Deb began dreaming about simplifying after having a negative personal experience with managing too many belongings. She came across the tiny house movement and felt that Tiny House RVs embodied her desire for simplicity and functionality. Now Deb's daughter Chanel, who has experience in residential and commercial design, is helping her mother build her tiny dream in to a reality.
"We took a Tumbleweed workshop last May." Chanel explains."The workshop experience was the final push to give us the confidence to get started!"
Together the mother daughter team is building Deb's Tiny House RV in Olympia, Washington. They hope to be finished by September of this year, which will mark one year of construction.
"We have learned building a Tiny House RV is a process that should not be rushed."- Deb
Chanel customized the original Tumbleweed Elm design to compliment Deb's lifestyle and preferences. She extended one side of the structure to have a full dormer that stretches the entire length. This customization creates an a-symmetrical look and increases interior space. Deb's Tumbleweed will also have a unique storage staircase design with space for: hanging clothes, a pull out desk, an ottoman and display shelving for books and photos.
Smart choices have to be made when designing a small space, and it takes a lot of creativity.
Chanel believes that working on her mother's Tiny House RV has been a rewarding experience. She gets to help her mother create a space that embraces every detail of her lifestyle.
We asked Deb what it's like building with her daughter. Her answer is too good not to share:
"It has been a wonderful experience, everyday we learn something new together. We understand how each other thinks so we are able to put our heads together and solve problems. We also have the help of Chanel’s fiancé, Marshall, who has construction experience and has been our teacher every step of the way. The three of us make a great team, and when things get hairy we take a break and have a glass of wine. My Tiny House RV could not have been built without many heated discussions, long trips to Home Depot and laughs over wine."
Everyone who attends a Tumbleweed workshop is an alternative thinker and dreamer!
At Tumbleweed we host over 30 "Dream Big, Go Tiny" workshops annually all over the United States and a few in Canada. We strive to improve our presentation with the latest and greatest information and have a team of people dedicated to our workshops. We don't consider it "work" to teach others the skills necessary to build a Tiny House RV. Helping others achieve their dreams is fun and fulfilling!
Whichever build workshop you choose to attend, either hosted by Tumbleweed or another reputable company, we know you'll walk away with a positive outlook on the tiny house movement. It's time to your first step, and GO TINY!
1). Presenters share personal stories (and mistakes)
Coming from all over the country, Tumbleweed workshop presenters have either built, designed, or owned (any many times all of the above) a Tiny House RV. Many of them started out by attending a Tumbleweed workshop!
"I always share the story of how I crashed my Tiny House RV because I forgot one simple safety feature." - Guillaume Dutilh, workshop presenter
Not only will our presenters inform you on the best building practices specific to Tiny House RVs, but they'll also share personal advice of what NOT to do. These anecdotes have saved hundreds of workshop attendees from making costly mistakes.
2). Meet other local enthusiasts
Our weekend workshops range from 60-100 attendees from diverse backgrounds! That's a lot of people gathered in one room with similar interests. On the Saturday evening of our workshop weekend, we hold a social mixer. Not only is this event a lot fun, it's also a great opportunity for attendees to mingle and exchange contact information. At the end of the workshop, we also send out an e-mail contact list (to those that wish to participate) so that attendees can keep in touch.
Many times, attendees will volunteer to help construct each other's Tiny House RVs. Sometimes experienced carpenters, plumbers, and electricians attending the workshop will share advice and offer to work on local projects. Mingling with other local enthusiasts at the workshop can help you find free/cheap labor and life long friends!
Image taken from current Tumbleweed Workshop Workbook
3). Learn SPECIFIC Tiny House RV build methods
Tiny House RV construction is a blend of regular home construction and RV construction. Building a road-worthy structure will require meeting certain specifications. Although the Tumbleweed workshop is mostly focused on beginner build methods, even the most experienced carpenter will learn a few tricks that apply specifically to Tiny House RV construction.
Image taken from current Tumbleweed Workshop Workbook
4). Gather resources on appliances, green energy, tiny travel and off-grid practices
Over the years, Tumbleweed has updated their workshop presentation to include the latest and greatest information relevant to the industry. At the workshop you'll learn about small space appliances, green energy, as well as travel and off-grid practices that will help you create an efficient and functional Tiny House RV. These resources are absolutely priceless and will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on your build.
Image taken from Tumbleweed Workshop Workbook
5). Get inspired, ask questions and receive DISCOUNTS!
At the Tumbleweed workshop you'll receive a workbook with hundreds of colorful, detailed photographs. Flip through the pages of your workbook and circle your favorite styles, appliances and space saving ideas. Interested in multi-purpose furniture, a downstairs bedroom, or an affordable portable solar system? No problem! Get inspired by Tiny House RV images and stories from the workshop staff.
At the workshop, you'll have plenty of opportunities to chat with a member of the workshop staff. This is your chance to ask questions and get real, unbiased answers.
Get the answer to these FAQs and many more:
What is it really like to use a compost toilet?
Where can you park your Tiny House Rv?
How is it sharing the space with your significant other?
What heater should I choose?
How much does a typical Tiny House RV weigh?
TUMBLEWEED OFFERS DISCOUNTS TO THEIR WORKSHOP ATTENDEES!
At the workshop, you'll be informed of a variety of discounts on Tumbleweed products. So, if you already know you want to purchase a trailer, barn raiser or fully built RV, attending a workshop might pay for itself!
Is there a Tiny House RV available to tour at every Tumbleweed workshop?
We always strive to have a Tiny House RV available to tour at each of our 30+ annual workshops scattered throughout the country, but this is not always possible. When there is an owner located in the area willing to let attendees walk through their Tiny House RV, we organize a tour to happen during the two day workshop. For obvious reasons, not every Tiny House RV owner is willing to open their space to our attendees and we absolutely respect their privacy.
As the list of Tiny House RV owners grows with every passing year, tours are becoming more and more common at our workshops. When a tour is not possible, our workshop staff will tape layouts on the floor to provide a similar spacial awareness effect.
Will we see you at one of our workshops this year?
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!
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
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!
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!*
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"(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
Get ready for a really unique tiny house RV story!
A lot has happened to Annie Coburn since taking the August 2014 Tumbleweed workshop in Dallas. She admits that she was unsure of her future plans when she first decided to attend the workshop, but one comment from another attendee changed her mind (and her life) completely. "A lady said: 'I know this person who travels around in her tiny house and sells .....' I don't even remember what she was selling, but that statement put all the pieces together for me," Annie told us.
Interior: "Tiny House Teas"
Annie has always loved to travel. In 2010 she created a travel website for seniors. So the idea of creating a business that could function out of the tiny house RV, while wayfaring around the United States, tied all of her passions together in one beautiful package. It wasn't long before Annie received her Tumbleweed trailer and started building her traveling Cypress 20 Equator without dormers.
"When I saw the picture of the Cypress, I wanted to give it a hug," Annie recalls. "It's so cute!"
But what does Annie intend to sell out of her traveling tiny home? TEA, of course! In the late 1990's, she lived in China and remains in contact with her friends there. "They know tea and tea producers," Annie comments. "So I have access to premium teas." In September she flew to China to strike up a partnership and, just like that, "Tiny House Teas" was born.
Annie's tiny house RV is now close to completion, and she'll soon hit the road with her traveling tea business. Her first destination will be the Florida Keys. "The tiny house gives us options," Annie explains. "We can stay as long as we wish. When we feel the need for a change, just hook-up, fill-up and GO."