vehicles (313)

Paul Elkins’ Video of the TinyFest Festival Sept. 10-11, 2022

One of Paul’s bicycle-pulled campers is in our most recent book, Rolling Homes. Paul drove all the way down from Washington to exhibit one of his trailers next to our Shelter booth at the festival. People were fascinated with his trailer and he had inquisitive visitors for the entire two days. Here is his video of a bunch of the rigs on display.



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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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Rolf Pot’s Ford Transit Connect Van

Having always been attracted to compact living spaces on wheels and having been stranded several times in VW Westfalias, I decided to start off with a basic solid vehicle with reliability, safety and small size in mind. The challenge of fitting as many desirable features in a limited space attracted me greatly. Found this 2017 Ford Transit Connect passenger van with 16K miles for 20K dollars here in the Bay Area.

Essential for me was being able to stand up and a sense of spaciousness. Hence the rear-hinged pop-top, purchased from England. Cutting it to size was a bit of a pain, a local welding shop made the strengthening frame, the rest was pretty straight forward. A single flex solar panel and a ceiling fan just fit on the 6″ top. The bed slides forwards and backwards to max 6′3″, while still allowing standing space to cook and stretch. A 200ah battery and 1K watt inverter is sufficient for blender, 150-watt space heater, movie screen etc. Slightly larger size tires and a yet to be installed 1″ lift kit gives it a bit more clearance. The van took 8 months to complete, gets 32 mpg at 65 mph on level road. Inadvertently the additional weight gives it a smooth ride while retaining enough power. The six speakers and good seats makes this a perfect rig for my travel needs and stealth camping. My pup Bella agrees!

Rolf Pot
Santa Cruz

Note: Rolf’s bus “Old Red” is featured in our new book Rolling Homes on pp. 204–205.

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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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