I so desperately wanted to call this the “Homeless Project”, but I understand that might be insensitive. Instead of “homeless” or trying to make this sound more unique than it actually is, I’m going to call it by the movement’s accepted name:
Living in a ‘Tiny Home’
This isn’t a new concept. This movement has been building for the past half-decade or so. My own Tiny Home idea didn’t come until after I had written this post about “planning to be homeless”, in which I describe the desire to not sign a lease on an apartment in 2014 and commit to sleeping in my car if I couldn’t find a room to rent.
Why I Want to Live in a ‘Tiny House’
So far, only one (1) person has shown any skepticism of this plan. Everyone else absolutely loves it, and that includes my non-climber friends (whereas climbers routinely romanticize living out of a car/van/truck)!
I’m doing this for me. I’m doing this to save money. I’m doing this because I’m tired of having all this “stuff” in my life. I’m a victim of my own wants instead of needs. I want to discover life. I want to experience life. I want to read books. I want to find happiness in simple things. I want the freedom to go wherever I choose. I want less so that I can have more.
I want to travel and not worry about planning out hotels or campsites along the way. If I want to climb in Joshua Tree or the Adirondacks or Squamish for an extended period of time, I want to have a bed to come back to. I want to adventure and experience life in the best way I know how.
Perhaps “older” people that are not, or ever were, in the outdoor lifestyle will never understand, but for me, my friends, and my fellow adventurers, this makes all the sense in the world.
Besides, all my “stuff” will be waiting for me when I’m done.
Finding a Home
I was so exhilarated about the idea of downsizing my life, living more simply, and getting rid of most of my “stuff” that I started researching. I very quickly found teardrop-style trailers and campers. Unlike tiny homes, these are, quite obviously, not permanent structures. But there’s enough room to store clothing, essential items, a queen-sized bed, 2-burner stove, refrigerator, and even heating and A/C. Add in more storage from the cargo area of my Subaru Outback, and I can easily have everything that I truly need on-hand.
Rather than having to find some random person offering some random room in some random house, the trailer/camper offers a “permanent” place for me to come back to after I’m done traveling for work.
Added Bonus: They’re easily towable behind my Outback so it will be incredible for long road trips and amazing climbing adventures! Camping in luxury!
Finding a Place to Park
Finding a teardrop camper is as “easy” as doing some Google searching and finding one for sale anywhere across the country. Finding a place to park (read: live) however, is a bit more difficult. People don’t put up craigslist ads offering parking spots in their driveway, behind their garage, or on a small parcel of their mountain estate. Instead, I’ve had to put up my own ‘want’ ad. This could be a little easier if I had more friends that were originally from Boulder. Oh, and I’ll have to convince them to let me stay there for a year. Easy, right?
Unlike other “dirtbags” and “ski bums”, I fully intend to keep my full-time job as an engineer and live a normal social life. Hygiene and professionalism will need to be maintained. The first two obstacles most people point out are the shower and the bathroom.
The easy one first: I can shower at work.
As for the bathroom, I hope I can find some land with some really flexible owners. One’s that would let me build an outdoor facility (dig a hole in the ground). Whether that happens or not, most trailers come with a port-a-potty or an actual bathroom with a throne. In both of these cases, disposal is the issue.
Next up is water. Also easy. Maybe. The campers typically come with at least a 25 gallon tank, which is connected to a 6 or 7 gallon hot water heater. The only issue here? Where can I get bulk water?
Electricity? The fancy teardrops have 12v battery systems and 30 amp, 115Vac hook-ups. But I want to live off the grid as much as possible. I fully intend to outfit the teardrop camper with solar panel(s) to recharge the battery system. I’ll also have a gas generator as back-up. Lights and the refrigerator can be run off the included LP gas system.
If you can help out with any of these things, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
- having or knowing someone trying to sell their teardrop camper (I’ll fly anywhere in the lower 48 to pick it up for the right price)
- having or knowing someone with space for me to park/live in the Boulder, CO area
- knowing if I could park/live anywhere on public land in the Boulder, CO area (even if that meant moving every couple of days/weeks/months)
- being able to answer my concerns about waste disposal and water availability
If you want to donate to the project I could really use funding and/or equipment help.
I don’t foresee this lasting forever. Someday I will want to put down some roots and own a real house. Until that time, I will need to pay for storage for the non-essential things I can’t have in the camper or Outback. I may need to pay for the land or parking spot that I lease. I will likely have to pay for water. I will likely have to pay for my waste disposal. The solar panel installation will not be cheap. The trailer doesn’t come with a generator. And let’s not forget the biggest expense of this whole project: the teardrop trailer itself.
I will soon have a PayPal donation account setup for these things, and perhaps I’ll look into a social-funding site. If you could help in any way, I would greatly appreciate it. I’ll have to think of something to give in returns. Hugs, maybe?
Whether you’re a private individual or in charge of a corporate sponsorship program, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact form below, even if you just want to give words of encouragement!
Thank you very much for reading, and stay tuned! I’m determined to make this happen, and will be documenting all phases of the project on this site!
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.