Would you buy a 30-year-old military vehicle that breaks down all the time but can go anywhere? My guests today, Rae and Trevor of Wazimu Life, did just that and they’re here to tell us all about their fascinating lifestyle, now in their second, less breakdown-prone, go-anywhere tiny house rig.
In This Episode:
- Wazimu explained
- When is the vehicle too suited for off-roading?
- How to build an off-road, off-grid rolling home
- The English Bulldog is the perfect nomad dog
- Compost toilet vs black tank
- “Military Grade” may not mean what you think
- How is time irrelevant to nomads?
Links and Resources:
Rae and Trevor
Rae & Trevor of WazimuLife have been on and off the road full time for the past 3 years. They like to think they got into road life just before it became popular back in 2019, pre-Covid.
Trevor is a professional stunt man and special effects coordinator for film and television but his full-time job these days is figuring out how to build and run their current off-roading tiny house.
Rae is a photographer and marketing specialist who works remotely for a few different companies. Environmentally conscious, humanitarian, and adventure-driven, they don’t have any plans to slow down anytime soon.
This Week's Sponsor:
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To sign up go to thetinyhouse.net/newsletter. I'll never send you spam and if you don't want to receive emails, it's easy to unsubscribe.
Their first build was a 1998 LMTV M1078 that was great off-road
The bed in the LMTV operated via a crank
Wazimu is crazy or madness in Swahili
Rae and Trevor can be off-grid as long as their grocery supply allows
They chose a 2008 snow plow for the second build
The entire outside is Trevor's favorite part
According to Rae and Trevor, Louis the English Bulldog is the perfect traveling companion
That wood stove is made out of an old propane tank.
And so it was so loud that we just had like separate headphones on and we're just doing our own thing whereas in this vehicle, we can listen to an Audible book, music, we can have a conversation,
We can listen to tiny house podcasts...
We can listen to tiny house podcasts!
Ethan Waldman 0:16
Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build, and with the tiny lifestyle. My guests today are Rae and Trevor of Wazimu Life. Would you buy a 30 year old military vehicle that breaks down all the time, but can go anywhere? My guests today are Rae and Trevor of Wazimu Life and they did just that. They're here to tell us about their fascinating lifestyle now on their second, less break down prone, go anywhere tiny house rig. I hope you stick around.
But before we get started, did you know that I personally send a tiny house newsletter every week on Tuesdays? It's called Tiny Tuesdays and it's a weekly email with tiny house news, interviews, photos, and resources. It's free to subscribe and I even share sneak peeks of things that are coming up, ask for feedback about upcoming podcast guests, and more. It's really the best place to keep a pulse on what I'm doing in the tiny house space and also stay informed of what's going on in the tiny house movement. To sign up, go to thetinyhouse.net/newsletter where you can sign up for the Tiny Tuesday's newsletter. And of course you can unsubscribe at any time I will never send you spam. And if you ever don't want to receive emails, it's easy to unsubscribe. So again, that's thetinyhouse.net/newsletter. Thanks and I hope you enjoy next week's tiny Tuesday's newsletter.
Right, I am here with Rae and Trevor of Wazimu Life. Rae and Trevor have been on and off the road full-time for the past three years. They like to think they got into road life just before it became popular back in 2019, pre-COVID. Trever is a professional stuntman and special effects coordinator for film and television. But his full time job these days is figuring out how to build and run their current off-roading tiny house. Rae is a photographer and marketing specialist who works remotely for a few different companies. Environmentally conscious, humanitarian, and adventure-driven, they don’t have any plans to slow down anytime soon. Rae and Trevor, welcome to the show.
Woot woot, thanks for having us.
Yeah, thanks for having us.
Ethan Waldman 2:40
Yeah, thanks for being here. So I guess my first question for you is what is a Wazimu? What is Wazimu Life?
What is a Wazimu Life? I like that.
And I do too. So Wazimu means madness in Swahili. Trevor and I back in 2008. were interviewing for a job in Uganda. And some of the kids in the in the area that we were working at in Uganda called Trevor crazy white man, roughly, and roughly translated crazy madness is Wazimu and around that time is when we won the bid for the truck that is now our home. And so
Not this current truck one, but our last one.
Yeah this is our second one. But our original builds was an LM TV.
It was an LMTVm1078. It was a retired troop carrier out of Daytona. So big, tan, beautiful beasts, 47 inch tires, all that and after, you know a year of figuring out what we wanted to do and six weeks of, you know, bloody knuckles. We came up with the first build and
decided to name it crazy, but Wazimu sounded cooler than crazy or the word madness though, so the name's Wazimu.
Ethan Waldman 3:55
Ethan Waldman 3:56
Okay. Well, then my question, what is a Wazimu was wrong. This? What is Wazimu? That's crazy. It's madness.
Trevor is a Wazimu.
Yeah, our whole idea behind it was that we're going against like societal norms. We're going against the grain of, you know, the white picket fence in front of the house, you know, a chicken in every pot, a car in every driveway. We'd much rather just kind of do our own thing. We work when we need to work. We live where we want to live. And we enjoy so much more of not only what this country and hopefully soon enough, many other countries offer, but what we can do in our own relationship, being this close to each other and just out there and pursuing stuff instead of, you know, I have to get up at 530 every morning to make sure I get to the gym to make sure I get to the gym or get to work and then I am always going to stay an hour and a half to two hours longer to set myself up for the next day, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And the grind is great. A grind is awesome. But man after 21 years in the industry, I've been in other industries and, and Rae doing everything she does, we're just like, this is just not enjoyable when we can easily put in, you know, 15 to 20 hours a week, and live a very good healthy life, and still put away a couple of bucks every year for our own retirement versus, you know, working 60 to 80 hours a week and not even really knowing each other.
We were looking for a different kind of challenge that kind of took us out of the social norm. And I'd like to preference that this was a way cooler and weirder idea back in 2018. I feel like COVID sort of really populated the van life community. And I feel like it's not that weird. But, you know, back when we were first doing it, we were definitely an odd bunch in our community.
Ethan Waldman 5:52
Yeah. Well, I feel like being in a vehicle that's so suited to being off road is kind of a niche within a niche, like, you know, of the van life community.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, this truck right now. So we sold the old one, the LMTV, which was an off road, purpose driven built vehicle, right. Whereas now we're in a 2008 GMC C7500, which was a snowplow dump truck out of Maryland. So it already had a four wheel drive conversion on it. So you know, I did a ton of work to even change that. But we stayed in the realm of the four wheel drive, because of the locations we want to get to. I mean, right now, we're, you know, and on the Boulevard Peninsula in Texas at Crystal beach. And we can drive on the beach. You know, it's yeah, we're 20,000 pounds. Yeah, we're 127 square foot, little four wheel drive truck. But everywhere else we go, I mean, all of our van life, friends that have two wheel drive, it's like, yeah, they can go on the beach, too, as long as it's hard pack. Whereas if, you know, that's a really cool spot another mile up there, but we can, we could walk there, we can't get there. You know, that was important for us, you know, I want to be able to get 10 steps farther away from the massive group of people to really just, you know, kind of find that peace, to where I can wake up every morning and not look at my neighbor, I can see the waves or I can see the desert or I can see the cliffs or the forest. And that to me was was more important. It's also why we did a four wheel drive. Where this time I was considering doing a school bus because I had converted a bus before.
Ethan Waldman 7:35
and I really liked that conversion. But it just wouldn't have been possible to do half the stuff we wanted to do what we've already done in this truck.
Yeah, simply vote we wanted something that could go up a mountain just as easily as it could drive on the road comfortably and park on the beach.
Ethan Waldman 7:53
Got it. So was your last rig. A little bit less suited to driving on the road?
Yes, yeah, time and time again. So that truck is an awesome truck. And for anybody who's listening, if you go out and get yourself an LMTV, good for you, you know, I bought you you're gonna learn how it feels to break your knuckles. Because those trucks, as cool as they are, have problem after problem after problem. And unless you're either going in and as as an electrician or a full time mechanic and just ripping out the nonsense that the military made sure they put in. Because every one of their systems has at least three redundancies. And if one of those redundancies fail, go ahead.
Ethan Waldman 8:40
No, I just said Oh, boy.
Oh, yeah, sorry. So if one of those redundancies fail, because it's an older vehicle, the other three just crapped out so you can't find where the problem is, which was just, it just drove me nuts. And I'm finally working on a vehicle. You know, I built them both, but not being able to figure it out and the rat's nest of wiring and all that kind of stuff that they did. And nobody will tell you how to find your problems because nobody knows. And then if you want a part, I mean, our alternator went bad on our truck three times it was $1800 bucks replace
every time whereas the alternator on this truck is 180 bucks. Wow.
Ethan Waldman 9:19
you know, and and so, if you happen to have the right person who can get you an alternator who can fix the system, that's awesome. But we just not only did I not have the knowledge from the, you know, a military mechanical standpoint, you know, I mean, I'm, I'm willing to do anything, you know, but I need somebody to help and so many people just they also didn't understand.
From a practical standpoint to is very loud vehicle. So we basically got used to driving for hours and hours at a time in just total silence because you sit right on top of the engine in that model or vehicle. And so it was so loud that we just both had like separate headphones on and we're just doing our own thing. Whereas in this vehicle, we can listen to an Audible book, music, we can have a conversation,
we can listen tiny house podcasts.
We can listen to tinyhouse podcasts. So, yeah, this one, I mean, now having experienced this vehicle, I would definitely never go back.
You know, but what you said earlier though, like, so the LMTV is 10 out of 10 off-road, but it was like a 3 out of 10 on the on road. We were limited by, you know, our height restriction or with restriction or weight restrictions. And then it just didn't go fast. You know, you hit 55 and you were lucky. Whereas the truck we're in now is, I would say, like a 6 out of 10 on the road.
And turdles were passing us in the LMTV. Yes, for sure. Yeah. Going uphill was struggle.
Yeah. But this one is also a 6 out of 10 off-road, you know, so yeah, we lost a little bit, you know, on the off road thing. But we didn't get to experience a lot of the off-road stuff, ultimately, because we couldn't afford, you know, the financial, like, just necessary necessity to really bring the motor and the electronics and that truck up to the level that we wanted them to be at. Whereas this truck, we're starting at a level, like I said, less off-road more on-road, but just that worked.
Ethan Waldman 11:27
Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to get a little bit more versatility to be able to travel on the road and still have something that's that's pretty great off-road. Yeah. So I would say I don't know how long ago, I'm gonna say a year ago, I interviewed a guy, Tom Roszko, who built a really cool. Go-anywhere ambulance conversion.
Yeah we love ambulances.
Ethan Waldman 11:56
And so looking at your two, your two rigs. Like one of the one of the things that kind of struck me about the ambulance is that it essentially the the cabin, the cabin is done, you know, you've got this box, it's insulated. And then you can just build out the inside however you want.
Ethan Waldman 12:15
From pictures of your build, it looks like you're actually building the physical structure on the back of this vehicle, as well as you know, finishing it out. Is that correct?
Oh, yeah. Start to finish. It was all me. It too Trevor five months to build that when we first bought it, it was just that snow plow truck that had the dump truck,
dump bed thing on the back, is that we took that off, and Trevor fabricated the entire shell of the box. And we were able to lift that with a special machine. Why don't you take this one?
So let's go off on a side thing real quick. So I believe there's a difference between wealthy and rich. And we are very wealthy. And the people that are around us we are we're not wealthy in finances, but that's okay. The people around us that are we're able to kind of tap in on this project were very wealthy and, and rich at the same time. And so they were willing to give a space and time and knowledge which are three things that are more important than money. Because, well, we didn't have any of them. So Robert Ashby, Ashby Crenshaw Trucking out of Richmond, Virginia, Virginia. Wow. Virginia, been in Texas too long. He, he not only gave us space, but he gave me an ear. So every time you know, I had a question or concern, you know, whether it was how I'm building something, you know, tensilary strength, or, or something about the truck, I could bug him and talk to him. And he gave me that time, which was invaluable. But he also collected us. So we're now a story that he can pass on. And he gets to tell other people about it, show pictures about it. So it's really just been awesome for both of us. But with that, he gave us full access to his shop, which means 120,000 square foot truck company shop, there was 30 or 40 big rigs being built. Some just being repaired other completely custom really cool builds. And he just said here, here's your bag, do whatever the heck you want.
Needless to say the build would have taken twice as long and cost twice as much had we not had Robert in our community kind of helping us. But Trevor did build the whole thing start to finish, plumbing, electric, fabrication, right down to the cabinetry and painting. Took him five months. He started in October and we finished the first week in or second week in March.
Ethan Waldman 14:53
Nice. Of this year?
Yes. So October 2021. And then march 2022.
Yeah, it was The end of October.
Ethan Waldman 15:02
And so is this I flipped through the your Insta story the Wazi 2 build that shows some of the progress. So it looks like you basically fabricated a metal box, chassis even for it and then built it out. Can you talk about, you know, you don't have to get too technical, but like, what are the walls made of? How is it insulated? You know, what is what is this box that you live in?
Yeah. So I just went off of the first build. The first build I, my thought was the LMTVs are already top heavy. If I build a box on the back of this thing, and we're off roading, and we tip over, we're all gonna die. It's just, it's just getting roll andcrush, you know, it's just horrible. So I built a steel box, fully reinforced C channel on every angle, alot of Apex scene in that, and subframe. And everything in that whole rig was that whole setup, excuse me was at an articulation point center, so that I had two hardpoints in the rear, it was able to flex both the subframe and the frame of the truck separately, so that we didn't have any worry of torsion and breaking welds or breaking bolts. This truck I did the exact same thing. The subframe on this one is not an internal or hidden sub frame, it's outside the actual box, so the box itself is welded to it. And that subframe sits on the original truck brain. So gives us a little bit more height on on the underneath. But with that all of our tanks are on the inside this time, so I didn't have to worry about that height issue. So we are still at 12 foot two inches total tall, which is important because we didn't want to go bridges under bridges and get stuck. But anyways, you went back. So this whole thing is all steel, the walls are all steel, it's all C channel. The insulation is three inch closed cell foam with vapor barrier, I added vapor barrier on the inside, and then all the walls caulked and sealed. So hopefully it's an HVAC tech dream.
The plan is to take it to Alaska. We want to spend a couple of months in Banff and then go out to Alaska, which was part of the reason why we built the original build, like Trevor just said all of the pipes and water tanker inside on this one, whereas in the last one, they were on the outside to create more space. But anytime we were in extreme temperatures, particularly cold temperatures, the pipes would freeze and it was like a total nightmare to try to warm them back up and use water. So we wanted to make sure this one was total expedition Alaska ready. So that was kind of one of the main priorities why we sold the last one and built this one.
Ethan Waldman 17:48
that's awesome. And so speaking of cold climates, how, how are you heating this space? Although it sounds like right now you maybe aren't using the heat because you're in a warm place, maybe but
it's hot in Texas right now.
So we've got two options. We have mini split HVAC that's powered by 18 150 watts of solar. Okay, so we haven't had any issues whatsoever yet. We've seen a couple 14 degree nights. And we didn't even other than opening the door. You know, we're good. But if we want to get romantic,
my favorite feature,
we can use the hardwood stove that I made out of a really old propane tank that was for like 60s or 70s forklift,
It's so cute. I mean, it's badass, but it's cute.
So we can use that either or, sometimes we're using both sometimes. Usually when we use the hardwood stove though, if that thing burns more than 15 minutes, both Louis or English bulldog and Rae are both complaining as to how hot it is. So when we open all the windows, everybody freezes and I'm like, why don't I light the fire?
We're all allergic to pizza. The propane tank fire thing is probably the coolest feature. I mean, he built everything with his hands. But that one's probably my favorite. It was like this grungy propane tank and I was totally unsure about it. And he just cleaned the whole thing out and yeah, made it look very cool.
Ethan Waldman 19:14
I'll make sure to put a post a photo of it on the on the show notes.
Yes, you definitely have to follow it's got like a little glass piece so you can even see the flame which was my request and I love it. It's very romantic.
Ethan Waldman 19:25
Awesome. Yeah, I mean, you've got to see the flame because that really that that's what makes the wood stove romantic. You don't get that nice flicker.
Yes and like the mental aspect I can I feel like I'm getting warmer because I can see the fire.
Ethan Waldman 19:39
So how do you decide - it sounds like Alaska is a goal for you. But, you know, how do you decide where to travel and like how far are you traveling in in a in a day or a week or a month? You're you know, just kind of give give us a sense of like what your your lifestyle is like?
Well, so we've got really, again, that whole like us being slightly different societal?
Ethan Waldman 20:04
Just the other day, we were driving through Tennessee, and a guy who had been apparently following the build, you know, messaged us and was just like, "Hey, you know, do you like long distance shooting?" I was like, "Well, I mean, I don't know. Sure." Like, he was like, "Well, I got a competition. It's like nothing but professionals, do you want to come out? And shoot?" I was like, "You? Do you want?" like, I was so confused. Because, one, I mean, I haven't done that kind of stuff. And to you want me to go and compete against professionals like, this is gonna be nuts. But hey, let's try it. You know, we're so open to new experiences. And so we ended up hanging out in Tennessee for four more days that we wanted to, we ended up staying at an alpaca farm that just happened to be really close to the shooting range. And then we got to shoot with all these professional people. And I mean, everybody was so nice. And so cool. We just had a blast.
Every day is different on the road. And part of our mentality is just to say, yes. So that's one thing that we actually love about social media is it gives you this huge community all over, not just the country, the world. So anytime we go through a state and somebody that's following us, so that we follow will like reach out to say, ""Hey, do you want to park here, you want to do this really cool thing. We're actually headed to Houston this weekend to potentially, you know, fly in some guy's private plane." So that just reached out to like, so every day is different. And the best part about the lifestyle is that you get to just say yes. And kind of go wherever the road takes you.
Ethan Waldman 21:37
Very cool. Yeah.
So we don't have a plan, to answer your question.
Ethan Waldman 21:42
There was no plan, you just kind of follow the you just follow where the experience takes you.
Yeah, like we've done a couple of like festivals that we keep our eye on. And, you know, people we want to meet up with. My sister's getting married in Moab in May. So we're going to be in Moab in May, and then we'll be back on the East Coast for another friend's wedding in Florida. But you know, other than things like that, we're just sort of flying by the seat of our pants.
Ethan Waldman 22:05
Ethan Waldman 22:08
Driving by the seat of your pants. How when you do kind of go off road, and you're presumably away from stores and food and supplies? How long can you kind of be out boondocking or be out away from civilization in your rig?
We spent almost a month I think in the Sedona desert in 2019 off the grid. Just living off like solar panels, the groceries that we had, and everything. So we probably could have gone a little bit longer, we had a 90 gallon water tank. And that if we're, you know, conservative with that we can last, you know, at least a month. For sure. Since we've done that. But I don't know.
I mean, I think one of the bigger issues for us is this. One thing about that we're trying to be healthier. You know, so like no fast food, try to eat as little food that's has preservatives in it all that kind of stuff. Just trying, you know, obviously in a lot of situations is not possible. But that's that's a big issue when it when it comes to longevity, because fresh food, food that doesn't need to be refrigerated, all that kind of stuff is those crazy bad for you foods. You know, they're also the foods that you can just sit in the pantry and let them sit up there for two years and open them up. They're so perfect.
And you're also very limited on space, obviously. So our refrigerator is a fraction of what normal person's refrigerator would be. So you have to be super thoughtful in everything you do. That's one of the things I love about the lifestyle. But it's also one of the frustrating things about it is everything, including grocery shopping, and cooking and all those things have to be so intentional. Because if food goes bad, it's frustrating because it just took up all this space and money obviously, but it's you know, you just have to be very intentional. So it is kind of tough, eating healthy and living healthy. Like Trevor said, because everything goes bad so much quicker. And then you have to face
Yeah, if we didn't have to worry about food. If we're just fine with you know, canned soup and ramen noodles. I mean, we don't need to collect to or connect to any kind of electrical source. We have a backup generator with us at all times if we needed it. compost toilet, compost toilet. And then if I can get near a water source I even have you know, drop-in sump pump. I can pump into our tanks. We have multiple filters for everything.
We're very self sufficient if we need to be
Ethan Waldman 24:41
Yeah. Doomsday world.
Apocalypse, you want to be on our team?
Ethan Waldman 24:47
Yeah, no, I'm joining your team for the zombie apocolypse. Just let me know when it's coming.
Yeah, yeah, we'll keep an eye out.
I mean, I did work on The Walking Dead but they didn't really tell me.
Well, we were in Texas, there's been a lot of UFO sightings out
I'm all about the UFOs.
Ethan Waldman 25:05
So, you have a dog that travels with you, Louis. Tell us about Louis.
You can maybe hear him snoring in the background ever so faintly. I don't know if you've ever had an experience with English bulldogs, but they have the most personality. We've worked in a lot of shelters. We both owned numerous breeds of dogs. And I would say that Luis, correct me if I'm wrong has the most personality of all the dogs that I've ever been around.
I would. I don't know if he's got the most personality. He's definitely got the most spice.
Yeah, he's very sassy.
He's a dick. I love that dog, man. But if he doesn't want to do something, he ain't gonna do it.
He's also aservice dog, so he goes with me everywhere.
Ethan Waldman 25:52
Which is pretty great. Great road-life dog. Just sleeps, does whatever you ever were doing. You're sleeping. He's sleeping or playing to play. He just kind of reads the room.
Ethan Waldman 26:03
Yep. Well, so I actually, I adopted a basset hound about a year ago named parsnip. And he's also super sleepy and really stubborn. So I think Louis and parsnip would be friends. Or they would they would nap together.
Parsnip! That's such a cool name.
Ethan Waldman 26:25
Usually, he's usually like, right behind me sleeping on this couch. But I think he's out for a walk with my wife.
Yay. I would love to see him.
Ethan Waldman 26:35
Yeah. So that's, that's interesting, because it's like, I know a lot of people here in Vermont are like, and I'm into it to like backcountry skiing and like various mountain adventuring. And like, a lot of people pick a dog that like can go back country skiing with them like a husky or like German or retriever or something that can like run through the woods for miles and miles. And I kind of was like, I would rather have a dog that just sleep is just really chill. And then you'll just be there when I get home.
You totally get it. I don't really like all the ruckus of a husky in 127 square feet. Just going back to the like, five hours a day. We're driving Louis just sleeps the whole time. It's
Ethan Waldman 27:18
awesome. Way less than that's like the Have you ever met like a rescue greyhounds. They're super docile. And you think of them as like, being you know, they're greyhounds. They're super fast, and they run but they like, they run really, really fast for like eight minutes, and then sleep the rest of the time.
Louis to a "t". 5 minutes of playtime a day. I mean, he literally has been sleeping all day. And now he's sleeping more.
Well. Okay, to be fair, we took him for a lap around the grocery store.
Really took it out of him.
So now he's done for 2 days.
Ethan Waldman 27:53
Yeah, that can be very tiring. So 100 - How many square feet did you say? 120?
Ethan Waldman 28:02
127. So that's a that's a very small space. Certainly smaller than then most tiny houses on wheels now. Do you have
It's bigger than a van.
Ethan Waldman 28:15
It's bigger than a van. It's true. And you can stand up inside of it, which which is very nice. Your bed is on some kind of lift system?
So that was the last bill.
Ethan Waldman 28:26
We had the whole thing. It was on a hand crank. She wanted and I'm not trying to throw her under the bus.
Just do it. Throw me right on under the bus.
She wanted an area to entertain. And, and I I'm gonna say that again. In 127 square feet. She had to have an entertaining space
Listen, you have to learn the life. I didn't know that you had to give up like dinner parties when you move into a tiny house.
So eventually, you know, we realize that like people want to come in and check it out and we'll go into their house check theirs out then we'll hang out outside.
Ethan Waldman 29:01
So after a while, we realized cranking the bed up and cranking it down was just a pain in the butt. So we completely deleted the crank system and became storage underneath. And on this build, underneath I have the electrical cabinet because we have 600 amp hour batteries. We got a transformer, converter, charger, all that kind of stuff that controls our electrical system. And then we have our 75 gallon freshwater tank, our filter, our pump and hot water heater. That's all under the bed.
Yeah, the beds permanently in place. For anybody listening who's doing a belt. I do not recommend doing a bed. If you have the money for one of those like push button beds goes up and down more power to you.
The HappiJacs. But cranking your bed up down every day is very annoying, because it's something I always tell everyone if you can't access an everyday item within five seconds. It's going to irritate the crap out of you in this lifestyle. Yeah, that is something you use every day. You just need to be able to have access to it or it's gonna drive you nuts.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You know, I feel the same way. Even in my tiny house with the loft, being up a ladder. Just climbing up that ladder is gets annoying, because it kind of slows you down. And that's where that's where we stored our clothes.
Ethan Waldman 30:27
Yeah, yeah. So
I have a couple more questions for you. You posted a recent post on it on Instagram. It's a video that says compost versus black tank. And you've already mentioned that, you know, your current build has a compost toilet. Did the first build have a black tank?
I'm very passionate about this question, Ethan, so I'm so glad you asked.
Ethan Waldman 30:55
Let's talk about poop.
So the first - before Trevor has the chance to throw me under the bus again.
Ethan Waldman 31:00
Yeah. Throw him under the bus!
We need we need a compost toilet. Right. And I'm like, "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard in my life. Don't talk to me about poop in general."
All right, I'm gonna jump in here. Let me jump in here real quick. So, so I did research for over a year. And originally, before I even met Ray, I was going to convert my pickup because I was racing in the national enduro series to hold two motorcycles in the back, and then a pop up tent on top with a little refrigerator and that was about it, and researched the crap out of that. And then I got hired to build a school bus. I researched the crap out of that. And then I met Rae and years later, we end up deciding to do it ourselves. So I'm researching like, crazy.
Crazy researcher. So he's, "Listen, I've done the research, and I'm telling you, the compost toilet is totally the way to go." And like, "That's the most disgusting thing ever. I'm not turning my poop in dirt. Like, no, we're not doing it." So. So instead, to appease me, I was like, we need to have regular flush. To appease me, we did the black tank, flush toilet on the first build.
Ethan Waldman 32:05
Probably the most disgusting thing ever. I cannot stress this enough to people listening. Do not do a flush toilet. It's way grosser than a compost toilet when it is time to dump. You cannot get to a dump station fast enough, then you're waiting in line with a bunch of other people that are dumping their crap. People mess up all the time at dump stations. So there's inevitably all kinds of like, depending on where you're at how nice the area you're at. That's usually a disgusting situation. Not that I ever did it. I
I was gonna say how many times did you have to dump the black tank?
Every time I'll be honest, it was just really gross. Every time we would do anything, I wanted a compost toilet. Anyway. It's fine. We evolved as humans, this go around, it was not even a conversation we did the compost toilet, I will never look back. It is so easy. As soon as you need to get rid of your pee, you can just like lift up a little pew jog dump and anywhere that is suitable for the environment. Be kind to the Earth, everyone. The dirt area where you know what goes is only needs to be changed out like what is that like three to six weeks depending on how much you use that three to six weeks. And there's like an electric fan. So it just pulls all of this now every time so there's never been a smell not even you're going to out there. There's never a smell it's so much less gross. There's no stress of trying to find a dump station. You just - it's great.
And she's actually cleaned it herself this time.
I'm doing it myself, everyone I this is - I've evolved.
It's so nice.
Yeah, compost all day every day. I don't know why we don't have them in regular household to be honest. But the other thing that's so nice about it is that you're saving so much water because you have to conserve water when you live in this lifestyle as anybody who's done it knows. So the amount of water that we're just saving personally is amazing. Nevermind what you're doing for the environment. So compost every day. Nature's Head should sponsor us. If you're listening, Nature's Head.
Ethan Waldman 34:10
And they should sponsor my show too. So Nature's Head, sponsor both of us.
Nature's Head, call us.
Wait, wait, wait, but until you do, you suck. Sponsor us, and we'll change our minds.
Ethan Waldman 34:12
So when your Nature's Head is full and you're out in the you know, you're out camping or you're out in the wilderness you can just you can just dump it into the woods, essentially.
Yeah, we I mean you treat it like you would you know actually going into the bathroom so you dig a little bit of a hole,
Ethan Waldman 34:40
make sure there's there's no you know, residual like paper that didn't dissolve or that kind of stuff, but we don't actually put paper in the toilet anyways.
Ethan Waldman 34:48
If we're, if we're in a town or something like that, or you just put it into a grocery paper grocery bag.
Ethan Waldman 34:55
you know, and that can go right into a dumpster or something like that. I mean, after I can't remember what it was after like five or six days. You know, it's completely gone. It's broken down so much that it's just dirt. Yeah.
I listen, I'm not a gross person. I just feel like people listening really need to understand that I'm, this is not gross. I wouldn't do it I promise.
Ethan Waldman 35:19
Yeah, I mean that's it's it's a big thing for the tiny house lifestyle of using that composting toilet and I think that's something that a lot of people are afraid of before they do it. And then most people are like you, they become, you know, not just tolerant. But But fans fans have it.
Ethan Waldman 35:41
Do you? So, Ray, you mentioned that your favorite feature is the fireplace. Trevor, do you have a favorite feature of your current build?
I'm a guy, let's just straight up be honest. I'm a guy I was. I was a kid. And the only thing that happens to men when they grow up is they get a bigger wallet. Let's be honest.
Hopefully, if you're doing it right.
Yeah, that's about it. So being a guy, you know, I was a kid I loved big trucks. I liked looking at things that really got were cool. They got my imagination going. That's what this truck does. That's what the old truck did when I look at it. You know, when I'm walking up to it or something like that, like it looks cool. You know, the off roading lights up front, the big bumper I built up front, the fact that we've got big honkin knobby tires, the whole thing right now.
I would say the look of it is like it did like a custom bumper that. So we have an agreement that the outside is Trevor's domain. And the inside is my domain. So I got to decorate and do the look on the inside. Can't say anything about it. And then vice versa, the outside. So the bumper on the outside.
That's funny, you still say things about the outside all the time.
Okay I have opinions, that's true. But the bumper on the outside is totally badass looking. I would say more people ask about the bumper than other things on the outside. So if I was going to help you pick what your favorite is, I would say either that like Safari lights or the bumper.
Ethan Waldman 37:11
Just the whole look of it.
Just the whole look.
Yeah, that's my favorite part.
Ethan Waldman 37:16
Nice. So you feel you just you're inspired by by your home, which is awesome.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
And can't tell what it is. And so so many people ask what it is. Somebody the other day asked us if it was a like an off road, taco truck or something. But if they asked,
They asked if it was a food truck.
No, but what did they say in front of it? They were like a zombie apocalypse food truck or something. And then somebody else asked if were like a paper shredding company. That was weird. Yeah. And then other people have asked like if we're like, like, specialized construction. You can't tell what it is from the outside.
Oh, no. So there was there's these big black trucks that go everywhere. Like that tear up trees that have been blown over, you know, and storms and stuff like that. It's usually for the highways. And there are these they're, you know, 18 wheelers that have a big box on the back to put all this debris in. They're all black. And I don't know why because that's hot for them. But they're everywhere. And so like that. That's definitely something we've been asked about. Yeah. Or SWAT or military.
Yeah. The first one that we did on the LMTV, Trevor was working on the set of The Walking Dead and one of the directors for an episode was trying really hard to get the truck in the background of an episode just because it looked so ridiculous. And zombie apocalypse.
Instead, they went with a much newer LMTV, but that's fine.
Ethan Waldman 38:43
What year was that original LMTV?
It was in 1998
Ethan Waldman 38:47
Ethan Waldman 38:50
And then you kind of talked about this earlier, just like you couldn't just bring it to...
Why did you say wow like it's old?
Ethan Waldman 38:57
Why did I say wow?
Yeah, I'm a 90s. Kid. I mean, like, why are you aging us?
Ethan Waldman 39:03
Well, I am. I am an eight. I was born in the 80s. But I'm just that it's it's hard to keep a vehicle for that long and have it be in good working condition. That's the only reason I said wow.
Yeah, well we totally upgraded this one because it's a 2008.
Sure. And, and to kind of get with that a little bit. There is a big difference between light duty vehicles. So like that ambulance you were talking about?
Ethan Waldman 39:33
I'm sure it's a great vehicle, but depending on its age, you would have to go into the motor and tear it up a little bit. New seals, new valves, new injectors, whatever you even I don't even know if it's diesel. Whereas the heavier duty ones, you know, yeah, they cost a little bit more. Yeah, they're gonna eat up a little bit more of your time, mechanically and stuff like that. But the, the motors are built with 500,000 to a million miles potential, whereas most other vehicles on the smaller duty, you know, are built 150,000 or 200,000 miles.
Ethan Waldman 40:08
And so, you know, with that it's like we I considered all that I did a lot of research on the 3116 cap motor that was in the original LMTV. Ironically enough, this one's a 3127 motor, the C seven, so it's still a caterpillar. So I understand the majority of it, which makes it easier every time we've got an issue as long as I can source a part, I can fix it in no time. But yeah, as long as you're taking care of it, making sure your oil is always clean, you know, your air filters are always replaced and change your you know, fuel filters, all that kind of stuff. Keep her running and she'll keep going forever. There's a reason why, you know, farmers are still using the same trucks they got in 1960 to work on their farm, you know, it's bigger, the longer they last. Yes, thanks, man. Da, Mo the electrical system on that truck.
Ethan Waldman 41:00
It sounds like the electrical system also came from 1998 in all the bad senses of the word.
Oh, yeah. Well, just just remember, military when everybody says like, "Oh, you know, it's, it's military grade." Like, okay, I mean, that's cool. Don't get me wrong, but military graders was the lowest bidder who came in, and try to undercut everything to give you the cheapest product with the cheapest material, because nobody cares. Think about it this way. The military and the prisons both feed people the lowest possible grade food they can get away with which a lot of times on the case it says "not for human consumption." Yes, there's a reason you are owned by your government at that time. And I've been working with military people my entire life. I've worked with law enforcement people in so many different ways. And I love all of them. But every one of them will tell you the same thing. Like yeah, military grade, I avoid that shit left and right.
Yeah, sure. There were a couple of breakdowns where I was like, "What do people do when this happens during a war?"
They do a really cool toe press.
During a war?
Ethan Waldman 42:16
Sure. So I've been enjoying following you guys on Instagram. And you actually I think it's your latest post you there. They're very philosophical. The captions. You wrote, "When you're a nomad, time strangely doesn't exist. I've come to realize that our perception of time is almost entirely made up of the schedules we keep with other people around us." Can you elaborate on that? And say, say a little bit more about what you mean, there?
Is a great topic. How deep you want to go? How long is this podcast?
I use? I think
Ethan Waldman 42:54
I usually keep that the interviews to around an hour.
Alright, so I've got like at least two weeks worth of theoretical physics, string theory, superstring theory, holographic theory. I'm a big fan of what's next. I'm a big fan of just getting my head in and not understanding what my, my fellow people understand. But really, what's above us, what's the purpose? what's the, what's the next goal. And so, I mean, going all the way back to like, you know, Bohr and Einstein, and, you know, all those guys, obviously, almost 100 years ago now, and the different understandings they have and the different, you know, physical things that we're starting to learn that are actually true. And they keep getting more and more intense. And that's exciting. And with that, we slowly have been understanding that time itself isn't a relevant concept unless you have to do with what's important about when the sun goes up, or when the sun goes down, or what's important about aging, like all those things, are the only reason why we really have to deal with time. Other than get up and go to work by nine, you can come home at five, make sure you put in 49 weeks worth of work for every 52 You know, things like that just just blow my mind. So me constantly regurgitating and not have anybody else to talk to I dump on Rae. So that starts the concept of how time is irrelevant. And that gravity bends time and all that kind of jazz. And then she slowly digests it, and then comes up with different understanding, understandings and different things. And one of the things she comes up with is, is incredibly like intelligent. Why do we have to look at life as I have to do this by this age? And this by that age and Dadadadadadada dadadadadada. Yet, everybody we know who's incredibly successful says,"Hey, here's the playbook. Throw it away. Do something unique. Do something original. Get away from that constant understanding of 'we have to do it this way'". And then all of a sudden, time kind of dissolves a little bit.
Yeah, I think for me, the one of the romance parts of road life is this idea that time is sort of irrelevant when you choose this lifestyle. Because in that post, I also wrote about how living the lifestyle full time is not like camping. And I think there's a giant misconception that, you know, people that live out their van or school buses or, you know, whatever your vehicle is, are just on this long term camping trip, where you're just making fires every night and cooking s'mores and meeting with people. But it's actually so much more involved than that, it's, there's a lot of hardship that goes into the lifestyle, there's a lot of unknowns, you're really trading, the hustle and bustle stress life of your normal routine for this totally different type of stress. And it's a stress of just really being aware of yourself all the time and your surroundings and really being patient with whatever life throws at you. Because every day on the road is different. But you've kind of come to this realization that time, so to speak, like Trevor was saying, really only exist in this space of our brain where we're measuring time by the schedules that we're keeping in our normal day to day routine. Whereas when you live on the road, you don't have a normal day to day routine. So there is no schedule to keep. So time just sort of becomes irrelevant. And so you stop keeping track of it. And it stops mattering as much, which is one of the best. Yeah, it's one of the best parts of the lifestyle because you just kind of listen to your body almost like Trevor's saying, I don't, you know, in your normal day routine, it's like you have your lunch break, you all sit down to dinner, you wake up the next morning for your 9am meeting there's, you know, a rhythm that you have to have. But with this lifestyle you take the time to listen to your body. And, you know, you asked us that in the beginning when we were doing a soundcheck, you know, what did you eat for breakfast? Well, today when I woke up, you know, I wasn't hungry, and I didn't need breakfast, but around, you know, three o'clock today. We were hungry. And so we ended up making a big lunch slash breakfast, then it so you just kind of time just doesn't matter.
Ethan Waldman 47:18
I love it. I feel like that's probably a pretty good place to leave it. Maybe you could just before we go. Tell us Is there anything that you're working on or anything that you that you want to kind of get out there and share with the listeners?
I mean, if we want to share anything with everyone, Trevor's, you know, in the middle of something that we are really looking forward to with this lifestyle is the ability to kind of slow down and focus on passion projects. So this time is allowing one of the main reasons why we're so anxious to get on the road this time is allowing for Trevor to finish writing his movie script. I'm working on a book right now. So yeah, I'm, I would just like love to share those things with everybody. And also I just love this community that comes with tiny living and living on the road. So I'm always looking for people to like reach out and introduce themselves so that we can connect with them. So I mean, if I could ask for anything from this podcast, it would just be that people would definitely reach out to us and, you know, introduce themselves camp together.
Ethan Waldman 48:25
Let's do life together.
Ethan Waldman 48:28
Well, Trevor and Rae of Wazimu Life, thank you so much for being guests today. This was really fun.
It was, thank you.
Thank you so much for having us.
Ethan Waldman 48:39
Thank you so much to Rae and Trevor of Wazimu Life for being guests on the show today. You can find the show notes and lots of pictures of both of their rigs at thetinyhouse.net/209 Again, that's the tinyhouse.net/209 Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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