Since I left the garden of my last sedentary home in April 2017, my new way of life has been in constant evolution and it is transforming me. The transformations are material, psychological, social and political. I could sum up this process with one word: coherence. I'm striving for consistency at each level: everyday life, professional activities, commitments.
This section aims to present parts of those evolutions with a focus on the material side.
One privilege my new life is providing me is the possibility to move easily from one mobile house to another.
My first mobile home was a 5m 1987 Burstner City. Comfortable but heavy and ... too big after one year. Several careful sortings and long, too long travel times helped me realized it was time to change.
In April 2018, I found it: MY house. The one that was just perfect for me: a 320cm 1978 Rapido trailer. A treasure hid in a garage waiting to be awakened.
6m² instead of 9: fewer household tasks. 300kg less: a new sorting to get rid of more stuff and fly at around 100 to 110km/h on highways. Ready to move more and be able to sneak in small places.
The first one was a reasonable choice, the second one is the choice of the heart and experience even if I must admit that from August 2018 onwards, I'm already thinking about the next step. I don't what how will be my third mobile house. I hope it will be a clever solution, moreover to get rid of the car, or to make it work without gasoline.
From February 2017 to the beginning of May 2017, my objectives were:
- to find the camper to begin the experiment,
- to let go more or less 90% of the objects that were surrounding me in my 75m² house and my 50m² garden in Chevry-en-Sereine (near Nemours and Fontainebleau, at about 100km south of Paris, France).
In April and May 2018:
- I found the small one and moved in,
- I offered a luxury retirement to the big one, thanks to Anne and Denis-Noël.
- I began to think about moving into a van to be more mobile.
In September and October 2018, a van is no longer an option. I would prefer:
- a car with a solar propulsion system and a living box hitched to the car instead of the trailer,
- a solar tuk-tuk,
- a solar cargo trailer bike,
- to implement a solar engine to turn the trailer into a compact motorhome.
Were I alone, I would probably replace right now the car by a solar bike and the trailer by a hammock and/or a good tent. But with my pets, a transitional period is needed. I want them to be comfortable, especially as 3 of them are getting very old: the cat is over 15, 2 dogs are 11 and 12. The younger dogs are 7 and 9, they will experiment more with me later. Actually, I must admit it: this bridge period won't be bad for me too! I will have time to prepare both the material and my physical fitness.
So the course is set: the objective is to move with a solar bike within 2 or 3 years. But what will be the next step to prepare the switch? Maybe to change the car and to implement a solar system on it, to keep the trailer at least for this winter and to build a living box or to stay in the trailer for all the transitional period?
November and December 2018:
At last, I made my mind up and changed the car for a more fuel-efficient one. By chance, I found a former 1998 La Poste Kangoo, using gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It's not a perfect environmental solution but it will help me a lot to save money: LGP being significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel.
I chose to keep the trailer (I love it!) and to improve it. With the help of Laurence, I made insulating shutters. December was beginning and I was still in Garidech, near Toulouse. The weather was exceptionally mild, but there was nonetheless a great difference with those shutters. Now, the temperature inside the cabin remains the same when I go to sleep and when I wake up, without any heating system if the outside temperature is not lower than 7 or 8°C. On December 3rd, at 2 am, it was 18°C (one degree more than before going to sleep: a bit too hot for the dogs and for me :-)), at 8 am, it was 17°C. Before using those shutters, I had to heat the cabin before going to sleep and during 15 to 20 mn in the middle of the night... and it was only 10°C a few hours later. Thank you so much, Laurence!
To get through lower temperatures, the best would be to insulate completely my 2-wheel cabin. It will be the next step probably by spring or summer. I will take advantage of this transformation to get rid of more stuff and of the furniture. I plan to reorganize the internal space with a "real" shower and bathroom and a cosy desk and bedroom. Exit the kitchen! I never cook ;-) My small camping stove is enough.
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