Off-grid

Transforming a Van Into a Straw Bale House

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What would you do? It’s almost winter. You are in Yukon territory, Dawson City to be exact, where temperatures drop to -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Your 1977 Dodge van breaks down, effectuating the end of your 4500-mile road trip across Canada and the USA but you don’t feel like departing from your good old mobile home.

If your name is Cud Eastbound and your van’s name Night Danger you decide to turn your worn out van into a straw bale hut and defy the harsh West Canadian winter. Or, as the adventurer calls his humble abode, a straw-bale hobbit house.

 

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With old wooden sidewalks from the community dump Cud built a foundation for his newfound home on land in Bear Creek lend to him by a friend. The van itself has hardwood floors too which his owner put in a few years ago. No wonder Cud isn’t yet ready to say goodbye to his van.

 

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It has an “arctic entrance” designed to retain heat inside while opening the doors.

 

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In total 117 straw bales were used to wrap the van. Twine and rope tie the bales together, preventing them from falling down.

 

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A 70$ house wrap layer and some tuck tape were added to prevent leaking. Sealing up leaky windows and doors takes time and resourcefulness too.

 

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For his project Cud not only covered the van with hay, he learned to weld and put in a stove too. “This is the rear end of van, you can see the wheel well on the floor.”

 

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The straw hut van is not only his home, since Cud works as a graphic designer, it’s his office too. Yup, the dwelling doesn’t have running water and you’ll have to poop in a hole, but dammit it has working internet!

 

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When he’s not busy behind his laptop, Cud works on his temporary domain. He has since improved the road, built a wood shed, an outhouse, and cleaned up dead treas in the area. In his free time he likes to play the banjo cuddled up on the ‘couch’ with his dog Frett.

 

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Seeing this really sparks the little hut building boy in me. Or maybe it’s the primal urge to provide shelter present in each of us. Anyway, The Straw Bale Van is another great example of creative ways of offbeat dwelling.

What do you think? Will Cud survive the harsh Yukon winter?

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