Retired engineer builds transforming, Restoring a medieval tower house 2 days ago   31:04

Kirsten Dirksen
With two years and $20,000, retired winery engineer Dave Orton turned a Ford Transit into a completely off-grid van home that sleeps two, seats four, and includes a toilet, kitchen and indoor shower.

Adding 80/20 aluminum extrusions to a stripped down transit van, Orton built up a kitchen unit with two fold-out tables (one indoor, one outdoor) and bedroom/living room where all furniture can be removed to haul cargo. The toilet room converts into a shower.

Orton designed an electrical system that provides adequate power without the need for shore power or a generator to keep the house battery charged.

Comments 1025 Comments

Pat Orton
Do not live full time in the van. We have a nice house on 5 acres. Van is for traveling. Video was taken on the property.

Find it interesting that most of the negative comments are about the multipurpose shower enclosure. When you want a short van that can be parked in a normal city parking place then you have to make some compromises. That eliminates a normal shower. Hard to call what I built a shower but you can use it to get clean in an odd way. Much better than staying dirty but certainly not like a shower at home. Many concerned about the electrical on the side walls in the shower. Water simply does not get that high on the walls. The reason for washing hair when on knees and using a full flow (not spray) nozzle are to control the overspray. Almost no water gets out of the shower and onto the towel I place in front of the shower. Not for everyone but it works well for us.
Mike Hagarty
Awesome Van!
Loads of hard work!
Some great ideas!
Keep your smiles on!
Brandon Yong
this guy know his stuff. great build !
Louis Aloi
Only thing I'd do differently would be no shower.Would use campground,gyms or truck stop showers.Being a hairy&long haired man RV style showers just suck.Floor vent a great idea.👌
Sky Watcher
sir I think it's great! Just realize that people are really strange when it comes to comments. I've been using YouTube since day one and believe me no matter who, what, when ,where, why, and how they will find a way to be negitve. When I start my own show I'll be sure to disable comments. I'll use email or something like that. Good luck and thank you.
Joe Black
Better stealth camping would be a minivan.
Jake Vogt
“It’s not stealthy to put a curtain up in the front area of the van” - guy with solar on his van roof
Nomad Wizard
...source of solar water pump please.
timshel Leo
This guy really knows his stuff...
Jude L Davis
Wow, You are Brilliant...Love your well thought out design!!!
gooniesnever saydie
Very impressive indeed.
It’s not stealth. It has windows & clearly looks like a camper.
A stealth camper looks like a van & nothing else
Being born with an engineering mind is so worth it than being a bone head.
FirstPrinciple r
Great Documentary
The shower seems a tid bit impractical.
shampoo your hair in the toilet... j/k. nice van
Rather B Fishing
Nice for vacation!
Mike Hunt
everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road!
ricardo clemente
I shower everyday… so I need to take it all out just to take a shower?! and on the lateral you have electric equipment. Sorry, but this is too much "Lego" system for me...
Rondo Cat
A true "sleeper" :)
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Restoring a medieval tower house Retired engineer builds transforming, 2 days ago   28:50

In 1984 when Kostas Zouvelos and his fiancé saw a for sale sign on a crumbling early 19th-century fortified tower on Greece’s Mani Peninsula, they decided to buy it and choose later what to do with it.

Fortified towers are ubiquitous across Mani (Peloponnese) where a history of small - often just several family- settlements, or “xemonia” were built at key locations for self defense. The Maniots were never under Ottoman occupation like the rest of the country and they helped Greece gain independence in 1832. After the war homes and towers were abandoned in large numbers as the inhabitants of the peninsula emigrated to Athens.

Zouvelos and his wife Kassiani Theodorakakou spent eight years converting their collapsing tower into a three-room guest house. So intent on assuring that the building matched the environment, they changed the mortar color three times. To create the mortar, they used a traditional technique called kourasani, using lime, local soil, river sand, ceramic powder, and a small amount of cement.

Working with the building’s original footprint of 25 square meters per floor, the couple squeezed a kitchen/lobby on one and three bedrooms on the others, using space-saving features like an in-room shower, a carved-in-the-rock bed and a portable kitchen. They also created extra living spaces outdoors with a sun terrace, an infinity pool and a large patio with replanted 100-year-old olive trees.

On *faircompanies:

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