Vehicle for a New Life - Page 2

Gleaming aluminum & steel mobile homes have minimalist styling, today’s amenities
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Two stages of the dining/sleeping areas.
Fridays on the Homefront
Looking out to the deck.

It also comes modernly equipped with solar panels, Wi-Fi antenna, lithium batteries, an IOS system that works with iPhones—and of course, shower with skylight.

"It works," says Joanna happily, noting the additional presence of a washer, dryer, and dishwasher. "You have everything in there. You're not having to compromise."

"Being able to stand up straight certainly helps," her husband conceded without a flinch, adding that the chassis and much of the framing is aluminum tubing.

"It's just a wonderful material...It oxidizes very gracefully," he said of the lightweight metal. Using it for exterior paneling, he said, along with stainless-steel cabinets in the kitchen, "I think it's kind of that mid-century modern influence."

Another such example is pale-oak-patterned, vinyl plank flooring, he noted, adding, "It's a peel-and-stick product, which is pretty cool because if someone does damage it, it's easy to replace."

"If you look at the interior, it's very influenced by Scandinavian design," he admits, citing celebrated Swiss architect Peter Zumthor as one of his inspirations.

Perhaps the most important difference between Living Vehicle and other RVs is its capacity to collect and use solar power. During their four days in Bryce Canyon, he said, "We were completely off the grid—we were not plugged in."

"The deck has been a lifesaver," Joanna said of the fold-down, cable-suspended deck that adds 53 square feet of floor space, supports up to 1,000 pounds, and was very useful for camping with their three-month-old puppy.

Living Vehicles start at $149,995. A Travel Series model is expected in September starting at $90,000, but Matthew says the company isn't "a dealership-driven sales model."

"Our customers are basically our salespeople," he explained. He said two of them, Jaqueline and Stewart Sweet of Lafayette, will be representing the product this month at Tiny Fest in San Jose.

"We like road trips and have always wanted to travel," Jaqueline Sweet told the L.A. Times recently. "In recognizing how easy it is to work remotely, we realized that downsizing might give us more opportunity."

"We're kind of, as a country, realizing that the lifestyle we've been led to live is changing," Matthew agrees. "We're trying to help people understand that they do have a choice."

For more info on the Hofmanns' Living Vehicle, click here.