VIDEO: B.C. man builds ‘home on wheels’ to find personal, financial freedom

Andrew Strauss took his tiny mobile home on adventures across Vancouver Island

A Victoria man says part of the reason he transformed a 14-foot long old truck into a “home on wheels” is because he doesn’t want to be shackled to the debt that comes with buying a home in Greater Victoria.

But that’s just one of the reasons Andrew Strauss created a miniature mobile home. He’s taken the truck on plenty of trips, including to the world-famous Nevada-based festival, Burning Man.

Strauss intended to live in the truck full-time, but after a land sale on the Gulf Islands fell through and his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he is selling the truck and plans to build a garden suite on his parents’ property so he can be nearby. Currently, he rents an apartment in Victoria.

RELATED: Filmmaker examines alternative living situations

RELATED: The City of Victoria considers a $500 rent cap for tiny homes

Still, Strauss says “van life” is an amazing adventure, and one that many Islanders are taking up in the face of unaffordable housing. The truck, which is only eight feet wide and provides 132 square feet of living space, is still bigger than many of the vans dotting Dallas Road.

“I wanted to create a space that I could truly see myself living in,” he said. “I completely commend people who live in the smaller van builds, they’re very ingenious and there’s a lot of really resourceful ingenuity.”

“I needed some realistic space and so everything was built very purposefully, for example all of the storage is in corners…rather than in the walkway… people always comment on how spacious it is and that’s for a reason.”

From the outside, it would be easy to mistake the tiny home for a grungy construction truck – something Strauss has used to his advantage when looking for overnight parking in his travels.

But open up the back doors or slide through the entrance behind the front seats and find a simplistic, resourcefully-built home, complete with solar-powered lights, sun roof windows, a full-sized bed and colourful paneling built from recycled material.

RELATED: Living tiny in a big city: Victoria workshops drive momentum for tiny homes

Even the kitchen knobs have a cozy, floral touch.

“I can’t imagine… ever paying half a million dollars for a house. That’s absolutely terrifying, I will be shackled to that for the rest of my life and it will be a decision that will constantly stress me out and be on my mind,” Strauss said. “I personally don’t want that. The idea of being able to build your own space for… a fraction of the price was extremely appealing to me.”

Strauss is putting his truck on sale soon and still determining a price that considers the hours of labour that went into its construction.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

The story of Rotary Richard

People have until April 6 to make their guess

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Local contribution to a global issue

Global Climate Strike for Future

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read