A Tiny Home Or Revolution

Watching videos on camper van conversions recently, I think, I’m not ready to live in a camper van just yet; but having been a minimalist most of my life, I wouldn’t mind, either. I highly value freedom, mobility, adaptability, self-reliance and simplicity, and low ecological footprint living. The tiny home movement (on or off wheels, or on or off water) fits that bill as well as a cabin in the woods, which would be my first choice.

(I link an article here, below, simply to show camper vans, as one outdoor enthusiast option – because getting outdoors and into nature is fun, refreshing, life-changing, and critically important. Temporary or full time, one way or another, it is vitally important that we reconnect with nature, in order to reconnect with ourselves.)

The tiny home movement is growing expontentially for several reasons. I named six prime reasons above. But the big one is economics. People are being eaten alive by the billionaire 0.001%. Until we have a revolution, most people are going to have to be adaptable, and more minimalist, out of necessity.

So yes, for many of the more than 50% and rapidly growing majority of people who can no longer afford to own a home, many of whom are having a hard time with skyrocketing rents and collapsing incomes, unless we want insanely long commutes, or to be packing 15 people into a home like gerbils in a cage; it is either a tiny home, or revolution. I suggest both may be a good idea.

As Thoreau said, “Simplify, simplify.” And read, On Civil Disobedience. We need both now.


July 8, 2020

51 Responses to “A Tiny Home Or Revolution”

  1. jtoddring Says:


  2. jtoddring Says:

    ‪Top 10 Best Campervans For Families https://youtu.be/ZMzX7eBuqo4 via @YouTube

    Brilliant. Some of these campers above have the capability of functioning as a work van, a cargo van, a family minivan, even a mobile office, all in one, as well as a go-anywhere camper/adventure machine. I love it!

    Now, go full off-grid electric‬!


  3. jtoddring Says:

    Beautiful hand-crafted camper here!


  4. jtoddring Says:

    Price range on camper vans: $5k to $200k+. Options abound. Custom or ready-built.

    The classic ’60s VWs are great, the new VWs are great, schoolies are classic and brilliant…and the AWD Revel looks great too.

    Research, plan, choose your own path. Then….

    Get outa town!


  5. jtoddring Says:

    The Fiat 4×4 Expedition looks great too!


  6. jtoddring Says:

    Van life in Mexico!


  7. jtoddring Says:

    I love the classic Airstreams too. Old or new, stock or custom, they are wonderful designs. This land yacht is gorgeous.


  8. jtoddring Says:

    I’m happy with wilderness camping, a tent, cabin or yurt, but for longer stays or pampered ways, old fashioned glamping with an Airstream is a beauty option too, eh. Just remember the back bacon and beer.


  9. jtoddring Says:

    I wanted to show people the luxury, ready-made, high end of the spectrum, in terms of both camping/outdoor adventure options, and tiny home options. You can go smaller, more rustic, more custom built, and less expensive, but this represents the instant, easy, drive it away today, luxury end of the scale.

    At $122,000 for a new 32′ Airstream luxury home on wheels, I’d take this over any apartment or condo I’ve ever seen.

    (Can you drive your Mahattan apartment to Mexico? No? Then you can keep it. And it costs how much? That’s insane – and obscene.)

    The Globe Trotter Airstream is far more beautiful than most homes I’ve ever seen. Most homes, in fact, don’t remotely compare to an Airstream.

    And compared to $800,000 for a home in SF, Toronto or Seattle that’s ready to be torn down? No contest, of course.

    Debt bondage vs freedom: that should be a no-brainer.


    • jtoddring Says:

      You can have two beautiful, vintage, his and hers Airstreams, side by side, if you feel the need for more space, for $60,000 US, including an old truck to tow them!

      When homes cost $300,000-$600,000 in affordable areas, and $1.2 million+ in most cities now…a tiny home just makes sense to a lot of people. And to over 50% of people now, it is the only possible way to own a home.

      But in any case, why choose more debt, with less beauty and freedom?

      Oh, it’s for the city noise and smog…and slavish conformity. Yes, I love them too.

      (Rodney Dangerfield eyeroll here. Cue Caddyshack!)


  10. jtoddring Says:

    Family of four, no problem…

    Just don’t drive trailers and RVs around. The planet can’t take it. Park it, enjoy it – and get outside.


  11. jtoddring Says:

    You’d think I’m getting sales commissions from Airstream! But no. I’m on nobody’s payroll. I just love Airstreams.

    My first choice is still a cabin or a boat – for living, as well as life adventures. Second place is a five way tie: Airstream, VW, custom camper, schoolie or yurt. They’re all great.

    Here’s the ultimate luxury tiny home on wheels, for one to four people – or one version of it. Complete with home office work station, gorgeous wood interior, spacious kitchen and bath, and high grade sound system for audiophiles.


    • jtoddring Says:

      It was the film, The Accountant, that made me love Airstreams. Great film. Great concept too: be adaptable – be mobile.


  12. jtoddring Says:

    There are two million people camped out in Arizona…and many ways to look at this phenomenon of nomadic and back to the land resurgence. What to make of the new minimalism?


  13. jtoddring Says:


  14. jtoddring Says:

    I haven’t been to this place, but I’m bookmarking it for myself and anyone else who may be interested in what looks like a good first stop in Mexico. For me it works because: a) I’m in love with Mexico, b) I like an adventure, new experiences, and an open, spontaneous itinerary generally, and c) the Central Highlands are my favourite part of Mexico, and this is near the southern edge of that region.



  15. jtoddring Says:

    Must watch:

    ‪Wonderful, wise film…

    Without Bound – Perspectives on Mobile Living


    https://youtu.be/Lg37Cbx-kak via @YouTube‬


  16. jtoddring Says:

    I note about a doc called, The Reality of #VanLife….

    Here was my comment:

    More putrid, jaundiced, self-serving, commercializing, sensationalist, cynical garbage… I couldn’t get through the first three minutes before I had to shut it off or throw up. Watch, Without Boundary, for a jaundice-free documentary.

    Sure there are challenges and compromises in any chosen (or non-chosen) path – that is called LIFE. But 20 yr olds usually would not know that. (Though some few do.)

    If it’s not easy and instant gratification, then most people today just give up. That’s a recipe for a miserable, futile, and meaningless life. That’s what the herd do. A few walk a road less travelled, in one way or another, and generally they find something better, as a reward for their courage.

    Courage takes many forms. Nomadic life, nor minimalism, is not for everyone. But remember, cynicism kills. It destroys life itself, as well as all possibilities of positive change. Deal with reality, but shun cynicism like the…ooops…Ptolemaics. Life is bigger than that.


  17. jtoddring Says:

    Great podcast, and two great talks on following your dreams:


  18. jtoddring Says:

    Rule one: trust yourself.

    Rule two: see rule one.


  19. jtoddring Says:

    A less glamorous, more gritty portrait of nomadic minimalism is presented here, in Boondocking – a very good documentary.

    (And Canadian, eh. Beauty.)

    Get the MNR maps and hit the logging roads. My dad did it in the ’70’s for 11 years in a truck camper, while looking for the perfect piece of land to buy. It served him well. He eventually found a glorious spot, built a beautiful cabin, and lived happily in his hermitage in the woods.

    Part time, full time, or temporary, some time spent close to nature, living simply, and with some solitude, is a valuable thing. I’ve spent extended periods wilderness camping, backpacking around the globe, tree planting in the bush, van camping, in meditation and yoga retreats, and in remote cabins. I say, some solitude, simplicity and nature, especially in combination, can be very powerful medicine for the soul.

    Grab your backpack, and a copy of Walden, and maybe Dharma Bums and Robert Frost, and hit the road, I say.


  20. jtoddring Says:

    Excellent philosophy and practical advice here for tiny home and/or nomadic/offgrid living:


  21. jtoddring Says:

    Professional, entrepreneurial Canadian couple give great advice, encouragement, and offer mobile van build services.


  22. jtoddring Says:

    Coming home from a trip, I think, it’s good to be home. Home is where the heart is. But then again, I keep my heart with me at all times; so I’m always at home, wherever I go.

    Some places suit me better than others, true enough. But resilience and adaptability are very good things – and in turn, self-reliance, sisu and simplicity help in that greatly. A pioneering spirit is a tremendous help as well.

    Remember Virgil: “Fortune favours the bold.”

    Amen, brother.


  23. jtoddring Says:

    Essential reading for the tiny home movement must include, at least, Emerson’s essay on Self-Reliance, and Thoreau’s, Walden. In fact, everyone over the age of fifteen should consider that he or she is not well read until these two are read.

    Only a dozen or fewer books would I say are true must-reads at all. Walden, The Ecology of Freedom, Escape From Freedom, and The Hero With A Thousand Faces, are among the rare few.

    Read five well chosen books, and you can be better read, or at least better informed and have a better understanding, than 99% of scholars and intellectuals, who in general have a blend of career training and indoctrination, and have very little depth or breadth of real education or reading at all. Other than specialized technical training, it is almost all smoke and mirrors.


  24. jtoddring Says:

    I’m glad I decided, at the age of eighteen, not to piss my life away chasing possessions, status, power, fame or money. I’ve pursued truth and social change, deliberately living simply to accomplish that, and for its own rewards; and focused on living a richly meaningful life, based on the pursuit of truth and helping others. To me it’s an easy choice. I would not go back and change it if I could.


  25. jtoddring Says:

    Architecture & Home Design: Raising the Bar

    This is my favourite home design so far. (Video below)

    Every home and building should be passive solar, and every home or building should be an Earth Home – meaning, it uses heating and cooling from the sun and the earth. Anything less is radically substandard, and in light of the environmental emergency we are facing, criminally negligent, and grossly unethical.

    A Hobbit house can be charming, comfortable, warm, dry, and beautiful. But that is only one variation or style of earth home. The important point is that it is built into the earth, into a natural or man-made hillside. With that design, the home can stay 17 degrees C (+/-64F) all year round, whether it is 30 degrees outside, or minus 30. That is simply intelligent, ecological design, 101.

    Every carpenter, architect or home builder needs to know: if it’s not passive solar, off grid renewable energy, water wise, healthy and non-toxic, and an earth home, then it is simply far below acceptable 21st century standards.

    These are the realities of our time. And they can mean an improvement in our quality of life, not a diminishment.

    (Now, to do my masters in sustainable architecture…. But first, I have other projects in mind to attend to.)

    July 20, 2020


  26. jtoddring Says:

    A debt-free beautiful home for 1/10th the typical home price – that is simply very smart.

    Don’t follow the crowd. The crowd is lost.


  27. jtoddring Says:

    Too modernist and cubist for me, style wise; but very beautiful, and a near perfect design for functionality!


  28. jtoddring Says:

    One of my favourite designs: the classic cabin in the woods. Now, to incorporate straw bale construction for R-50 super insulation and passive solar design, naturally. But style wise, aesthetically, I love this.


  29. jtoddring Says:



  30. jtoddring Says:


  31. jtoddring Says:

    Key word search for more ideas:

    Tiny home
    Van life
    EF Schumacher
    Tom Brown
    Vandana Shiva
    Regenerative agriculture
    Net zero
    Passive solar
    Earth home
    Straw bale
    Rammed earth
    New Society Publishers
    Land trust
    Eco village
    Housing co-op
    Healthy home

    Off the top of my head…


    • jtoddring Says:

      PS: Boycott Google and Big Tech wherever possible. They are now integrated with the new global neofeudal, crypto-fascist corporate empire. See Swiss Cows, Protonmail, My Seven Steps. Avoid the fangs and magats. Don’t support the slavers. There are far better alternatives. Live simply, and live free.


  32. jtoddring Says:

    More key words:

    Berkey water filters – the best (pump water from almost anywhere!)
    Dyson air purifiers


    • jtoddring Says:

      Compost toilet (best for ecology, and no smell)
      Home made compost toilet (works perfectly and nearly free)
      Grey water system
      Green roof
      Tesla solar roof


  33. jtoddring Says:


  34. jtoddring Says:

    Great philosophy – and a beautiful minimalist home for $5,000 US


  35. jtoddring Says:

    And more key words:

    Self-reliance (and do read Emerson’s essay!)
    Centre for Alternative Technology
    A History of the Future
    The Dispossessed
    The Prophet
    The perennial philosophy
    Joseph Campbell
    Aldous Huxley
    Alan Watts
    Erich Fromm
    Joanna Macy
    Murray Bookchin
    Noam Chomsky
    Howard Zinn
    Ronald Wright
    Jared Diamond
    David Suzuki
    Wade Davis
    Intentional living
    Intentional communities
    Communal living
    International living
    Living abroad
    Exodus (!)
    (Cue the Bob Marley!)


  36. jtoddring Says:


    Solar greenhouse
    Forest garden
    Ok…enough to chew on, for decades!
    Enjoy the journey!


  37. jtoddring Says:

    Oh, and do see, or hear:

    Mountains of Things
    Captain Fantastic
    Koyaaniskatsi (probably misspelled)
    The Matrix (yes)
    Incident at Oglala
    Surviving Progress
    Without Bound
    The Corporation
    Manufacturing Consent
    Requiem for the American Dream
    The Take

    And we could go on… And probably will!

    Seek truth, joy, inner peace, freedom, reconnection, quality of life over quanity of things, and never stop dreaming.


  38. jtoddring Says:

    And a true hippie caravan, of course, must be included. It’s not my style, but I love it! More important are the philosophy and economics of it. Three, yes three, hours of paid work a week, in order to live a richly joyous life? Why be a wage slave? Why be in debt bondage? Why live on a perpetual treadmill? Again, as Thoreau said, Simplify, simplify – and follow your dreams. Make it happen. You do have choices. And you do have the power.


  39. jtoddring Says:

    Here is one end, one version, one option, on the voluntary simplicity spectrum. I like their philosophy. And they are right: the modern world is crazy, yet there are many ways to live in the 21st century Their way is rare, not for everyone, but perfectly valid. I could happily live ultra-minimalist in the wilderness, but apart from short stints of a few days or months, for myself, I would choose something more moderate. Still, this is inspiring, liberating, perspective-laden, and very worth watching, and reflecting upon.


  40. jtoddring Says:

    And more beautiful minimalism…

    A starter home for $1,000? Again, very smart.


  41. jtoddring Says:

    And more extreme minimalism…not because it must be done, but to add perspective on how versatile, adaptable, and resilient we human beings can be. After watching this, a tiny cabin in the woods will seem like luxury accomodation, which it is!


  42. jtoddring Says:


  43. jtoddring Says:


  44. jtoddring Says:


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