A New Leaf – Tiny Housing Phase II, It Begins!

Macy M14 comments6256 views

We’ve been feeling the pressure lately to get going with our next house.  Since we are ‘those tiny house people’ it gets brought up a fair amount, a main question anymore is when we are up sizing our living quarters.  This combined with my anxiousness to have another project has been driving us to look deeper at starting our next house/project, the shipping container home.  James and I both enjoy projects, our plan has been to design this year and break ground next summer.  We recently reassessed though, fortunately!

It seems silly to move on that fast because of some make believe pressure and an unhealthy desire to keep ourselves too busy with various projects.  We have a family now, it can’t be all projects, these kiddos are our best project and James and I figured we had better enjoy them while they still like us!  The fact is our tiny house still works great for us, there are absolutely zero growing pains that are starting to make us feel like we need to go bigger.  Hazel is 25 months old, Miles is 7 months.  They both still only want to use us as a jungle gym.  Even though our house is 232 s.f. we seem to constantly only occupy the same five square feet.  They are closer than our own shadow, constantly.  We’re good, they are good, Denver is good.  Why mess with that?  We think our time would be better spent enjoying it!

The both of us have always longed to be location independent, to travel the country and be our own boss.  I didn’t really think it would happen but I’m lucky to meet a guy who believes in what often seems impossible.  So, we’ve officially embarked on our next adventure, we’re renovating and restoring this vintage travel trailer to take a few spins around the country!

We’re very excited to purty up our home away from home!  We had a couple options but settled on a 1966 Aloha travel trailer that we found for $500 (well $600 but you’re expected to haggle on Craigslist, right?).  It’s been used as a hunting bunk for a bit.  It has much of the original parts but is missing a single glass slat on the door.  The interior and exterior have been painted with what looks like interior grade paint (that is flaking off on the outside).  Inside is a working three burner stove, a propane fridge, a furnace and a little cast iron (?) sink.  We’re going to use all of that but basically rip everything else out and redesign it to fit the family.

It is 7′ wide, 15′-6″ long.  Inside we will retrofit it to (hopefully) include:

  • One (hopefully queen sized, but maybe full) bed that will convert to a couch and possibly a table.
  • A functional kitchenette (with a stove/oven, sink, fridge and storage
  • Bunk beds for the kids with their own storage
  • A heater and possibly an A/C unit (like this)
  • A bathroom with a potty and a shower (the sink will be shared with the kitchenette)
  • Solar for power when not able to plug in (for charging a couple laptops, tablets, a tv and some phones)
  • Storage for bikes to explore (somehow)
  • And some storage for living things like dishes and linens

I feel like it’s asking a lot for such a little guy but so far, in my head, it works!  Here’s hoping it translates 😉

For the outside we want to strip off all the crumbly grey paint (which I think may come off easily with a scrubby pad for the most part…).  We’ll make sure its sealed up nice and tight, add some 1″ insulation with a radiant barrier (most likely), re-panel the inside, add our customization and pick a funky color to paint the outside all cutesy-like (hopefully the same color as a new to us pull vehicle)!  I’m thinking lime green, maybe teal… I suppose I have to let James in on all these plans too and see ;-).

Fun stuff!  And just because, these are my cute kids.  I had a fantastic moms day, the best one yet!  Hazel and Miles made me a bird house for our new deck!

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14 Comments

  1. Very exciting! I’ve always wanted to take the family on a cross-country trip like this, but we are at the very beginning stages of planning our “tiny journey” and just not quite ready for that move yet. Hopefully soon though.

    I’m glad that you aren’t “succumbing” to peer pressure to build before you are ready. I think this is pretty prevalent in our society today, all these cultural norms that put pressure on people to stay mainstream, you know?

    1. I totally know! It’s really amazing, I have never been one for peer pressure but I have to say it is worse in adulthood than it ever was in school!

  2. I like lime green. Wish I would have met someone as open and adventurous as you are 50 years ago. That is exactly what I wanted to do – live in a Boler and tour the country. All was not in vain in that we did borrow a friends 1972 Boler and spent 2 weeks in Dec. touring California down to San Diego with my wife and 3 daughters (all in elementary school). It was a small trailer but traveled well behind our 1972 T-bird and we all had a fantastic time. Things I remember are standing next to an outdoor aquarium show in San Diego and seeing a seagull’s shit hit the bald head of the man who was standing next to me; spending 3 days in the Circus-Circus Casino parking lot in Vegas where I tried to develop a career playing poker while the kids played to their hearts content; and waking up in British Columbia on our way home with our hair frozen to metal strips on the trailer’s walls.

    You will have an absolutely fantastic time an make sure you keep a diary – written & photo. My girls kept detailed diaries and still have them. I am not so lucky as my subsequent wives would always find my memories of previous happy time and burn them. To bad there wasn’t a cloud for storing information.

    I expect to see photos! Please.

  3. can’t wait to see updates on the trailer! and, as always, thank you for sharing your family with us!

  4. Fun! Friends got an old motorhome and refurbished the insides and mechanicals but so much more to go wrong than with a trailer. (and has)
    Personally, I’d lean teal over lime green. Plus you’re more likely to find a matching vehicle – or at least compatible. 🙂

  5. The wife and I got a 68 Aloha this past year. We loved the fact than we could “bring it home” as we live about a mile from their old factory sight. Unfortunately we decided we just weren’t RV people and we didn’t have a place where we could give it the love it needed. We sold it after one two will trip.

  6. So happy for you and your new Aloha! Oh Macy, you should join the group Glampers on the Loose on Facebook. So so so many great ideas from many crafty people who love their campers.

  7. Good for you, Macy! It’s important not to let other people get inside your head when it comes to your future. Plus, traveling is such a great experience for kids and adults :). Even though all of our kids are grown and have families of their own, my husband and I still go camping as often as possible. I know you’ll really enjoy fixing up your new “home away from home”.

    By the way, your new deck is amazing!! Lots of added space for little one’s to explore and Mom and Dad to relax. The fence is wonderful for keeping Hazel, Miles, and Denver safe. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us. I always look forward to your posts!

  8. Ms. Macy I am on Pinterest and I have a 1982 18ft vintage trailer my hubby and I are redoing ! I have some cool pics in there, I am going for the Black& White motif 😉 Good luck on your new leaf (funny cause I thought you meant a Nissan Leaf, which I drive one) it’s a lot of fun to re-model them tiny travel trailers !

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