Miranda's Artsy Purple Tiny House RV

Miranda Aisling Hynes overcame many challenges during her build, including a nasty spell of pneumonia cased by overexertion. Almost one year later, her hard work has finally paid off! Miranda now has a purple custom Tumbleweed Cypress lovingly named "Aubergine" (meaning: the color of eggplant).  

Miranda's Tiny House

Miranda's Tiny House

As a passionate artist, Miranda chose to fill her tiny space with handmade items - including pottery, a painted rug, handmade sink and a gorgeous stained glass window!

Miranda's Tiny House

"There is a portrait, by Andy Newman, of Aubergine hanging inside the Tiny House RV," Miranda explains. "I couldn't resist going meta!"

Miranda's budget was $25,000 in materials, which is average for a tiny of this size. She still needs to complete the plumbing and propane, so she may go slightly over budget. Read this article for an analysis of Tiny House RV material costs.

Tiny House Miranda

Interior of "Aubergine" with Miranda's folding dining table

Aubergine is part of Miranda's long-term goal to create a community art hotel. Within the next two years, she hopes to find land in the greater Boston area that can be used for a Tiny House Hotel, where everything from the food to the furniture will be handmade by local artists. Patrons who come and stay at the hotel can buy featured handmade items or take a art class to learn how to make those items for themselves. 

Aubergine Tiny House

Miranda had help building Aubergine from members of her local community, and the constant support of her mother. 

 "Whenever someone tells me I can only do as much as I do now because of how young I am, I say they should meet my mother!" - Miranda Aisling Hynes

Miranda Tiny House

Miranda's mother enjoying the bump out on Miranda's Tiny House RV

Congratulations to Miranda! We will keep updating you on this story as her Tiny House Hotel project comes to fruition. 

Learn more about Miranda's projects, including Aubergine, on her website: http://mirandashearth.com


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 — September 29, 2016

Filed under: Abergine   artist   artistic   Boston   Cypress   East Coast   handmade   hotel   Massachusetts   Miranda Aisling Hynes   Movement   Tiny House   tiny house hotel   Tiny House RV   Tumbleweed  

Mario & Ciarra's Super Techy Tiny House RV - FOR SALE

Ready for a totally teched-out Tiny House RV? Mario Soto finished his DIY Tumbleweed over a year ago, and it has some radical design elements. He incorporated several tricked-out tech features, creating a luxurious and almost futuristic space. Read on for details!

Tiny House RV Tech Features:

- Salt water battery system, made by Aquion energy. With the help of these batteries, Mario's tiny can function off-grid.

- Solar Oven. Mario uses this outdoor solar oven along side his chef-style kitchen. 

- Sliding closet. Mario's closet rolls into his standing shower, when the shower is not in use, creating more space. 

- Atmospheric water generator. This system pulls moisture from the air to create clean water. Mario is still perfecting this system. Currently, it creates about 8 gallons of clean water a day. 

Mario Tiny House

- Velux solar skylight. Mario has a wireless skylight that opens and closes by itself, based on the weather, using solar energy. 

- Wireless Air Conditioning. Mario can control the thermostat in his tiny wirelessly, even when he's outside. 

- Automatic hue lighting. The lights on the exterior and interior automatically turn off when Mario leaves his Tiny House RV and turn on when he approaches. 

- Wireless Schlage lock. Mario's front door lock can be disabled wirelessly in case someone needs to get into his tiny when he's not around. It will also notify him if there is a knock at the door when he is away. 

"For the people who are hesitant about going tiny: you do not know unless you try it. It could make other parts of your life even bigger!" - Mario

After traveling with his tricked-out tiny for one year, Mario and his girlfriend, Ciarra, became engaged. Together they plan to build another Tiny House RV - slightly larger than Mario's original - that will suit both of their needs and personalities.

Mario's Tiny House Kitchen

Mario and Ciarra's future tiny will be 26 feet long, which is six feet longer than Mario's current tiny. It will also be built on gooseneck trailer. They both still want to have the wireless tech features of Mario's original tiny. 

"I'm nervous and excited for the experience." Ciarra says. "The most important thing for me is: I don't need a big space." 

Before building their dream Tiny, Mario and Ciarra must sell Mario's original Tiny House RV. If you're interested, check out this link for the sale listing


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 — September 20, 2016

Filed under: Ciarra   For Sale   Mario   Movement   Road Trip   Super Tech   Techy   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny House RV   Travel  

Tiny House RV Travelers: "Best Little House in Texas"

Meet Cody and Randi, owners and builders of this gorgeous Tiny House RV nicknamed "Best Little House in Texas." With their tiny dwelling in tow, they are in the midst of a six month road trip across the country. So far they've been traveling for three months, hitting 18 states!

Best Little House in Texas

Basing their design off of the Tumbleweed Elm, Cody and Randi built a beautiful custom Tiny House RV with french doors and intricate trim work. They added an extra gable over their front door and sided their tiny abode with painted wood and cedar shingles. 

Best little house in texas

On the interior, Cody and Randi have a full size couch that is swoon-worthy and rare for a tiny house living room. Their loft includes two skylights, which allows natural light to bounce off of their white interior paneling, illuminating their gorgeous living space. 

Best Little House in Texas

Every element and belonging in Cody and Randi's tiny is a representation of their life together. 

Best Little House in Texas

The heart and soul of Cody and Randi's design revolves around their idea of "home." Their exposed wood beams, round window trim and reclaimed floor boards are all native to their home state of Texas. They also allocated space in their design for a record player, collection of books and nicknacks collected from their experiences together.

Watch the following video featuring Cody & Randi, created by Tiny House Expedition

*Follow Cody and Randi on their blog, Facebook and Instagram

*All photos copyright "Best Little House in Texas"


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 — September 07, 2016

Filed under: 2016   best little house in texas   Cody   Custom   Design   Elm   French Doors   Hennigan   Randi   road trip   roadtrip   texas   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tumbleweed  

Choosing paint for your Tiny House RV

Paint can be toxic, especially in a tiny space. It is very important to choose your paints carefully, otherwise you could be admitting dangerous chemicals into your Tiny House RV. For this article, I interviewed Matthew Connors: tiny house dweller, dad, off-grid homesteader and house painter!

Matthew Connors

The story of Matthew Connors, non-toxic painter

Matthew Connors owns New Leaf Professional Painting and specializes in non-toxic and earth based paint services. He also lives in a 450 square foot off-grid tiny home with his wife and two kids in New Hampshire. 

New Hampshire Tiny House

Matthew's decision to turn over a new leaf in the painting world was made when his daughter ran to hug him one day after work.


"I urged (my daughter) to not touch me until I showered and changed my clothes. I realized that was unhealthy for her and myself on many levels." - Matthew 


Matthew now only accepts clients who are willing to work with non-toxic paints. He chooses to do this not only for his own health, but also for the health and safety of his family, clients, and for those who come after us. Read on for the full interview. 


New Leaf Painting Tiny House New Hampshire


Why is it important to pay attention to paints?

Matthew: I feel it is important to pay attention to not only paint, but any chemicals and materials. Many modern (I venture to say most) building materials, paints, cleaners etc. contain toxic chemicals. Buildings are closed spaces and we inhale fumes from chemicals as they evaporate, be it paint or household cleaners, or plywood. The smaller the space, the more concentrated the fumes and exposure increases.

The main issue with interior latex paint is not with the paint itself, but with the fumes released by the paint as it is drying and over time. The fumes are made of organic compounds, or VOCs, which are gases like benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. The actual gases depend on the formula of the paint. Generally, the more heavily tinted and glossy the paint, the more VOCs are released.

VOCs, especially formaldehyde, are blamed for causing headaches, nausea, fatigue and irritations of the eyes, nose and throat. The misconception many people have is that once the paint is dried and you can no longer smell it, then the danger is gone, which is false. These chemicals can be released for years, long after the paint is dry, and you will continue to inhale the toxins which have been associated to numerous health issues which include cancer and asthma.

And keep in mind that just because a paint says that it has low or even zero VOC's, that does not mean that it is non-toxic. Not all VOCs are the same. There is a large amount of research and scientific evidence to support the idea that there is a significant distinction, in terms of health impacts, between naturally occurring VOCs such as orange oil, and synthetic VOCs. Even without VOC's many paints still contain harmful biocides and fungicides.


Tiny House New Hampshire
Matthew's 14X16' tiny cabin is painted with non-toxic paints


What should be considered when choosing paint?

Matthew: First and foremost ask yourself: "Why am I painting?" Is it to protect a material such as wood or metal; is it simply to add some color; or is it because we have been told that paint is the best way to finish a house. The products chosen should match the reason for the paint, oil, sealer, etc. Sometimes paint is not necessary at all, or can lead to more problems down the road if not applied correctly.


Tiny House New Hampshire off-grid
Matthew's off-grid homestead


What do you usually suggest for interior paint for tiny spaces? Do you have specific brands or labels?

Matthew: I recommend the same types of paint and finishes for all houses, big or small, with the exception of houses on wheels. For portable houses, non-brittle finishes such as washes and oils hold up better to the flex and movement. For all others, my first choice will always be a naturally derived product. I try to avoid latex paints whenever possible as they are, at their core, plastics derived from petroleum, even though they are generally accepted as non-toxic. I'll reiterate that I do not care what isn't in the paint, but rather what is in it.


I look to naturally derived plant and earth based paints first. They tend to vary with ingredients, but typically contain things like flax(linseed) or other plant oils, casein (a milk product), clay (for beautiful colors), lime, flour. These ingredients are ones that we humans can understand, and can even mix ourselves!
Some brands that I trust are: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. (they are local to me to boot), Bio-shield, Green Planet Paints, & Unearthed Paints.
* If you would like to book a consultation with Matthew, contact him at New Leaf Painting
* All photos provided by Matthew Connors


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 30, 2016

Filed under: 2016   chemical   chemical sensitive   matthew connors   new hampshire   new leaf painting   non-toxic   paint   paints   stain   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement  

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

As many of you know, I built my own Tiny House RV and I wouldn't have it any other way! Below I've listed 8 reasons you should BUILD OVER BUY. But don't worry, if you aren't up for the construction challenge, click here to read 8 reasons you should BUY OVER BUILD.

8 reasons to BUILD INSTEAD OF BUY:

1). You have construction experience

No brainer. If you know your way around the tool shed, building your own Tiny House RV should be relatively easy. For an expert builder, we advise that a build will take 400-600 work hours. 

You can also take a workshop to learn the skills to build your own tiny. I took one prior to building my tiny, and now I teach them! 

2). You have a great build location

The ideal build site is covered, with ample storage for materials and access to electricity for power tools. If you have the perfect build location, give yourself a pat on the back! You will be the envy of many tiny enthusiasts. 

3). You have a budget & savings

One of the biggest hurdles for any tiny house enthusiast is creating a realistic budget. How you will pay for the materials, tools, etc? Financing is not usually an option for DIY Tiny House RV builds, so you may need to get creative. For example, you can save money by gathering reclaimed/free items. For a breakdown of my DIY Tiny House RV costs and materials, click here.

If you already have a budget and enough savings to build, what are you waiting for?? Go for it! 

4). You have a support team

I had a bunch of volunteers help on my Tiny House RV. So if you have a support team, for physical labor and mental inspiration, it might be enough to get you through the challenge.

5). You want the knowledge

I love the fact that I built my own Tiny House RV. I know it isn't perfect, but I've also learned to love my tiny's faults. Has it always been your goal to build something yourself? A Tiny House RV is the perfect project for you!

6). You want to save money on labor

Arguably the most important reason to build your own Tiny House RV - to save money! Labor can cost almost (if not more) than materials. If you do the work yourself, you can save BIG on the overall cost.

7). You don't care about being RVIA certified

It is not possible to be RVIA certified as a DIY builder (only a manufacturer, like Tumbleweed, can get this certification). If this certification doesn't matter to you, then perhaps building your tiny is the better choice.

8). You want to fulfill your dream

If it has been your dream to build a Tiny House RV for many years, and you are determined, don't let anything (including the above) stand in your way!


*For the alternative point of view: 8 reasons to BUY instead of BUILD a Tiny House RV

What do you think: Build or Buy? Comment below


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 22, 2016

Filed under: 2016   barn raiser   build   carpenter   community   experience   tiny home   tiny house   tumbleweed  

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