Tumbleweed is the First Green Certified Tiny House RV



"I'm personally drawn to Tumbleweed's core philosophy that 'Less is Green.' Yet, we wanted to take it a step farther and examine the materials we use. So when Green Certification became available for Tiny House RVs we decided we wanted to be the first to lead the way. "

- Steve Weissmann, President of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes

What does “GREEN CERTIFIED” mean?

TRA is a leader in the field of systems-built engineering, certification and inspection services. They offer a “green certification” for RVs, which requires an evaluation of a manufacturer’s facility, practices and procedure. Tumbleweed passed inspection for all criteria, including: resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency and indoor air quality.

The bottom line: We’ve always built our Tiny House RVs to be eco-friendly and now we’re officially certified!

Why does being “GREEN CERTIFIED” matter?

At Tumbleweed, we care about the environmental impact of our facility and our products. Building small isn’t enough, we want to ensure that our Tiny House RVs are built smart and efficient as well.

Just a few examples of our ongoing efforts to be green:

  • We plant a tree for each registered Tiny House RV built at our facility
  • We recycle unused construction materials off-site
  • Our Tiny House RVs are insulated with a high R-value, reducing the need to use utilities
  • Low flow water fixtures come standard in our Tiny House RVs
  • Rapidly renewable resources such as cork and bamboo are used for major components in our Tiny House RVs
  • And much more!

"The tiny house movement has always encompassed an environmentally conscious lifestyle with a smaller carbon foot through reduced building materials and maintenance needs, along with lower energy usage. We purposely went through the process of a third-party engineering review and analysis and are proud to have achieved Green RV Certification for our customers seeking a certified environmental lifestyle."

Ross Beck, Operations Manager at Tumbleweed Homes

*To find out more about Certified Green RVs, explore here.

Written by Jenna Spesard — May 12, 2015

Filed under: Certified Green   Eco Friendly   Green Building   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny House RV  

5 Creative Staircase Ideas for Tiny House RVs

Creative contemporary staircase design. Photo credit: Archi Expo

A few months ago, we posted an article that asked: LADDER vs. STAIRCASE, which would you choose for your Tiny House RV? The overwhelming opinion was that a staircase was preferred, but only if it didn't overwhelm the living space. It sounds like we need to get creative!

Below you'll find FIVE SPACE SAVING STAIRCASE IDEAS to get your inventive juices flowing.

1). Japanese Tansu Steps

Tansu Step Cabinet. Image credit: Pinterest

Japanese Tansu Steps are available for purchase, but if you're looking to save some cash, try building them yourself. Start from scratch or modify an existing bookshelf. Stack and secure wood storage boxes or antique crates (such as Tiny House Giant Journey did in the video below). 


2). Tiny Spiral Staircase

Molly & Zack's Tiny Ski Lodge on Wheels. Photo Credit: Mark Fisher

In a tiny space, an average-sized spiral staircase will dominate the great room. So if you're interested in this aesthetic for your Tiny House RV, you'll have to get creative and think tinier. Molly and Zack's tiny spiral staircase design (above) was featured on the TV show Tiny House Nation. Francis Camosse used this same design in his Tiny House RV (below). 

Photo credit: Telegram.com

3). Alternating Tread Staircase

Photo credit: Tiny House Living 

This form of climbing might take some getting used to (ask any sailor), but it's a great space saver. After a few climbs, you'll start to remember: right, left, right, left. Muscle memory will have you ascending and descending with ease.

Photo credit: Stylish Eve

4). Folding Staircase

Photo credit: Loft Centre Products 

Wouldn't it be nice to retract or fold away your staircase when not in use? Perhaps the above example is a bit steep (almost a ladder), but with the right handrail it could work! For a bit of whimsy, enjoy the innovative "Disappearing Staircase" design below. In what other ways could we fold away our stairs?

Disappearing Staircase. Photo credit: Apartment Therapy 

5). Repurposed Staircase

Could you repurpose these stairs? Photocredit: Mental Floss

Remember the stairs from your childhood playground or bunkbed? Could you find a similar set that could be repurposed for your Tiny House RV? Maybe you could snag a set of steps from a dilapidated sailboat or manipulate a set of "pet steps?" Check your local resale shop, garage sales, estate sales and craigslist. Keep searching! Who knows, you might find the perfect set of stairs for free!

Pet steps.  Photo credit: Trend Hunter

Learn how to make the above staircase from a set of IKEA storage shelves, click here

YOUR TURN! Share your creative staircase ideas below!


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently living and traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop host. They are photographing and writing about their adventure and occasionally they will be hosting an open house. Be sure to follow their tiny house and giant journey here.

Written by Jenna Spesard — April 30, 2015

Filed under: Alternating   Folding   Reclaimed   Staircase   Stairs   Tansu   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny House Nation   Tiny House RV  

Jeff & Megan's Tiny House RV

Recently we held a workshop in Las Vegas and decided to check in with Jeff and Megan's Tumbleweed Linden build, called "Room To Spare Tiny House." Last summer, when we delivered their trailer, you might remember their difficulty maneuvering into their backyard build site. The retaining wall collapsed and the couple ended up maneuvering the trailer by hand. It worked!

Almost six months of construction, Jeff and Megan's build is nearing the halfway mark. "We originally thought it would take us about this long to finish the entire Tiny House RV," Jeff admitted. Currently they are sheathing and wrapping their Tiny House RV with Tyvek 

"Sometimes you can plan and plan and plan, but at a certain point, you need to just start building," Jeff shared. "At a certain point there is value in getting two pieces of wood attached to each other, instead of standing around and talking about it all day!"

For visual reference, above is a complete Tumbleweed Linden. Jeff and Megan have slightly modified the design to suit their needs and personal preferences. Notice, their door is located on the side rather than centered.

Megan Standing on her Sheathed Rear Roof

The couple was recently featured on the local news. Watch the video below to see the interior "Room to Spare" and learn about the growing interest in Tiny House RVs in Las Vegas! 

FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

The big question still hovers over Jeff and Megan's exit strategy (literally). How are they going to get their custom RV out of that backyard when it's fully built? 

"We don’t think there’s any way we’re going back out the way we came in," Jeff and Megan explained that they have two options: 1). PUT IN A GATE THROUGH THE BACK WALL OF THE YARD AND EXIT THROUGH THE NEIGHBOR'S YARD, or 2). HIRE A CRANE. 

The crane option might seem a little extreme, but the couple has quoted both options and the pricing is similar! So, why not crane it? It'll make for an amazing story, not to mention an incredible photo opportunity. 

Rain Tarp Protecting "Room to Spare Tiny House" from the Elements

Jeff and Megan's Three Pieces of Advice for Other DIYers:

1).  Invest in a good tarp (unless you’re lucky enough to have a covered build site)

2).  Know your exit strategy – or at least be aware of the challenges before you start!

3).  Trust yourself. Anyone can do this, with a little training and help.

We'll be sure to check back in with Jeff and Megan periodically, but in the meantime, follow "Room to Spare Tiny House" on their websitefacebook and Instagram.


*All photos provided by Room to Spare Tiny House


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about their adventure and occasionally they will be hosting Tumbleweed workshops and open houses. Be sure to follow their tiny house and giant journey.


Written by Jenna Spesard — April 14, 2015

Filed under: Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny House RV  

Ariel's Off-Grid 24 Foot Tumbleweed

Ariel's Off-Grid Tiny House RV in Wyoming

Wouldn't it be nice to travel anywhere with your Tiny House RV without worrying about "plugging-in?" Ariel McGlothin just purchased a Tumbleweed 24 Cypress, and she customized her Tiny House RV to be completely off-grid, even in the cold winter climate of mountainous Wyoming. 

"The propane heater built into my RV does an excellent job of providing steady, even and comfortable heat," Ariel explains. "The only thing I would prefer comfort wise is a heated floor as my feet have always tended to be cold, but I chose not to go with that due the the power use and knowing that (my Tiny House RV) would be off-grid."

Ariel's lofted bedroom

Ariel chose the 24 foot Cypress model, and her layout was customized to have a large kitchen for cooking meals from scratch. Some other customizations include: converting her closet into a pantry, adding a double sink and creating a smaller custom shower stall in order to make her kitchen larger.


"I use my oven and all four burners," Ariel explains. "So it (the full range appliance) is absolutely worth the space for me." 

The benefits of being off-grid include self-sustainability, a lower carbon footprint and reduced utility bills, but it's not for the faint of heart. "(Being off-grid) is a commitment." Ariel admits, "I don't mind that, but it does require more thought than being plugged into the grid somewhere. I just have to be mindful of things."

How Ariel's Tiny House RV Functions Off-Grid:

1). Solar & Generator

When it's sunny out, Ariel is able to provide the electricity for her Tiny Home RV with solar panels. On a cloudy day, she switches on the generator to recharge her batteries. "I take an extra minute in the morning to run up the bank behind my RV to dust the snow off the solar panels," Ariel explains. "I recharge camera batteries and my laptop, while the generator is running."

2). Propane Appliances

Ariel's heater, water heater, stove and oven are all powered by propane rather than electricity. "I need to monitor my propane tanks and fill them as each one gets empty so I'm not suddenly without heat," Ariel comments. 

Her refrigerator is Energy Star rated, meaning it uses less electricity than most models. 

3). Water Tanks

Ariel's Tiny House RV has a 26 gallon water tank hidden under the kitchen sink. She fills this weekly by hauling jugs of fresh water to her RV and pouring them into the exterior water inlet. The tank could also be filled using a garden hose, if she had one nearby, and if it wasn't frozen.

Consumption wise, Ariel uses about 140 gallons of water a month not including her showers that are usually taken at the gym. "It's been fun to measure my use of things." Ariel tells us. Because of this, she has become very conscious of her usage. 

4). Composting Toilet

Ariel has a Nature's Head composting toilet, the fan favorite for manufactured composting toilets in the Tiny House RV world. She dumps her urine container about once a week. The "solids" compartment is rated for 90 uses before dumping.

"None of this is hard, it's just a commitment to extra regular chores that people typically do not have any experience with these days." - Ariel McGlothin


For more details on Ariel's tiny house or off-grid living tips, check out her informative website here.

All photos provided by Ariel (who is an excellent photographer)! More of her work on her website.


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about their adventure and occasionally they will be hosting Tumbleweed workshops and open houses. Be sure to follow their tiny house and giant journey.



Written by Jenna Spesard — April 13, 2015

Filed under: 24 foot   Ariel   Cypress   Dickenson Heater   Kitchen   Off-grid   Propane   Solar   Tiny home   Tiny House   Tumbleweed   Water Heater   Water tanks   Wyoming  

Roof Shapes for Tiny House RVs

Six Basic Roof Shapes / photo credit

In architecture, the roof shape of a structure will have a big impact on the overall design. Above you can see six basic roof shapes, but for the purposes of this concise article we are only going to discuss the following: 1). Gable Roof, 2). Gambrel Roof, 3). Hipped Roof, and 4). Flat Roof.

Remember there are advantages and disadvantages to every roof shape, but most importantly you should choose the shape that best fits the visual aesthetic of your entire Tiny House RV design.

A Tumbleweed Elm w/ a Gable Roof Shape & Dormers

Gable Roof

When you ask a child to draw a house, what do they usually draw? Answer: A gable roof shape with two windows, a door and perhaps a chimney. The gable roof shape is classic, sophisticated and summons an emotional connection of "home". 

Here is what the interior of a Tiny House RV with a gable roof looks like:

A classic gable roof. *Note, the roof expands to shed dormers in the loft.

This Tiny House RV's great room feels spacious because of the peaked roofline, guiding your eyes skyward. The steep 12:12 roof pitch also allows for easy rain and snow runoff. 

"Runaway Shanty"- Tiny House RV being built on a Tumbleweed Trailer w/ Gambrel Roof Shape

2. Gambrel Roof

The gambrel roof shape is a staple for the traditional American "country home". As you travel through the rural areas of the United States, you will see many examples of the gambrel roof used on farmhouses and barns. You might also see this roof shape used in a few colonial residences around New England. 

Here is what the interior of a Tiny House RV with a gambrel roof looks like:

April's Tiny House RV with a Gambrel Roof Shape

The gambrel roof provides more interior ceiling space than the gable, while also providing a decent slope for snow and rain runoff. That being said, this roof shape is more difficult to construct and will be heavier than a traditional gable.

The Tumbleweed Cypress w/ a Hipped Roof

3). Hipped Roof

The hipped roof, seen here on a Tumbleweed Cypress, is our most popular Tiny House RV design. A visual charmer, hipped roof shapes can be seen all over the country in residential architecture. The design resonates will many home owners, which has lead to its overwhelming popularity. 

Here is what the interior of a Tiny House RV with a hipped roof looks like:

The hipped roof, as seen above in the small loft above the door, slants inward but still provides ample space for storage or a display. 

The Tumbleweed Mica w/ a Flat Roof

4). Flat Roof

The term "flat roof" is a bit of a misnomer. This roof shape is not completely flat, but actuality has a slight slant for rain runoff. Flat roofs are an ancient form of architecture, but the design is still used all over the world today. For example, most green roofs (roofs used for growing vegetation) are flat roofs.

Here is what the interior of a Tiny House RV with a hipped roof looks like:

So which of these roof shapes would you choose for your Tiny House RV? Comment below!


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about their adventure and occasionally they will be hosting Tumbleweed workshops and open houses. Be sure to follow their tiny house and giant journey.

Written by Jenna Spesard — April 06, 2015

Filed under: Cypress   Elm   Flat   Gable   Gambrel   Hipped   Mica   Roof   Roof Shapes   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny House RV  

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