"I love the feeling of awe. We’ve all felt it at some point or another in our lives, probably more when we were kids. Feelings of awe seemingly break the shackles off one’s imagination, and open a world of possibilities. Treehouses, to me, embody this world of possibilities, and with each treehouse I build I get to help fulfill someone’s desire to be in wonderment.”
Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, located just outside of Austin, Texas, offers a unique experience for small space enthusiasts - a chance to sleep in a tree! Four treehouse options are available on the property as vacation rentals. I was so impressed with the artistry and craftsmanship when I was there, I asked if we could shoot a few video tours to share with you all (see below).
The Nest Treehouse
If you're a dreamer or adventurist, you'll be gobsmacked by the detail and thought put into "The Nest" treehouse. Inspired by the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, "The Nest" is multi-level treehouse connected by series of suspension bridges and staircases.
Features include: two bedrooms (sleeps four comfortably), a sitting room, a dining room / kitchen, outdoor summer shower, a living roof and a butterfly hatchery (to name a few).
Cypress Valley also offers zip-lining and one tour climaxes at "The Nest" treehouse! Imagine soaring towards your bedroom like a bird coming to perch in a nest... that's pretty dreamy.
The Lofthaven Treehouse
"The Lofthaven" is a romantic yurt-style treehouse located 35 feet off the ground in a bald cypress tree. Will was inspired by being raised in a yurt on the Cypress Valley property, where his family grew their own food, harvested their own electricity and purified water from a spring.
"The Lofthaven" features a suspension bridge, wrap-around patio and a luxurious bath house (located across the bridge on the ground).
One of the most fascinating things about the treehouses at Cypress Valley is that they are supported primarily by the tree itself (no stilts). "The Lofthaven" was even built to move with the tree, which grows through the middle of the yurt. When the trees supporting "The Nest" burnt in a wild fire, Will preserved the trunks and engineered a living canopy that acts as extra support for the treehomes, while giving the trees a second life. Now that's respecting your foundation!
Watch a video tour of their Tiny House RV, film in February 2015:
Recently, we received some updated photos from the soon-to-be-married couple. Here is what their Tumbleweed Cypress looks like today:
Eddie and Lacey have organized, decluttered, decorated and added functional shelves, storage and furniture to their Tiny House RV. The kitchen and bathroom are still a work in progress (we’ll do another update).
We asked Eddie and Lacey a few additional questions about their parking situation:
How did your AC unit work this summer in Austin?
Eddie & Lacey:We did have some trouble for about a week where our condensation line developed build up and began to leak inside the house! Luckily we quickly figured out how to clear out the line with white vinegar and a smaller tube. Aside from that issue, it's been working wonderfully!
Do you like being in the RV park?
E & L: We still enjoy staying at the RV park. We have all sorts of people coming in and overall our personal stay has been good.
Do you mind sharing your monthly costs associated with your Tiny House RV?
E & L: Including utilities we pay around $350 for the Tiny House RV life. Not too shabby!
*Learn more about Eddie and Lacey's Tumbleweed on their website: www.lifetospec.com, dedicated to researching the questions and celebrating the possibilities of intentional living.
*Eddie hosts Tumbleweed workshops where he shares tips and stories from his build. Attend one of our workshops by purchasing tickets here.
Have you ever noticed that the life of the party is always in one room, no matter the size of the house? Usually the kitchen or the living room. If the room is too large and the crowd too small, the party is less of a success because the guests are dispersed. Ease of conversation is naturally linked to proximity. For example: Are you more likely to chat with someone across the room or next to you on the couch?
It’s pretty simple — intimate spaces enhance social activity.
In a Tiny House RV, the space is very intimate, so you’ll have no trouble filling your living room / kitchen combination with about 10-15 standing guests. Perfect for small gatherings, but what if you want to have a larger party? Don’t panic, it is possible! After all, you’re a Tiny House RV owner that thrives on creative spaces.
Using a retractable projector screen you can easily host a top notch movie screening in your tiny space. To increase sitting room, place comfy cushions on the floor of your Tiny House RV. Pass bowls of popcorn and candy around. Create a film trivia board. Your guests will be thrilled with the unique screening experience!
One of the major advantages of having a house on wheels is that you can bring it with you everywhere! Beach party? No problem! Camping weekend? Do it in style with your Tiny House RV! Ski trip? Park it near the mountain and serve hot cocoa! Your Tiny House RV will be the topic of every conversation.
Embrace your small space by creating a “tiny” theme party. For example: Brittany Yunker hosted a “Teeny Tiny Martini Party" in her Tumbleweed Cypress. You could decorate your space to be “Thumbellena’s Castle,” “Santa’s Workshop” or the scariest “Tiny Haunted House” on the block! Your guests already understand it’s a small space, so play it up!
Host an outdoor party with your Tiny House RV as the charming backdrop. Use your tiny space as a bar and/or serve hors d’oeuvres out the window. Transform it into a photo booth or use it as a comfortable sitting area with front row seats to the party. Host a barbecue, dance floor, fire pit or croquet game for outdoor entertainment.
5). Revolving Tiny Housewarming Party
Your friends and family will be curious to see the inside of your tiny space, so for its BIG debut, host a revolving open house. Create a game where your guests experience the inside of your Tiny House RV in short increments. Keep it playful and informative. Hang photos of your build around the space, encouraging your guests to walk through. Frame quotes, images and stories that inspired you. Hold a Q&A or naming ceremony. Hand out tiny party favors.
Tank water heaters vary is size and capacity (6, 10, 12, 16 gallons, etc)
Tank water heaters keep the water hot within the tank at all times, which can use substantial energy
Make sure, no matter which model you choose, that your heater is covered under warranty for DIY installation or hire a professional to install your water heater.
Electric Water Heaters & Solar Power
If you plan on powering your Tiny House RV with solar energy and prefer electric water heaters, your solar system needs to be able to accommodate your chosen appliance. Many of our solar customers choose to go with a propane RV water heater to conserve electricity.
Brittany Yunker's Electric Water Heater in her Tumbleweed
Brittany's Electric Tank Water Heater
Brittany Yunker owns a Tumbleweed Cypress with a six gallon RV tank electric water heater. This model retails at $270. In an effort to conserve energy, she switches her water heater on before showering and switches it off immediately after. It takes about twenty minutes to heat the water in the six gallon tank, therefore planning your hot water needs ahead of time is necessary with this method.
Jeff and Megan from Room To Spare Tiny House just produced a detailed video on their compact tankless electric water heater: the Heatworks Model 1. This product retails for $469. The price, specs and size make this model a real option for Tiny House RVs. We can't wait to hear how it's working out for them.
Propane water heaters require propane tanks to be stored on the exterior of your Tumbleweed. One model that we recommend is the Precision Temp RV-550NSP, which retails at $1,150. The major advantages of this water heater, aside from its ability to heat water in five to ten seconds, is that it provides 80 degrees of temperature rise and has an internal function that prevents freezing (more on that below).
No matter if you choose to have one propane appliance or more, we recommend storing at least two propane tanks on the exterior of your Tiny House RV - one in use and one as a back up. Maintaining full propane tanks requires some effort, but once you have a routine in place, it’s easy.
Most RV propane water heaters require a side vent, which can be an eye sore on the side of your Tiny House RV. Venting to the outside means that some piping will be exposed to freezing temperatures. The water inside the pipes can cause the pipes to burst if frozen. This particular problem is usually not covered by the warranty. Some models need to be mounted outside the Tiny House RV and are even more prone to freezing.
The Precision Temp propane water heater has a built in thermometer (available optionally), triggering the unit to fire up when the temperature falls below freezing. It also vents through the floor, so the vent hole will be hidden from sight.
If you're interested in building your own Tumbleweed but find yourself restricted due to time, skill level, tools, etc. a Tumbleweed Barn Raiser might be the best choice for you!
When you purchase a Tumbleweed Barn Raiser, we deliver a partially built Tiny House RV that you can finish yourself! Design your Barn Raiser using our interactive builder and sleep easy knowing that the foundation of your Tiny House RV will be built by professionals.
We estimate that our Barn Raisers save 100-200+ hours on your total build time. We offer 10 different designs / lengths for you to choose from, now including our modern design - the Tumbleweed Mica.
Our Modern Mica - NOW AVAILABLE AS A BARN RASIER!
Financing Now Available!
We're excited to announce that financing is now available for Tumbleweed Barn Raisers.
No Money Down
Get funded in 72 hours
Interest rates from 3.99% to 8.99%
Payments from $213 to $500 per month
Sales Tax, registration and shipping costs can be financed too!
Get a free quote on your Barn Raiser anytime between now and August 31st, 2015 and receive $500 off* the total price! Our specialists are waiting to assist you and answer any questions.
*discount valid for 30 days after quote is received
Barn Raiser Customer Stories
We like to check in on our Barn Raiser customers occasionally to see how their builds are coming along. It's amazing how every Tiny House RV is different! After delivering the shell, we find that our excited new barn raiser customers infuse their passions and preferences into finishing the build. This really makes their Tiny House RV come alive! See for yourself in a few featured Barn Raiser stories below.
"JStalls Tiny House"
Jonathan and his Tumbleweed Barn Raiser, after he installed the windows himself!
Jonathan Stalls customized his 24 foot Elm Barn Raiser to have a side door and no porch. He also choose to have Tumbleweed install the metal standing seam roof. Since receiving his Barn Raiser he has installed the windows, cedar siding and front door himself!
Look at this beautiful and sophisticated Tiny House RV basking in the Colorado sunshine! Follow Jonathan's Build on Facebook.
"Tiny House For Three"
Maighen, Brandy, and their son R.A.D. with their new Tumbleweed Barn Raiser
Using a mixture of materials, Maighen, Brandy and R.A.D have given their Tumbleweed Cypress Barn Raiser uniqueness and flare! We love seeing how creative they've been with their build. A canvas was delivered, but what they've created is a piece of art!
Chris Schapdick lives in New York City but wanted his young daughter to have a connection to nature. He purchased property in upstate New York and decided to build a tiny mobile cabin for weekend getaways. A Tumbleweed Linden Barn Raiser was perfect for his situation because Chris was limited on time, but wanted the experience of building his own tiny retreat.
Chris's Picturesque "Tiny House in the Country," Winter 2015