camp sink from home depot buckets

Have a clean sink wherever you go!

In the category of "things most people haven't thought much about"... One problem with faucet sinks -- and I mean virtually *any* sink, whether in your home, at work, in your RV, or in your camp -- is that the need to trigger the faucet valve makes for a very unsanitary operation. 

  • You go to the sink to wash your hands.
  • You put your dirty hands on the faucet to turn it on.
  • You wash your hands.
  • Then you put your clean hands back on the dirty faucet to turn it off!

Seriously, why do we do that?

Of course one of situations in which you're most likely to have frequently soiled hands (and other body parts) is when you're camping. Especially for some of us who prefer a less "glamping" and more "close to nature" experience, at some point every day, you're going to go dig a hole, deposit a mound of decomposed gut rot and E Coli directly into said hole, then attempt to wipe with some excuse for toilet paper, and then in attempt to be "sanitary," go stick your hands on a faucet or even directly on the clean water end of a water jug. 

Wouldn't it'd be nice to have a more sanitary option?

One solution you might have come across is to use a foot-pump to pump water so that you never have to touch anything to get your hands clean.

    In the video below, Travis from 2brothersadventures shows how he turned a few ordinary Home Depot buckets into a clever and sanitary foot-pump-activated camp sink that even saves your greywater.

Note: It was inspired by this brilliant Instructables design.

Hey, can I put one of these in my camper?

I was so impressed by this simple idea that I've been intending to put a version of this in my camper. My idea has been to add on the functionality of a biosand filter under the sink basin to recycle the greywater. There are a few complications to figure out, but mostly I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

make a composting toilet

Ever wonder if it's possible for you to Make A Composting Toilet?

It's actually really easy!

And once you build one, you'll...

  • Cut down on your water consumption by several gallons or more a day.
  • Have a neverending source of good organic fertilizer.

Essentially, as you'll see in the video, a composting toilet needn't be more complicated than a wooden box with a hole in it, with a 5 gallon bucket underneath. You cover it with dirt or some other organic matter -- like sawdust or grass clippings -- and it does not stink!!

In the video below, StormCloudsGathering shares a simple and proven system to create your own fertilizer and use less water, along with other great reasons to consider composting your own "humanure" sooner than later. ..

 

"Wait -- Isn't that kinda gross / unsanitary / unsafe?"

While that's a common reaction -- especially from people who have never even bothered to learn even regular kitchen composting -- it's mostly unfounded. As long as you do it right, it won't stink and is no more hazardous than using a regular toilet. "Wash your hands thoroughly" still applies.

"Don't you have to turn the compost?

Turning compost is largely a myth. Not only is it not necessary, but it can be harmful to the growing bacteria cultures. It's sufficient to clear a hole in the center with a stick and then after your "deposit", cover it back up.

"Oh come on -- It's poop! How do you keep it from stinking?

The same way you do with regular compost -- by covering with sawdust, leaves, newspaper, etc. It not only blocks the fumes from rising, but will absorb the smell. Of course keeping the lid shut helps, too, but the sawdust works well enough without the lid.

If you want to learn more about Humanure Composting...

Make sure to read the ultimate authority guide, which goes through every aspect of making a humanure toilet, managing the composting process, using it in your garden, and understanding your way around a million and one concerns you may have! It's now in its Third Edition and you can buy it on Amazon now by clicking the button below.

Humanure Handbook Review

 

diy camper electricity

Doing your own electrical systems for your homemade camper isn't as difficult as it might sound -- especially if you commit to keeping it extremely simple!

You can think of an RV or camper electrical system as made up of just three components:

  1. The Battery (a.k.a. the "House Battery", as distinguished from your "starting battery"
  2. The DC Circuits (direct current)
  3. The AC Circuits (alternating current)

Keeping things simple...

I'm sure you know what a lead-acid car battery is, right? OK! You'll need one of those. (There are matters of the best battery type for a camper, but that can wait...)

The DC circuits are those wired to run 12V devices that can run off a car battery, i.e. from your car's cigarette lighter. These circuits are connected directly to the battery, just as your cigarette lighter is wired directly to the battery.

inverterThe AC circuits are those wired to run standard household plug-in devices. If it has a standard plug, then it is an AC device, and it requires an "Inverter" to be placed between it and the battery. The inverter turns standard "flat" direct current into the special"rippling" AC current that household appliances require.

Camper electricity revolves around Battery Powered DC Wiring. While it's in many ways easier for a beginner to implement, it's different enough from standard household wiring that it can be very confusing at first, even for electrical engineers! To help wrap your head around it, a crucial point to "get" is that...

An Inverter Is A DC Device!

(That is used to run AC Devices)


It might be easiest to think of camper wiring as implemented in layers:

First you have DC layer, which at it's simplest is a lot like wiring your speaker system together, or more accurately, like wiring a high-end car audio system. 

  • You first connect a set of cables from the battery to a hub, i.e. set of "distribution blocks." 
  • From there you branch off wires to DC devices like DC fans, LED lights, cigarette lighter outlets for plugging in your phone, AND... an Inverter.

Once you have an inverter connected (to a branch of the DC circuit), you can then plug your AC household appliances (portable fan, clock, heater, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, etc.) into the inverter. Simple right?

That's really as complicated as it gets, ie. not very complicated at all! 

build a truck camper

It might seem difficult to believe that I was literally able to build a truck camper and get off the grid in JUST 3 DAYS, but that's exactly what I did! 

  • Of course it took some planning to get there. (About a week to draw up the plans.)
  • And it took quite a bit of research to decide which approach would best suit my needs. (About a month of web surfing.)
  • But that's all! It didn't take six months. It didn't take a year. It didn't take a decade. It took just one month.

The precise reason I was able to do it so quickly is because I decided early on that the most important thing I could do is Keep It Stupidly Simple.

The excerpt below explains how I did it. 

Please enjoy this excerpt from my book
"How To Build Your Own DIY Truck Camper And Get Off The Grid For Dirt Cheap", on sale September 4, 2014.

To get the special launch price, make sure you join my mailing list.


Keep it stupidly simple - Excerpt from Mobile Rik's book - How To Build Your Own DIY Truck Camper And Get Off The Grid For Dirt Cheap
bigfoot is off the grid

If you're anything at all like me, then "getting off the grid" has been an ambition of yours for a very long time!

And chances are, your idea what what it means to get off the grid is very personal to you. Maybe your dream is to live in a cob house with a windmill. Or an Earthship with a huge array of solar panels. Or a Tiny House in the forest with a wood stove and lots of animal friends. Or maybe you don't even care... You're just wanting to untether yourself from all those "unnecessary" monthly utility bills!

The fact that there are so many visions in people's heads of what it really means to be "off the grid" can lead to some interesting disagreements. But that phrase does in fact have a particular definition. And the real question, as I see it, is "how far off the grid do you really want to be?"

Please enjoy another excerpt from my book "How To Build Your Own DIY Truck Camper And Get Off The Grid For Dirt Cheap", released September 4, 2014.

To get the special launch price, make sure you join my mailing list.


How off the grid do you really want to be? Mobile Rik book excerpt. MobileRik.com
How off the grid do you really want to be? Mobile Rik book excerpt. MobileRik.com