on the road (301)

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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1956 Cadillac Camper

Got this email with old photos from Claudia Smigelski today, it referred to the camper, which was for sale for $1525 on eBay in 2011 (in LA, of course) — which I had posted on my blog.

Hello Lloyd!

I’m unsure if your the same Lloyd with the 1956 Cadillac camper, but if you are thanks for posting the photo! It reminds me of one I bought many moons ago in Arizona and brought to NY.

Wish I still had it! What happened to the 1956 Cadillac Camper?

Thanks, Claudia

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Camping in a Tacoma

Our truck, “The Greasy Devil,” all set up for a clear, but windy night’s sleep in Wyoming. We have an awning to add over the feet if the weather is raining/snowing or too cold.

Dear Lloyd,

I just wanna say thank you for putting out such great books over the years! I found Shelter Pub by way of picking up a Whole Earth Catalog in a thrift store while in high school about ten years ago and have been a fan ever since. Homework was my lockdown reading of choice last year!

I am writing because my husband and I are currently on a long road/camping trip and will be driving through Baja next month. Our rig is a 2018 6-cylinder manual Toyota Tacoma with a homemade sleeping platform and a Softopper (we jokingly call it ultralight overlanding since the softopper weighs about 40lbs). We just did about 5 weeks throughout Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Northern California. Next week we will leave our hometown of Boulder, CO to travel through New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, and Baja for the next 2 months.

I have gone over your blog posts about camping in Baja and was wondering if you have any tips or recommendations you would be willing to share. It will be our first time there, my first time in Mexico and we cannot wait! Our truck is pretty off-road equipped, with a 3″ lift, an air compressor, and recovery gear so we don’t mind going through tough terrain. We love mountain bikes and motorcycles (even though we are not planning on bringing any, maybe rent for a day or two?) and are beginner surfers with a love for the water (the one problem with living in Colorado!).

Anyways, thanks again for all of the wonderful work you put out. I have gone to multiple lectures while I lived in Oakland during college, always leaving inspired and hopeful. I actually had Marianne Rogoff as a writing teacher my freshman year, who told me she worked for you back in the day! I love following along your posts online, your trip to Rome looked simply amazing. I have always wanted to write to you to say thanks, but felt too shy, until now that I have an extra reason to say hi.

–Jessica Milavitz
SUNSHINE CANYON FURNITURE COMPANY
www.sunshinecanyonfurniture.com
instagram.com/ultralight_overland

Note: For lots of info on Baja from my travels there, see: lloydkahn.com/?s=baja

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Shepherd’s Hut in Southwest Scotland by John and Lewis Crosby

This all started by finding two rusty cast iron wheels in the nettles whilst on a lockdown ramble during the Covid pandemic in January 2021. I had workshops sitting empty since retirement as a woodworker and was looking for a project.

I decided on a ‘Shepherd’s hut’ seeing as I had a partial starter kit. These were originally moveable temporary night shelters for a shepherd during lambing time on the higher marginal land of Scotland and northern England. The modern incarnation appears to be a lucrative Airbnb rental in which I have no interest, although addressing the chronic housing shortage for local young people does.

Our youngest son, Lewis, was due to return from Canada in the autumn and needed a place to live. That crystallized it. It was now April.

I started with the notion of using locally sourced and second-hand materials but the realities of the world markets were there from the start. Steel for the chassis, plywood internal walls, pine T&G exterior cladding, galvanized sheet for the roof, plus components, fixings, finishes and most of the rest. Only the sheep’s wool insulation and timber framing were local … and the rusty wheels. Two matching rear wheels were specially cast in England at eye-watering expense.

The chassis, 420 kgs of steel channel, was the only detailed plan drawing. The rest was make-it–up-as–you-go according to the dictates of found or bought components.

After four months of working alone, Lewis turned up just as the interior was getting a start. He’s a competent carpenter, so the pace picked up and we were finished by the end of October, 7 months since the first weld on the chassis.

Lewis and his cat now live in it locally.

Location: SW Scotland
Internal footprint: 2m × 5.7m
Height: 2.2m
Power: 12-volt solar panel
Propane cooker. Cat flap. Water collection from the roof and an additional tap supplied by a refillable onboard tank for drinking water. 2 kW wood stove. Double folding ‘Murphy’ style bed, from the underside of which is a drop-down table. Seating on the wheel arches.

–Lewis Crosby

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Birds at Jenner, Highway One, Northern California

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Jenner last month, on my way up the coast to Louie’s. Thousands of gulls. They weren’t feeding, maybe in for the coming storm?

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