He lived in a dumpster, then designed a slick plug-and-play prefab that got stuck in permitting purgatory, but now Jeff Wilson, AKA “Professor Dumpster,” has released an ultra-nimble modular shelter that he believes could circumvent permits and deploys in just an hour (solar, water and all). And, he’s offering them for free to anyone who will provide the land for rent (in exchange for splitting the rental income).
The Jupe units are fully off-grid and designed to ship flat-packed, enabling bulk deliveries of fifteen units on a single truck. “Arriving with all the essentials ‘in the box’—including a luxury queen mattress and bed, furniture, LED lighting, solar panels and backup batteries, and even the linens—Jupes assemble in a little over an hour and units are ready to rent the day they arrive,” explains Wilson.
Despite its canvas cladding Wilson calls it “more a device than a tent: Jupe’s units are built on an innovative “chassis” foundation that gives them the flexibility to move quickly and freely, adapt to any terrain, and oftentimes forgo the necessity of building permits.” This exoskeleton for housing allows for rapid assembly, and disassembly, requiring no foundation work, no platform, and no electrical utility drags, so “permits are rarely necessary”.
Wilson says it wouldn’t be hard to add SIPP panels or more conventional walls to make these adequate for longer-term living; currently they are ideal for not only short-term rentals, but as popup disaster relief shelter.
On the “Slow Coast” of California (north of Santa Cruz), Dr. Wallace Nichols lost his home to the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fires and decided a big box of a house no longer makes sense and instead chose to purchase six Jupes for his 20-acre property that not only went up fast but could be moved fast in the event of another fire.
Jupe popup shelter tests Freemium for housing relief & stays.
- Video on Kasita tiny prefab (Jeff’s previous endeavor).