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

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre’s 2018-2019 graduating class

The Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located on the Tsulquate reserve in the North Island.

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

Port McNeill council’s June 17 meeting features ‘packed agenda’

A draft policy on wildfire response for the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department was presented.

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read