Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tethered or Free?

This blog has shifted to a new web site called Nomadic Home. Click here to see it.

I follow various forums about boating, house trucks, motor homes, van dwelling etc.. One common thread that I see, particularly in the boating and motor home forums is people looking to take up the lifestyle, or who have already purportedly taken up the lifestyle, yet are unable to break from the tether of the A.C. power chord, connected to the main grid.

Common questions are "where is a good marina for liveaboards?" or "Where is a camp ground with good facilities for motor homes?"

People that ask these questions, have, in my opinion missed the point. To me, the whole point of living in a motor home or boat is to be able to travel and stop at will. Not to be dependent on stopping at specific facilities, just so your nomadic home can function as a home. It should be able to do so, where ever it is. A large part of the experience is the different places you are stopped at, not just where you are traveling through. One marina is much like another, as are camp grounds really.

By and large, it is no more expensive to make a boat or motor home non-reliant on the A.C. umbilical power chord and to my way of thinking it is poor value for money not to do so.

To illustrate my point, I will use my current boat as an example.

This boat is as comfortable to live on right here, on her pile moorings, which requires a dinghy to access it, as it is alongside the nearby pontoon mooring with onshore power supply, or at anchor in a small uninhabited bay. Even being just a few metres away from the shore as she is, my boat is much more peaceful and secure to be aboard, than when she is berthed to the shore accessible pontoon berth where all of the other local liveaboard boats are. I still have electric lighting, fully functional galley (kitchen)(with oven), water supply and toilet.

Here is a composite photo of the living quarters as they are now. Note this is a small vessel, being only 27'3" or 8.3metres long. Even an additional three feet in length would add additional room beyond proportion.

Going back to an earlier post, I will take this opportunity to give an example of what I mean by the difference in a nomadic home being designed for holiday's and one that is designed for permanent living, by showing before and after photo's of my boat's galley (kitchen), from when I purchased it to how I converted it. This is not the only modification I made to the boat, just the easiest to illustrate my point.

Before: Note that there is only a small gas stove and sink, with no real bench space. Quite suitable for short holidays, but not permanent living.

And after: This was taken during the galley construction but you will see that in addition to the original sink, there is now a decent size bench with ample storage space under and powerful diesel powered stove/oven which is also the main heating source for the boat. It has an outside flue, so no fumes or humidity problems, which keeps the boat warm and dry.


WalkingOnion said...

Great point about being tethered! I live and travel in my truck, and don't ever think much about where I'll spend the night until I'm ready to stop. I thought about being tethered while cooking supper the other night in the grocery store parking lot. While I will often go out of my way to park in pretty parks and such, it's not a requirement, so long as I am where I am. I have what I need with me. As far as being in a small space, I think it's a great chance for people to really look at their individual living habits, and adjust the space accordingly. Happy travels!

Mobile Home said...

I tend to see living tethered as just living a conventional lifestyle, but in a very confined space. Where as if you are not tethered, then the world opens up to be your living room.