Research for Tiny Home options

For many, including me, joining the Tiny Home movement is inspired by the desire to live the lifestyle of adventure combined with less financial commitments, less impact on the environment and more freedom to explore America. It’s been a long journey getting to this point where my 1800 sq. ft. home has been sold, many of my material possessions sold or given away, and becoming nomadic. We still haven’t decided exactly which Tiny Home we will make our next project/home. There are so many options! Since part of having an Adventure Attitude is ABC (Always Be Curious) and always be learning, I thought I would share with you some of the research I have done to consider the pros and cons for different Tiny Home options.

Tiny Houses

One option we are considering is buying a plot of land and building tiny houses on it. One would be our home base, from which we would explore this great country.

Search for Living Big, Tiny House to watch this great series! Below is a link too

https://youtu.be/SVlgklDKFaI

The RV Life

There are lots of vlogs, blogs and podcasts on living the tiny life. My first podcast I found that helped me learn about working while traveling is called The RV Entrepreneur. It was an interview on this podcast that led me to a YouTube channel that is extremely practical – The RV Geeks. These guys are like your wise dads telling you how to change a tire.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2EOriLgUuwQn-uCHl58m_Q

Skoolies (aka former school buses)

Skoolie of the future? Ha ha!

A Tiny Home expo was a great place to really get a feel for the different options. While there, I saw several different kinds of converted buses. One was a former Senior Center shuttle bus. Another was a short bus. Then there were several of the longer lengths. Astounding how those really felt as comfortable as some single bedroom or studio apartments. I also learned that one has to watch out for heights (my partner is 6′, and most interior bus heights are not always that tall.) I also really like the uniqueness of how each bus was converted. Like the other options, these rolling homes have their pluses and minuses.

A sampling of the different lengths
What size is a good size for us? Search for Rolling Vistas on YouTube for more, or click the link below for the one I like on bus length

https://youtu.be/BI7_E_-J0o0

These owners upcycled as often as possible. They found an old metal bowl for their sink!
A custom made butcher block counter with tons of storage underneath. The drying rack fits in the sink when they are on the road.
A queen size bed fits with room to spare!
Drumsticks as drawer pulls. Funky and practical.
Bathrooms are possible in rolling homes! Most often they include compostable toilets and tankless water heaters for showers.

#vanlife

Another category of rolling homes is vans. The most popular ones for conversions are the Sprinter vans as they have higher ceilings. Many people convert the vans themselves. However, buying already converted vans is becoming easier and more popular for many. We decided against this option for us, as it just felt too small and cramped. The only pro is that it can park just about anywhere, without people complaining. I actually saw one in the ritzy neighborhood near me parked on the street (my first clue was the extension cord running from the van to the big house!).

One way to test out if you’re interested in this option is to rent a camper van! At one of the Tiny Home or RV shows, I learned about a company called Escape Campervans. A few months later, a friend’s daughter DM’d me through Instagram (where you will find lots of accounts posting under #vanlife). She had recently rented on through this company to tour the coast of California! Catherine highly recommends them (she is fresh out of college, so a different perspective than mine).

Super high-end, luxury van made by Airstream and Mercedes cost about $130,000
A van converting company who will do the work for you. I stepped inside and it fell confining. They had a Yeti cooler as the fridge. This particular van will be used more for a moveable hotel room than a home.

Last summer I had a guest blogger write about her adventures in van life living. Allie, her hubbie and their dog travelled the U.S. in their van they called Clifford, the Big Red Van. Check out her story here: Clifford the Big Red Van – The Owen’s Adventure in Van Life Living

The Owens

The Trailer Option

Trailers come in all sorts of sizes and options, that there will most likely be something that appeals to you. The key benefit of trailers is that you have a separate vehicle for exploring an area once you park the trailer. This can be important if you want to see cities, have a quick trip to the grocery store, or just go down a little side road (that often are too tricky to maneuver in larger vehicles like RVs or buses). My favorite are the Airstreams, or “Silver Bullets.” Those can be pricey, but we have checked out older ones that we could renovate. It’s fun considering all the options!

There’s a company that rents out tiny homes! One way to test the concept to see if you like the lifestyle!
A grandmother and her dog travel around in this gypsy trailer!
A small 2-person Airstream. The retired couple have decided to sell it, and settle down in one spot.
We checked out these two shells that were used in Marvel movies. One was purposefully put on fire for a scene. They were asking around $4000 for each of them! (Not worth the investment needed to rehab, but it sure was fun checking them out!)
An RV dealer recommended this teardrop camper as what he thought our best option would be for traveling across America. Light and can be pulled by an SUV.
Standing in the tall part of the teardrop camper. The table, kitchen and bathroom are all right there. View from the bed that fits in the slope. Tiny living for sure!

Next steps

What are the benefits of doing research to follow your dream or passion? It helps bring clarity by showing what you do like and, importantly, what you don’t like. You get to meet new people and learn so many new things. For us, we know we want to build something that engages our creativity. As for some others, it’s the freedom of the road. For you, it might be just enough to inspire you to move out of your comfort zone and try something new – if you’ve never gone camping, renting a van may be your first step into that kind of adventure! Who knows? That’s the wonder of it all.

Easter Monday will be the first day of our “location independent” adventure. Being nomads will bring new challenges all sorts of fun escapades, all ending up in adventure. Our next steps will be to take a few weeks up in the Boston area. Then we start heading west, with a few pre-planned stops, to end in Oregon. There we have family to stay with while we decide which option will best suit us!

Update – We bought an Airstream

In the Fall of 2019, we bought a vintage Airstream! Here’s more on that: “Introducing Wednesday the Airstream Adventure Mobile” In fact, I’ll be having more updates as we go through the process of renovating her and other tiny home options. Check the new “Wednesday the Airstream” category for more!

If you don’t already, follow me on Instagram @adventurewednesdays for more adventure inspiration. We also started an account just for her: @wednesdaytheairstream

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Are you dreaming of tiny house adventures?  Start here.  I’ve worked at a tiny house builder, and am renovating a 1975 Airstream to be my home for my digital nomad life.

Your Adventure Mindset Mentor

Stacey Newman Weldon You need more fun & spontaneity in your life, and aren’t sure of next steps or the path to follow.  Let’s connect! You could choose a free 15 minute chat, various courses, or even select one-to-one coaching.

Learn more here:

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6 Comments

  1. Aunti Diane

    Happy Travels.
    Safe Travels.
    Inspired Travels.
    Adventures Await.
    xo xo

    Reply
  2. Wendy Correa

    Happy Adventuring! Can’t wait to hear all your stories!

    Reply
  3. Harlow

    The problem my brother has had with his school bus conversion is finding parts as it is constantly breaking down in inconvenient places. Add shipping, being stuck, and labor unfamiliar with that particular year of Bluebird bus… Plus is, the bus was cheap to buy and convert…

    Have you looked at Oliver travel trailers?

    Reply
    • Stacey Newman Weldon

      I’ve heard that about buses. Old RVs too. We will definitely check out the Oliver Travel Trailers. Thanks for the tip!

      Reply

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