a lot of interest, with a steady stream of inquiring fair goers

On the first day, maybe 20 people came into the booth and thanked us for the books through the years. Really gratifying.

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What to Know About Nomadland and the Real-Life Community Behind the Movie

Some interesting insight relating to our new book Rolling Homes. (Due in bookstores in July.) In the introduction, I point out that we don’t have many nomadlanders (people that are “houseless, not homeless”), nor do we have many of the #vanlife crowd that make a living as influencers.

Article in Time Magazine by Annabel Gutterman, February 15, 2021

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Bob Wells discussed the community of modern nomads, and why people are increasingly drawn to the movement. “If the Great Recession was a crack in the system, Covid and climate change will be the chasm,” he said. This lifestyle is not to be confused with “#vanlife” — a hashtag that populates Instagram feeds and accompanies photos of largely younger people traveling in vans. Bruder (author of Nomadland) believes #vanlife is more of a brand than a movement. “There are people of all ages who are living in vans and then there are people doing #vanlife,” Bruder says. “For everybody who can actually make a living or enough to eat and put gas in the tank on the road as an influencer, there are thousands of people who would probably like to be doing that and cannot.

www.time.com/5938982/nomadland-true-story

Shameless Commerce Dept.: Rolling Homes is available for pre-order with a 20% discount: www.shelterpub.com/building/rolling-homes

We will ship as soon as we receive books, hopefully mid-July.

Please note: other books can’t be combined with pre-orders.

This is our best book in years!

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Stealth Camper Vehicle for Sale

Johnny Vang built this unique camper, which is featured in our forthcoming book, Rolling Homes. It’s an ingenious design, where it does not appear that anyone is living within. Johnny just wrote, saying he needs to sell it. It’s a 2004 Chevy Silverado with an LM7 5.3-liter, 8-cylinder Vortec engine with 301,000 miles on it. He says it gets 15mpg at 70 miles per hour. When I asked him what shape the motor was in, he replied: “Motor still runs strong. Just got to add a quart of oil ever 1500 miles or so.”

In my opinion, it’s a rare bargain, at $3900. He can be contacted at johnnyturbogt@gmail.com

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Warmest Tent on Earth – Pitching in the Siberian Arctic Winter

The Nenet reindeer herders need to move their tent every few days throughout most of the year. Every time they migrate they must pack the whole tent away, drag it across the tundra on sledges, and erect it again in a fresh place, sometimes in temperatures of minus thirty degrees. Survival depends on working together as a team.

After staying in the wooded taiga for two months they start to migrate north following the ancient paths of migrating reindeer (caribou). In four months they will travel up to 1200km and must pack and move every three to five days to keep up with their herd. They must reach their summer quarters before the snows melt and flood great rivers with icy waters too cold and deep for the calves, born along the way, to cross.…

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81-Year-Old Sailing the High Seas

Here is a 2020 update on Swedish world sailor Sven Yrvind, whose lifetime of solo sailing was documented in Tiny Homes on the Move (pp. 148-151). Here are a few glimpses of what we referred to as “Sven’s Next Boat” on p. 151, and a 15-minute interview.

“At sea, I can find my youth.”

Note: 30% discount on 2 or more of our books, plus free shipping and money-back-if-not-completely-satisfied (beats Amazon): www.shelterpub.com

From Canyon Haverfield

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Our Next Book: Rolling Homes

My Baja Bug* from the ’90s. A “pre-runner,” used back then to run the Baja 1000 race course before the race. Fiberglass fenders and hood, shocks came up and tied into roll bar, 15-gal. gas tank behind rear seat. Rocket Box on roof, with solar panel that charged 2nd battery. There was a 12′ by 14′ flea market tarp inside box that I would set up for shade.

I kept it at La Mañana Hotel in San José del Cabo, would fly down, pick it up, and drive 15 miles on dirt roads out to an arroyo, then let air out of tires and go about 2 miles on the sand to a spot called “Roosterfish Cove.” I’d set up the tarp (shade is critical in Baja camping), and spend 3-4 days solo on the beach, surfing at “Destilladeras,” a short paddle from my camping spot. Since I was still a competitive runner, I’d run along the beach when it was cool enough.

It was my camping vehicle until it ended up under water in a flood from Hurricane Henriette in Los Cabos in 1995 (26″ rain in 24 hours).

The idea of a sequel to our book Tiny Homes on the Move has been kicking around here for a while. There are some really good books on nomadics out there now, such as Van Life, by Foster Huntington (who coined the term/hashtag #vanlife), Van Life Diaries by Morton, Dustow and Melrose, and Hit the Road by Robert Klanten and Maximilian Funk.

But after talking to Foster, who encouraged me to go ahead, and starting to gather material, I’m excited. We’ve discovered a lot of different and new rigs; this book will be different. The Sprinter vans are super, true, but there are a lot more lower-cost and/or homemade options to the +100K van.

If you know of any such vehicles, please contact me at lloyd@shelterpub.com

*How ironic that the “people’s car,” or “folks’ wagon,” developed in Germany by Ferdinand Porsche on orders from Adolf Hitler in 1938, would go on to become not only the most popular car in history, but the go-to car for desert rats.

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