Boxed in

4 12 2007

Simplifying life until it just fits into a box truck

By Lini S. Kadaba
“The 25-year-old middle-class suburbanite who says he doesn’t care for material consumption has a plan to live for free, or very little:

Set up house in a box truck.

In jeans and a used, 50-cent Wawa hoodie, Harne last week put the final touches on a secondhand, 17-foot U-Haul truck with 175,000 miles that he has recycled into a one-room domicile, complete with sink, easy chair and front porch.

He plans to call it home while he winters and works as a bicycle cabbie in Key West, Fla.

On Friday, Harne backed down the long driveway of his parents’ spacious Kennett Square home, where he’d been staying comfortably since summer, and headed south, stopping to pick up a driving companion he met on Craigslist.

“I’m trying to figure out the way to work the smallest amount possible,” he said last month between customers at his last gig, working for a junk hauler – an ideal job for someone who enjoys living off others’ castaways.

“Nobody has any free time. That’s not right. You need some free time. You need to do something you care about. Or nothing. You need to spend your time for yourself instead of somebody else.”

Hence the U-Haul. “That’s what the truck is all about,” he said. “If you live in a truck, you can drastically slash your bills and hopefully work a lot less.”

Harne, the younger child of public school teachers, has always had a thrifty gene and a hankering for adventure. He dreamed up the “truckhouse,” as he calls it, some time ago…”

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