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mconlonx 11-29-15 06:21 PM

I finally got a fourth wall up on the cabin/tiny house.

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...7&d=1448840729

I've been sleeping out here since May, with a tarp over the front wall. I was hung up on making the door and refurbishing a 15yr-rusty square tenon mortising machine. But, finally got it done, wall up, door and window installed. Of course now I realize that a short set of stairs is a new priority...

The back roof is shingled, need to do the front. Also: flooring (shiplap pine), kitchen area shelving and counter, bathroom enclosure, loft, built-in daybed/storage unit. And sundry shelving.

With the tarp for the wall, it felt more like a sturdy tent; with the ability to close and lock the door, it feels like a home. 12' x 8' and I will be adding 8' x 8' of loft space. 160 sq ft, total. Pretty much anything I don't move in there with me will go.

This is a temporary place. It's built on my ex-in-law's land and they will technically own it, but condition for building it is that it is mine to live in until I move along. Ostensibly a sugar shack, it will be what I call home -- no running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust). I may go with some solar power, but maybe not. Propane cook stove and main light.

Last year, I lived in a van; this year a rustic cabin.

Living car free is one way to live simply; living home-free or home-lite is another...

Artkansas 11-29-15 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 18353170)
I finally got a fourth wall up on the cabin/tiny house.

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...7&d=1448840729

Congratulations on the step up!

I-Like-To-Bike 11-29-15 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 18353170)
Living car free is one way to live simply; living home-free or home-lite is another...

"No running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust)."

Living that way doesn't sound that simple to me.

mconlonx 11-29-15 09:21 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 18353373)
"No running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust)."

Living that way doesn't sound that simple to me.

Maybe you're overthinking it...?

Ekdog 11-29-15 11:01 PM

Nice!

Smallwheels 11-30-15 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 18353170)
I finally got a fourth wall up on the cabin/tiny house.

...It's built on my ex-in-law's land and they will technically own it, but condition for building it is that it is mine to live in until I move along. Ostensibly a sugar shack, it will be what I call home...

Living car free is one way to live simply; living home-free or home-lite is another...

If you fall in love with it do you think the ex-in-laws will sell that portion of their property to you? It looks great.

Smallwheels 11-30-15 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 18353373)
"No running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust)."

Living that way doesn't sound that simple to me.

As a van dweller that can move around easily to get the things I need, such as water. Having a composting toilet that doesn't need to be emptied immediately and an easy source for water seems like a breeze.

I pay for filtered water at the rate of thirty cents per gallon at grocery store vending machines. I use a gallon per day.

mconlonx 12-01-15 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 18355398)
If you fall in love with it do you think the ex-in-laws will sell that portion of their property to you? It looks great.

Thanks! Doubtful they'd let me buy it... and it's probably illegal as a habitable structure... but I don't doubt they'd let me stay there as long as I wanted. Decades if need be. Chances are, however, I'll get restless and a) get another van to build out, b) move in with someone, somewhere else, c) start on a tiny house on wheels, d) do some other alternate shelter home somewhere else, e) ???. I'm really enjoying this as an exercise in building my own cabin, but I'm not thinking of it as a permanent, long term place to settle.

Most are, like, "Cool, but it's soo small..." After being in a van for a year, it feels pretty spacious...

fietsbob 12-01-15 02:12 PM

Alone in a small 114 year old House.

this town has a Lot of small old houses, but after spending a couple months at sea fishing they probably seemed Huge ..

rossiny 12-02-15 07:41 PM

rent -own
 
What is the difference if u rent or own. U still have a monthly expense and u have to pay it or... move out! The term landlord is out dated. If u own and rent out property u have to manage it.. Mortgage payments..utilities if you include them in the tenants rent..property taxes....maintenance and repairs..rental collection ..as well as dealing with non payment. As far as appreciation...has any one heard about the housing crash... Houses went down to half in lot of areas. If I had a good job I would rent and not deal with this but I do remodeling , so almost had to link in with this as a way to make a living... I can tell u this , the only lord in the land is the BANK.....unless u pay cash... So next time u say your landlord is rich maybe he eatin Ramon noodles to pay the mortgage and clean up an remodel the apartment from the last bad tenant. I am hoping property goes up so I can sell off and be independentally wealthy from the small rentals I got and open up a bed an breakfast for cyclist..... I can steal my family recipes for italian cookies and make a fortune .... Hehehe..okay time to wake up.....

scroungetech 12-28-15 02:12 PM

My simplification odyssey...
 
Greetings All!
Yesterday I finished reading this thread. I started at the beginning, with the first post from 2006, and have read the entire thing. This discussion has helped me in many ways. I stumbled onto this discussion back in spring of 2014, and got about 75% of the way through it by fall of 2014, reading a few pages a week when I had time. I used to do most of my bike forums reading in the Touring and Utility Cycling sections. Just this past week, I picked back up where I left off, and got to the most recent post yesterday.
The reason for the long pause in the middle of reading this discussion is that i moved in with my (then) girlfriend in June of 2014 and my free time mostly vanished. Just as I was getting a lot of useful pointers from everyone here about how to simplify one's life, I went and complicated mine. I'm 38 now, and had never embarked on the cohabitation adventure before, and didn't quite know how it would go. But I was excited that another human being had seen fit to tie up her future with mine, so I went for it.
Without going into too much gory detail, what I learned is that moving in with a partner is the worst way to attempt to simplify one's life. It does quite the opposite. At least it did with her. I'm hoping there's a lady out there somewhere that shares my relatively recently acquired interest in doing more with less. Fingers crossed! It probably didn't help that we also brought in a single-parent sibling of hers and their 3 young kids into our 4 bedroom, 1200 sq foot modest city row-home. It was cramped. I had never not had my own space before. And there was no room anywhere for a work bench or similar such man cave of any kind. One major sticking point was that I wouldn't store my Surly Troll outdoors, and there was no other place for it than the living room. Cro-Moly bike with SON dynamo hub, VO fenders, Dura Ace bar end shifters on Paul Thumbies and nice racks for touring! Outside! I think not! (and yeah, I'm smirking as I write that cuz I know I would in the long run survive just fine without it... but would have preferred to keep it running smoothly) That bike became my refuge when I really needed to get out of the house, in any kind of weather. We shared a car, which means she drove my car to work while I took the bus, and she picked me up afterwards. No space = no peace/solitude/reflection which are necessary for my sanity, and after about 8 months I dumped her and moved out. I continued to pay my third of the rent for the remainder of the year lease after I left, and had the landlord transfer the security deposit that I paid into her name, or she would've been homeless. I landed back at my parents house for 4 months, because my old room in the shared house that I had previously lived in was going to be available again in August of 2015.
It was worth the wait. My parents and I got reacquainted with one another in a way that we had not been previously, and I'm back in my old apt. It's a 3 bedroom, which I share with 2 relatively sane housemates. I have the largest room at 240 sq ft with 9 foot ceilings. And it's only $310/month with utilities and high speed internet. I'm a CNC machinist, so that expense works out to about one eighth of my monthly net. Bargain! Way cheaper than customizing, making payments on, and living in a van. And I do have the luxuries of indoor plumbing and room to entertain company of the female variety. Having moved 3 times in the last 18 months, I have had to personally deal with each and every scrap of stuff I own. The first time, when I moved in with her, I got rid of nothing, and stored a bunch of extra stuff in the basement. With her and her sibling the basement was packed to the gills. When it all fell apart, I had by then spent some more time reading this thread, and the ax fell swiftly when I had to decide what to keep.
It was all going to have to fit into one half of my parents 2 car garage. I didn't have the time to sell anything on Craig's List, it all went to Goodwill. Even my leather motorcycle jacket, with 90's style airbrushed tribal artwork! And most of my goth club clothes! And large-group camping gear like giant stew pots, fire grates and massive tarps. I hadn't used that stuff in 5+ years so it had to go. I also got rid of the volume of about 6 footlockers of other random stuff, as well as 8 milk crates of books and 6 milk crates of VHS tapes. While living with my parents, I put all my burned CD's onto an external hard drive. 3 days of typing artist name, track name, to get rid of a phone book sized binder of burned CD's. The books that remain have sentimental value or are sufficiently rare that I want to hold onto them. I've read Kurt Vonnegut's "Fahrenheit 451" too many times to go to all digital format e-books. In the event of a coronal mass ejection or electromagnetic pulse weapon, my (now rather small) library would be gone. Not cool!
I moved back into the shared house 8/15, and now everything I own fits in my 240 sq ft room, other than a few kitchen items as well as a window air conditioner and a few 5 gal plastic buckets which are in the bottom of the bathroom linen closet. I've even simplified my preferred bike, and switched to a 1990 Schwinn High Plains, 23" seat tube c-t-c, 24" top tube, (I'm 6'3") and have stripped the Surly to probably sell. I found the Schwinn at the Classic & Vintage bike swap at Trexlertown this past fall. The Schwinn is for me the best-fitting frame I've ever ridden, and I went from a 34t large cog on the Surly to 28t on the Schwinn, which has made me faster, that along with a lighter frame set. I also switched out my 48t large ring for a 50t. It's also the 1st bike I've ever ridden that is lugged and has a tapered, raked fork. I feel like it "planes," in other words, transfers my cycling motion into a harmonious blend with the imperfections of the road so as to feel smoother and smoother as my pace increases. I've liked this Schwinn so much that when I saw another frame set just like it on CL, I picked it up so I have a backup. It totally looks like a banged up beater, with many paint scrapes, which is an anti-theft plus in my urban environment. The back up will either get stripped and rattle-canned, or maybe sent out for powder coat if I can cope with a week or two of overtime to cover the cost.
I will freely admit that I am not car-free. I am car-light. I drive the car my grandma could no longer drive after she had a stroke in 2006, and I will continue to drive it into the ground. Work is only 3 miles away, and weekly errands even closer. But I do bike commute when the weather isn't horrendous, and will either not replace this car when it dies, or maybe pick up a 4x4 off road contractor-size van that I could sleep in. And ditch the apartment and 90% of my remaining stuff... Pipe dreams? It wouldn't be a cost savings as far as I can tell but it would be much more mobile. We'll see...
Thanks for taking the time to read all this, and thanks to all of you who have participated in this thread. You've been a touchstone and a source of inspiration in my efforts to live more simply!
~scroungetech

Robert C 12-28-15 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by mtb_addict (Post 18418558)
Hi.
Has anyone heard about free cell phone and service from the US gov't?

I heard that there is a federal gov't program for poor people...like free phone and 250 min per month of talk time.

Anyone know if this is just a scam or for real?

My parents are retired and have no income.

First off, it is a common mis-conception that the lifeline service is provided by the government. In fact, it is provided by the phone companies.

Lifeline phone service is the keyword you need to search on.

Smallwheels 12-28-15 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by scroungetech (Post 18419332)
...I will freely admit that I am not car-free. I am car-light. I drive the car my grandma could no longer drive after she had a stroke in 2006, and I will continue to drive it into the ground. Work is only 3 miles away, and weekly errands even closer. But I do bike commute when the weather isn't horrendous, and will either not replace this car when it dies, or maybe pick up a 4x4 off road contractor-size van that I could sleep in. And ditch the apartment and 90% of my remaining stuff... Pipe dreams? It wouldn't be a cost savings as far as I can tell but it would be much more mobile. We'll see...
Thanks for taking the time to read all this, and thanks to all of you who have participated in this thread. You've been a touchstone and a source of inspiration in my efforts to live more simply!
~scroungetech

Thank you for the story. Your tale is inspiring. How do you feel about it all? You didn't go into that very much or the motivation for it beyond your reading of this thread.

scroungetech 12-28-15 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 18419679)
Thank you for the story. Your tale is inspiring. How do you feel about it all? You didn't go into that very much or the motivation for it beyond your reading of this thread.

Astute question, SmallWheels. I feel less encumbered by having less stuff, and have only missed 1 or 2 items, and only briefly. That it is all in my room with me means I'm still regularly scrutinizing what I could do without. I wanted no help from anyone for this last move so I would have to personally carry it all on my own. It all can now either fit in my car or on the roof rack, but not in 1 trip. As far as the relationship that ended, I have only made a few half starts at trying to start with someone new. I'm no longer so sure that I'm cut out for the amount of interaction that goes along with a committed monogamous partnership, in relation to how much solitude and independance I've had recently. Definitely avoiding codependence, and I know plenty of couples who each have many separate interests & hobbies to the point that they barely see one another during the week, which sounds great to me... In my free time the last few months I've been learning more in-depth bike mechanics from youtube amongst other things. I knew about voluntary simplicity long before this thread, and have tried to stay true to the diy ethics I learned from the punk rock scene years ago, and some eastern philosophies as well as nature based belief systems. It was this thread that gave me the kick in the butt to finally get serious about paring down and redefining that which I truly find to be important. Thanks for asking.
But I haven't really answered your question about how I feel about it all. I still feel sh**ty about the relationship ending, and am still trying to pick myself back up & figure out if I even want that kind of thing again. I do like the mental room to maneuver that having less stuff has brought about, but once again trying to redefine the meaning of my life. It's an ongoing process, and needs to be seriously overhauled every three to five years to get ready for the next big challenge or achievement. I'll figure it out.

enigmaT120 12-30-15 12:18 PM


Originally Posted by scroungetech (Post 18419332)
Greetings All!
The books that remain have sentimental value or are sufficiently rare that I want to hold onto them. I've read Kurt Vonnegut's "Fahrenheit 451" too many times to go to all digital format e-books. In the event of a coronal mass ejection or electromagnetic pulse weapon, my (now rather small) library would be gone. Not cool!

Ray Bradbury, wasn't it?

I still have all of my cds, in two big plastic boxes. I need to double check to make sure they are all ripped before I get rid of them. I have them stored in 3 different hard drives, after I lost them all the first time I ripped them.

Sorry your experiment in cohabitation didn't work out. Just the kids would have killed it for me.

Ekdog 12-30-15 03:06 PM


Originally Posted by enigmaT120 (Post 18423780)
Ray Bradbury, wasn't it?

Yes, it was. The car-free Ray Bradbury.

scroungetech 12-31-15 08:18 AM


Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 18424273)
Yes, it was. The car-free Ray Bradbury.

Yeah, I got mixed up on the author. This is what can happen when one gets rid of a bunch of books I guess.

Roody 12-31-15 08:51 AM


Originally Posted by mtb_addict (Post 18424411)
Wow...looks like it's only a ten dollar discount (not free). And you'd have to register and reregister every year for discount and provide proof of hardship somehow. Sounds like a lot of pita. You'd still have to pay for the service, which is a lot more than ten bucks. I guess they'll continue to be cell phone free. But I worry they get stranded somewhere and can't contact anyone, and nowadays there's no more pay phones.

Try again. Either you're doing something wrong, or they don't meet the income criteria. I know lots of people who have free "Obama phones." (Not that I understand why this topic is even being discussed on this thread!)

biker85456 02-06-16 08:00 PM

ya man i love going no frills and only one wheel! Saves wear and tear. The biggest prob is mad people dont get the concept of road share


http://csr.ebay.com/sell/success.jsf...20%3E%20106953

scroungetech 02-23-16 05:02 AM

One thing I wanted to emphasize in my posts from late December 2015: Thank You to all the people who have kept this thread active for so long. The info here has applicability for all facets of a life lived more simply, and your supportiveness has helped many people make the transition. So, Thank You!

TXSLEDS 03-22-16 12:26 PM

there are people paying good money for the actual pages of advertising in those magazines. Some sellers on ebay offer monthly lots of magazines. food for thought.

rawly old 03-31-16 01:54 PM

As a hermit my life was wonderfully simple, but then I got married.

JoeyBike 03-31-16 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by rawly old (Post 18652964)
As a hermit my life was wonderfully simple, but then I got married.

+1

I married WAY above my "caste". So I can't complain too much. But she certainly complicated my life in many ways.

JoeyBike 03-31-16 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 18355414)
As a van dweller that can move around easily to get the things I need, such as water. Having a composting toilet that doesn't need to be emptied immediately and an easy source for water seems like a breeze.

I pay for filtered water at the rate of thirty cents per gallon at grocery store vending machines. I use a gallon per day.

I am pleasantly surprised that no one is giving you a used bucket of sawdust for living in a MOTOR vehicle and posting on a bike forum. There was a long period of my life where I could MOVE everything I owned to a storage unit in one minivan trip. Never tried living in one. I have been "homeless" for long periods of time on bike tours up to a year in length and "living" on the road and sleeping in a tiny tent. But 6 months was about my limit for being truly happy doing that. I am fairly certain I could be happy in one of those campers that sits in the back of a pickup truck. This way I could leave the "home" part behind and use the vehicle for other purposes. But good on you for making the minivan thing work. I guess it's about like living on a small sailboat but with less "romance" (to the untrained eye anyway).:thumb:

Smallwheels 04-02-16 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by JoeyBike (Post 18653066)
...I guess it's about like living on a small sailboat but with less "romance" (to the untrained eye anyway).:thumb:

The 22nd of this month will be the one year anniversary living rent free. The van was bought for $800. Insurance for the year was $800.

Winter in Hollywood was so comfortable compared to my previous location in Montana. There were only a few weeks of wearing extra clothes to bed.

For many years I wanted to travel the world in a sailboat. That still might happen but only in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast. I don't want to hang out in the radioactive Pacific.

Would I be considered homeless if I were living in a sailboat or perhaps a big RV? It's all about perspective. Sailboats roaming from city to city around the world sounds adventurous. Rolling from city to city around the world in a minivan somehow doesn't equate, even though it can go more places.


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