Last fall I came in contact with Mariah Pastell, who at the time was in search of some vintage trailers to be borrowed for a museum opening exhibit in Vermont. In the process of my communication with her, I discovered she was also in the midst of restoring a 1960’s era Avalon travel trailer that she had purchased in the New York City area.
But her story goes a little farther than just a restoration job: It’s how she is restoring it. Mariah is heavily involved with with “tiny house” style of living, which are small houses that might be around 100 square feet that have most of the amenities needed to make it livable, such as this example from Trekker Trailers.
(photos courtesy Trekker Trailers)
Mariah’s Avalon, known as the COMET (Cost-effective, Off-grid Mobile Eco Trailer), isn’t your typical vintage camper. She’s designed it with sustainability in mind. From her website, ““Sustainability” (for lack of a better word) is about moving away from wasteful LINEAR systems towards more effective, efficient CYCLICAL systems. In my designs for the COMET, I diverted wastes back into the system wherever possible, to eliminate unwanted byproducts. Remember, nature produces NO WASTE.”
The COMET includes a solar shower, hand pump faucet, LED lighting, a waterless composting toilet, 555 watts of solar power, and a “bumper garden” that is watered from rainwater that is diverted from the roof of the COMET. Much of the material used in the COMET is re-purposed, but if new, she takes great strides to see that it is environmentally friendly.
(photos courtesy COMET Camper)
Mariah has a passion for having a small (if non-existent) carbon footprint. While most major RV manufacturers tout their units as being “green”, I think they’d have a lot to learn from someone like Mariah, just in her early 20’s.
For more in depth info about the COMET Camper and to follow her progress, check out Mariah’s website at http://cometcamper.com
And to find out more about living in small spaces, check out the Tiny House Blog at http://tinyhouseblog.com