The summer camping season is starting to heat up and for those Tiny House Blog visitors who are lamenting the loss of the tiny Retro Traveler, the Toad Camper is a nice and affordable alternative to the ultra lightweight trailer. Toad Campers are built by hand in North Carolina with the best American-made products and can be towed by most 4-cylinder vehicles. What I thought was a typo, was that the campers start out at $2,999 for a basic streamlined weekend trailer.
The company offers four basic models: the Micro, Micro XL, Tadpole, and 20-foot Bull Frog. Each of these models have very flexible floor plan arrangements including small bathrooms with showers, full or queen beds or bunk beds. They also come with the following features:
- Heavy duty axle with bearing buddies
- Insulated frame
- 13″ Radial tires
- Laminate flooring
- Various color choices
- Microwave, refrigerator, air conditioner and flat-screen TVs
- Wash station or full kitchen
- Central roof vent
- Durable rubber roof
The Toad Camper company also offers their trailers as rentals so you can test drive their different sized options. They also build custom trailers for just about any other kind of use including kayak trailers, refreshment trailers and restroom trailers. Continue Reading »
I do a fair bit of traveling around the world and my husband and I enjoy staying in tiny inns, hotels, B&B’s and other minuscule accommodations. Some of these rooms have been a little unusual: we had a fun time staying in a fairy chimney cave in Cappadocia, Turkey and at a capsule inn in Tokyo, Japan both of which were tiny spaces.
The latest issue of AARP Magazine recently profiled several chain hotels that are going small. In London, Amsterdam and New York City, micro-hotels are becoming a popular place to stay for travelers on a budget who don’t mind a small space. Some rooms in the Pod Hotel start at $89 a night for a 60 to 170 square foot room. At the Yotel in midtown Manhattan, the tiny, Japanese-inspired rooms include everything you need: flat-screen TVs, media hubs, free Wi-Fi and custom modular furniture. Some of the rooms also have a galley kitchen rather than a mini-bar. In London and Amsterdam, the Yotel rooms are located inside the terminal buildings of Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol airports. Both Pod and Yotel plan to open locations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. in the next few years. Continue Reading »
Named after a San Francisco sculptor who could not afford a permanent place to live in her expensive city, the Sarah House Project in Salt Lake City, Utah is one man’s attempt to build an affordable home out of castoff shipping containers.
Sara Putnam, (the “h” for the project had already been added to a banner advertising the building) who recently died from cancer was living at an artists’ colony at the Hunter Point Naval Shipyards — where she wasn’t supposed to be sleeping. Her friend, Jeffrey White is building a 672 square foot home out of two 8×40-foot shipping containers. While visiting the Naval shipyards one night, White noticed dock workers unloading containers and thought about turning the big metal boxes into homes. The Sarah House Project has been funded by grants, donations and money raised by Jeffrey’s custom made funeral urns. He said in a recent Salt Lake City news report that his small, custom urns take up less space below ground, just as he hopes his home will take up less ground — above the ground.
The home will have a combination living room, dining and kitchen, a bathroom and bedroom and a day room. Jeffrey had originally put a 40-foot container on his driveway and started converting it into a house, but ran into trouble with city officials. Now the home is being built on some land procured by a local nonprofit, the Crossroads Urban Center, and when completed, will be sold to a low income family or couple.
Jeffrey estimates the cost of the project, including the land, at $108,000 – $115,000. This, he says, is close to the cost of a conventional home and is higher than he expected, but White hopes he’ll be able to bring those numbers down in future.
“I would love this house to come somewhere in the $60,000 – $75,000 range,” White said.
Photos courtesy of the Sarah House Project
I recently featured a teardrop trailer builder in Eugene, Oregon on the Tiny Yellow Teardrop blog and was pleased to find out that the family-run Oregon Trail’R company is one of very few companies to offer teardrop trailer kits. These types of kits can be perfect for people who are interested in building or owning a teardrop trailer, but don’t possess the skills, time or tools to build one completely from scratch.
Jon and his brother Sawyer of Oregon Trail’R create and supply a solid foundation for their FronTear style trailer. This includes precut walls, a floor, doors, bulkheads, partitions and spars. The buyer can do all the assembly themselves or Oregon Trail’R will begin the build and the buyer can finish it themselves. The buyer supplies the frame and chassis, galley and interior cabinetry, lighting and any other finishing details. Oregon Trail’R can also supply a custom frame designed for a 5×8 foot trailer for $1,300. Continue Reading »
MorningStar home, built by the Penn State Center for Sustainability has been around since 2007, but it will hopefully be the home of the near future. The 799 square foot building is a net-zero home that produces more energy than it consumes, and it has been used for educational and research activities on the university campus. It will also serve has a home for one lucky graduate student who will test the house systems in real life conditions.
The MorningStar not only has solar panels on the roof, but on the east- and west-facing sides of the home. The south-facing windows have sliding exterior shelving to regulate solar gain and the home has a sliding wall of liquid glass containers that, when filled with water, can retain heat during the day and release the warmth into the home during the night. Continue Reading »
I recently started a new blog just for teardrop trailers. After traveling around and camping in my tiny yellow teardrop for about five years, I’ve received a wide range of accolades, comments and questions. I thought a blog would be the best place to address these questions and put up posts for anyone who has considered purchasing or building a teardrop trailer.
The blog will focus mainly on my own teardrop trailer and the experiences of camping in a teardrop, but I will also be featuring various teardrop builders and owners, including my friend Guy, who lives in his trailer full time. I will also be posting camping tips, tricks and recipes, campgrounds, teardrop manufacturers and, of course, lots of photos.
I would love to hear any questions you may have about teardrop trailers and I’ll do my best to address them. Also, please let me know of any teardrop owners or builders who would like to be featured. Here is the link to the blog http://tinyyellowteardrop.blogspot.com/
Photo by Christina Nellemann