Creating Sustainable Mobile Homes

The front of the soon to be bus home, pre editing

So yesterday I posted an article regarding the nature of the bus idea, my bold approach to a self sustainable lifestyle, today I want to discuss how I plan to create this self sustaining machine on the go. So here I want to go through the basic design, the essentials and the necessities and also some of the big roadblocks. Because creating a self sustaining machine is a fairly large task and well since all of it is currently in the theory stage this could not all be 100% spot on.

The bus is somewhere around 30 to 34 feet in the back, which is the living space, the dimensions are roughly 7 feet by 30 feet creating a space that is 210 square feet of home. This of course will be filled with all the things a house needs and will certainly restrict the available floor space. However there is still plenty of useable space, since what is added still is useable. Let’s start right in the back of the bus, we will start with the bathroom and move forward through the kitchen, living room and finally bedroom. Keep in mind this is a bus, everything is designed to keep as much of the windows available for a 360 degree panoramic view of the world, plus all the additional natural light. The centre of the aisle is kept clear of anything to allow one straight line of sight throughout the vehicle, there is little privacy but in the end privacy isn’t really needed.

The washroom consists of two rooms at the back of the bus, I figured it would be best to keep the undesirable near the back and allow for the front portion to be communal and open. I hate the number of places that create a wet bathroom, where everything is in one, the sink and toilet get wet and so on. So I made the decision to split the bathroom and create two rooms in the back. One room is completely designated to the shower, a full room encased in metal to create a waterproof shower stall. On the other side there will be a room with dedicated vanity counter and storage as well as the toilet. I chose to put in a composting toilet out of pure frugality, a composting toilet is the simplest of toilets and costs virtually nothing, browse around and you’ll find an article about them on my blog. So the two rooms allow for two separate bathroom spaces that are private enough and could both be used at the same time if needed. Behind the washrooms there will be two closet spaces on either side, these will store the water needed and also they will store any overflow storage and items that need to be hung up in a closet space. I want to keep a spare tent in here for extra people to camp with us, however to is hard to evaluate what can go in there until it is built.

Next section we have is the kitchen, it breaks the clean line of the bus and I am not sure how bad this will look but it narrows the counters down creating almost an extra foot of aisle space, which in my mind is needed when there are two counter surfaces and potentially multiple people to work with. The main utility will be the sink, most likely powered by a high pressure foot pump. This way the water isn’t wasted because you will pump exactly as you need, there will be a water tank and I would hate to be wasteful. Next up I plan to have two regular power induction burners that can be stowed away as to not waste counter space. These will plug into a regular socket and will run off the solar power, I would recommend these are only used during the day as they would probably drain the batteries really quickly. Other than these two things the kitchen contains no real utilities, nothing is grid tied and there is nothing like that. I am looking at hand powered espresso makers and blenders, we will see how that plays out. Otherwise the kitchen is comprised of plenty of open counter space and a system of drawers that allow for extended counter space, as well as space to store all food and utensils needed.

The most versatile area of the bus will be the seating area, this is a general living room that also becomes the dining room, work space, and a spare bedroom if needed. The idea is to ensure all the furniture serves a double purpose, which is important in any tiny home lifestyle, of course this is suited to my needs. There are two rows of seats, each one with 4 seat sections, these serve as the living room, a communal seating area. One of the sections on both sides will lift to become a table, that each can seat 2 people meaning that this will allow for a dining room area without obstruction. Next there is one seat on either side that is simply dedicated to storage inside of the seat, that idea is still in the works and I am debating maybe adding the potential for an extra bed. Finally the two seats that are covering the wheel well in the bus fold out and join together to form one large queen size bed, measuring 5 feet by 7 feet. The cushions are all made of a high density foam and will be custom made with slip covers to provide a finished look.

Finally we reach the bedroom, which is actually the front of the bus, this section opens up to the driver’s cabin and serves as seats when driving so the driver doesn’t feel alone. So this section comprises of two beds, each one is fairly high up because inside the bed is flat storage and underneath there is drawers for additional storage. In total we figure there is enough for two or three wardrobe’s worth of clothing inside the bed. One of the beds slide over to create a queen size bed and at the same time they reveal a second single mattress hidden below, meaning you are never sacrificing a bed space.

The driver’s cabin remains as is there isn’t much too it, I plan to re panel the front to create the same natural wooden look. Just use thin plywood to finish off the cabin and create a nice friendly look the whole way through. This may also help the appearance as you enter the bus as I am keeping the main access to the front, this will allow for more room and a cleaner look all the way through, also I plan to include the driver’s cabin in the bus instead of completely walling it off.

When it comes to some of the huge roadblocks that I will cover in other articles there are things such as the power demand, creating energy, drainage, and keeping enough water on board. The space is fine it is mainly the utilities that worry me.

Thanks for stopping by and reading today’s bit on the bus, if you like this keep checking back I plan to keep a very detailed log of this journey and how it all works out.
Have an amazing day!


How To Keep Positive Throughout the Day

Truthfully it is a skill to stay positive, not to say that not everyone has it but that not everyone knows how to utilize it. No one is refused or not given the opportunity either, we are given every opportunity during any given day to remain positive and yet so many people are miserable or unhappy. So one of the biggest questions is what is stopping us from being positive, I mean does anyone want to stay miserable? Do people want to be unhappy? I feel the answer is no, I feel that most people want to be happy and are working in many different ways to try and achieve their happiness. Many times people chase after love, wealth or status to achieve their happiness when instead they are forgetting the key principles of being happy.

These principles are based off of my own personal experience and knowledge, these aren’t researched methods as it is an opinion. However I feel that many people are missing the key concepts to being happy because they are much simpler than being wealthy or in love. Sure these things contribute to a temporary or extended happiness but it isn’t perfect and it doesn’t last forever. So what is it that makes happiness so simple then? Well the biggest component is gratitude and being thankful, oh yes it sounds pretty silly. You mean all that time that my family told me to be thankful and such for the things we had and the things we were given was actually right? Yes, exactly being thankful for the things you are given, earned or received is key to happiness. There are some families in the world that have almost nothing but yet are still proven to be happier than some rich american families. Most of us think, well how can they be happy if they possess so little, well it is simple, they are thankful for the things and people they do have and that can overtake any feeling of greed and want.

Next we take appreciation, in my mind there is a huge difference between gratitude and appreciation. This is because appreciation can be extended over to so many other subject. You can be appreciative of many things that are not material, where I find gratitude and being thankful is more for material possessions and people. Appreciation can be aspects of your life, traits you possess, your job, your lifestyle, your ethics or your ideas. You can appreciate anything and everything in your life and it turns out that combining those two techniques works beautifully to become a bit happier in your life.

If you plan it, stay focused and work on it, whatever it is will happen. My next favourite step is planning, you choose what you want to do, you schedule the things you want and you create the ways you want to spend your time. This gives you a sense of control over your life which everyone is seeking a little more control over their life so it is a perfect tool. Whether it is creating to-do lists or actually scheduling out your day either one means you are controlling the way your life goes today. If things do or don’t happen it is because of you, no one else. It seems really basic however it is true, planning allows for you to control your time. Also as well as being happier seeing that you have things to do and things that you have accomplished is a great feeling. This means that even if it is the small things and just regular tasks by seeing that they have to be done and then after that you have accomplished them. It makes the slow things like laundry, dishes and housework seem like accomplishments and things to be proud of. Even though I am young and I only work part time, I still schedule my life to the hour and I am always doing something or have something to do very soon. There is rarely nothing to do and it means that my life feels busy, productive and it feels like I am constantly producing good work. This is a good feeling and really contributes to my overall happiness.

Finally to return back to the idea of positivity I would like to come back to my favourite subject, which is being open. My key to positivity is that no matter what I am doing I am open to the opportunities that it can present. Whether it is at my work, a new challenge, a new idea, a new person, I would like to remain as open as possible. This way every opportunity provides the chance at a new learning experience, a new gain, a new concept or something new to try out. For example meeting new crowds or individuals is an opportunity to connect with new people and maybe find some like minded people and lasting friends. When I am presented with something new at work, it is a chance to learn a new skill or master something or even develop my knowledge into real world experience. This means that no matter what I am always learning, mastering, developing or meeting and gaining new connections. Keeping an open mind is so essential to being positive just because of how many things it opens up for you.

Every morning I follow a routine which involves your regular steps of getting up but then also what I want to accomplish today, what my hopes are for today and essentially hopes and things I would like to learn. Then at the end of the day I check these things off and I look at them as well as write down what I did learn and what was great about today. These simple daily steps take 5-10 minutes out of your entire day but they make such a drastic difference. I find myself accomplishing more, learning more and at the end being appreciative of what I managed to do today, even if the things are just small. I love this process and find it makes a huge difference, I would recommend that after reading this you take these three ideas into consideration and then you try it out, take 5-10 minutes out of your day to do these things and discover the difference it can make.