8 reasons you should buy instead of build your Tiny House RV

Are you confused as to whether you should BUY or BUILD your future Tiny House RV? Don't worry, you're not alone. I host Tumbleweed build workshops, and I see a lot of eager individuals start a construction project and never finish. Depending on your situation, building your own tiny dream house might not be the most economical or practical option.

Below I’ve listed several reasons to BUY INSTEAD OF BUILD. I encourage you to review and decide for yourself. For the alternative point of view, read this article for reasons you should BUILD INSTEAD OF BUY

1). You don’t have enough time

I built my own Tiny House RV without any prior construction experience, and It took me one whole year. For a Tumbleweed design we estimate the following for total work hours based on your experience level:

Example scenario: John is a beginner builder with weekends available for his construction project. He can build year round, without weather delays, because he has a covered build site. If John is able to work eight hours a day on Saturday and Sunday (16 hours a weekend) it will take him 62.5 weekends to complete his build. Most likely John will need 1.5 years to construct his Tiny House RV. 

Inside the Tumbleweed build facility 

If you purchase a fully built Tiny House RV from Tumbleweed, you can have it delivered within a few months. That is a big time difference! So if you don't have enough time to build, consider purchasing a fully built model or half built shell.

2). You don’t have a build site

Where will you build your Tiny House RV? Ideally you will have a large covered location, with ample electricity and storage for your materials. Finding the perfect built site is easier said than done. If you don't have an ideal build location, expect challenges and delays in construction.

Inside the Tumbleweed build facility 

3). You don’t have the tools

Tools are an expensive investment. You can purchase used tools, rent tools or find a tool sharing build site. Be careful not to blow your budget on tools.

4). You want to finance the costs

DIY Tiny House RV build projects are difficult to finance. If you don’t have enough money saved up, you run the risk of going into credit card debt or putting your build on hold. I’ve seen many builds never reach completion due to this problem. So if you want to finance your Tiny House RV, go ahead and buy one - there are more financing options. 

5). You want an RVIA certified Tiny House RV

If you build your own Tiny House RV it will not be RVIA certified. Not having the RVIA certification can limit your financing, insurance, DMV registration and future parking options. More on the RVIA here.

Tumbleweed is one of the few RVIA certified Tiny House RV builders in the country. If you purchase a fully built tiny from Tumbleweed, it will be RVIA certified. 

6). You don't have the passion

I know this sounds silly, but building a Tiny House RV is a huge commitment. I’ve seen projects fail because the individuals became bored or frustrated. Make sure your passion won't fade.

7). You lack the physical ability

Skills can be learned, but physical labor is still physical labor. I've seen a handicapped builder finish a beautiful Tiny House RV, but the strain of construction is not for everyone. Before you decided to build, make sure you are physically capable of completing the project. 

8). You haven’t done your research.

Building a Tiny House RV is not the same as building a regular home. The structure has to be road worthy, vented correctly, capable of withstanding extreme winds and many other unique practices. It’s a specialized type of construction. These skills can be learned, but it takes research. 

Tumbleweed has been building Tiny House RVs for over 15 years. They have a specialized team and a proven road worthy product. If you don't believe you can build a structurally sound Tiny House RV, purchase one instead.


What do you think? Buy or Build? Comment below.

*For the alternative perspective, click here for reasons to BUILD a Tiny House RV instead of BUY. 


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 12, 2016

Filed under: 2016   build   diy   purchase   shell   tiny home   Tiny House   Tiny House Company   tiny house rv   Tumbleweed   workshop  

Tumbleweed's Big Announcement: TWO NEW DESIGNS

Over the past few years, we've had a plethora of customer requests for a new Tumbleweed model. Our design team has been hard at work, imagining and drafting fresh designs while maintaining the quality and nostalgia of the Tumbleweed brand. Today we're excited to announce NOT ONE BUT TWO new Tumbleweed Tiny House RV designs: the Farallon and the Roanoke!

Introducing the "Farallon"

Synthesizing modern aesthetics and traditional farmhouse form with a rich palette of materials, the "Farallon" is designed for the Tumbleweed Low-Wider trailer, expanding interior living space by building lower and wider than ever before!

Inside, the open living floor plan combines kitchen and living space under ten foot tall ceilings. The downstairs bedroom acts as the mini master suite, with a wall of clothing storage and adjoining bathroom.

Farallon Tumbleweed Tiny House

One of our most common requests is for a downstairs sleeping option. Our new designs meet that need.

Farallon Tiny House Tumbleweed

The Farallon also features a second sleeping space in the form of a large sleeping loft. Owners can choose to sleep in the loft while using the downstairs bedroom as “flex space”—a home office, walk-in closet, or kids’ bedroom.

Drum roll please...

We will be displaying the Farallon at this year's Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colorado, August 5-7th! Be one of the first ever to tour this innovative Tiny House RV design by attending the event. 

*For more photos and information on the Farallon, click here.

Roanoke Tiny House Tumbleweed

Introducing the "Roanoke"

The "Roanoke" design has a contemporary aesthetic with a beautiful shed roof line, allowing for even more interior vertical space.

Roanoke Tumbleweed Tiny House

As with the Farallon, the Roanoke is designed for the Tumbleweed Low-Wider trailer, which expands interior living space. Interchangeable floor plans can be used in either the Farallon or the Roanoke design. Choose a downstairs bedroom, open floor plan, and much more by virtually designing your own Tiny House RV.  

*For more photos and information on the Roanoke design, click here.

Roanoke Tumbleweed Tiny House

Both the Farallon and Roanoke are available to order as fully built Tumbleweed Tiny House RVs. In the future, we hope to have these models available as Barn Raisers and building plans for our DIY customers.

Tiny House Tumbleweed

To get a quote and/or to talk to one of our Tiny House Specialists about purchasing a Farallon or Roanoke, visit our online Tiny House RV customizer


We hope you enjoyed viewing our two new designs: the Farallon and Roanoke! Please share and tell us what you think in the comments!


Written by Jenna Spesard — August 05, 2016

Filed under: 2016   diy   downstairs bedroom   Farallon   Modern   Roanoke   shed roof   tiny home   Tiny House   tiny house movement   tiny house rv   Tumbleweed  

Tumbleweed at the 2016 National Tiny House Jamboree

The 2016 Tiny House Jamboree is this weekend, and we are so excited! The first ever Jamboree was last year, and the interest was spectacular. Over 40,000 people attended from all 50 states and 10 different countries to listen to knowledgable speakers and tour dozens of Tiny House RVs!

Video of 2015 Tiny House Jamboree. Courtesy of THJ

Last year we displayed THREE Tumbleweed Tiny House RVs for attendees to tour at the Jamboree. This year we have a few BIG surprises up our sleeves!

Check back Friday for a blog post with a BIG announcement and details! 


If that's not enough Steve Weissmann, the president of Tumbleweed, is speaking at the 2016 Jamboree from 4:30-5pm on Sunday, August 7th. His speech will be on the emerging tiny house industry, while highlighting the topics of: coding, zoning, and quality control from the builder perspective.

Tumbleweed is also sponsoring keynote speaker Guillaume Dutilh's talk on traveling with a Tiny House RV. Guillaume will speak on Friday, August 5th, from 2-3pm. His talk will include: how to design your tiny for travel, where to park it, what to do, what not to do and more! 

But that's not all! Did you know that BEHR is giving away a custom Tumbleweed Cypress as part of their “Dream Tiny” sweepstakes, along with $25,000 to one lucky individual? The BEHR "Dream Tiny" Tumbleweed will be displayed at the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree and attendees will be among the first to see it! Learn more about the BEHR sweepstakes here

Will we see you at the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 02, 2016

Filed under: 2016   home   jamboree   tiny home   Tiny House   Tiny House Company   tiny house jamboree   tiny house movement   tiny house rv   Tumbleweed  

Tug Boat Captain Becomes a Tiny House RV Owner

Jan Tiura, the first woman tug boat captain in the bay area, had been interested in building a modern cabin for decades to set on her property in Northern California. Unfortunately she never found the right project, and set her dream aside. That is, until a few years ago when her niece, Holly Ortega, began working for Tumbleweed. Finally the stars had aligned!
Holly introduced her aunt to the Tumbleweed MICA design - a modern one story Tiny House RV. Jan was intrigued by the modern aesthetic. Could this be the modern cabin she had been dreaming of?

"My aunt was drawn to the steel siding on the MICA because it reminded her of the ships she would pull at sea." - Holly (Jan's neice)

Jan posing in front of her photography / Photo: Dylan Entelis, The Chronicle

Jan fell in love with the MICA's weathered steel siding. It not only symbolized the 30 years she spent as a tug boat captain, but also her collection of abstract photographs of weathered steel. Jan's photography has been displayed at San Francisco MOMA. Read more and view her work here and here.

Jan is still a tug boat captain at heart!
Soon after seeing photos of the MICA online, Jan stopped by the Tumbleweed office to take a tour of a model they had for sale. Not long after, she became the MICA's loving new owner. 

Jan parked her MICA, which she named "The Barge," on Bad Dog Farm in Moss Beach, California. The Barge overlooks a beautiful meadow and Jan says she feels right at home when she uses her MICA. 

"Purchasing the MICA meant reaching my dream," Jan told us. "It's snug and warm and better than anything I could build."


*Photos courtesy of Jan Tiura unless otherwise stated.


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."

Written by Jenna Spesard — July 21, 2016

Filed under: 2016   Bay Area   Jan Tiura   MICA   Modern   San Francisco   Steel   tiny home   Tiny House   Tiny House Company   tiny house movement   tiny house rv   Tug Boat   Tumbleweed   Weathered Steel  

Tiny House Coffee Shop: a tiny business on wheels

In the summer of 2012, Michael Byer, the future owner of "Tiny House Coffee" met Zack Giffin: pro skier and builder. Zack showed Michael his self-built Tiny House RV, which was being used as a mobile ski lodge. Features of Zack's tiny included a potbelly stove, sleeping bunks, a spiral staircase, and beer taps that were accessible from the porch. 

"Something about the 'quaint mountain cabin' aesthetic stuck with me." - Michael, on Zack's Tiny House RV

Michael was inspired. He and his wife, Sabra, hired a professional builder and came up with an idea for a mobile coffee shop. Tiny House Coffee was born!

On July 4th, 2015, Tiny House Coffee opened for business in Poncha Springs, Colorado. 

Q & A with Michael from "Tiny House Coffee"

What is it really like owning a business out of a Tiny House RV? We interviewed Michael to get some insight. 

What about a Tiny House RV works with your business?

The coolest advantage to running a business out of a Tiny House RV is the ability to both choose our location and move around if necessary. Currently, we are parked at a busy intersection in a small town where we are the only gourmet coffee shop. We love this spot and do not have any plans to move. We are also able to keep our overhead costs low, allowing us to use the highest quality ingredients available while keeping our prices competitive. Lastly, the Tiny House RV itself draws a lot of attention from people who are interested in building one or have seen them on TV but never have had the opportunity to walk inside of one.

Any cool design elements that you'd like to share?

We knew from the start that we wanted to have space inside for our customers to order and enjoy their drinks. With that in mind, we had to build an efficient work space in less than half of the total space available. We modeled the plumbing after coffee kiosks, using 5 gallon water jugs and an RV water pump to supply our appliances. This design allows us to park places without water hookups. All of the glass windows and the door have double-pane tempered glass; expensive but necessary for moving down the road safely. 

Steve Weissmann, President of Tumbleweed, visiting "Tiny House Coffee"

What is the most common comment you get from customers?

We are always surprised at how many people ask if we live in the loft. The word 'house' is in our name so it makes sense, but it would be pretty extreme for the three of us to share the loft and operate the coffee shop in the same space.

Do you move your Tiny Coffee Shop around?

While our shop tows down the road very well, it is quite involved to move around. Still, there is something enticing about moving around to events and festivals and going to where the people are. But we love our customers and it is important to us that they know where to consistently find us. For now, we are very happy with where we are parked (in Poncha Springs, Colorado) and have no plans to move.


*Like and Follow Tiny House Coffee on Facebook


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."


Written by Jenna Spesard — July 18, 2016

Filed under: 2016   Colorado   mobile business   mobile shop   shop   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house coffee   tiny house movement   tiny house rv  

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