Over the past year (maybe two) we have been discussing building a ‘tiny house’  and moving to the farm to live in order to cut our expenses and be able to finally start saving more for retirement. It has gone through multiple phases, from building a custom house, to buying a shed and renovating, building in a shipping container, and finally using an RV for the shell. Granted, no plan survives first contact with the enemy, so the iterations have each gone through several stages of validation and planning to get us to where we are today.

Here’s Bert!

We decided (finally) to go with the RV turned tiny home route. I spent several weeks searching, weeding through a few dozen viable candidates (along with hundreds of scams), and eventually selected what we thought looked like the most suitable ones and went to look at the best of the bunch.

Meet Bert. Though this was before we had a name for it. A 35′ 1993 American Travel Systems (ATS) Ledger model that is quite solidly built. These RV’s border on being a park model with most of the same wiring and structure (seriously it has a super heavy frame) but are usually a bit more portable and have holding and potable tanks so they are still more useful for travelling. There are no slide outs, so nothing to leak or fail on those. It is a plain RV box with a heavy frame, which is perfect for the plans we have.

After a quick run through and some haggling (more on why later) I had a plan to come back and pick it up on the coming weekend.

Thankfully it followed the truck home without incident, and with the help of my dad who played chase vehicle and … well.. picked up a part that fell off along the way. It was just a broken window screen, but it did fall off while driving down the highway which was rather entertaining. As was typical, someone went out of their way to run it over before my dad could pick it up. Whelp, guess we get to make new screens anyhow, might as well toss that one out. Well, we got it home and lo and behold the power worked and lights came on. It almost looks liveable as is, with a few… ahem… minor updates. More on that in another post!

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