Many Tiny House RV owners share their itty bitty havens with a furry critter (or two). But do pets really like small spaces? What is it REALLY like sharing that space with your dog or cat? And, most importantly, how are they coping with less toys??
"Salies," the Tumbleweed dog that LOVES snow
Salies's favorite things are as follows: 1). Running in Snow, 2). Eating Snow, and 3). Rolling around in Snow. Salies's parents, Jenna and Guillaume, indulge her favorite activities, as long as she doesn't bring the snow inside their tiny retreat!
After a fun time outside, Salies sits and waits patiently to be towel-dried before entering her Tumbleweed Cypress. Then she prances around and sniffs whatever is cooking in the kitchen, before taking nap in front of the wood stove. A few hours later, it's time to do it all over again!
"Check out my doggy cave! I hide lots of toys back here." - Salies
"Clark" a tiny pup with a BIG personality
Clark is head over paws with his Tumbleweed Cypress parked in an RV park near Austin, Texas. His favorite place in the whole house is the loft where he enjoys peering through the five windows, scouting the RV park area and, of course, laying on his dad's pillow and underneath the blankets.
Clark is also a bit of a porch dog, even though the porch is roughly 4 square feet! When Clark’s not at the house, he’s strolling around with and on the hunt for new sights and smells.
"Lobster," a laid-back small space companion
Lobster shares a 18 foot Tumbleweed Cypress with Ella and Zack in Northern California. He often watches his horse-neighbors as they gallop by, and he can see the ocean from his front porch.
"I'm a pretty chill guy. Mostly I lay around the house after some exercise." - Lobster
Lobster totally gets the tiny thing. He sits very nice in the house, and only seems interested in his two happy places; on the bench or on the mat by the door when the bench is taken by those two very rude people who don’t seem to understand that it is in fact, his.
Ella believes having a low energy dog is a good consideration for RV owners. If you have a high-energy pup, you should exercise them regularly outdoors so that they don't feel confined when inside your tiny space.
"Tahoe" the spunky RV-lovin' cat
Tahoe travels around with Matt and Michelle in their renovated Airstream. It's 180 square feet of kitty paradise!
"What can I say, I’m a well traveled cat! I’ve been from the Atlantic to the Pacific and everywhere in between. You’d think by now my owners would learn to park so I can get a little sun in here. " - Tahoe, on traveling in a tiny space.
I guess Tahoe got his wish! This trio is currently parked in Panama City, Florida. Go ahead kitty, soak up the sun! But please don't shed on the bed.
Your Turn: How would YOUR pet like to have a Tumbleweed?
Jenna & Guillaume traveled around the United States and Canada for one year in their modified Tumbleweed Cypress. Along their journey they sought out and met other Tiny House RVers, took photos of their rigs and interviewed them about their lifestyles. Now they are putting their collection together as a calendar for charity.
All proceeds from this calendar will be donated to charities that provide tiny shelters for the homeless. These four homeless shelters will receive equal portions of the donation:
22 year old Miranda Aisling is currently building a modified Tumbleweed Cypresson the front lawn of The Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord, Massachusetts. After graduating from college with a Master's degree, Miranda decided to start her own business. "Miranda's Hearth" will be the first community art hotel where everything in the rooms is handmade by local artists.
Miranda's Tumbleweed will be the FIRST Art Hotel!
"By exhibiting the full creative process of building and filling (a Tiny House RV), we will draw attention to the creative fields of architecture, woodworking, pottery, quilting, interior design, and weaving, to name a few."
- Miranda Aisling
Miranda kicked off construction in June of this year, and things were going well, until she ended up in the emergency room with pneumonia. Working full time AND building a Tiny House RV can be exhausting. "It was a good lesson in pacing," Miranda told us, "but it (the illness) affected my motivation and optimism."
It took Miranda almost a month to recover, but she's back to work (this time at a reasonable pace). Her Tiny House RV is on schedule to finish in June 2016.
"The hardest part (of building a Tiny House RV) is not what you don't know, it's the amount you don't know and figuring out how to keep up with that volume."
- Miranda Aisling
Miranda's Advice for Other Tiny House RV Builders:
Plan out as much of your build as possible before you put in the first nail. Once you're building, there is very little mental space left to plan the next step.
Find a sidekick who will be there no matter what; find a group of people who will show up when they can.
Don't be a perfectionist. Appreciate the character of your home and the story in every board.
We'll be checking back in with Miranda as her Tumbleweed nears completion. Miranda has also been hired to host several of our Tumbleweed Workshops. If you signed up for one in 2016, you might meet her!
You have two options for getting fresh water to your Tiny House RV in cold climates. 1). Fill your internal water tank, or 2). Heat/insulate your fresh water hookup.
Option 1: Fill Your Internal Water Tank
If you are interested in being off-grid, you've probably already planned on having an internal fresh water tank for your Tiny House RV. I'm referring to the tank as "internal" because it's a good idea to store fresh water inside the insulated part of your Tumbleweed so that it doesn't freeze in cold climates.
To fill your fresh water tank, you'll use the water inlet located on the exterior of your Tiny House RV. To run fresh water to the inlet, you have two options: 1). Potable Water Hose, or if you do not have access to a spigot, 2). Fresh Water Jugs.
As long as there isn't any still water left inside your potable water hose, it should not freeze when stored. That being said, it's a good idea to store your hose in a warm, dry area (such as under your RV skirt in a closed container). Take it out when it's time to fill your tank.
Fy Nyth's water jug & hose system. She transports water in from a nearby well.
If you do not have access to a fresh water spigot, you'll need bring water to your Tiny House RV from an external source using a few water jugs. You will then physically pour fresh water through the water inlet into your tank.
The main advantage to filling your fresh water tank is that you save money, electricity and you can be off-grid. The disadvantage is that it requires you to physically fill the tank (which can be a chore in cold weather).
Option 2: Heat/Insulate Your Fresh Water Hookup
If you are parked in an area where city water is available, you can bypass your fresh water tank and directly hookup to a water spigot. This means your fresh water hose will be constantly exposed to cold weather elements, so you'll need to protect it (and the spigot) from freezing.
Purchase a heated drinking water hose. This hose will require constant electricity and will replace your normal potable water hose. Next, it's a good idea to insulate your spigot by wrapping it with foam insulation. You can also wrap your heated hose around your spigot to ensure it doesn't freeze.
The main advantage to heating and insulating your fresh water hookup is that you won't ever need to fill your tank or use your water pump (pressure will come from the city water). The disadvantage is that a heated hose can be expensive, will require electricity, and you will have to store/transport it during the warmer months.
Which method will you choose for your Tiny House RV?
Did you know that there are now THREE different Tumbleweed trailer designs? It doesn't matter if you're building a classic Tumbleweed Elm, a modern Mica or a custom design of your own, Tumbleweed has the right trailer for you!
The Original Utility Trailer
The Tumbleweed Utility Trailer design now comes in four lengths: 18’, 20’, 24’, and 26,’ and is the perfect trailer for a Tiny House RV design with a loft, such as the Linden, Elm and Cypress, because it maximizes interior height.
The Utility Trailer floor framing allows for insulation, saving you an extra 3 1/3" of headroom! With 5,200 lb axels the utility trailer is outfitted with two axels for trailer lengths of 18' and 20,' and three axels for lengths of 24' and 26.'
By building between the wheel wells, the Utility Trailer design allows for exterior eaves that will extend to the maximum legal width of 8'6." Eaves are gorgeous aesthetically, but they also protect your siding from rain and snow damage.
The Deck Over Trailer
The Deck Over Trailer is the ideal trailer for single-story Tiny House RV designs, like the Tumbleweed Mica. The Deck Over has maximized trailer width by building over the wheel wells. This trailer comes in three lengths of 20', 24' and 26,' all outfitted with two 7,000 lb axels.
*Eaves are not recommended for Tiny House RVs built on the Deck Over trailer because the trailer is already at the maximum legal width of 8'6."
NEW!!! Interested in building lower AND wider? The Low-Wider trailer maximizes interior space (height and width) in your Tiny House RV by building around the wheel wells. This trailer comes in lengths of 18', 20’, 24’, and 26,’ all outfitted with two 7,000 lb axels.
The Low-Wider trailer is a good fit for custom Tiny House RV designs, as there aren't any Tumbleweed designs for this trailer (yet).
*Eaves are not recommended for Tiny House RVs built on the Low-Wider trailer because the trailer is already at the maximum legal width of 8'6."
Why I Chose the Tumbleweed Trailer
Whenever someone asks me what are the most important pieces to "splurge on" when building your own Tiny House RV, I always say: "Your trailer, windows and roof." When I built my Tiny House RV, I had zero building experience and renovating an old trailer requires welding - something I was not prepared to do. By purchasing one of the first Tumbleweed trailers, I saved myself hundreds of work hours and I knew I was getting a quality product.
Other reasons why I recommend purchasing a manufactured Tiny House RV trailer -
By purchasing a Tumbleweed Trailer, I felt safe towing my house over 22,000 miles. I knew the heavy duty 5,000 lb axels and radial tires were able to withstand the load, and they did.
Tumbleweed trailers are tested to be perfectly balanced for Tiny House RV designs.
Brakes, lights and flashing are included and designed specifically for Tiny House RVs.
If you want more information on delivery, pricing and specs for any of these trailers, click here to download your free study plans.