1977 Dodge Camper Transformed into Off Grid Straw House

This is the story of how Cud Eastbound’s transformed a 1977 Dodge Camper into a winter home for one winter in 2014. The Night Danger as he called it, was a 1977 Dodge Camper van that he decided to park in the cold season to avoid the slippery roads of the Yukon winter. The transformation is amazing and managed to keep its owner warm for the entire winter. Eastbound set up a wood stove and covered the van with straw. With a generous donation of straw bales and the help of his friends, he managed to turn the van into a cozy tiny home, suitable for the Yukon winter.

Eastbound set off on a cross Canada journey from Halifax to Dawson City, Yukon in June 2014. He packed up and gave away everything he owned, released a new album, left Halifax, and then started on his two-month journey. When he arrived in Dawson City he decided to see if he could survive a Yukon winter living in the van. The strawbale design combined with the use of a wood stove managed to keep the owner warm for the winter that had days that reached -40 degrees C. The following are some of the benefits of strawbale home designs.

Straw bales are made from a waste product. Once the edible part of the grain has been harvested (such as wheat or rice), the stalks often become a disposal problem for farmers. By bailing the straw, new life is given to this material. The farmer can make some money by selling the bales and using them in strawbale home construction serves as excellent insulation and building material.

Strawbale homes can have insulation values of R-30 to R-35 or more. The thicker the strawbale, the better the R-value. Strawbale walls are typically at least eighteen inches thick. This adds aesthetic value to the home as a thick wall is expensive to achieve with conventional home construction.

The concept of straw bale construction is easily understood by even beginner builders. With some supervision by a knowledgeable straw bale builder, first-time builders can assist in the construction process.

Straw bales have low-embodied energy. This means that very little energy was used to manufacture the product as the sunlight was the main energy source for growing plants. The only energy needed to make a straw bale is in the bailing process and the transportation to the worksite. Other insulation materials, such as fiberglass, require a substantial amount of energy to produce.

Straw bales are 100 percent biodegradable. Straw Bale homes can last over 100 years if properly maintained. At some point, all structures will eventually be replaced, and when that time comes, the straw bales used in a strawbale home design can be plowed back into the earth. Fiberglass, on the other hand, becomes a disposal problem.

Ease of construction. Strawbale walls can be carved with a knife or chainsaw, so openings around windows or doors can be designed to a nice radius. With walls that are at least 18 inches thick, you can easily design window seats and unique built-ins.

More about this story can be found at: Straw Bale Van Yukon

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