Kevin Rose named his mobile house Gypsy Rose, after his last name and the fact that his lifestyle in this tiny house and aboard his boat (Raven) is somewhat footloose. Any similarity to the famous stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee, is purely coincidental, he said.
Kevin told me that the idea for Gypsy Rose was completely independent of the “small house movement” that has recently gained in popularity, and that simplicity and functionality were the primary criteria in designing the house.
“I live on a boat on Lake Champlain in Vermont for 7 months a year and had a need for winter accommodations,” he said. “My friend Marion had a need for summer accommodations on the land she owns in eastern Vermont. One day I called her up and suggested that we build a mobile cabin that we could share between the two locations. We designed it ourselves based on the maximum dimensions allowable on the highway without a permit (8.5 feet wide by 13.5 feet high) and my experience with efficient use of space on boats.”
The trailer for Gypsy Rose was custom made and Rose did the rest of the framing and details himself. Gypsy Rose is self contained and off the grid. It uses many systems that were developed for marine applications. She operates primarily on 12V electrical systems whose batteries will ultimately be charged by solar or small-scale hydro (with a generator backup). Propane powers the stove, the refrigerator, the furnace, and the on-demand hot water heater and a composting toilet handles the waste.
Rose’s passion for nature, sustainability and creating a sense of place is evident in his blog which documents the process of building Gypsy Rose, and his life around the New England area.
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