5 Window Considerations for Tiny House RVs

Last week we posted a Guide to Window Design for Tiny House RVs, which explains the visual aesthetics you should consider for your window placement and size. What about functionality? Your windows need to be beautiful but also: stable, moisture resistant and rated for your particular needs. In this article, we discuss how to choose and purchase the perfect windows for your Tiny House RV. 

TINY BUILD TIP: Before ordering your windows, make sure you are ordering the ROUGH OPENING sizes and that you give yourself 6-8 weeks of lead time. 

1). Decide on your Window Functionality

How do you want your windows to function vs. how much you want to spend. Picture windows (or windows that do not open) will be the cheapest option. For functioning windows, single hung are going to be the cheapest, while casement are usually the most expensive. The window brand we recommend is Jeld-wen.

The type of windows you choose is completely dependent on your preference and budget. Most Tiny House RV owners like to be consistent with their window functionality placement. For example, you might choose awning windows for you loft and casement windows for your bay windows. 

Think about cross breeze, rain and ventilation. Two casement windows placed opposite each other will provide a strong cross breeze. Awning windows can be left open or cracked when it's raining. Choosing to have a variety of functioning windows, but being consistent with their placement, could benefit your overall window design. 

Russ used stained glass overlay on several windows in his gypsy wagon. The overlay is etched so that it has the texture of real stained glass.

Special shaped windows, custom sizes and grids will cost you extra. We do not recommend stained glass windows for those traveling with their Tiny House RV because they tend to be fragile, expensive, single pane and not compatible with tempered glass. Instead, try stained glass overlay or window film.

2). Moisture Resistance Ability

In a tiny space, moisture can be problematic. Not all windows are created equal when it comes to moisture resistance. Aluminum windows are inexpensive, but they are prone to condensation. Vinyl windows are the most resistant to moisture, but they are generally not as visually stunning.

We recommend aluminum clad windows because they are beautiful, long lasting and a good middle ground for moisture resistance. You still may need to do some maintenance to ensure moisture does not become a problem (this can be the case will all windows in Tiny House RVs). Aluminum clad windows are more expensive than other windows, but replacing an inadequate window can be time consuming and expensive as well. 

3). Insulation Value

We do NOT recommend single pane windows to be used in Tiny House RVs. In most cases low-e double pane windows will be enough of an insulator for your windows, but in extreme weather destinations (such as Alaska), triple pane is worth the extra cost. 

4). Tempered glass 

Any structure that is traveling down the road should have tempered glass windows. We also recommend shutters (or a protective piece of plywood) be attached on the windows on the tongue side of your trailer. 

5). Altitude Rating

Similar to when you ears pop due to change of air pressure, windows are sensitive to changes in elevations. If you do NOT plan on moving your Tiny House RV, you can purchase windows that are rated for the altitude in which you are located.

If you plan on traveling with your Tiny House RV, we recommend purchasing high altitude windows. If you do NOT choose high altitude windows, and you travel to a high elevation, you are risking seal breakage from the pressure difference. If this happens, your windows will fog and collect moisture between panes, and you will need to replace them.

At Tumbleweed, we outfit all of our fully built Tiny House RVs with high altitude windows because they are built in our workshop in Colorado Springs, at 6,000 feet.  

Save money with reclaimed windows! 

Aside from your trailer, windows will be the most expensive purchase for your Tiny House RV. Sourcing reclaimed windows is a great money saving option, but we caution you to consider all of the above variables. If you're interested in reclaimed windows, check Habitat for Humanity or ask for materials being thrown away at a local construction site.

Deek Deirdrickson explains the benefit of working with reclaimed windows:

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

75 Year Old Retiree Travels World in House Truck

John Ericson and his wife, Linda, spend six months of the year traveling around the world. How do they do it? They travel in style with their incredible homemade house truck!   

John and Linda have built twelve homemade campers in the last 35 years, each time improving on the design and functionality. Currently they use a renovated bus for temporary living in Alaska and a wooden house truck for adventuring around the world. 

John & Linda's Renovated Bus based in Alaska

John & Linda's House Truck

Built on the chassis of a Mitsubishi, Fuso, the Ericson's house truck features a spacious kitchenette with an apartment size propane refrigerator, sleeping space for three and a propane heater. The house truck is outfitted with a small RV toilet. For showering, they have an innovative outdoor shower setup.

John and Linda's house truck has an impressive amount of storage for such a tiny space! 

"We can go about a month without grocery shopping," John explained while showcasing the many hidden compartments in his homemade camper. Linda labels everything and plans their meals in a systematic fashion. Organization is so important in Tiny House RVs! 

Other features of the Ericson's house truck include: a fresh water tank and solar power. The couple enjoys the flexibility of their off-grid camper. They can adventure anywhere, without the need to plug-in or stay at expensive campgrounds! 

Wooden awnings flip out over the windows for shade, while two skylights offer plenty of natural light indoors. The dutch-style front door is a creative touch and allows for proper airflow in the warmer seasons.

“I just try to keep moving for as long as I can.”

– John Ericson

Where has their house truck taken them?

The Ericsons have driven over 133,000 miles in their homemade house truck in the past five years, and most of the time, Linda likes the drive. Recent road trips include: Baja, Mexico, South America and Russia. 

Could you travel full time in a homemade camper?

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

 

Written by Jenna Spesard — January 19, 2016

Filed under: alaska   camper   homemade   House truck   john ericson   mitsubishi fuso   renovated RV   retire   retiree   tiny home   tiny house   travel  

You Can't Go Tiny If You're Tall. Or Can You?

Wes Sekeres enjoys small spaces but found it challenging to design a Tiny House RV for his tall frame -  6'4." He, like many others, was initially worried about feeling claustrophobic or cramped in less than 250 square feet.

"It was a necessity for me that the bathroom FEEL big; that the kitchen FEEL big; that the living area FEEL big." - Wes Sekeres

In order to achieve his open and spacious design, Wes decided to build his tiny sanctuary on Tumbleweed's new Low-Wider trailer, which maximizes height and width by building around the wheel wells. 

Wes's Tiny House RV features white walls and a simple shed roof 

Wes noted that attending last year's Tiny House Jamboree was really helpful in his design process. At the event, he was able to tour multiple designs, speak with builders and ask questions. 

He recalls discussing his plans with Tumbleweed workshop host, Mario Soto and other Tumbleweed employees at the Jamboree. "I wanted to consider everything," Wes explains. "They were very helpful."

Wes's stunning kitchen features a full size refrigerator, full-range stove and  gorgeous royal blue countertops

As a carpenter by trade, Wes was able to build the majority of his Tiny House RV alone and/or with the help his close friends. His tiny oasis has a washer/dryer combination unit, sliding barn door, the Separett composting toilet and a luxurious L-shaped couch. 

"I love that other people love it! I'm big on hospitality, so it's nice to have a Tiny House RV that others find unique and exciting." - Wes Sekeres

One item that Wes really wanted in his design was a tile bathroom. Many Tiny House RV owners shy away from tile due to weight, expense and durability on the road. This is also why drywall is not recommended for many Tiny House RV designs. That being said, can you have tile and/or drywall in your Tiny House RV? Of course! Wes researched a variety of products and chose a tile that is extra durable and lighter than many others on the market. 

Wes has subway tile on the back wall of his tiny bathroom and his entire shower. His contemporary interior design gives his Tiny House RV a "big city" feel.  

"My Tiny House RV is a perfect blend of two things I really love: a simple life and custom carpentry." - Wes Sekeres

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To learn more about Tumbleweed's Low-Wider trailer, and other trailer designs, click here

Follow Wes on Instagram: @wsekeres

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

 

Written by Jenna Spesard — January 13, 2016

Filed under: comtemporary   jamboree   lifestyle   low wider   low-wider trailer   maximize space   modern   spacious   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   tiny house rv   trailer   Tumbleweed  

New Years Resolutions that will help you "Go Tiny" by 2017

We want to make owning a Tiny House RV easy for our customers, so if you're ready to own a Tumbleweed but you're struggling to accomplish your goal, we've created a list of resolutions that will help you "Go Tiny" by the end of 2017!

Choose several of the resolutions listed below and cross them off one at a time. Try adapting resolutions into your daily routine. Happy New Year!

      1. Downsize your belongings. Get rid of one unnecessary possession a day. Here's a trick - go through your closet and sort your clothes by the items you wear: daily, weekly, monthly and the clothes you haven't worn in years. Slowly remove the items you use infrequently and/or have no emotional attachment. DO NOT replace items with new clothing until they are stained, torn or they no longer fit. By the end of the year, your wardrobe will only include items you use and love. 
        Photo credit
        : Embrace Minimalism
      2. Reduce your footprint. Work on using less and wasting less. Conserve your water usage by turning off the faucet while lathering up in the shower. Practice using less electricity by shutting off lights, replacing regular bulbs with LEDs, and only running appliances (such as the dishwasher and washing machine) when they are absolutely full. Read up on solar and wind power. Try composting! There are many ways you can begin transitioning toward an eco-friendly lifestyle before you ever own a Tiny House RV!
      3. Reduce your debt. Many Tiny House RV owners value financial freedom. Sell your unwanted belongings that are worth something (such as furniture, jewelry, collectables and electronics). Place the money you earn into a savings account or pay off your loans/credit cards. *Bonus, resolutions #1 & #2 you will also save you money!*
      4. Research insurance and financing. There are more and more insurance and loan companies that are backing Tiny House RVs.
        "Fy Nyth" Tumbleweed Cypress parked in Wyoming 
      5. Plan your parking spot. If you want to own a Tiny House RV by the end of the year, you'll want to secure the perfect parking spot. Begin by learning about your county's RV parking codes and/or research traveling with a Tiny House RV. Tour various campgrounds that could serve as a potential permanent parking spot. Ask around on various online communities or post an advert on Craigslist. 
      6. Gather tools. If you're going to build your own Tiny House RV, you'll need the proper tools. Ask your friends if you can borrow tools or explore resale shops and garage sales for deals. Check out this tool sharing website to see if there is a tool library near you.
      7. Gather materials. Whether you find the perfect reclaimed windows, space saving kitchen gadget or discounted appliance, you will save time and money on your future Tiny House RV by securing your materials in advance. Also read up on securing sponsors for your project.
      8. Learn to build. If you intend on building your own Tiny House RV harness your skills by taking a Tumbleweed workshop, purchasing a How-To-DVD and/or volunteering for your local Habitat for Humanity. These skills will be invaluable once you begin construction.
        Photo credit
        : Miranda's Hearth
      9. Secure a build site. If you're interested in building your own Tiny House RV, this resolution will be at the top of your list! Find the ideal place for construction, with with storage for your materials and adequate access to electricity, by advertising online and asking around in your local tiny house community. Tap into the community by attending a local workshop, joining local meetups and facebook groups. Tumbleweed Colorado Springs showroom. Photo credit.
      10. Experience the lifestyle. If you're concerned that "Going Tiny" may not be for you, it might be beneficial to actually stay the night in a Tiny House RV!  By physically experiencing the lifestyle, you'll prepare yourself mentally for ownership and you might even get a few great space saving ideas. Check out more vacation rental listings here and here. You can also make an appointment to tour a Tumbleweed at our Colorado Springs showroom. 

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

Written by Jenna Spesard — January 04, 2016

Filed under: debt   eco-friendly   finanicing   go green   go tiny   insurance   lifestyle   loans   new years   resolutions   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tumbleweed   workshop  

What you WISH you knew before building your Tumbleweed...

This past week our 2016 Tumbleweed Workshop presenters and hosts met to discuss the coming year and to share what they WISH they knew before building their Tumbleweed.

As a team passionate about Tiny House RVs, the workshop hosts and presenters collaborated to create an even better workshop for the 2016 season! Get ready to hear some fun personal stories, partake in a few team activities and learn new building practices specific to Tiny House RVs. This year is going to be the best year of workshops yet! 

What do you WISH you knew before building your Tumbleweed?

Our hosts and presenters were happy to share an aw-shucks moment, explaining what they wish they knew before building their Tumbleweed. 

Miranda Aisling is building a Tumbleweed Cypress in Boston, Massachusetts. She will be hosting several Tumbleweed workshops in 2016. More on her build / story here. 

What do you WISH you knew?

"(I didn't realize that) trimming out the roof takes a really looooong time. It is the first stage where any off measurements really start to matter. This is the one area that I didn't budget enough time for, and it set us back a couple weekends." - Miranda

Art Cormier built a Tiny House RV in 2012 to be used as a backyard abode behind his rock climbing gym in Lafayette, Louisiana. He has presented Tumbleweed workshops for the past few years to thousands who wish to achieve their tiny dream. More on his build / story here

What do you WISH you knew?

"I did not think about how useful flat counter space is, and how little is available with standard appliances. For example, my cooktop burners are elevated (not flush with my counter). The available flat counter space for unloading grocery bags in my Tiny House RV is very limited. In retrospect, I would choose appliances with covers or that are flush with my counters to extend my usable space." - Art 
Jenna Spesard built a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, in 2014. Over the past year they have towed their Tiny House RV over 22,000 miles across the United States and Canada. In 2016, she will be hosting various Tumbleweed workshops. More on her story / build here.
What do you WISH you knew?
"I carefully planned out my interior design, but one item I forgot was to leave space for my laundry hamper. I don't want to sidestep my hamper every time I enter my bathroom, so our solution is to place the hamper in the shower when we're not showering. In retrospect, I wish I had an allocated space for my hamper that didn't require me moving it in and out of the shower." - Jenna
Guillaume Dutilh built a Tumbleweed Cypress with his partner, Jenna, in 2014. Over the past year they have towed their Tiny House RV over 22,000 miles across the United States and Canada. In 2016, he will be presenting and hosting various Tumbleweed workshops. More on his story / build here.
What do you WISH you knew?
"I wish I had a better game plan for changing a tire on our trailer. It's actually pretty technical since the our Tiny House RV weighs 10,100 pounds fully loaded. It would have been a good idea to practice once before setting out on our trip, but instead I had to learn on a dirt road in the backcountry of Alaska!"- Guillaume  

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about Tiny Homes and their adventure. Follow their informative blog. 
 
     

Written by Jenna Spesard — December 29, 2015

Filed under: build   host   presenter   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tiny House RV   Tumbleweed   workshop  

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