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!