“I like the unknown and taking chances. When I am older I want to tell my grandkids what I did. A lot of people don’t understand that. A lot of people don’t take chances. I am a wild person. I like to climb, dive, scuba, anything that takes a risk.”
Shane Rehman was born and raised in Tennessee, but he’s been so many other places since then: roustabout in Cold Foot, Alaska; bull rider in Hawaii; helicopter mechanic in the Marines. He served four Middle East deployments during eight years in the service; two in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. Now he lives in Denver and attends Ecotech Institute to become a learn how to service wind turbines.
Shane lives in a camper that he bought for $1200 that sits on the back of his $3300 1973 Ford pick-up. “Rent was $945 a month for my one bedroom apartment. I get $1700 a month from the military. The rent was too expensive. Besides, I have PTSD, and all the noise of living in a neighborhood bothered me.”
I met Shane in the lobby of Ecotech Institute. He spends much more time at the school than most students since he parks his camper in the back lot. He gave me a tour of his living space, which amounted to little more than ducking our heads into the hot metal camper on a sweltering summer afternoon. “I live out of the camper. I park it here during the day and at 24 Hour Fitness or Walmart at night. It sends a message to people.”
But Shane is vested in the camper’s potential more than its present. “I have lots to do to this camper. I want to paint an ocean scene on the ceiling. I want to add solar collectors to the roof and install a solar oven. I want to raise the counter and make more storage. I want to paint the outside with slogans like, ‘Living off the gird’ and ‘Be your own energy.’ Maybe I’ll put your question on there too.”
How will we live tomorrow?