- Clayton Balabanov spent $180,000 changing a dilapidated truck and used trailer right into a spacious RV.
- It took 5 years to rework the semi, which he and his spouse now reside in full time.
- The “Nomad Monster” features a studying room, a scorching tub and a spiral staircase. Have a look inside.
Clayton Balabanov was approaching retirement age and knew he wished to satisfy his dream of hitting the street. He envisioned spending his senior years together with his spouse, Theresa, touring up and down the scenic byways of the US and Canada.
However, first, he wanted to purchase a cell dwelling.
Balabanov stated he could not discover something available on the market that suited him.
“I wasn’t proud of the producers’ items,” he stated. “They only did not appear to face as much as year-round use, quite than simply for the vacations.”
Balabanov wished to show a trailer into a house as comfy as their dwelling on Vancouver Island, Canada.
However there was one other key requirement: it needed to be sustainable.
“We would have liked photo voltaic power, recycled water and stuff like that, which would go away a smaller carbon footprint, offsetting how a lot gas the truck used,” he stated.
Balabanov stated he could not afford to purchase a model new truck. “So, I purchased an older one after which spent the following yr rebuilding it,” he stated. “Brakes and engine, and all that sort of stuff.”
He additionally purchased a used trailer off eBay, which was just about a clean canvas for his imaginative and prescient.
“It was empty, and I made a decision to go for it,” Balabanov stated. “I deliberate issues out on a whiteboard and stored making adjustments. As I constructed, issues modified too.”
Balabanov spent hours engaged on the conversion almost every single day for 5 years.
“I did most of it myself,” he stated. He even sewed the curtains himself.
Balabanov stated that because it was a one-off construct, it could have been an excessive amount of effort to search out somebody who understood his imaginative and prescient. “It might take longer to clarify than to really do it.”
In the meantime, Theresa was accountable for materials procurement, she stated, which has been particularly difficult through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Balabanov stated he does not have an actual variety of how a lot it price to construct, as he has but to do the mathematics and examine his many packing containers of receipts.
However he gave a tough estimate of C$250,000. That is $181,126 in US foreign money.
The kitchenette is provided with a microwave and fridge, and there’s a loft mattress above the seating space.
The trailer has a number of rooms, together with an workplace, kitchen, storage, lounge, bed room, library, and loo.
It additionally has a grand wanting spiral staircase, which ends up in the second ground.
“It seems to be nice and takes up much less area than should you put in common stairs,” Balabanov stated.
The fashionable kitchen has all normal home equipment together with induction stoves which run on photo voltaic power.
“[It’s] a full kitchen, larger than what you discover in most flats, as a result of we need to spend the remainder of our lives right here and we need to be comfy,” Balabanov stated.
“At 75, I am not going to cram myself right into a tiny little kitchen making an attempt to make beans on toast,” she added.
The onboard studying room consists of a chair and bookcase on the high of the staircase, which Theresa has already put to good use: She has learn 42 books since shifting into their semi-trailer dwelling on the finish of September 2022.
“Theresa likes books, she determined that this is able to be her most important leisure,” Balabanov stated.
In a sunken part of the lavatory is a whirlpool tub.
“For the bathtub, it made sense to purchase one with jets,” Balabanov stated. “It is not that massive a [price] distinction, so we’d as properly insert it”.
The eating room is not significantly spacious, but it surely will get the job carried out, Balabanov stated.
“We had some individuals over for tea… I feel three individuals had been sitting there, and I normally simply sit on the steps, which is correct subsequent to the eating room desk, so I am within the dialog,” she stated.
Internet hosting individuals for dinner is a “good group factor” and a good way to satisfy different nomads, Balabanov added.
The couple skilled roof leaks, photo voltaic battery points, and free wires.
In a YouTube video from late October, the pair documented a burst high radiator hose whereas in Nebraska.
“That is our maiden voyage, the place all the pieces breaks down,” Balabanov stated. “So we’ll change the issues that did not work, and enhance the issues that labored, and clear up.”
“After which we’re off to cross Canada,” he stated.
Reflecting on the method, Balabanov stated he maybe regrets spending a lot time constructing it.
“It has been 5 years of my life the place I may have simply gone out and purchased one thing smaller and fewer succesful, after which gone out and spent these 5 years on the street,” she stated.
“However then again, I actually loved doing it.”
Balabanov’s high tip to these hoping to show a trailer into a house: “Begin small and develop.”
He stated he would solely suggest those that are “exceptionally expert” and in possession of loads of gear to construct their very own.
“It simply takes loads of outing of your life,” she stated.
The Balabanovs have bought their household dwelling and taxi enterprise, which suggests they’ve long-term plans to remain of their semi-trailer dwelling.
They plan to take advantage of their senior years residing there, driving throughout the US and Canada, whereas taking their bikes for rides to scenic spots.
“You solely reside so lengthy,” Balabanov stated. “It is completely assured that you’ll die, so take advantage of life between from time to time. That is what we’re doing.”