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

RDEK votes to support proposed Cranbrook boundary extension

Final decision to be made by province on proposed municipal expansion to include 18 hectares

Housing development proposed for property alongside Innes Ave

Full development plan totals 292 dwelling units with four apartment buildings, 10 four-plexes

Cranbrook SAR tasked out twice over the last week

No injuries reported in separate motor vehicle incidents on Hwy 3/95 near Moyie

RDEK board leadership acclaimed for another term

Rob Gay and Clara Reinhardt to serve as chair, vice-chair for another yearly term

Local skicross racers hit the World Cup circuit

Olympian India Sherret is joined by fellow local racers Zoe Chore and Courtney Hoffos

‘Kind of lacking:’ Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program”

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

74% of 911 calls are from cellphones, so know your location: E-Comm

Cell tower triangulation generally only narrows location down to the block someone is calling from

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

Police acted properly when they responded to the first reports of the boy being in distress

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: B.C. professor

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

Most Read