Hello all, my names J.T. and I look forward to learning a lot from everyone on this board. about a year ago I started mulling around several different ideas for more independent and sustainable living. As time went a lot of them streamlined and slowly morphed into a plan, which I divided up into four phases because I don't know... it makes it sound cooler. anyway I decided to share this with you guys to see what the experienced among you have to say.
My current pet project is converting my recently purchased 1990 Chevy school bus into a solar and bio-diesel powered RV camper. to date, all I've really done is change a fuel pump and some tires, still have to take out the seats and convert the engine, and I haven't even touched on starting to think about the actual renovation. The biggest obstacle here will be time, I work close to 70 hours a week and nearly every step of this project is time intensive so its going to take awhile. LUckily, I still have two years and a some change in my current living situation before I can go anywhere, so it works out. I'll post more on that as I go along.
Upon receiving my discharge from the military, I plan on living in this bus (stealth camping and possibly stealth... farming? ... in NYC) anywhere between 8 and 32 months while I study a wide range of disciplines (mostly electrical/structural engineering, architecture, and carpentry; but also various STE(A)M fields, agriculture, law, nursing, economics, and political theory at SUNY &/or CUNY. The reasoning behind this is that veterans studying in NYC are compensated with an allowance (3000 per/mo, the highest in the country) to offset the high cost of living. However since I will be paying no rent, no utilities and growing (most, if not all of) my own groceries, I will be able to save at the very least upwards of 25,000 a year, which is actually more than I currently make. I'll basically study and build my savings until either my GI bill expires, or my civilization induced claustrophobia sets in; whichever comes first.
Phase III (yay the cool part!)
This is where I move to New Hampshire and begin the construction of a low energy, (passive & active solar, wind, grey & black-water and all that other cool awesome stuff) self contained and self sufficient homestead. This will be done with my own personal design which is a hybrid of the Reynolds Global Earthship, and the Oehler 500$ underground house... with built in dual Peruvian Wallipini's to house both, a livestock of dairy goats, sheep, chickens, and honeybees in the winter, and an extensive aquaponics greenhouse system year round. Note: The homestead is obviously still in R&D, which is why I'm here. as I draw from and incorporate the wisdom and experience on these forums I expect my designs to change very radically from a Reynolds-Oehler inspired crossbreed, to new and unique design completely its own.
if (and when) this homestead succeeds, I will then begin investing my time and resources into encouraging other permies to build similar self sufficient and independent (or at least self reliant and interdependent) homesteads on neighboring plots of land and together, pooling our economic and political resources can build our very own free society. and no, these are no plans for a Utopian social contract which would inevitably fail. I simply recognize that man is a social animal and genetically predisposed to operate in small groups or tribes, and that such social structures are inherently advantageous over the extremes on either end, of a solitary existence or a state run society.
Tah dah! yeah thats it. whatttaya think?
oh yeah, I hear theres a strong prejudice of some sort against using greenhouses to do overwinter farming in cold climates. is this just due to the recourse intensiveness? or are the other forms of reasoning behind this as well?
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen. -Robert A Heinlein
You have a kick-butt sounding plan/dream. Except for driving/parking a bus in NYC--that would drive me insane.
As for the greenhouses--they do suck, but starving sucks more. If you can build them as a zone 0 permaculture zone without energy and chemical inputs they can be good. You still have to figure out what you can grow with limited light or a cheap way to add light.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
JT Lucas : There is an Air National Guard unit that is the only unit barring none that gets to fly missions in planes with skis They fly with two complete crews on missions to Greenland and Antartica,
The officers and flight crew drill two weekends a month and get paid accordingly home base is just up the hudson near a place called west point, you may have heard of it ! they use medics !
Lots of things change in two years, but Double Dipping into uncle Sugars pocket always seemed sweet to me !
The bus, If you call the row of seats behind the driver row A and the row next to the door row B Then take out the first and second seats behind the driver Row A, then take any seat in good condition
From the Door side Row B the former row b seat can now be tuned 180 degrees and placed close to the location of the original first seat, to make Banquette or booth type seating, improvise a table and
you have a place that is the place where the party started !
An old school bus mechanic once told me buses are made like pigs, perfect for butchering, they all were made the same way back in my day, you can unbolt- o.k. maybe a few rivets the entire back end
of the bus and take out as many sections as you want, and then put the backend back on - Instant sun deck, or flat bed truck, though to use it for that purpose you need to use loading docks, as the deck
will be about shirt pocket high on an average man !
Some times your have to keep a low profile till dark,and stay near your rig, there is lots of room to swing multiple hammocks under a sixty passenger bus ! It will help you get a multiple endorsements
on your civilian license if your military license has lots of endorsements, Depending on your companies policy you may have to do motor stables instead of P.T. several mornings a week, but what the hell
its only for 2 more years!
More than once (way back when you could have multiple licenses from different states) I had to find the right clerk behind the counter who was a vet, and they took care of me just fine, For what its worth
I think as a vet you are still able to get a peddlers license for free ! Wave that around and you can hide in plan site, in the middle of the fulton fish market, or any 'Farmers Market !'
Search online at amazon books for older books on converting busses into R.V.s am maybe even score a maintenance manual or to- come to think of it who is your pubs N.C.O.- F.M.s, T.M.s, and you with
time to chase them downold supply and motor sergeants hate to throw out old pubs, the farther away from the flag pole the easier it is to squirrel them away ! there are several civilian well lets call them
bookstores that for a price can find you any military pub going back to the Mcclellan saddle, and all located in the Wash D.C. area ! ( Says the guy who slept in the old horse stables at Ft. L.J. McNair ! )
It's time for an old 11B turned 91B to climb into the fart sack ! Good luck and pass it on ! Big AL !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan