Exploring the Perfect Blend of Off-Grid Living and Modern Comfort
In the heart of Napa Valley, where vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, Rob Lloyd, sips a morning cup of coffee on the sundeck of his Living Vehicle perched atop a grassy knoll of his 160-acre winery estate.
Rob and his wife Bonnie found the perfect solution to their off-grid living dilemma where access was severely limited and local zoning restrictions untenable. They simply wanted a place to escape. To reconnect with nature and the place that feeds their passion and their purpose of creating some of Napa Valley’s finest wines.
A Grapevine's Tale: From Winemaking to Off-Grid Living
The Lloyds ventured into the wine business in 2008, establishing their winery on the picturesque landscapes of Northern California’s iconic wine-growing region. As their business flourished, they faced the challenge of setting up a residence on a remote hill with no access to electricity, water, or waste facilities. Traditional solutions fell short until they discovered Living Vehicle.
"When we looked at doing something like a tiny home, we'd still have to get solar, water, and power. Living Vehicle checked all the right boxes by providing off-grid living with a touch of luxury," said Rob recently.
Off-Grid Living in Style: The Features that Captivated the Lloyds
Living Vehicle's allure goes beyond its off-grid capabilities. “This living space accomplishes much more than just functionality,” he added. “It’s everything we need with three queen beds, a full kitchen, and sleeping capacity to comfortably accommodate six people.”
The real game-changer for the Lloyds was the off-grid features, particularly the composting toilet. "It allows us to put gray water and urine right over the side and compost any human waste. We don't need a septic system, which is pretty amazing," said Rob.
Their favorite space is the deck that opens up in seconds and offers a stunning view of the valley below. “What could be better than this?” he said with a friendly smile.
Connectivity in the Vineyards: Overcoming Remote Challenges
Being in a remote location, internet connectivity was a concern. It’s about 30 minutes back to our home and office, so they needed WiFi to stay connected. “We decided to go with a valley internet service,” pointing it to the 5G system located up on the nearby mountain. “Even in this remote setting, we have good enough internet to run everything."
Challenges Uphill: Moving the Living Vehicle to the Hilltop
Getting the Living Vehicle to its hilltop haven was no easy feat, but as a winegrower, he had just the tools for the job. “We hooked up a D8 tractor to the truck and pulled it right up! It was a bit nerve-wracking, but it's up here now,” he added. “And the thought of adding a newer LV model in the future is pretty exciting, too."
Beyond the Horizon: Upgrades and Service
Ever the dreamer and entrepreneur, Rob envisions LV’s enhanced power and water-generating features. “I appreciate the way Matthew and Joanna continue to evolve their capabilities. And who doesn’t like getting new toys?” he added.
"The service has been fantastic, too. We were in London, and the LV service team called us about a potential issue, and it turned out to be a simple wire replacement. The ability to monitor it remotely is pretty neat."
A Haven in the Hills: Permits, Mobility, and Lifestyle
Living Vehicle's mobility eliminates permit issues. Rob notes, "As long as it's movable, it's not a permanent structure. We still have to get down the hill, but if we ever wanted to take it somewhere, we can."
Our visit concluded with a glimpse into the Lloyds' life beyond winemaking. “When we need to get away, we come out here. It's peaceful, cool, and quiet – a great getaway."
As Living Vehicle continues to blend seamlessly into the lives of its owners, the story of Rob and Bonnie Lloyd stands as a testament to the ideal marriage of off-grid living and modern luxury.