Followers of the Bumfuzzle adventures have seen the intrepid couple go from sailing around the world in a catamaran to driving around the world in a VW bus. Their latest adventures: sailing in a beautiful, but cranky, 43-foot Spindrift Pilothouse in Mexico has come to an end and Pat and Ali have moved their two small children aboard a 27-foot 1966 Dodge Travco camper to explore the interior, rather than the coast, of the Americas.
Pat and Ali have always been up front with what they spend on their tiny homes on wheels and water. The Spindrift was eventually costing them too much money in repairs and docking fees. When traveling the interior of Mexico, they were essentially not living in their boat—but still paying for it. Pat writes in the Bumfuzzle blog:
“In my opinion keeping a boat that you aren’t using is one of the stupidest financial decisions a person can make. Two years, $500 a month dockage/hard storage is $12,000. Paying somebody to keep an eye on it $2,500. Coming back after two years to repair everything that has been neglected or just simply stopped working while you were away, another couple of thousand easily.”
Still wanting to travel, homeschool their children and live in something with a little style, the couple purchased the vintage Travco online sight unseen for $9,000 and added another $12,000 of repairs and additions including solar power, custom mattresses and new upholstery. The bus has a living space with a dining table, a fold-out couch, plenty of seating, a back bedroom with two beds for the children, closets and a bathroom.
The bus (just like their other modes of transportation) is clean and minimalist without a lot of toys or clothes. In fact, when the family of four left Mexico, they only had six boxes of belongings. Pat says in the Bumfuzzle blog:
“Six boxes. We have two kids. Are you wrapping your head around this? Because I’m not. I really don’t think about our minimalism as minimalism, if that makes sense. I never think about it at all. It just is. I guess we’ve lived this way for so long now that it has become second nature—it’s no longer a conscious decision. In fact, it’s not a decision at all. But I think it is a way of life that enables us to go on doing exactly whatever the heck it is that we want to do. Being able to load all our belongings on an airplane for $200 makes that big move from one country to another feel a whole lot more doable than wondering, “How could we move? How could we change course? How could we get all of our stuff from here to there?” For people like us these would be the worst questions we could ever find ourselves asking. We need our mobility. It’s a part of us.”
Photos by Bumfuzzle.com
For those of you who have fallen in love with the Rustic Way cabin on the cover of Issue 15 of the Tiny House Magazine, owner Dan Pauly is collaborating with Marvin Dinovitz of Tahoe Tiny Houses and Trailers to bring the structures made from old barn wood to the West coast of the U.S.
Marvin owns Tahoe Tiny Houses and Trailers and has built a few of the Rustic Way designs for homeowners in the Tahoe area. Marvin plans on providing several configurations of the Rustic Way houses to be used as extra bathrooms, saunas, dressing rooms or bunk houses.
“Dan Pauly is an incredible craftsman who lives and breaths old barn wood,” Marvin said. “I’m excited to be working with him.”
Marvin worked for years restoring both large and small boats and has his own company restoring Airstream trailers for use as small housing units. He said that many people have Airstream shells that have fallen into disrepair and don’t know what to do with them. Marvin said he asks vintage Airstream owners to hang onto the interior parts of a trailer because even those can be restored.
His Airstream housing units can be used as guesthouses, art or yoga studios, small homes or backyard getaways. They are still mobile, but need to be connected to the house septic system if they have a bathroom. He incorporates green building techniques, LED lighting and solar panels.
Marvin also plans on restoring a few Airstreams with fun themes—his first is a Gene Autry/Roy Rogers/1950s cowboy theme with barn wood. He estimates a restored Airstream will cost around $25,000.
“I think tiny dwellings in the 300 square foot range are where people are going to head toward in the future,” Marvin said. “Once you downsize to the basics, you don’t need very much.”
Photos by Rustic Way and Marvin Dinovitz
by Heather Terrell
This is our sixty square foot 1964 Li’l Beaver Camper. My husband Shane and I, and our two dogs, are 81 days into our adventure traveling across America, and we will be going until we decide to stop. This has really been a trip of a lifetime.
We did a total rehab on the Li’l Beaver after finding that there was too much water damage to let it fly. We took it down to the trailer, and built it back up. We salvaged the outside shell, most of the vintage windows, the oven, and the sink. We even put in an air conditioner.
We wanted the interior to reflect us, since we would be living in it. As you can see, we wanted to make it colorful and funky. It took us about 4 months to finish. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but it was totally worth it. We knew once it was finished, our road trip could begin. It really hasn’t been that hard living in this tiny space, and I doubt I will ever really want to live in anything more than 1000 sq. ft.
Follow Heather’s blog and see before and after pictures of their tiny home: http://lilbeaveradventures.blogspot.com/
by Rick Zabel
My wife and I were living in Santiago, Chile when most of the work was done and communicated by email and Skype to get our influence into the design. This is a 1948 Spartan Manor that was pretty much just a shell when we purchased it.
During the restoration we even incorporated some old furniture that we had to be built into the cabinetry. The interior is completely new, and we requested a design that would allow us to dry camp for a week at a time. We have solar charged batteries, holding tanks and very modern conveniences.
This renovation was filmed for Extreme RVs on the Travel Channel, although I admit that I haven’t seen the show yet. Kent found it so check it out below.
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