What, Why & How
I have already more or less completed my caravan (travel trailer) rebuild as described in the earlier blogs. I want to be able to set up on a farm or large property somewhere and have basically all I need to survive. And thus I need a separate toilet shower and laundry space as I don't have this in my little caravan. I will put this next to my caravan and have a raised walk way between the two.
So I am building a little mobile unit that fits on top of my utility trailer. It can slide out and be moved via 4 detachable jockey wheels and adjusted for level. Once in position I can rest it on removable wooden foundations and remove the jockey wheels until I need to move it again.
The unit is being built mostly from recycled free materials so it is very cheap to build.
I used the remaining second hand tongue and groove boards that were also used on the caravan floor for my new units flooring.
And the walls and roof were made from an old refrigerator shed that was disassembled laying around on the property I am staying on and was given to me for free. So it has been re-purposed to live another day. It had a doorway and roof and a cut out area in the roof for the old refrigerator motor. I will use this hole for a skylight. The walls are made from 70mm thick refrigerator 'sandwich' panels (polystyrene foam covered in aluminium sheet).
A kind neighbour gave me a free new wooden toilet seat for my home made composting toilet. I also purchased a cheap urine separator unit to separate liquids from solids. Because the liquid and solid waste is separated there is very little smell.
The unit will be powered by a 12V cable from my caravan's PV solar system for LED lighting. And I will have a hole where I can put a 230V AC extension cable to power the laundry unit. I may buy a portable gas generator to power the washing machine if need be.
The shower will probably be powered by a cheap portable external gas heater unit used for camping.
If I wanted to set up semi permanently I could buy some more batteries and solar panels and buy a decent inverter for total power independence.
Anyway one day at a time.
Progress in pictures
I have almost finished the rebuild of the caravan. I am tired of the project. But am enjoying the use of it daily. The pictures below are pretty self explanatory.
The phase 3 PV Solar electrical side of things is basically done. I have not got an inverter installed at present. But that is a simple thing to do. But I think I will stick to just using the solar for 12V for now.
While finishing the last few things of the phase 2 rebuild I am busy building a separate portable toilet, shower, laundry unit. See the next blog post for details of that.
I need a break and a change of pace.
I am wondering what is next in my life for the rest of 2018.
Phase 3 Solar PV system progress in pictures.
I will add more videos to this playlist in time.
Phase 2, Refit (of a 3 phase rebuild)
The caravan restoration project is broken up into 3 phases:
I will update this blog entry with progress pics as I go. So check back every few weeks for updates.
Phase 2 and Phase 3 are the fun stuff as it is all design and build - not dirty and boring repair!
I will spend another month or so, on and off (between work to earn money for my next project) on the following..
...complete the fit out of the caravan including the...
I have partly completed the bed, kitchen unit and desk, just in time for Sukkot (the biblical feast of tabernacles).
UPDATE 24th January 2018
I have more or less completed the refit and rebuilt. The interior is painted. I have installed the 800mm slide out drawer under the bed. The Caravan has been lived in since Sukkot 2017. The kitchen unit is completed. I have installed various shelves as can be seen in the pictures below. And I have the curtains complete but I have yet to properly install them. I am pretty happy with how it is working for me as my own little tiny tiny house on wheels. But I pretty fed up with working on it and the pace has slowed down. I need a break. I have been doing a few tiling jobs in between to give me some money. But I have pretty much completed the project.I just have some cupboard doors to make up and some brass trim to add (I may do that at a later stage. Will put a few more photo's in a few weeks. I have also installed an external guttering to fill up my water tank with rain water.
I still haven't painted the exterior or fitted the break cable and gotten it registered. But I have installed the 12V DC PV solar system and battery. I will outline all that in the follow up blog post on the phase 3 PV Solar installation.
I want to build a modern solar powered caravan using an extensively repaired old caravan as my canvas. I will refit it with a new interior including bed, kitchen and desk and shelving. I have recently acquired a dilapidated wreck of a caravan to rehabilitate. Not my first or second choice -but it's all experience and character building!
It is an old 70's era caravan (travel trailer) that I have guttted. The shell will be refitted with a new kitchen, bed and study area. the cabin is 4.4m long. It cost me $300. Because it is so run down it will cost me about 2 months and $2000 to resurrect. Perhaps it doesn't quite make financial sense but it will fill in a few wet winter months with valuable practical experience. And the end result will be nice... ...hopefully!!!
I have put the 6m (20ft) tiny home project mentioned in the previous blog post on hold as I got 'cold feet' and received the "no go lights" from on high via circumstances. Actually I wondered if I really needed it and when I did eventually decide to proceed with it I couldn't get the trailer welding done with the help of my messianic friend Dirk. I wondered if it really was God's perfect will and I was thinking of that verse about being mindful of heavenly things more than earthly...
But I need a place to live and I have no space to swing a cat (yes I have a cat!).
I have always been a bit of a minimalist, living in the smallest caravan I could find and being quite content to be there until a few years ago when it began to feel cramped. During many years since 2006 I lived on and off in this little caravan, which is still my home...
Old (current) Caravan
Thus since 2006 I have spent my time living in this little caravan while working part time on people's farms or large blocks of land for food and rent while studying Hebrew, then Greek and looking into the Torah deeply concerning prophetic matters.
I have moved around the country a bit, shifting from the state of Victoria to Queensland and then back down to Melbourne, Victoria in October 2010. When I moved in late 2010 I began spending my non working time putting my thoughts on my 10losttribes.com website and then later in 2013 I began putting videos together. During 2013 I started living with a christian named Chris who taught me to tile floors and walls of bathrooms and kitchens etc. This work would later give me a bit of independence.
Then in 2014 I was working in the countryside and earning money and saving to go for a trip to Israel. I was living in my tiny caravan and decided to save up for a larger modern caravan (travel trailer). The Lord made it clear through a whole lot of events that the money was for a trip to Israel and so with that I went to Israel midway through 2014 and put dreams of a larger mobile home aside. After 3 months in Israel I was invited to the USA and stayed for almost 6 weeks in Texas (Thank you Dave and Glen!). I returned back to Australia after spending 2 weeks in New Zealand and began wall and floor tiling again and went back to the USA for 6 months in May 2015. Since returning to Australia I have been tiling floors and travelling to Queensland for the last 2 winters. I no longer work on farms for food and rent. I have gathered more stuff and the doors to overseas have closed - and I have a pet cat called Leon to look after.
Things are changing
Slowly life is changing for me, I have to cook my own meals and have accumulated so much stuff that I can no longer fit in my little caravan. So sadly I have to up-size. I am happy to get out of the clutter but I am sad that I have to leave my more spiritual pursuits for now. But in some ways it is good for my soul as it grounds me a littler more. The heavenly things can wait a few years while I get on with getting some sort of income and accommodation issues sorted. Although I make a living renovating and installing new tiled kitchen's and bathroom's I would like to do more creative things.
I am really attracted to building tiny homes and I really love natural timber and things that are beautifully designed. I love fancy intricately carved or routed wood. Years ago I had a career in electronics and then later software. I will be happy to be involved with PV solar systems for mobile applications. But I do really enjoy the more earthy nuts and bolts experience with hand tools and creativity with wood and metal. Also I prefer to detach from work that gets me too involved in corporate stuff or the business world of Babylon in general. I'd rather be in nature with my feet in the mud and my head in the clouds with some down to earth dreamers who love the Lord.
I don't know what the future holds for me in the immediate future. But I have asked the Lord to confirm if it is His will to build a mobile workshop trailer. Is there time? We are surely heading for war even as the Jesuit planned disintegration of western society accelerates. Our once Judaeo-Christian morals have been replaced it with the morals of Sodom and Gomorrah and a trans-humanist nightmare .
While we wait for the inevitable I am looking at very practical concerns. I no longer study anywhere near as much. And I have very little fellowship as Australia is all but dead spiritually. I have a few messianic believers that I am in regular contact with here and we are all in the same unhappy situation, and we soldier on as best we can as darkness grips the minds and hearts of our careless and unbelieving compatriots.
So now I am concentrating more on more mundane things like learning some practical skills. I have learnt a trade so that gives me money and independence. I no longer just work on people's properties part time for food a rent.
Instead I have decided to rebuild an old caravan (travel trailer) to give me a somewhere mobile to live that has decent kitchen and storage space and allows me to gain some practical experience. After the rebuild I would like to add PV Solar panels and inverter etc.
Things to do
The caravan restoration project is broken up into 3 phases:
Phase 1 - Gut & Replace
I am almost finished phase one!
The current caravan restoration project was something I was not keen on because the caravan had so much wrong with it. It was a heap of junk with really bad damage to some major parts including the drawbar, flooring, end walls, front and rear interior window sills, ceiling and skylight.
After 3 weeks in tropical Cairnes in far north Queensland to see my sister I returned to cold miserable Melbourne and decided since I had nothing better to do and I had no work, to push through and get the essentials done on this 'sows ear' of a caravan and turn it into a 'silk purse'.
Let me describe where I am at in the caravan restoration project..
As of this writing I have...
Phase 1 (progress in pictures...)
I have just completed 3 weeks of work earning some money which will help me get my light utility truck ('ute') repaired and purchase bits and pieces for the caravan.
I have just replaced the front and rear interior wooden window sills that the aluminium windows screw into.
I am currently completing the last major milestone in phase 1, repairing the rotten skylight and adjacent ceiling panel. I have had to leave the front aluminium windows out and peel back the front half of the roof in order to replace ceiling. Then my caravan is leak proof and sealed and I can get it out of the garage. I have also just sanded and varnished the floor with 3 coats of polyurethane clear lacquer. It has come up very well. Initially I didn't want to do it but there were some boards that were too high. I am so glad I went the extra mile and got this done.
Now it's off to do the Phase 2 refit. I hope to have the bed installed by Sukkot (biblical feast of tabernacles) and begin fitting out the interior in between tiling work to earn some money. The caravan still looks like a bomb site. It's really during the phase two refit that it will pretty up.
Phase 2 - Refit interior
Phase 2 and Phase 3 are the fun stuff as it is all design and build - not dirty and boring repair!
I will spend another month on and off (between work to earn money for my next project) on the following..
...complete the fit out of the caravan including the...
I will put out another blog once phase 2 is completed.
Phase 3 - Solar Power
The final phase will involve installing PV solar panels, batteries, charge couplers, inverter and lights and 12v DC sockets etc. I will also install a 12V DC water pump and a small external gutter to collect water for the water tank.
I can then be off the grid.
This should only take a week or so and cost about $2000 (as much as I will have spent in total on phases 1 & 2 - including the $300 for the junk caravan in the first place).
I will write up a blog article about the phase 3 solar experience and issues later too. And if I have time and motivation I will put a short 15 minute video together on the whole experience.
What I have learnt
Although this project started with a very dilapidated caravan, the end result will be wonderfully useful and hopefully quite cute and homely as well as eminently practical and timely. And I have gained valuable experience with nearly every aspect of caravan repair and reconstruction. Most of the phase one repair, although costly in time (will be close to 2 months) was done during the winter when work is scarce anyway. Besides I didn't feel the cold much this winter, I was just too busy physically.
I have also gained experience with all sorts of tools and tongue and groove flooring. I think next time I wont bother with sourcing second hand flooring. It's too time consuming to de-nail, clean and fit and sand.
I think I would prefer to build a new trailer home from the ground up rather that repair an old caravan, unless the caravan had minimal fundamental things wrong with it. Still at least I have dealt with nearly every sort of problem a caravan could have. At the very least it's character building!
And I will have created my first PV Solar system which will be invaluable for my future proposed mobile workshop (covered utility trailer) and mobile tiny home. If the Lord opens up the time and opportunity to pursue these projects.
Mobile Tiny Home Workshop Project
Then I will need to get some more tiling work and save some money for the materials for the next project, the 6m (20ft) long workshop on wheels.
Because I don't have my own property I would like to build a mobile workshop and perhaps build a tiny home next year once I am set up with this new caravan and workshop if the LORD allows. Within the next few months I should have a clearer idea if the Lord wants me to do this next. I will need finances through tiling work and the availability of my messianic friend to get the welding done. Although I could get some trailer company to pump out a trailer for me. I would rather construct it myself and include a fellow messianic as I also have a working messianic community in mind for the longer term.
The longer term goal is to have the practical skills to build mobile tiny homes and ultimately be involved with a mobile tiny home messianic community that pools their skills and resources to create an income and a close knit way of life. Only the Lord can bring this together, especially in spiritually dead/dormant Australia (What an awakening that will be!!!).
We are building mobile tiny homes due to economic necessity and because the Lord is getting us ready to move as world war 3 approaches and the 2nd exodus draws nearer!
I used 'SketchUp' Pro to design my proposed trailer home before the software's trial period ran out. I can begin welding the stell frame for the 20ft trailer base once I have completed helping a friend construct a garage over the next 2 to 4 weeks.
I am not sure what sort of construction method that I will use for the walls. I really want a relatively light weight trailer so that I can hitch it to a light truck like a Ford F100 or one of the modern pickup /utes. I may use refridgerator sandwhich boards for the outer walls but I still need a means of supporting the loft. I really dont want to use wood due to weight. I may be able to weld a 40mm square tubular steel frame. This is twice as heavy as Aluminium but half the cost, stronger and easier to weld. I would like some sort of thin wood composite inner wall lining with an insulating metal foil then a 10mm air gap and then a 30mm sandwhich panel (second hand).
Originally I had wanted a rustic looking wood exterior, but realistically I didn't want to use a large truck to haul it. Although the wheels will be rated to 4.5 tons, the trailer needs to weigh less than 3.5 tons fully loaded to enable a lighter pick up or ute to move it.
I hope to fit out the interior with cabinetry that I get for free from Gumtree.com.au. As yet I do not have a budget for the entire project. The big expence will be the wheels and solar panel, battery, inverter system. Initally I will just get one solar panel and a cheap battery to run some LED lights. Later I will purchase more panels and proper deep cycle batteries and inverter etc. I will need to install a parallel 230V AC system and will need an electrician to sign off on it. I will hide the wiring behind the cupboards as opposed to putting it between the walls.
The main thing is to get the trailer base welding completed and then the lower floor, walls, loft floor and roof up quickly. Then I can relax and fit it out at a more leasurely pace. If I can use a simple prefabricated wall panel construction method then that should make the construction quick and simple.
Days of Sodom – Be careful what you build.
We all have to sleep and a roof over our head is an added bonus. We need to be thoughtful where we live. Cities may not be a long time prospect with the children forced fed godless homosexual morals. Where do we build? We are living in perilous times, politically correct doctrines of demons fill the airwaves, and God’s remnant gets smaller with every passing generation. What can we do?
לוּלֵי יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הֹותִיר לָנוּ שָׂרִיד כִּמְעָט כִּסְדֹם הָיִ֔ינוּ לַעֲמֹרָה דָּמִינוּ׃
Isaiah 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
I have quoted this verse often, along with the corresponding ones from the New Testament, Mat 10:15; Mat 11:23; Mat 11:24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12,17:29; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:7. The time that the Lord יהוה promised Abraham a seed that would inherit the land, was the very time he destroyed Sodom and the other cities. We need to be like Abraham who looked for a city who’s builder and maker is God, Hebrews 11:10. We don’t want to be like lot that was led by the sight of His own eyes, Genesis 13:10. In the end Lot lost everything except his salvation. He even lost his dignity.
We may be a very small remnant, but we are not alone. The Lord יהוהwill guide us as we trust in Him, obey his word and listen to His voice. It is so important that we trust in the Lord יהוה in our projects and ambitions. Worldly ambition should be far from us. We need to be spiritual in how we live our lives. Abraham lived in the real world, but he was led by God. He wasn’t bookish in his faith, his faith had works, and those works endured and led to his posterity inheriting the land of Israel which is the land of Eden. If we want to follow that same Lord God (יהוה אלהים) and inherit that same land (ארץ ישראל), then we need to be armed with the same faithfulness.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
ואם רע בעיניכם לעבד את־יהוה בחרו לכם היום את־מי תעבדון אם את־אלהים אשׁר־עבדו אבותיכם אשׁר בעבר הנהר ואם את־אלהי האמרי אשׁר אתם ישׁבים בארצם ואנכי וביתי נעבד את־יהוה׃
Building wood, hay and stubble versus Hearing God’s Voice
Following the commandments is necessary, but like the rich young ruler, it is not enough (Mat 19:16-20:16, Mark 10:17-31, Luke 18:18-30), we must follow the voice of the Lord, John 10:4.
אַחֲרֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם תֵּלֵכוּ וְאֹתֹו תִירָאוּ וְאֶת־מִצְוֹתָיו תִּשְׁמֹרוּ וּבְקֹלֹו תִשְׁמָעוּ וְאֹתֹו תַעֲבֹדוּ וּבֹו תִדְבָּקוּן׃
Deuteronomy 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
We must keep His commandments AND Obey His voice. We must be sensitive enough to har His voice in our decision making. Prayerfulness and a life of obedience enables us to hear more clearly His voice.
We know that the Messiah is the Rock that we should build on but it is important that we are led of God in all that we do.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
My Mobile Tiny House Project
So it is with these thoughts in mind that I have begun to plan and gather materials to build a tiny home on wheels. I have begun with a combination of enthusiasm and trepidation. Enthusiasm is the spice to get things done. Fear is necessary also to guard against over committing myself to a project that is too big and not in the Lord’s will. The Tiny Home is not just about building a dwelling; on my heart is establishing community, a semi-mobile Tiny Home community. If the Lord allows our luke warm and godless population to be trimmed down we may be a very small remnant, especially after the ‘Sodom Laws’ and FEMA camps have wrecked our lands. This ‘very small remnant’ will most likely be mobile and live in very small makeshift homes, many hastily put together as they flee the cities. This may not be far off, even in sleepy Australia. By the way, I am not saying you can’t build big, but for some of us we don’t have the means or inclination or need to build big.
On this blog I hope to keep you up to date with my Tiny Home project and we will see how the Lord directs me. Again I hope to talk about more than just building a home on wheels. I want to talk about community and inspire some that have few means, to do what they can if they feel the Lord leads them. I want to do it cheap and we live in affluent nations where there is a lot of free building materials available here and there if we know where and how to look. Of course the Lord can help us if we are willing trust him. I hope to build a lot of my Tiny home out of good quality recycled material thoughtfully and artfully put together. I hope to build it in an attractive way, but it also much be functional. The reason that I am doing this now is that some doors have closed to me while other doors are open, giving me the opportunity to do it now.
I had hoped to go travelling to the USA this year but it was not to be. I believe that the Lord has control of my finances and He does all things well in His time. The options for fellowship here in Australia are much slimmer. We are still in winter here in Melbourne. I have just returned from 2 months in sunny Queensland to escape the winter and catch up with folks there. I find more believers up there, messianic / Hebrew roots and Christian. Australia is quite spiritually backward so everything messianic is on a much smaller scale. At least in the state of Queensland the sun shines and it is a little more bible friendly. I had hoped to stay up there, but the doors to employment and accommodation didn’t open. However I do believe that the Lord directs our steps and so I feel that He has something else in mind. One of the reasons I left Melbourne for Queensland over winter (from 25 May to 19 July 2016) was due to tiling work drying up. I am wondering what to do with my time while I wait for tiling work in the summer. And I hope to return to Queensland by next winter, 2017. In the mean time I have decided to build a tiny home and shift it up to Queensland next year.
I am currently gathering materials for building an 18x8 ft long tiny home on wheels. I am still praying about it and looking for the Lord’s favour in this endeavor. I don’t want to begin a project that saps my energy and resources only to find I have spent my energy on something that is not His will and a burden. But if the Lord is in it then wow, what a challenge, blessing and adventure.
I have never wanted a house or to buy property. I am a single guy and the thought of being tied to property kills me. I want to be foot loose and fancy free. I have a tiny old caravan that I have used to house me on and off over the last 10 years. It has been a blessing. My life has been amazingly simple and carefree and I have been able to devote more time and energy into studying Hebrew, Torah and prophecy, plus work on my website on and off when I am inspired to. I guess if you are married, that comes with responsibilities, including having a home and property and stuff. What I do hope for if I am able to complete this project is to have a more self-contained and semi-permanent place that will be the basis of a small community. At least that is the hope. To get believers of any shade together on a property and to get them to pull their weight and hold it together is a far bigger miracle than simply building a home. However time is marching on, and I simply trust that the Lord will answer my prayers and lead me. If it is His will then it is not really me that builds the house, it is the Lord.
Psalms 127:1-5 A Song of degrees for Solomon.
שׁיר המעלות לשׁלמה
1אם־יהוה לא־יבנה בית שׁוא עמלו בוניו בו אם־יהוה לא־ישׁמר־עיר שׁוא שׁקד שׁומר׃ 2 שׁוא לכם משׁכימי קום מאחרי־שׁבת אכלי לחם העצבים כן יתן לידידו שׁנא׃ 3 הנה נחלת יהוה בנים שׂכר פרי הבטן׃ 4 כחצים ביד־גבור כן בני הנעורים׃ 5 אשׁרי הגבר אשׁר מלא את־אשׁפתו מהם לא־יבשׁו כי־ידברו את־אויבים בשׁער׃
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
My Mobile Tiny Home Specs
Where I am at in the project
I am concurrently designing the Tiny Home on Sketch up while I have begun to collect materials. I have gotten the following for free in Melbourne via the Gumtree.com.au website (sort of like craigslist.com)
and from friends.
I have purchased 6x2.5m lengths of 100x50mm RHS steel tubing for $80. I will purchase another 2 x8m lengths for $88. Plus 8m of 150x50mm RHS also.
I am looking for an old floorboards and weatherboards.
It is fun to have projects, especially if the good Lord blesses them. Just like the home, the community will also need to be built by the Lord. I am building the Tiny Home in the hope of a Tiny community (for a very small remnant). We will group purchase some land or share some farm land with the owner in exchange for labour etc. I envisage more than just agriculture. I am thinking of an actual village where everyone has their own plot of land and their own cottage business, one of those businesses could include building teeny tiny homes on teeny tiny budgets. I am also keeping a video blog of my progress on my 10losttribes YouTube channel. Time is short so we do what we can with the strength and leading that our Father in Heaven supplies.
The wonderful thing to know is that the Lord is the one that allows judgement to befall a nation. Even a terrible judgement is a mercy in disguise, as was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He will not only lead us before the judgement, but also through it. Are job is to listen to the Lord and not become embittered by life’s trials. The Lord has a plan, let us learn to follow Him. So the Lord is Good, the days are Evil, the need for community is desperate, we shall see what the Good Lord does. If the world does not blow up I hope to come over to the States in 2017 come Hell, Highwater or Hillary (or maybe on the Last Trump). I am sure that no matter what comes to pass, we will all have stories to tell. God is good and Yeshua is FAITHFUL AND TRUE.