Living on the Grid in a Tiny Space

by Juan

I have always been intrigued by small spaces and when I was stationed in West Berlin in the early 80′s, I noticed that the people there had little “Gardenplatz” structures in a certain area in the city specifically set aside for that.

These were little cabins in a fenced in area where the owners could take a little holiday and do some gardening. They grew flowers and vegetables there. This was during the time when the Berlin wall was still up and real estate was at a premium. When the wall went up, Berlin was basically surrounded and cut off from the rest of the world. Berliners had to make do with what they had on hand.

These little cabins provided them with a getaway while still in the city. It was a place of peace and quiet and an escape from the harsh reality of the cold war. Then when I saw Jay Shafer’s Tiny Tumbleweed Homes years ago I knew this is what I wanted to do. I haven’t yet decided on what to build, but in the meantime I’m living on the grid in my little camper. I bought my first motorhome while stationed in Alaska in the early 90′s.

I had a little four cylinder Toyota motorhome that we took all over Alaska and did some camping and gold panning. Now I have a 15′ Riverside Retro 155 travel trailer that I have been living in for the last 4 months at a local mobile home park on a river in Naples, Florida. I’ll include some photos of my setup. Custom Batman graphics by my sons at Bay Printing, Bay St Louis, Mississippi.. Once again, thank you for all the information you put out on this old concept turned new, tiny houses.

Pensacola

Traveling through Pensacola, FL

Naples

Naples, FL my homebase

Gulfport

On the road to Gulfport, MS

bathroom

Bathroom door with mirror, grandchildren art wall to the left.

bed

Full time bed, 3/4 size mattress, storage underneath.

kitchen

Kitchen area, sink two burner stove, fan vented hood and microwave above the stove.

Dinette

Dinette area with my computer on table. Storage under both bench seats and drops down to twin size bed.

My “House Boat” : The “Y-knot?”

by Ron Miller

My “trailer on a toon” project came to fruition one evening while sitting in my backyard with my wife discussing some of the more memorable vacations we had. We both agreed that our recently purchased Chalet hard sided folding trailer was a great deal of fun, but that the lack of privacy at camp grounds was always an issue with us. We also agreed that time spent on or near the water was a high priority, and that Lake Powell was one of our favorite spots. We considered a speed boat purchase, but we both felt it would probably only see the water a few days a year. Quite simply, I blurted out, “Why not put the Chalet on top of a pontoon boat?”

the Y-knot

The response from her was that I probably had one too many adult beverages and that it was time for bed. The idea lingered in the back of my head for a couple of months until I got the tape measure out, measured the Chalet and started making chalk marks on the driveway. Then it was serious. Continue reading

X-Permit Cabin

by David Lacey

The X-Permit Cabin is an exercise to create a livable space that will be built on a salvaged travel trailer frame. It will be self sustainable, off grid, and will be built without building permits because it is a “travel trailer” and will be registered as such. The site is beside the ocean in Canada. The actual location will be revealed as time goes on. The point of this is to circumvent onerous permits and inspections that come with “permanent” structures. XPC will be an exercise in civics, construction, and innovation. I hope you follow us as we move forward.

x-permit cabin

Certainly, “tiny homes” have been built before and many are like the one we are building, on a trailer, for various reasons. This one is a personal experiment in building a livable space in a maximum of 135 square feet. There probably won’t be “grand innovation” involved, but the completed cabin on wheels must have the charm and friendly atmosphere of an old seaside cottage distilled into the space allocated. Continue reading