ACE Students’ Tiny Open House

“I started working on this project without even knowing how to swing a hammer,” said Carley, a 15-year-old student at the Academy for Career Education (ACE) in Reno, Nevada. After working on a nearly completed Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Cypress tiny house, Carley now knows how to frame, build cabinets, work with electrical, and install a furnace.

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This weekend was the first open house for the nearly 50 students who take classes at the tuition-free charter school that focuses on construction and engineering. They are in the process of completing three Cypress tiny homes and are nearly finished with their first design. Each student only has about 1 1/2 hours per day to work on the houses and before they can even swing that hammer, they have to pass their OSHA certification.

The plans were donated to the school by Tumbleweed. The students plan to sell two of the homes to fund a full house building project, but the third will be kept on display for anyone interested in tiny homes. Continue reading

MINI Camping Concepts

MINI has a diehard fan base and is teasing them with several new concept cars that may or may not come to fruition. The problem with concepts is that anyone wanting the item aches for it to be available On the other hand, it gives those with imagination and tools the fodder to run with the idea and ask “how small can you go?”

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The Clubvan Camper is being called the world’s smallest luxury camper van and the basic Clubman has been adapted to provide sleeping for one person by removing all the other seats besides the driver’s. The bed (with storage underneath) extends from front to back on the passenger side of the vehicle and the space behind the driver’s side becomes a kitchenette which extends on rollers out the pair of rear doors. The kitchenette includes a two burner stove with slide out counter space, storage and a chest refrigerator. The Clubvan also has an auxiliary heater, a small flatscreen TV and a handheld shower designed to be used outside the vehicle. Continue reading

Trophy Amish Log Cabins

Several years ago, while looking for a weekend getaway cabin, Jim Gega of Trophy Amish Cabins in Michigan was disappointed by what he found in the park model industry. What looked like an actual cabin, was just 2×4 construction with pine log siding. After finding an Amish craftsman in Ohio, Jim decided to build small log cabins made with Eastern White Pine and Eastern Red Cedar that truly reflect the classic log cabin—just a bit smaller and portable.

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“We started out building high quality solid log hunting cabins, then the business grew due to custom designs and affordability,” Jim said. “We are different because our clients can actually sketch their own floor plan. Our clients also send us a map of their property so our designers can custom design their cabin for their specific site and needs. In 2010 we started building furniture that could ship inside a client’s cabin and added rollout storage drawers beneath the bunk beds. We have evolved into a high quality custom log cabin company that will deliver to your property throughout the Continental U.S.”

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Jim said that log cabins have great thermal mass and are as efficient as the best insulated stick built homes. Log cabins are also build with natural materials without the use of fire retardant chemicals. The Trophy Amish Cabins are used primarily has weekend homes or hunting lodges. A few clients live in their cabins year round. The largest cabin is 12×32 feet, and the smallest is 10×16 feet with a small porch. Because of their weight, Jim does not recommend attaching the cabins to a trailer. Continue reading