Bruce’s Airstream Overlander

Bruce Czopek is a muralist, artist and avid backpacker who decided about two years ago to stop paying rent. While the costs of home ownership were out of his reach—he still wanted to own something that he wouldn’t have to worry about losing should he not be able to pay the rent. Enter a 26-foot 1966 Overland Airstream.


Bruce found the trailer on the Denver, Colo. Craigslist and had it shipped via uShip to his friend’s home in Northern Nevada. He then spent over 80 hours stripping out old caulking and sealant from the exterior seams and resealing the skin of the trailer. Bruce spent even more time removing insulation full of mouse droppings, painting the frame with rust inhibitive paint and re-insulating the inside, refinishing the original cabinets, pulling out old plumbing and gas lines, installing a new heater, new propane regulator and new wood floors.




Bruce lives in the trailer most of the time and rents space for it from his friend. He does utilize his friend’s house for the bathroom and kitchen.

“Having access to the house meant I wouldn’t have to worry about plumbing and kitchen till Phase Two,” Bruce said. “Doing it on a budget also demands saving money for the next phase.  That will be installing new plumbing, a new water heater and finishing the bathroom.”



Bruce purchased the Overlander for only $4,500, but suggests if anyone else wants to attempt to restore an older trailer to be patient and accept that the amount of work will be more than originally considered.

“While repairing one thing you will find two or three other items to take care of,” he said. “The alternative is to pay a lot more for an Airstream that has been thoroughly inspected. There really are no deals out there any more. I had first thought to gut the trailer and do a modern interior but even though the cabinets were pretty tired everything was there and I decided to stick with the original look. The interior now feels like a first class cabin on an old ocean liner. Classy and comfortable.”

Bruce also plans to spend more time making the trailer more insulated for winter weather and appreciates the various Airstream forums and friends will skills who helped him along the way.

“I love the round quality of the Airsteam. Not being all angular, it has a calm feeling inside,” Bruce added. “I have found that using it as a bedroom while having the advantage of a separate bath and kitchen is actually very nice.”


Photos by Bruce Czopek


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Tiny Yellow Teardrop on Fair Companies

I am currently on my way to check out some tiny houses in the tropical nation of Belize. However, I thought I would leave you with a video of my teardrop trailer, the Sunflower, put together by the lovely Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies. Last fall, I met Kirsten’s parents at Austin Hay’s tiny open house and began to converse with her by email. She became interested in my bright yellow teardrop and wanted to show the lifestyle from my point of view.


From a mix of random video that I shot with my Sony Powershot, Kirsten edited together a very nice snapshot into the average life of a teardropper. During our final fall camping trip in the Eastern Sierras, my fellow teardropping friends and I get a little goofy in the video as we hike, soak in natural hot springs and cook over hot coals with a Dutch oven. My little cat also makes a guest appearance. If you are interested in learning more about how I got my teardrop and about teardrop trailers in general, you can visit my blog at

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Tiny Bubbles

For someone who wants to be close to nature, but doesn’t mind a little less privacy, a new bubble hotel/campground has been built just outside of Paris by designer Pierre-Stephane Dumas. Each of his “rooms” are transparent, air-filled plastic bubbles placed discretely in the garden of the Chateau de Malmaison, which is the former home of Napolean’s Josephine.

“I think nearly everyone of us has dreamed of something like this,” Dumas said. He built these bubbles primarily to stargaze from the comfort of bed without having to set up a tent. Continue reading

St. Croix Expat Home

Not that I’m looking to move to a tropical island anytime soon, but when winter comes along…sometimes it’s nice to dream about becoming an expat in paradise. Instead of dreaming, this is what Nate Olive of Atlanta did. After a few life changes, he moved to the beautiful island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, met an equally beautiful woman and opened up a sustainable farm and restaurant.

Nate and his wife, Shelly, also live in an interesting small home they’ve dubbed the Cozy Shack. In this episode of Ex-Pats by the Reserve Channel, the host mostly discusses Nate’s reason for becoming an expat, but the location and Nate’s home really caught my attention. Continue reading

ClearSpace Modular Homes

For lovers of clean, efficient, modern design with an eye toward outside living, ClearSpace Homes has come up with a few designs to appeal to people who want a tiny house. ClearSpace has been selling their prefab homes in the Austin, Texas area for several years and some parts of each design can be customized by the buyer. Their homes are offered in several colors and the interior can include reclaimed or new materials. A customized ClearSpace home will run about $125 per square foot which does not include site work, the foundation or shipping.

The first of their tiny homes is the ClearSpace Casita. This 432 square foot home includes a studio space that can accommodate a murphy bed/storage wall, work area, or built in display/book shelf. There is also space for a compact kitchen, a 3/4 bath and a generous sleeping/storage room. The best feature of the Casita is the protective enclosure that allows the owner to enjoy the outdoors. The interior space of the home has sliding glass doors which can be opened to allow for cross ventilation and there is a skylight above the loft. The base price of the Casita is $51,240.

Continue reading