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Tiny House Nation!


coachmac9

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Anybody else seen this series on FYI network?? They do some insane stuff with very, very small houses. Most are under 400 sq. ft!!...the neat thing is that some of the things they come up with that work in 200-300 square ft houses can also work in RV's...we have gotten several ideas already from the show...you can google it and see some of the guys handywork and some of the houses they have built.

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I actually became interested in Tiny Houses before I was interested in RV'ing. I agree there are some great ideas that originate in tiny houses, but translate well to RV'ing - Particularly in the custom furniture and kitchen areas.

 

The idea of a portable tiny house is just too good to pass up, which is why my family is looking to begin fulltiming within the next two years.

 

Shep

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The price of Tiny Houses is not tiny.

It can be. It depends on how good you are at salvage and DYI. You do not have to contract with Tumbleweed to build a tiny house although they were first in the commercial market thus have the most experience. Still lots of people are building tiny houses very cheaply. But their value to most of us is learning storage tips & tricks and exploring gadgets that translate well between tiny houses and RVs.

 

Linda Sand

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Love the concept. Going full-time means we are all tiny house nation members. We went from worrying how hard it would be to live our lives in less than 300sq. ft to wondering what we needed 1600+sq. ft for. When we finally go back to a fixed location I think 800+ would feel like a McMansion. And don't get me started on " Epic Log Homes ". Ugh.

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When we finally go back to a fixed location I think 800+ would feel like a McMansion. And don't get me started on " Epic Log Homes ". Ugh.

After nearly 12 years fulltime, we live in an RV based community of homes that have a maximum size of 900 sq. ft. We find that it is not only all that we need, but it is also all that we really want now. It is worth noting that the 900 does not include the RV port, storage, or workshop space. Having just last night arrived back at home-base after spending 5 months in our 160 sq. ft. RV, we wonder if we will get lost in here!

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Like so many senior RVers we are also planning a downsize from our 2500 sq. foot waterfront lot (and lose the dock where my fishing boat lives - SOB) to a 600 sq. foot apartment adjacent to (and in the same building) as our shop and storage building. Our 36' DP already lives there with 50-amp service but we are going through some hassle with the local City authorities about building permits.

 

Once that is ironed out we'll finish the apartment and sell the lake house. There are launch ramps nearby for fishing but my days of simply walking 50' to the dock and untying the boat will be over. Small price to pay for losing a big chunk of cash every month for a house payment plus taxes, power, water, garbage, etc.

 

Since we spent 5 years on a 32' sailboat with far less than 600 sq. feet of space we are pretty sure we'll survive. Plus we also have the DP to stay in if the house sells before the apartment is done.

 

Tiny Houses do have one serious problem. Even in Portland, OR - touted as "tiny house friendly" - it turns out that tiny houses are really not welcomed in the neighborhoods unless they are placed adjacent to already-built regular houses; or Sticks'n'Bricks as RVers call them. Even the young lady living on Whidbey Island has moved back to Portland and has her tiny hous for sale (according to her blog). And the guy who put the yurt up and then wrote an article about it for the web site is possibly flirting with eviction after admintting that he lives in his.

 

We love the idea of a tiny house or yurt for living but municipal authorities in many places - often the places you'd most likely want to live in one - are not impressed with the idea. And neighbors are often motivated to turn in scofflaws on the theory that their property values are affected negatively by yurts or tiny houses.

 

So we have stored our yurt and will try to figure out a better way. One lot on Whidbey Island is for sale, BTW. :P

 

WDR

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been watching Tiny House Nation for the past few weeks, ever since I became aware of it here. It is a typical TV show that uses its literary license to create a story. For example, every show portrays folks why have begun the construction of their tiny house, and the team swoops in to finish the job. There is always some tight deadline, usually a week or so, before the construction needs to be finished. However, if you watch the progress carefully and understand what it really takes to do some of the things, it is obvious that this is all just story line and not reality.

 

There are two types of tiny homes being built. One is the homes built on permanent foundations and not intended to move. These usually employ normal utility connections, although they sometimes include solar for power. I have no doubt that these homes can work well for their intended purpose, as most of them are in the 400 to 800 square foot size range. This makes perfect sense to me. I could see myself living in one of these.

 

The other type is tiny homes being built on trailer decks and intended to be mobile. Most of the users are folks who travel for work and want to be able to take their house with them. This is the group that makes no sense to me. If you want a home you can travel in why not just purchase an RV that has already perfected the format? The show spends zero time describing or explaining the utility infrastructure of these builds, but it is obvious that there are no holding or fresh water tanks. I have never seen any propane tanks nor places to keep them. The story line usually includes hauling the completed tiny house to some relatives farm and setting it up in an open field. What do they do for power, water and waste disposal? Yes, some use composting toilets but they're still going to have waste water.

 

A couple homes have even included tubs in the design. How are they going to heat enough water to make them practical? Perhaps a demand water heater, but these kinds of questions are never discussed.

 

And what about the weight of these completed homes? Based on what I see going into them and the construction methods used, I'm betting that these are very heavy when completed. Has anyone thought about the running gear? What are they going to use to pull it, and better yet stop it? And the shape of these things are line parachutes. Fuel economy will be abysmal.

 

I'd really like to see a program where real information is discussed instead of just following some silly story line that always includes difficulty downsizing, a short build cycle necessitated by some imaginary deadline, placing the rig in some idyllic pasture somewhere, and total ignorance of what the completed rig is going to weigh and how the utilities are going to work. As I said, the tiny house movement makes sense to me when applied to fixed locations, but it just makes no sense when used in a mobile environment.

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I also thought the whole concept behind a "tiny" house on a trailer was kind of ridiculous in the first place...as was stated above...if you wanted a tiny house that you could move around with your job why not just buy an RV that already addresses most of the "problems" that the host overcomes. There are some good ideas and products that are used occasionly that might help RV'ers.

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I think part of the tiny house reasoning is that places that won't let you live in an RV might let you live in a "mother-in-law" apartment. OTH, I'm not sure a lot of tiny house builders are aware of how hard it is to find a place they can legally park that has the utilities they need. Most of them are not coming from an RV background so they don't understand the need for things like holding tanks or a septic system.

 

Linda Sand

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  • 11 months later...

I also watch "Tiny Houses", but I can not see spending $35-40K for one of these compared to buying a Travel trailer or 5th wheel.

 

At one time I lived in a 27 ft. travel trailer placed in a small RV park while I was divorced and the rent was cheap and it worked for me

at the time.

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I also watch "Tiny Houses", but I can not see spending $35-40K for one of these compared to buying a Travel trailer or 5th wheel.

 

At one time I lived in a 27 ft. travel trailer placed in a small RV park while I was divorced and the rent was cheap and it worked for me

at the time.

Phil, i agree the prices are a little out there, ive been half tempted to buy a prefabbed shipping container home a few times in the last few years after seeing one in person cut up and turned into an hunting lodge at a county fair, you can get finished prefabbed shipping container homes for under 30k now... seen some as low as 22k using the smaller 30ft containers

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