Bill Brooks Tiny Solar House Part 3

Tiny Solar House part 3 by Bill Brooks. This video covers his storage area and refrigerator as well as some of the electronics in the unit to convert the electricity to the different modes available.

Also a tour of the shower and bathroom area and an introduction to Bill’s composting toilet. Again lots of little details that you may not have thought of. I appreciate Bill being such a great tour guide of his work.

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Holly - February 9, 2011 Reply

I am happy that someone FINALLY has designed a tiny house that could realistically be lived in full-time. I’ve grown tired of small “houses” that have no running water, or no toilet, or no storage, or no…(fill in the blank) thus preventing any of them to actual habitats. Thanks Bill for sharing these videos and providing so much great detail about the design and systems in place. Very very helpful!!

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    I am glad you enjoyed the tour. I built the trailer with the goal that it would be self contained and made for year round living. Because of the size (16 ft trailer), there were some trade offs. Also, when it was just the exterior walls and loft, it looked much larger inside than now.

    If someone was going to park the trailer in one spot, several things could have been done differently. The bench seating would go, and just have chairs and maybe even a free standing table. The cabinet space could be reduced too, to open up space for a sitting area. The loft could have been expanded to create storage area above.

    I would not mind building another trailer someday. But, I think I would more enjoy helping someone in building their own instead. There are a lot of people out there that would like to have their own small house but do not know where to start. That would be a good way of helping the tiny house community.

    Ed Whorrall - November 14, 2014 Reply

    Help. I am building a small home on a trailer in portland; I am looking for a place to put it and wondering generally what a $$ ant one should expect to pay for a 8x20ft spot. Can anyone help?

Sam - February 9, 2011 Reply

This looks rad. Going to use the same toilet in my airstream tiny house.

BTW I happen to have an extra Sundanzer DCR-50 solar refrigerator (same as in the video I believe) that won’t fit in the door of my trailer (stupid purchase). If anyone in New England is interested in getting a bit of a deal on this, email me, make an offer. take “goodfriendsam” then add “@gmail.com”

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    Yes, the refrig is somewhat large. Since I had a 32 inch doorway, I was able to get mine inside before I built the bench seating and such. Once I had the walls and roof up, I put the appliances inside so I would not have to worry about fitting them in once I started building. I had to move them around several times to get to different areas, but it worked.

    Now that I think about it, I am not sure if I can get the refrig out if it ever comes to that. It will be tight regardless.

alice - February 9, 2011 Reply

That is one interesting composting toilet. I’m sticking with my sawdust bucket setup for economic reasons but I know several people who will find this useful and I would love to ‘upgrade’ some day. Thanks for the tours.

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    Well the composting toilet is an expensive upgrade, especially compared to a sawdust bucket version. You could probably do same of the same things with the bucket version, like adding a vent fan and using peat moss. Both should help by composting so take longer before it needs to be emptied.

Amy - February 10, 2011 Reply

I learned a lot from all the electrical work he did. but, he’s cramming a full kitchen into a tiny house and sacrificing any living space. I love the big windows but there is no comfortable seating around them. It’s great to be outside, but at some point you have to come in. As much as I love the pine, I see through his work how white walls lighten up the interior. Beautiful work.

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    I designed the interior so that I could live in it all the time. The idea was to travel to a spot, stay awhile, and then move on. So storage was important. The result was less living space. If I had a place that this trailer would stay parked, I would likely make several changes to the interior, such as reducing storage and making space for a comfy chair.

et - February 10, 2011 Reply

Nice job. The unified interior white/pine really looks good.

I am curious to see the sleeping/living areas of this. Altho well thought out (with lots of storage) it seems like an attempt to move everything! into a tiny house. Could two people be in the house for more than a little while? It seems crowded.

Each to their own of course.

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    I believe Kent has some video on the loft. I know he ran out of space on his cam, but not sure if that was before or after the loft. The space in the loft is large enough for a queen size mattress.

    Two people could stay in this trailer as long as they can share the small space. No where to hide from each other. But, since it is just me, it should work out fine.

et - February 10, 2011 Reply

PS I don’t think I’d empty a composting toilet into garbage bag by turning the toilet upside down.

David - February 10, 2011 Reply

Next time you speak with Bill, you might mention the Bricor shower heads–they are the lowest in water use of any I have found. Some use as little as half a gallon a minute, and even their budget model uses less than a gallon and a half, IIRC. That may stretch his water a good bit.
I agree that the largest compromise is on living space–I might have thought of expanding the plan perhaps another two feet to make room for at least a comfortable chair or two. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful job with much to teach about the challenges.

    Bill - February 10, 2011 Reply

    I saw the Bricor shower heads awhile back. I liked the design and low water use, but they were expensive. Plus, even with 1.5 gal per minute, you can not take a long shower. The freshwater tanks hold 30 gallons, the grey water tank is 20 gallons. So, I opted for the hand held shower head. The “navy shower” method will be employed – wet down, turn off water, soap up, rinse off. Sponge baths may be used too, as well as showers at campgrounds if available. Since I may be in areas that don’t have showers, I opted to include the shower here. I will just have to be very careful on water usage.

deborah - February 10, 2011 Reply

Darn, wish I had a fast connection. Can’t get video out here in the boonies on my terrible dialup. 🙁

Deek - February 10, 2011 Reply

Congrats Bill, on what looks like a TON of hardwork that has now come to completion!

yeowch though- for the smaller “house” builders Holly….lol 😉 ….remember, toilets and piped-in water can be added to almost any structure easily- esp. with today’s envirolets, incinolets, clivus multrums (although very bulky), the thousand-year old composting toilet “technologies”, etc…external facility rooms are also a tried and true option- depending on the person, needs, tastes, and climate, etc. They’re actually still used the majority of the world over…

As for structures, naturally it all comes down to what and who you’re designing them for. To each their own….

Bill love those huge windows too…heat and a view…

Great vids Kent- keep it up!

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