Wanderlust Traveling with a Tiny House RV

Meet Lauren and Patrick, Kansas City natives with wanderlust fever. In 2015 they decided to quit their jobs to build a Tiny House RV for a cross country roadtrip. The catch? They wanted to begin traveling by April 2016 and neither of them had any construction experience. 

In order to get a leg up on their build, Lauren and Patrick purchased a Tumbleweed Barn Raiser. By doing so, they saved themselves hundreds of hours of build time with the opportunity to customize and complete their own Tiny House RV. 

Lauren and Patrick chose the Tumbleweed Linden design (pictured above) with customizations including a side door and skipping the porch to allow for more interior living space. 

Lauren & Patrick's custom Linden Tiny House RV Shell

The couple picked up their shell on January 24th, and thus began their mad scramble to finish construction by the end of April. They worked 40 hours a week, and, over the course of three months they installed the siding, windows, roof, door, trim, insulation, plumbing, electricity and much more!  

"We've always loved grey-colored houses with bright doors." - Lauren

Lauren and Patrick's custom interior layout feels very open. They placed the entrance to the bathroom in the corner, allowing for a spacious L-shaped kitchen. They also painted their interior walls with bright, light colors - a classic interior design trick that can make small spaces seem larger. 

Lauren and Patrick believe the extra headroom provided in the Linden design works perfectly with their staircase, which also doubles as storage for the couple's refrigerator/freezer and off-grid gear: water tank, water pump, solar battery and inverter

All of the cabinets in Lauren and Patrick's house were purchased at IKEA, a space saving super store. If you're interested in building tiny, IKEA is a great resource.

You might also noticed that Lauren and Patrick mimicked the color orange (as seen on their front door) throughout their interior. 

The couple achieved their goal of finishing construction in three months and left for their cross-country adventure on April 20th! So far Lauren and Patrick traveled through Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Mostly they've been parking in State Parks because they enjoy the open space and scenery. 

Oh and did we mention that Lauren and Patrick are traveling with two doggy companions? One of them is 115 pounds. That's four bodies in one awesome traveling cabin! 

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*Follow along on Lauren and Patrick's travels on their website and Instagram

*All photos provided by Wanderlust Tiny House

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently 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 her informative blog. 

Written by Jenna Spesard — May 16, 2016

Filed under: 2016  

Tour FIVE Tiny House RVs at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

A couple of months ago, we announced that Mt. Hood RV Resort had ordered FIVE Tumbleweeds to create a Tiny House Village (original article). The idea behind the village is that you can rent a Tiny House RV to "try on tiny." We're happy to report that all five Tumbleweeds have been built and delivered. Mt. Hood Tiny House Village is gearing up for their GRAND OPENING!

Tiny House Village

Each Tumbleweed built for Mt. Hood Tiny House Village has a different look and personality, custom designed to provide diversity in these tiny accommodations. All five Tiny House RVs are fully insulated with upstairs and downstairs sleeping spaces, kitchenettes, bathrooms and all the creature comforts of home.

"Scarlett's" kitchen features a deep sink, cooktop, refrigerator and freezer. 

The park has chosen to place the five Tiny House RVs together, but with adequate separation. This configuration will promote social activity but maintain privacy for the guests.

Mt Hood Tiny House Village

All five Tumbleweeds have arrived! The beginnings of a very special Tiny House Village!

It would be easy to rent all five tinies for social events, such as: family reunions, a friend's getaway, work retreats, or even a Tiny House enthusiasts meet up! You can also rent them out individually and socialize in the common area with the other Tiny House Village renters. 

The village is now taking reservations for the tiny rentals, but they are booking up fast! Check availability for your favorite tiny at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, here.

Since the arrival of all five Tumbleweeds, Mt. Hood RV Resort has been busy decorating and furnishing them for the Grand Opening. Check out "Zoe," pictured above, a country themed Tumbleweed Cypress with a gorgeous view!

Speaking of the Grand Opening....

You want to see the inside, right? As promised, Mt. Hood is hosting a Grand Opening for their Tiny House Village. This is your only chance to tour all five Tiny House RVs at the same time! The free event is being held at the village on May 20th, from 5-8pm and will feature guest speakers, a Q&A with Tumbleweed, live music and snacks. More information and how to RSVP listed on the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village website

After the event, we'll update you with information and pictures of the decorated and furnished Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. Stay tuned for the next blog post!

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*All photos credited to Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

*More information on: Mt. Hood Tiny House Village Website / Facebook / Instagram

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently 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 her informative blog. 

Written by Jenna Spesard — May 09, 2016

Filed under: 2016   cypress   elm   linden   mt hood   mt hood tiny house village   rv resort   thousand trails   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   tiny house village   Tumbleweed  

5 Things That No One Will Tell You About Tiny House RVs

The reality of owning a Tiny House RV is that the lifestyle is not always picture perfect - even though the magazine-style photos you find online might make it seem that way. That's why we've posted 5 Things that NO ONE will tell you about Tiny House RVs. Get ready folks, it's time for a reality check. 

1). Tiny House RVs get messy quick

Everyone always mentions how easy Tiny House RVs are to clean, but what they don't tell you is that they are also easy to get dirty! It's important to put things away immediately - such as groceries and clean laundry. Every belonging you bring into the Tiny House RV must have a proper storage place. A tiny space can feel dirty simply because it's not organized. 

2). Tiny House RVs aren't as transportable as standard RVs

While Tiny House RVs are built to be mobile, they aren't solely designed for that purpose. Usually a Tiny House RV design will prioritize comfort, quality and aesthetics over mobility. Standard RVs, on the other hand, are designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic, often compromising aesthetic for lower gas mileage. Tiny House RV owners enjoy the ability to be mobile, but prefer the luxury and personality that is provided with a Tiny House RV. 

Tiny House Versus RV

3). Insuring a self-built Tiny House RV can be tricky

Most RV insurance companies look for manufactured Tiny House RVs with a RVIA certification. You cannot get an RVIA certification if you are not a manufacturer that has passed extensive testing. That's why there are so few tiny house companies that are RVIA certified (Tumbleweed is RVIA certified). Insuring your self-built Tiny House RV is not impossible, but it can be more difficult. We suggest reaching out to local insurance companies prior to building and taking hundreds of photos during construction. 

4). Tiny House RVs aren't for everyone

We encourage people to come to a workshop or rent a Tiny House RV for the weekend before purchasing or building one. It's important to know that the lifestyle is right for you. If you find out that "going tiny" is not for you, that's okay! At least you learned more about the movement and yourself. 

tiny house villagephoto credit: Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

5). Tiny House RVs are NOT a fad

While some people claim that the Tiny House movement is just a fad, the popularity is actually growing steadily. More Tiny House RVs are built every year, and it's relatively common to see them at RV parks. Every year communities and events such as the Tiny House Jamboree and the Tiny House Conference grow with attendees. More and more TV shows and news outlets are covering the movement. Tumbleweed has grown astronomically as a company and in production in the past five years. Tiny House RVs are not going away any time soon! 

Also read: 5 Lessons I Learned from my Tiny House RV

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently 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 her informative blog. 

Written by Jenna Spesard — April 29, 2016

Filed under: 2016   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tumbleweed  

Newlyweds Build Beautiful Tiny House RV in Boulder, Colorado

Introducing newlyweds Adina and Ian, who are close to finishing construction on their own custom Tiny House RV in Boulder, Colorado. 

The young couple built their tiny dream after being inspired by Zack Giffin and his mobile ski house. The foundation they chose? A 20' Tumbleweed trailer

“The ease of starting our build with an 'industry standard' was settling,” Ian explained.“The confidence to know our foundation is solid goes a long way.”

Adina spent months with papers and photographs strewn across her living room floor, hashing out the design. The couple knew they wanted a real kitchen with a big oven and a large fridge. They also wanted their space to feel light and uncluttered. As far as “must haves,” Adina wanted a place to study; Ian wanted a wood stove.

When construction began in July 2015, Adina and Ian were eager to get started, but neither of them had any real carpentry experience. Their build site happened to be located on a salvage yard, and the owner of the property (a trained architect) was a big help. He gave them access to his shop and advice when needed. 

“The kitchen, by far, is my favorite part of the house.” Adina told us. “I also love the timber framing we did with the reclaimed wood from a whiskey distillery on both of our lofts.”

They budgeted for $25,000 and ended up spending $30,000 during the build, with splurges on the Kimberly Wood Stove and Dickinson Propane Heater. Adina and Ian estimate the total to come to $35,000 after they finish their awning, plumbing and interior furnishing and decor. 

Adina and Ian are currently researching graduate schools, and they intend to park their Tiny House RV near the school they choose. Later on, the couple dreams of starting a farm and using their tiny as a guest house.

 Ian & Adina's cantilevered dual lofts and a tall handmade front door

Adina and Ian’s gorgeous front door was built by their friend Randy. They painted the door blue, which really pops against the dark wood siding, and placed the door on the side of the structure. 

“The door has a unique history. It is made out of Colorado pine from the same valley we used to live in and it has traveled and lived in Joshua Tree, a climbing mecca and one of our favorite spots.” - Ian

Adina and Ian’s Advice for future DIY Builders:

  • Building a Tiny House RV may seem tough, but board by board and nail by nail it's one of the easiest things to understand.
  • Dive into the journey. Your design is extremely important but it also changes and grows as you build.
  • Use your community. Talk to people and feed off the knowledge of various skilled and practiced individuals. These relationships are so valuable.

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently 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 her informative blog. 

Written by Jenna Spesard — April 20, 2016

Filed under: 2016   boulder   colorado   newlyweds   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Trailer   Tumbleweed   Tumbleweed Trailer   two lofts  

Tiny House Vineyard: Sonoma wine made by Tiny Housers

Bree and Kieran wanted a place to call their own after sharing a big house with four other residents, so they built a custom Tiny House RV in Somona County. If you're not familiar with Sonoma, it's premium wine country!

Meet Kieran & Bree, of Tiny House Vineyard

Their Tiny House RV is 8' X 20' long, built on trailer that allowed them to build around the wheel wells (similar to the Tumbleweed Low-Wider trailer). A few design features include: board and batten siding, a tin roof and a lime green door.

Bree, who has background in interior design, designed the layout herself. The overall aesthetic of this tiny is rustic-modern-industrial. The Sonoma couple used some recycled materials to save on cost, including: reclaimed windows, front door and barn sliding bathroom door.

Total material costs for this tiny, including furnishings, was $21,000. Bree and Kieran did a lot of the work themselves, with the help of Bree's step father Mike Itturibarria. Construction took 8 months in total, working only two days a week. The couple was able to pay for everything up front by planning ahead and saving. 

Tiny House Vineyard

Soon after deciding to go tiny, Kieran was inspired to create his Tiny House Vineyard label, a dream that he has had for over five years. He and a silent partner hired a talented winemaker to create their Limited Production Pinot Noir. You can purchase three bottle packs of this premium wine on the Tiny House Vineyard website.  

Quality is very important in a Tiny House RV, so Steve Weissmann (President of Tumbleweed) decided to do a quality assurance assessment of Kieran's wine. “I ran several tests on the Tiny House Pinot," Steve said. "It passed every sip ... I mean test!

Kieran & Steve enjoying a glass of Tiny House Vineyard's Pinot Noir

Kieran is often asked: Why create a premium wine for the Tiny House movement, aren't Tiny Housers interested in saving money? While this is true, Tiny Housers also enjoy the freedom to spend their time and money on travel and the finer things in life.  

Bree and Kieran recently became engaged and are currently resting in between Tiny House RV construction and planning their wedding.

They offered a few pieces of advice for future DIY builders: Do your research. Plan thoroughly. Ebb and flow. Learn to adjust. It will not go exactly as you planned, and that’s okay.

"Everything inside (our Tiny House RV) makes us smile because we love it – there’s nothing that isn’t important or special to us." - Bree & Kieran 

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To learn more, check out the Tiny House Vineyard website, Instagram and Facebook

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Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently 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 her informative blog. 

Written by Jenna Spesard — April 12, 2016

Filed under: 2016   Bree   California   county   Kieran   sonoma   tiny home   tiny house   Tiny house movement   tiny house vinyard   tiny house wine   trailer   vineyard   wine   winery  

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