5 Unique Homes on Wheels

There are many unique homes on wheels when home ownership is not possible financially. A major component of the American Dream is owning a home. Home ownership is often considered a status symbol in the U.S., an indication of having reached a certain level of financial success.

A mobile home are great for camping and also can be home.
A mobile home are great for camping and also can be home.




While the concept of what qualifies as a ‘home’ may differ depending on who you ask, most people accept that a typical home will have 2-3 bedrooms, the same amount of bathrooms, and will be stationary. There are some people, however, who are actively challenging the idea of the typical American home, particularly the belief that the living unit must be static.

Here are five examples of unique living spaces that are built to move.

1. Little Tag Along

From the mind of Kevin Cyr, a designer in Brooklyn, NY, comes the Little Tag Along. The Little Tag Along is an art concept, and is basically a very small travel trailer pulled behind a standard 3-speed bicycle. The Little Tag Along is part of a larger project called Home in the Weeds, which explores small shelters as living spaces for worst-case scenarios and homes for self-preservation.

2. Knaus V-liner

This motorhome isn’t carried by most motorhome dealers. The Knaus V-liner is a sleek, Euro-style RV that is much smaller than most new motorhomes and used motorhomes in the U.S. Despite being smaller, the German-built V-liner packs a ton of modern features and a space-maximizing layout.

3. Golden Gate

Jay Nelson, a San Francisco-based artist, surfer, and designer, is known for creating some very unique structures using everything from plywood to epoxy resin. Nelson is known for his creative tree house designs, but he has also built camper boats and scooters. One of Nelson’s more notable designs is the Golden Gate, an electric camper car that features angular wood paneling and a diamond-shaped window. The interior includes a stove, kitchen, toilet, bed, and storage space.

4. Survival Home

This $700K extreme recreational vehicle is capable of carrying enough supplies and equipment to allow its owners to survive off the grid for around two months. Built by UNICAT, an expert in expedition vehicle manufacturing, this particular vehicle gets a lowly 8 miles to the gallon when pushed beyond 60mph, but comes loaded with features, including an on-board water desalination unit.

5. Volkner Mobil Performance Bus

Volkner’s luxurious motorhome boasts modern amenities, customizable options such as specialist tiles, gold taps, and varnished wooden units, and even a ‘hidden’ garage with room for a separate vehicle. The stylish interior features leather seating, wood finishes, and the latest in entertainment technology. All of this luxury comes at a steep price, starting at over $1 million and rising with each upgraded feature.

camper van image by  Wikimedia Commons

 

Recycling Used Tires

One must be aware that used tires are not biodegradable. There are many things you can do with used tires to keep them out of landfills.

Everyone wants to do their part to recycle and dispose of unwanted items responsibly like used tires.  Tires are not made of biodegradable material can be difficult to dispose of properly. However, there are many options.  It can keep old tires out of landfills and allow others to get good use out of them.

Used tires are not recyclable
Used tires are not recyclable

One way you can help to recycle used tires  is to buy them for your car. Buying used tires can save the car owner money and help the environment. Generally, these tires are not completely worn and offer the car owner tires that can last them for while. Maybe there is not enough money in a person’s budget for new tires at the moment, so the solution is to buy good used tires. It may last until money is saved for new tires. However, make sure they are usable. Safety must always come first.

Used tires that are not suitable for use on vehicles can also be taken to recycling centers. Tires can be recycled and the rubber used to make other products, such as to make new shoe parts.

Used tires are also helpful when a car owner only needs one tire, because only one is damaged. When buying used tires, the buyer needs to inspect the tires to ensure there is still tread on them and to look for any signs of patches or repairs. You do not want used tires that have been previously repaired, because they may not last long.

Some people get creative with used tires . Old tires that are not in good condition can be used as planters for the yard. Tires can be used as raised beds for planting flowers and even vegetables. Most people who use old tires for this purpose either place the tires in an area where there are not as noticeable, or they decorate and paint the tires to complement their yard or flower beds. Old tires can also be cut and turned inside out to make decorative outdoor planters. The gardener’s imagination is the only limit to what one can do with unwanted tires.

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Used tires that are not suitable for use on vehicles can also be taken to recycling centers. Tires can be recycled and the rubber used to make other products, such as to make new shoe parts. These old tire parts are often referred to as “crumbs” and may be used in several different ways. The crumbs can be used to make asphalt pavement and often used as an aggregate for cement concrete.

Old tires can also be recycled and made into new tires. Today old tires are also used to create a type of rubber mulch. The tires are cut up into pieces and may be painted different colors. The tire mulch is used just like other types of mulch to help soil around plants retain moisture and to help prevent weed growth.

It is not recommended that people dispose of their old tires at landfills. Old tires take up a great deal of space, and they can trap methane gas, which means they bubble to the top of the landfill surface and damage landfill liners. These liners are used to help prevent the landfill contaminates from polluting area ground water. Illegally dumping old tires can also cause many problems.

Tire fire can happen quite easily and burn for extended periods of time, creating ground and air pollution. They can also hold water, making them a breeding ground for mosquitoes. When a person illegally dumps tires, they are contributing to polluting ravines, empty lots, deserts and wooded areas. Some places offer residents tire amnesty that allows each person to dispose of a certain amount of tires for free. These programs help reduce pollution and make sure tires are properly disposed of or used in a better way.

used tires image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Buying a New Car Checklist

An outline on the necessary steps on buying a new car including budgeting, car features, insurance, and the best time to get a discount.

When buying a new car, it is highly advisable to have a checklist. Take your time before you make your choice so that you can get the best value for your money. The wrong decision could end up costing you far too much and even end with a vehicle that does not suit your requirements and needs.

Buying a car is an important decision. One must first go through a checklist like affordability.
Buying a car is an important decision. One must first go through a checklist like affordability.

Before you buy that new car, read consumer automotive research, to answer the important questions you might have. Make sure you get details of the following points:

1. Make a budget

Determining your monthly budget is important because it will help you make a decision on what you can afford. Make a monthly budget that is reasonable and it is within range of the cars that are available in the market. A budget will ensure that you do not waste time looking at vehicles that you cannot afford. There are lots of online car dealers that have new as well as used cars for sale.  They allow you to search a car by price  and you can compare different sites to find a good fit.

2. Determine purpose of the car

You need to determine how you are going to use car for instance it could be for evening drives, long distance travel, daily commuting, evening drives, recreation or just an extra addition. Different cars have different specifications like engine power, mileage, fuel efficiency and safety features. Make sure that the kind of car you select suits your lifestyle.
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3. Check financing options and insurance

A lot of car dealers offer financing for a new car to drum up business, but you should note that there are also other options available in the industry. There is an online car financing market. Check what your credit score is because it will dictate the loan interest rate that you will be paying for the loan. There are different lenders and you can find one that offers better loan interest rates than the dealer. Insurance is essential when you are buying a new car because it means you are insured against damages and injuries from a car accident.

4. Take opportunity of the right time

You can get a great bargain if your purchase is done at a time when the car dealer is likely to give you a discount. A great time is during midweek at the end of the month because the dealer is trying to meet their goals. Between August and November is a period when new car models enter the market and you can take advantage of this time to select your new car. Never allow yourself to be swayed by the car dealer and stick to what you had budgeted for.

new car image courtesy of Pixabay

 

Read this Before You Buy that RV

Before buying an RV, you must first learn the different types of RV’s and the proper way to inspect its wear and tear, and have an inspection list,

So the high season for RV travel is technically over, but you’ve been thinking about buying a motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer for a while now. Checking out online listings, browsing the newspaper classifieds, and dropping by the local RV dealership, you’ve put together a pretty decent list of both new and used motorhomes for sale. Everything seems in order, and you’re ready to pull the trigger on the purchase of a shiny new (or perhaps used, slightly less shiny) adventure on wheels!

An RV is a big purchase. One must first do some reserach before
An RV is a big purchase. One must first do some reserach before

Not so fast. Before investing in your first motorhome, there are several things to consider. Do you know the proper way to inspect a used RV for wear and tear? How about the benefits and drawbacks of the various motorhome classes? Can you be absolutely sure that you are getting the most for your pending motorhome purchase?

To help you answer these (and many more) motorhome purchasing questions, we’ve included a handful of buying tips and checklist items to add to your automotive or RV related articles that you have read. Keep these information in mind before you buy that RV.

Know What You Want

Since you’re at the point of making a buying decision, you must do so with some business sense. You should be familiar with the different types of motorhomes: class A, class B, class C, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and travel trailers being the main classifications. All good there? Making your choice even more difficult is the fact that each of those categories has sub-categories of their own. “We’ve got motorized types, we’ve got towables, and each one of those have sub-categories, so you need to know how all of those breakdown,” says Terry Cooper of Mobile RV Academy. “Then you have to ask yourself, ‘Ok, what benefits and features do I want in that RV?’”

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A lot to think about for sure, but a good starting place is to determine exactly what you want to get out of your RV experience. Is this going to be for short weekend trips only? Will you take longer road trips a few times per year? Is there the chance you’ll become a full-time RVer? Answering these questions will give you a better picture of your ideal motorhome lifestyle, which then gives you an idea of necessary amenities and realistic price ranges to fit your needs.

Create an Inspection Checklist
Among the advice that veteran RV owners give, creating a comprehensive checklist to use when buying a motorhome is probably the most common. A standard RV checklist should begin with general information about the vehicle (year, make, model, class, mileage, VIN number, etc.), and then move on to interior and exterior inspection items. This includes checking the walls (inside and out) for signs of leakage, cracks, or failing seals.

The underside of the motorhome should be inspected for axle and body damage, fluid leaks, and evidence of previous accidents. To make sure all of your bases are covered, it’s recommended that you have the RV you intend to purchase inspected by a third-party motorhome specialist. You can also reference various RV checklists online to help in your decision.

motorhome image by Wikimedia Commons

 

Take Care of Your Car With an Oil Change

An oil and filter change is a common maintenance of a car. Neglecting this can cause huge engine problems. Check your car manual for specifications.

It is very important to make sure that a car is well taken care of at all times. In order for a car to function properly, there are certain things that need to be taken care of regularly. One thing that needs to be changed out often is the oil within a car. Most newer vehicles have a light that will come on within the vehicle when it is time for the oil to be changed, and this allows the owner of the vehicle to know that it is time for this service to be performed.

Changing your car's oil is a required maintenance. It keeps your car running smoothly and makes the engine last longer.
Changing your car’s oil is a required maintenance. It keeps your car running smoothly and makes the engine last longer.

The service light will generally come on after a person has driven a certain amount of miles with the same oil in their car. This light will usually come on before the oil actually needs to be changed, which gives the car owner a warning. This allows them to set up an appointment to have the oil in their car changed before their need for an oil change can cause any damage to their car.

The process for setting up an appointment for an oil change is often quick and easy, and some oil change business locations don’t even require an appointment. They will simply allow the person with the car to come into the shop, and tell them what they need to have done. This makes it easy for those with busy lives and schedules to get their oil changed right when they need to.

The location that is going to be doing the oil change will most likely ask the vehicle owner questions about the make and the model of their car, as well as what type of oil they currently have in the car. This will allow them to make sure that they get the right oil filter for the car, along with the correct type of oil. Having the right oil filter for the make and the model of a vehicle is crucial because cars are made in such a way that only specific oil filters are going to fit correctly inside of them. Also, only the oil filters that have been created for the make and model of the car are going to properly filter the oil.

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Huge problems can arise if the oil within a car is not filtered properly, and the car can be entirely ruined because of this. People are also asked what oil they currently have in their car because it is a good idea to stick with the same type of oil. Read your manual and automotive related articles to confirm best practices and procedures when changing the oil of your particular car.

If the car owner is currently using a full synthetic oil in their car, then this is what is most likely going to be put inside of it once again. Synthetic oil has many benefits to it, and it often lasts quite a bit longer than regular oil does. However, whether the oil is synthetic or not, it is going to need to be the type of oil that is recommended for the make and model of the vehicle.

People who decide to get an oil change can also decide to have some other things checked and taken care of within their vehicle as well. Often times the air filter inside of the vehicle can be checked, along with the brake fluid. The transmission fluid can also be checked and filled it if needs to be, and more antifreeze can be put inside of the car of this is low. Since all of these different fluids and filters need to be full and clean in order for the vehicle to function as it should, it is a good idea for some people to have these checked out as part of their oil change.

oil change image by Wikimedia Commons.

 

Budgeting for the Purchase of Your First Car

Finding the best car deals is only a small part of buying a car. As with all major purchases, you must budget for all the expenses of owning a car.

You have budgeted and now, you have enough to purchase your very first car. As a first time car buyer, it can be extremely overwhelming to start shopping for a car. With a variety of options for finding new or used cars, it can be frustrating to try to figure out what method of shopping is going to be the best for you and your needs.

Some people like to save enough money to ensure that they are able to pay for their car in cash.
Some people like to save enough money to ensure that they are able to pay for their car in cash.

To start your car shopping, you do not even want to be looking at cars. This may sound counter intuitive, but it is important that you understand that before you even start looking at the cars that are available you will want to set a reasonable personal budget for yourself. Then, check internet and magazine articles on new automotive and related subjects for the features and price of the car that fits your needs.

Creating a monthly budget for yourself is much more complicated than simply looking into the money that you have saved for a car. It makes perfect sense in all your business dealings, not just when you buy a car. There are a few different options that you will have when it comes to paying for your car and you want to explore all of your options before you decide. A monthly budget will help you do that.

Some people like to save enough money to ensure that they are able to pay for their car in cash. If you want to save enough money to pay for your car outright, you should create a saving schedule early and make sure that you understand what you can and cannot afford.

Paying for your car in cash is a great way to ensure that you are not stuck with a car payment for years to come. If you need a dependable car and you know that you are not going to be able to pay for the car outright, making a down payment may be your best option.

If you can make a substantial down payment on a car, you will be able to minimize the cost of your monthly payment. After putting down your down payment, you will then be able to take out a loan for the remaining cost of the car.

As you are setting a budget for yourself, you should also estimate the cost of your monthly auto insurance premium. Car insurance is required to be driving legally in the majority of states and you should get an estimate for the car that you are most interested in.

Different cars are going to cost different amounts to insure. Talking with a local insurance agent about the cost of getting a car insured will enable you to budget properly for the monthly cost of owning the car that you want to purchase.

Once you have figured out how you want to pay for your new car, you can then set a strict budget. Setting a budget that is reasonable will ensure that you are getting everything that you need from a car, while still staying inside of your budget.

Buying a new car can be an exciting time. Make sure that you plan adequately and you will be able to minimize the frustration and time that you spend shopping for your first car.

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This article is written by Wickline Insurance. Wickline Insurance is an auto insurance provider in Beckley. Providing auto insurance in Beckley for many years has given Wickline agents the experience required to help first time car buyers find the auto insurance policy that fits their individual needs.

new car image by Pixabay

 

An Adventure with a Car Engine Overheating

A couple of weeks ago, I was stranded 30 kilometers away from Sydney when my car overheated. Diagnosing car trouble is always the biggest problem.

Do you know what to do when your car overheats and you have no idea what the cause is? I am not sure I know a single driver who at one point in their lives didn’t have such a problem. Whether the reason for it was the lack of engine coolant or extreme weather conditions, we were all in that annoying situation once.

Unexpected engine problems include cars overheating.
Unexpected engine problems include cars overheating.

A couple of weeks ago, something went terribly wrong. I was stranded on the road 30 kilometres away from Sydney.  I was in a hurry on that scorching hot day.  Already late for the meeting I had scheduled weeks before, my trusty Mazda decided it was the right time to break down. The smoke came from the bonnet and it just stopped. A few curse-filled seconds later, I decided screaming in despair is not the most productive thing I could do at that moment. I decided to get out and open the bonnet.

Diagnosing the Car Engine Overheating

The steam which surged out confirmed again what even I as a complete car layman could diagnose as engine overheating. The only thing that came to my mind is that I don’t have enough coolant in the radiator, but my Mazda is an older model which doesn’t have a translucent plastic so I couldn’t see it. Then I tried to unscrew the cap and check it. It was hot. I got burned.

Luckily, I’m not a stubborn person, so after the first incident in which I’d suffered pain, I decided that I should find someone to solve the problem for me. I was near Seven Hills, a peaceful Sydney suburb which at that moment seemed a bit like a ghost town. Wandering the streets, sweating like crazy, partly because of the weather, partly because my nerves couldn’t deal with the fact that I was almost definitely late for the meeting already, I found a car repair shop.
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The Quest Begins

I got a hold of one of the blokes working in Tyre King Seven Hills (I owe them some beer next time I am around). He was kind enough to give me a ride to the place where my car was parked. A few moments into the inspection he had a good and a bad news. The good was that I had enough coolant in the system. The bad was that the problem was somewhere else.

The mechanic then proceeded to check the fan. He had a jumper wire ready and attached it to the contacts. He told me the fan could either be faulty or the problem was in the fan switch which is supposed to turn the fan on when the engine starts to overheat. After the check, we were both none the wiser. Everything seemed to be in order.

On to the Thermostat

But my new friend had a couple of ideas more. He wanted to check the thermostat. Thermostat is apparently important at high speeds and if it doesn’t open when the engine needs a lot of coolant to keep the temperature low, the flow will be insufficient. Due to the fact that I was late for my meeting, I was playing “Fast and Furious” on the road, and it made a lot of sense that this was the reason behind the sudden halt. No luck though. Thermostat was fine.

Towing the Car

We towed the car to the shop where a couple of mechanics tried to solve the problem together. It took them a couple of minutes of baffled silence and fiddling with the car, but they solved the problem. Just when I checked the time on my mobile phone for the n-th time that hour, one of them, with an “Eureka!” look on his face, suddenly just exclaimed: “It’s the belt!”

And indeed, my Mazda, being an older girl, still had one of those fan belts which are used to drive the fan. The belt was close to snapping and it didn’t do the proper job anymore. When the first mechanic checked the fan it was working, but if he had observed it more, he would probably have noticed that the fan.

Epilogue

They quickly replaced the belt and I was on the road after a couple of minutes. It goes to show that diagnosing the problem is the biggest part of the problem solving. As for me, my meeting was long finished, but at least I was moving again. And, let me tell you, it felt good.

car overheating image by Pixabay