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A Rolling DIY Motorhome Michelangelo Would Envy

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Some artists spend years, decades even, working on their “piece de resistance” if you will. The finished product might be a statue, a painting, or in the case of John Driscoll, a most unique gypsy wagon. He calls it the “Big Maroon” and it all began in 1971 when he paid $125 for a 1959 Federal truck that was originally a flatbed farm truck. Ever since then he’s been working on it, converting it into the one of a kind masterpiece you see here.

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No detail went overlooked in the construction of this custom home on wheels, from the exterior to the interior and everything in between. He had plenty of help along the way, and the exterior shell was finished in 1975. It clocks in at 11′ tall, 25′ long, and weighs 1,500 lbs. including water, fuel, a boat, motorcycle, groceries, and one dog.

bigmaroon_07You need a serious engine to power a home like this, especially with the added weight of the build. At one point he swapped the Pontiac 2-barrel 389 for a 455 cubic inch Edelbrock with aluminum heads, custom intake, and a 650 carburetor. There’s certainly no shortage of power now, and along with the engine he also customized the power steering, transmission, brakes, and rear axle to ensure all that power gets put to good use.

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The most impressive features don’t live under the hood however, but rather in the custom living space he built on the flatbed. A true craftsman, John created a vintage living space that’s efficient and stylish, incorporating beautiful vintage lighting and custom cabinetry into the finish. He even made the stained glass on his own.

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photos courtesy Timeattackmanila

John has racked up more than 40k miles traveling around the US and Canada for more than 40 years and during that time he’s gradually maintained and enhanced the build. His is a story of perseverance and determination, of completely realizing one’s dream not to mention pure American DIY craftsmanship on a level few of us will ever achieve. Yet we can admire his effort and draw inspiration for our own projects.

DIY Steampunk Camper Joins Fantasy And Function

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In case you ever wondered what happens when steampunk style collides with travel campers, we have the answer. You end up with something like this:

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For the uninitiated out there, “steampunk” refers to a sub-genre of science fiction in the fashion/lifestyle world where technology and 19th century steam engine style come together. In this instance we see what happens when it meets the world of travel campers, and the result is quite stunning.

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Dave Moult is the man behind this fantastic wood and copper clad camper. In 2008 he had the idea to travel Scotland and live out of a camper, the only thing was, he didn’t yet own one. So he decided to build his own, which spawned a new passion.

He never went on that trip, but he did end up building six different campers, including the one you see here. It includes a chandelier made from a coffee pot and copper pipe, a library, folding copper sink and cooking space in the trunk.

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Interested in building your own teardrop trailer? Dave recommends checking out the many resources available online, including the Facebook group page The Teardrop Club of Great Britain and the forum tnttt.com

Japan Unveils The World’s Largest Floating Solar Farms

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Japan recently unveiled its most ambitious solar energy project consisting of two massive floating solar “farms” in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. The completed project came about from a partnership between Kyocer and Century Tokyo Leasing and was finished in record time, having begun only last September.

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The farm is split between two locations, one on Nichihira Pond and another on Higashihira Pond. It consists of 225-watt Kyocera modules, and includes 11,256 total panels with a capacity of 1.7MW and 1.2MW respectively. The power generated from this project will supply enough energy to keep 920 homes lit.

The project represents an ambitious new step in Japan’s solar energy infrastructure, which has doubled since 2011, the same year as the Fukushima reactor disaster, putting them in a position alongside China and the U.S. as a leading contender in the renewable energy sector.

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In case you’re wondering what the advantage is of building the system on a floating surface instead of on land, it has to do with the cooling effect of water, which results in more energy generated. Additionally, the extra shading of the water helps promote algae growth and prevents water evaporation.

Volunteers Get Paid To Live In This Ghost Town

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Have you ever driven through an abandoned town and wonderdered what it was like to live there? Well, wonder no more. The Garnet Ghost Town in Montana is a complete ghost town that burgeoned in the 19th century with gold and silver discoveries until it went belly up in the 1940s.

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Today however, a few souls remain there, and we aren’t talking about real ghosts (although what town like this isn’t haunted?). Instead, volunteers wander the streets, chosen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to provide tours and sell souvenirs to tourists passing through.

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The volunteers get a certain number of benefits, including a cabin to live in, a food stipend, and a small paycheck for their work. While there’s no cable/wifi, electricity or running water to speak of, someone who’s accustomed to living off the grid might find the accommodations quite fitting.

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Photos by Daniel Hagerman

While the Montana Standard reports some volunteers have spent as much as a decade living there, the current position calls for openings during August and September. If you are interested, feel free to get in touch with Gainan at the BLM Missoula Field Office at 406-329-3735 or email [email protected] to get an application.

The Most Adorable Chicken Coop Ever? We Think So.

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Today I wanted to share a seriously inspiring chicken coop design with our readers. This design comes courtesy Tilly’s Nest, and while it looks adorable enough to serve as a playhouse for your kids, it’s actually designed with chickens in mind, with edible gardens, linoleum floor for easy cleaning, and even some decorative chicken art for aesthetics.

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If you’re a fan of raising backyard chickens, then you already know how important it is for them to have some cozy and safe digs to hang out in and part of the fun comes from designing and building your own coop. A coop like this is certainly nothing to flap your beaks at. After all, happy chickens equals more eggs for you and your friends!

For more information about the design, and a huge amount of great resources for raising chickens, check out http://www.tillysnest.com/p/chicken-care-resourcesguide.html

 

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