Tiny house, large caravan

All the solutions for energy independence exist already for the mobile home industry. So the surplus wealth and recreation time of the last generation has provided the R&D for the basic subsistence of the next. Hooray. Lynda has joined Stardust Circus, so I am happily taking on the project of renovating a caravan for us to live in.

I started looking online first to get a feel for what is available. There are some really cute vans from around the 60’s, but they tend to be around the 14 foot length. I looked inside some 16 – 18 foot vans and decided that even they were a bit on the small side for 2 people to be living in full time. After seeing a 22 foot van with a bathroom installed in place of one of the bunks, we decided on that size.

Watching the online ads, started to give me a good feel for the price range:

  • < $4000 would get a renovated shell and floor, with no interior- someones project they had given up on. (This is a pretty good option in retrospect)
  • approx. $8000 a van in reasonable condition with well worn interior, likely water damage.
  • > $12000 a nicely renovated van (not that common though)

I set up saved searches on all the van sales sites which allowed it and used 3rd party website monitors to watch the local dealers. This helped me find a van with a surprisingly good original interior, at a good price ($7500) which included checks and registration.
The van had surprisingly little water damage for its age.

When I went to pick it up I was advised that I couldn’t pull it with my car, since I don’t have a break controller. The dealer delivered it for me. Towing and breaking remains one of the tasks for the future.

After the first rainy day test, it seems that there was a minor drip coming from the vent in the roof. I figured my first job was to re-seal the roof. A job, I was to learn, that should not be started before going overseas for a month.

Next: Waterproofing the roof


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