Week Four at the Spring 22 BYOV

Week 1 Video ~ Week 2 Video ~ Week 3 Video  ~ Week 4 Video

for the April 2022
Bring Your Own Vehicle (BYOV) Event

A New Build Program by
Homes On Wheels Alliance (HOWA)

Welcome to the information page for the BYOV Build Event for Spring 2022 in Pahrump, Nevada.  Plan to attend the Open House on Friday, April 29 from 1-3pm at Mail, Messages and More in Pahrump, NV.  Enter the guest parking area from Mesquite, just west of Leslie.

Applications to get a build were open to full-time Nomads who needed improvements on their current rig but couldn’t afford the supplies and materials, let alone the cost of labor to do those installations.  Applications were open from mid-February to mid-March.

Pahrump, NV

HOWA received 28 applications with 123 prioritized project requests.  Unfortunately, only 24 projects slots are available.  The BYOV Recipients were selected on the following criteria:

  1. In comparison with the other applicants, they had the highest financial need, i.e., lowest income,
  2. Their applications were fully completed with all information, photos, and documents, and
  3. They are currently full-time nomads living in a vehicle that really isn’t ready for dispersed camping.

In their application and interview, each of the 10 Recipients indicated which projects were their highest priorities, 45 in total.  HOWA will complete at least 24 of their highest-priority projects at the BYOV Event.

Meet the Recipients:

  • AIMEE lives out of a crossover SUV.  She needs a 100W solar power system to keep electric devices charged and to use small cooking appliances.  Due to one of the Recipients dropping out, Aimee was next on the list to get a floor and a bed.
  • CATHY, who has mobility challenges, gets a 200W solar power system for her medical equipment, small kitchen appliances.  And her van will also get a ceiling fan for ventilation and temperature control.
  • CHERYL has had to start completely over with a different van as her first one was a lemon. She gets a 200W solar power system and ceiling van for ventilation. Her bare metal walls and ceiling will be insulated.
  • CURTIS gets a 200W solar power system so that he has electricity enough to boondock in his Class C.
  • ELIZABETH has limited mobility, living in in her Chevy Astro minivan. She will get a 200W solar power system, ceiling fan, ceiling insulation, and a vinyl-covered plywood floor.
  • JEFFERY’s SUV has a very uneven floor; so, he gets a flat vinyl-covered floor.  He’ll also receive a 100W solar power system to charge devices used to earn income.
  • RICHARD C is a Veteran who camps in the PNW for work and health care. He currently sleeps reclining in his truck’s cab. His truck bed with a topper shell, will get a floor, insulation, a vent, platform bed, and a small 100W solar power system.
  • JIMMY, who travels with a service dog, gets a 100W solar power system for his SUV.
  • RYAN lost his job during the pandemic and stays in his older van where summers are hot. His van will get a 200W solar power system, a ceiling fan, with wall and ceiling insulation to make his summers more bearable.
  • TYLER was scheduled to get a bed and shelving in Week 3.  But, we found out at the last minute that he wouldn’t be able to make it.  So, another Recipient got her next priorities of a floor and a bed.

Some “Before” Photos of Recipients’ Rigs, Ready for Improvements

Aimee’s crossover has just enough room to add a portable 100W solar power system.  She will make more efficient use of the space with a floor and platform bed.

The ceiling of Cathy’s van where the fan will be installed.

Cheryl’s bare-metal walls and ceiling will be insulated.

Curtis says he has a place picked out for his 200W Solar Power System in his Class C.

Elizabeth’s van is ready for a plywood floor, finished ceiling insulation, a 200W solar system to power a ceiling fan.

Jeffery’s very uneven floor will have plywood on it to create a flat living surface.

Richard C’s truck bed an ready canvas for his home on wheels — insulation, ceiling vent, floor, bed, and 100W solar power system.

Jimmy will improve life in his rig with a 100W solar power system.

Ryan’s van is ready for wall and ceiling insulation, and ceiling fan, and a 200w solar power system to run the fan.

Tyler was scheduled for a platform bed and some shelving, but he was not able to make it.

Throughout the event we’ll post information about the Recipients and their experiences at the BYOV Event, along with some “After” photos.  Stay Tuned.

Expected Build Schedule by week:

Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four
  • Aimee — 100W Solar*
  • Cheryl — 200W Solar & Ceiling Fan
  • Curtis — 200W Solar
  • Jeffery — 100W Solar*
  • Richard C — 100W Solar*
  • Jimmy — 100W Solar*
  • Ryan — 200W Solar & Ceiling Fan
  • Cheryl — Walls & Ceiling Insulation
  • Jeffery — Floor
  • Richard C — Ceiling Vent
  • Ryan — Walls & Ceiling Insulation
  • Aimee — Floor & Platform Bed
  • Elizabeth — 200W Solar & Ceiling Fan
  • Richard C — Walls & Ceiling Insullation
  • Cathy — 200W Solar & Ceiling Fan
  • Elizabeth — Floor & Ceiling Insulation
  • Richard C — Floor & Platform Bed

*The 100W Solar Power System is a portable power station with a portable panel.  All four Recipients will get their systems together during the same build slot during Week One.

Descriptions of the Build Projects:

Volunteer & Recipient planning the build.  October 2019

  • Platform bed – unfinished ¾”-1″ plywood and lumber to fit inside the applicant’s vehicle
  • Shelving – unfinished plywood and lumber w/lip that fits inside the applicant’s vehicle
  • Solar power system with portable solar panels, two sizes to choose from —
    • 200W solar w/100ah battery, charge controller (w/monitor), 12v fuse block & receptacles, inverter, wiring, fuses, portable panels – best for full-size vans or larger — OR
    • 100W solar w/portable power system – best for minivans or smaller
  • Flooring — flat 1″-¾” plywood deck with vinyl flooring and edging at doors
  • Wall insulation (polyiso or EPS) with ¼” skin – most appropriate for full-size vans or larger
  • Ceiling insulation (polyiso or EPS) with ¼” skin – most appropriate for full-size vans or larger
  • Ceiling vent – may include fan if electrical power is available – most appropriate for full-size vans or larger

Each Build Project will take place over three-four days:

  1. Afternoon of Day One — Volunteer Build Teams meet their Recipients, confirm scope of project and assure that all supplies, materials, and tools are lined up for tomorrow.
  2. All Day on Day Two — After an 8am Safety Meeting, the skilled Volunteers work along side the Recipients to complete their build project.
  3. Morning of Day Three — Any loose ends are completed and Build Team & Recipient sign off that the project was completed per agreement.
  4. Friday afternoon — Pizza Lunch celebration and expressions of appreciation for that that week’s Volunteers, Recipients by HOWA.

BYOV Camp:

  • Each Week’s Recipients will camp together.
  • Volunteer Hosts will help the Recipients prepare for their build — empty and store the items in their rigs on tarps.  Hosts will watch over Recipients’ belongings.
  • Volunteers will also care for Recipients’ pets at the Camp while the build is taking place at the Build Site.
  • Evening campfires and camaraderie.

How Can YOU Participate in the BYOV?

  • If you are not already a Recipient or selected as a Volunteer, attend the Open House on Friday, April 29 from 1pm -3pm, at Mail, Messages and More in Pahrump, NV.  Enter the guest parking area from Mesquite, just west of Leslie.  You’ll get to meet the Recipients; see their completed builds; and meet our great HOWA Volunteers, Staff and Trustees.  Note: All Volunteer positions are filled.
  • For safety and liability reasons, the Build Site is closed to visitors until the Open House on April 29.  It’s a construction zone.
  • To keep the Recipients focused and on task, the BYOV Camp will be for the Recipients and BYOV Volunteers only.  Thank you for understanding.
  • Contribute toward Recipients’ Projects if able,  go to the Build Fundraising Campaign here.

If interested in reading what HOWA is doing with the regular Minivan Grant Program, then click here (once) to find out below this line.

As a non-profit 501(c)3, HOWA is dedicated to providing safe and secure homes on wheels to those in financial need. Since the Summer of 2019, HOWA has provided vehicles, mostly minivans, to those on the edge of homelessness. But, the world has changed since we started that effort. In 2019, we spent $3000 for that first minivan, today we are spending $7000+ for comparable minivans, if we can even find any at all in today’s used-car market.

So, HOWA’s Board of Trustees has taken a hard look to figure out if HOWA can use our scarce funds more effectively in order to serve more nomads in need. And, the answer is “Yes, we can!” And we are making those changes for our Spring Build Program in Pahrump, NV.

But, before I describe that change, I want to assure you that HOWA will continue our minivan build program as minivans in good condition are gifted to us. We want to continue to provide minivans as homes on wheels to those on the edge of homelessness. We are not abandoning the Minivan Build Program, rather we are adding to it in order to serve many more nomads in need. At this time, HOWA does not have any minivans to grant. However, we now have this new build program …

Sponsors and Supporters of the Spring 2022 BYOV Build Event

Looking east at Mt Charleston during sunset, BLM land in Pahrump, NV.