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

Roller derby in Houston

The Bulkley Valley Roller Derby (BVRD) league hosted their first ever derby… Continue reading

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Recreational fishing for sockeye salmon in the Skeena River watershed temporarily closed

Effective July 11 recreational fishing will be banned until further notice

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Health Canada revokes licences of B.C.-based pot producer Agrima Botanicals

The agency said it notified the company of a suspension in November due to non-compliance with regulations

Deals, protests during Amazon Prime Day

The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth says it is offering more than a million deals

Canadian national softball team wins second straight Canada Cup

Team Canada defeats Texas-based Scrapyard International in gold-medal game Sunday in Surrey

June sees drop in home sales, prices for real estate across B.C.: report

Sales dropped by 11.8%, while prices fell by 4%

Video captures driver narrowly avoiding hitting Granfondo cyclists in Okanagan

“I’m just glad that everything aligned enough and no one got hurt,” said Shaun Siebert

Most Read