Off the Grid (139)

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Van Life in Olympia



At just 21 years old, Milla Delphine knows what she wants in life and has a plan on how to get it. Ever since she was little, Milla has dreamed of living on a sailboat. Converting a van to live in full-time was initially just a plan to allow her to save more money in order to manifest her nautical dream; yet in the process, Milla has completely fallen in love with van living…

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SF Couple Build Out Sprinter Van to Live on the Road

The idea of leaving most of your possessions behind to start living (and adventuring) in a van might seem like either a faraway dream or a foolhardy undertaking, depending on who you ask.

Juliana Linder and Richmond Hollen plunged into that nomadic lifestyle after purchasing a 2002 Freightliner Sprinter van.

Before taking off on a yearlong trip in their van-home, the couple spent time saving up and customizing the van. They gave up their apartments in San Francisco in 2016…

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Nonagan Yurt Treehouse



I spent the weekend at Mountain View Air B&B building a canted-wall nonagon yurt treehouse! I worked with SunRay Kelley, Bonnie, Bob-O, and Tyler Smith. This was such a fun project. I spent one weekend helping assemble the walls for the kit; SunRay and his team did the rest during the week; and last weekend, we built the platform and erected the nonagon yurt.

–Travis Skinner

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School Bus Converted into Incredible Off-Grid Home



This school but to tiny home conversion could easily be one of the most impressive we have seen so far. When standing inside this home, it’s hard to believe that you’re actually in a vehicle! That’s largely thanks to some great design mixed with skillful execution of the conversion, which involved raising the roof by an additional two feet and cleverly shaping it to feel more like a house.

One of the things that I like most about the idea of a bus conversion compared to a traditional tiny house on wheels, is that they are designed to sustain long-term travel and life on the road. This home in particular is fitted with lots of off-the-grid features including ample solar power, water storage and propane to enable the family to live for extended periods while adventuring in remote locations…

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Cool Shacks in the High Sierra

Hi Lloyd & crew,

I thought you might like these photos for your blog these were taken in the East High Sierras near Big Pine, CA. This group of shacks houses a pack train that carries tourists up to see a glacier, though no animals were present when I walked by.

They have the delightful “architect-less” simplicity you often see in Alpine structures, seated so well within their environment; William Wurster would be delighted. Note the vertical lift door of the hay barn which is opened with a pulley.

Keep up the good work!

–Andy Asp,
Oakland, CA

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Mystery of the Gypsy Vardo Solved

Lloyd posted this post a little over a year ago; we just received a letter from the builder, Cennydd Rees, with a little info about his build:

Hi Lloyd,

Just to solve the lovely little mystery on your blog, ’tis I, Cennydd Rees. It’s my little bowtop hybrid or camping karutsa. I live with my Bulgarian girlfriend and two children in an equally tiny house in northwest Bulgaria. I am a designer/builder and am now making a much tighter version of the karutsa in your blog.

Just had two families staying here. One a surfer/designer friend doing a Euro tour with his family in his converted van. The karutsa is a subtle twist on the standard gypsy-style wagons, and I am hoping to make a small living with the now mk3 version. Just enough.
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Beautifully Converted Bus



From modern live-work spaces to family-oriented dwellings, we’re seeing a number of beautifully renovated interiors inside buses that have been converted into tiny homes. But what’s great too is that each vehicle has its own fascinating story behind it. Take Denver, Colorado’s Charles Kern of Art Builders Guild, a professional bus homebuilder who first built his own home on wheels a few years ago, using a bus that has quite a history.

Charles tells us that he converted a bus for a simple reason: he needed a place to live as a cash-strapped 20-year-old philosophy student, and as someone who was knowledgeable about buses for over a decade, it seemed like the best solution. Charles relates the story behind the bus that he calls The Queen — a 1982 Bluebird Bus on an International Harvester chassis…

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