tiny house trailer

Our Funky, Colorful Roof

The folks who make our primary roofing material (and the ONLY thing on our tiny house that we never changed during our entire design process) have done a nice little write up on their site about our house and their products. We couldn't be happier with our DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforte Shake roof! To our knowledge we were the very first tiny house to ever use DaVinci - ours was ordered long before the first Tiny House Nation season was even filmed (we know, because THN contacted us to film that first year) - but I'm glad others have found out first hand how amazing this product really is. It's definitely my favorite part of our exterior and constantly a topic of conversation wherever we go!

image.jpg

 

For those wondering, we chose to have each of the four colors we used - light violet, light green, light purple, and dark grey - run in individual batches instead of using the Variblend technique so that each of our 4 colors would really stand out from one another. We felt that was both more true to our design ideas and allowed the colors to really stand out since a tiny house roof by design is significantly smaller than a traditional house. If you want to make your colors pop, that's really the best option just FYI.

image.jpg

 

The folks we spoke with back in 2014 were super nice and helpful with our unique requests, and they made ordering simple. We did have to make some on-site alterations to the tiles (specifically the rake tiles) to get them to fit our roofline, and we chose to create a metal ridge piece (the top cap that's solid dark blue on our house) because we couldn't figure out a better way to make the DaVinci ridge pieces look right with our roof. Regardless, they were easy to install with just Brand doing the work by himself, and they turned out great!!

image.jpg


So, here's the little article they recently wrote, and feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding our specific installation. We're happy to share what we know! 💙🏡💜

 

http://blog.davinciroofscapes.com/blog/davinci-roofscapes-2/davinci-roofscapes-goes-on-the-road

Happy 2nd Building Anniversary, TinyHouse43!

I just lost over 2hrs of writing and a really cool slideshow I was putting together of highlights from the tiny house being built since May 14th makes two years to the date since we picked up our Barn Raiser and started our tangible tiny house journey. Curse your lack of functional auto save, Squarespace! 😫 I do not have the mental bandwidth to even come close to rewriting it all (#emopost), but here are the highlights:

 

• Chose a Barn Raiser because we don't have a cadre of local friends/family to help with framing and wanted the peace of mind that came with professional tiny house builders doing the heavy lifting - a perfect solution for two busy parents 🛠

 

• Picked it up 5/14/14 in CO, brought it to TX to build, moved in 10/9/15 in CO, and are presently back in TX doing the finishing work and changing some things as well; end game for Washington state has never changed despite setbacks 💸

 

• Started blogging as a way to journal our experiences and deal with the death of my mother a few months prior; don't make a living with our tiny house (have earned a gallon of Penofin and $0.27 from it - #caniretirenow), so we share our story because we enjoy doing so and hope others learn from us; almost always a positive experience, and for that we are most thankful to our readers 📝

 

• Still feel a bit like outsiders in the #tinyhousetribe because we aren't super self-promoters and can't be as visible in the community as we would really like to be, but so grateful to have met/talked to such a wide variety of people from all over the world all bound by our crazy love of all things tiny house 💜

 

• Thankful for everyone who has followed along our journey no matter when you caught up to us; drop us a line if you're ever in the Dallas area for a possible tour 📸

 

• Celebrating our tiny house's 2nd anniversary since building began with some website housekeeping, including new photos and a vow to finally integrate our Wordpress blog fully for easier use 🍾

 

Truly, THANK YOU for all your support, kind words, suggestions, comments, and general awesomeness!!! We look forward to sharing the next chapter of our tiny life, and we hope you'll share your own progress as well!!

 

All the best,

 

Meg, Brand, and R.A.D

💙🏡💜

TH43 v1.0 Video Tour

Greetings! I have posted a pair of heavily detailed video tours of our tiny house to our own YouTube channel called TINY HOUSE FOR THREEI've also embedded them at the bottom of this post for sake of ease.

I want to again remind folks that our house is not 100% completed, and therefore you're going to see plenty of projects left to complete. I also intentionally didn't do a thorough clean on the house before filming, because let's face it - how often have you seen a house with kids and pets be immaculate other than on magazine covers and heavily staged TV shows?! Yup, that's what I thought! The only thing that would have made this video more accurate to our real, day-to-day tiny house living would be to have had R.A.D playing with his cars in his room and Brand sitting in the nook studying or playing video games with more dirty dishes on the counter and me sprawled out on the couch reading a magazine. You may wrinkle your nose at some of our unfinished work or the dishes in the sink because it's not aesthetically pleasing, and we've already had some folks give unsolicited snipes about our design choices and layout ("Only thing better would be tiny house with a better design than a hallway... 😬"). Regardless of your own preferences for what you think a tiny house should look like, including your own if you go that route, you need to keep one highly important fact in mind:

 THIS IS OUR TINY HOME, NOT YOURS! 💖

We built OUR house to OUR standards for OUR needs and to OUR budget and timeframe, and we aren't done yet!! We chose to go on and share both photos and a video tour of our work-in-progress house now because 1) it's going to be a while before we really have it ALL done to our satisfaction and 2) because we want to encourage others, especially those who have little to no help for their build who are trudging along fretting about whether or not they'll ever finish it, that IT'S OKAY FOR YOUR HOUSE TO NOT BE PERFECT by the time you are ready to move in! Sure, it's a royal pain in the keester to live in a construction zone, especially a TINY construction zone, but it CAN. BE. DONE.

Your house doesn't have to be HGTV ready to be loved, to be lived in, and to be proud of. The haters and trolls will be there no matter how pristine your floors are, how white your walls are, or how sparkling your expensive hammered copper sink that you simply couldn't resist is, so just keep on keeping on! 😉 Be proud of what you've accomplished so far, what you'll continue to complete in the future, and of the very fact you had the cajones to start in the first place!! I've found some of the most vocal critics of our tiny house and of many others don't even live in a tiny house and have no plans to do so. What suddenly makes them the experts on tiny house building, design, and living?! Oh that's right.... not a damn thing! ☺️ So just remember....

YOU ROCK, AND SO DO WE!! 

Now that I've dismounted the soap box and without any further ado, may I proudly present our unfinished, unkempt TinyHouse43 v1.0 in all its video tour glory! 

💙🏡💜 

P. S. I should also point out this isn't a, " and here's the kitchen, and over there is the bathroom," type tour. I actually share useful information about our house that anyone building or living in a tiny house might find useful. That's why combined the tour is 30 minutes long! 😜

Tiny House (43) Swoon

Even though our house is still a work in progress and we are having to take a break from full-time living for a while (see why Reality Bites), I finally decided it really is TinyHouseSwoon-worthy and sent them some photos. They agreed, and we are the new post for today! Sure, there are vast swaths of unpainted plywood visible and some areas completely missing doors or other coverings, but you know what?? It's still beautiful!

 

Credit to Megan Carthel of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle for the first photo. 

Credit to Megan Carthel of the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle for the first photo. 

Our tiny house journey is still a work in progress as well - bumps, detours, and construction delays included - but that doesn't make our efforts thus far any less amazing. It's sooo easy for me to be exceptionally hard on myself when things don't work out the way I envisioned they would, especially when so much planning and hard work has gone into it all. I admit it's sometimes difficult to see all the gorgeous tiny houses on TinyHouseSwoon.com and all around the web and not feel just a bit inadequate as our house is nowhere near the finished quality of those displayed, and I know there's some psychological mumbojumbo that can explain those feelings. Still, we are very proud of what we were able to accomplish with virtually no outside help for the physical labor while building paycheck to paycheck with a full-time work or school schedule and a rambunctious toddler to chase around the whole time. It's not perfect or finished, but what in life ever truly is?!

So, without further ado, I invite you to check out our house on Tiny House Swoon. The photos of our house will be familiar, but once you're done looking at our post, be sure to swoon over some of the other beauties - some of which are also works in progress! - shared by their loving owners, proud builders, and other admirers. 

 💙🏡💜

Mold

We all know it. We all hate it. And if you live in a tiny house, you likely have all seen it lurking somewhere in your home.

 

Mold is a four-letter word that can mean anything from a minor annoyance or a legit illness-maker for those who are sensitive. Thankfully, there are multiple methods of reducing the added moisture in your tiny living space that can help reduce the likelihood mold even forms, and there are some good mold killer products out there that we've recently used with success that we'll discuss below.

 

First, however, please take a minute to read Andrew Morrison's post on mechanical moisture eliminators plus some additional moisture-reducing building tips below. Andrew and his wife, Gabriella, are the originators of the hOMe tiny house that is now being produced by EcoCabins, the primary sponsor of the Tiny House Jamboree. Andrew definitely knows a thing or two about making quality tiny houses and how to deal with excess moisture build up in cold climates in particular, and the suggestions he makes in his post are particularly good if you want to actively remove moisture from your house. The biggest difference between Andrew's post and ours is that he focuses primarily on prevention methods, where as we have actually experienced some pretty nasty mold and cover things to use to get rid of it when it does happen in addition to our dehumidification tools. I've been meaning to update everyone on our issues anyway, and the Morrisons' great post reminded me! ☺️

 

Here's his great post:

HOW TO SAVE YOUR TINY HOUSE FROM MOLD AND MOISTURE ISSUES 

 

For those of you who want to know about some additional methods of moisture reduction, here's a list of what we are currently using based on type (passive, hybrid, or active) and one extra thing we plan to try. You'll see the two electric appliances we picked up listed here, too, because we felt we needed a more immediate and noticeable reduction in humidity than our passive methods provided. We hope once we get the humidity % down we can stop the active dehumidification and rely on fresh air on good weather days and the passive options to reduce our electric pull.

 

PASSIVE DEHUMIDIFICATION

  • We started using DampRid disposable products to suck up extra moisture without any power needs (popular on boats and RVs and found at Walmart or similar stores), which use calcium chloride in bags you hang or jars you set in open areas. They are inexpensive and require nothing other than airflow (which, incidentally, you should provide regularly to mold-prone areas anyway), and we have hung them in our three trouble spots: the loft, the front nook, and the kitchen. So far the bags are about  1/3rd full with the nook one being a bit closer to half full than the others. We are also going to pick up a jar version to tuck into the furthest corner under our son's room as I discovered mold had formed where a basket of extra linens had become wedged behind the clothes cube and the back corner. I've already killed the mold with a spray we've found to work well (more on that shortly), and in addition to the DampRid we'll be making sure we regularly move the cubes under his bed to promote airflow.
Our DampRid hanging bags are scented, which might bother some folks. These are made to hang in a closet, though, so if you want nice smelling, dry clothes in your tiny house closet, these might be a great fit! They come in 3-packs. 

Our DampRid hanging bags are scented, which might bother some folks. These are made to hang in a closet, though, so if you want nice smelling, dry clothes in your tiny house closet, these might be a great fit! They come in 3-packs. 

  • The this next passive method may or may not work, but it does have some other benefits to it. While I'm not expecting much immediate relief of our current humidity levels, I won't deny I think this would make a great, natural addition to our long-term moisture control methods: air plants. Granted I've read some conflicting info on just how much additional watering air plants need beyond what they suck out of their environment, but since they're low maintenance and don't need to take up counter space, I'm thinking I'll create a little installation of them in a couple different areas of the house. Besides, who doesn't love a little live greenery in their tiny house?! ☺️

HYBRID DEHUMIDIFICATION

  • The first dehumidifier product I picked up is the EvaDry silica gel hybrid dehumidifier that can be placed anywhere you want, but when they're full (the gel changes from blue to pink when capacity is reached) you take them outside and plug them in to release the moisture into a well ventilated area. I bought two of these on Amazon for $20 each, and they can be laid flat or hung with the included hook. The ones we have say they can absorb up to 6oz of liquid, and so far ours are still deep blue. One is hanging by the front nook window, which has continued to be a bit of a problem child, and the other is wedged at the head of our bed near the tongue-end window. I'll update this post once they are finally full so we have an idea of how long it takes to fill them up.
Since the big blue window in our front nook has been a particular problem, it has both a DampRid and this EvaDry model hanging nearby to catch as much moisture as possible. 

Since the big blue window in our front nook has been a particular problem, it has both a DampRid and this EvaDry model hanging nearby to catch as much moisture as possible. 

  •  I want to mention here that our Kimberly gasifier wood stove by Unforgettable Fire LLC is another hybrid method of dehumidification. No, it doesn't require electricity, but you do have to burn fuel (wood) in order to heat up and dry out the air. As much as we adore our Kimberly, it has simply been too warm to use her daily and reap the reduction in humidity benefit that comes with use. 

 

ACTIVE DEHUMIDIFICATION

  • We also broke down and bought a small EvaDry mini electric dehumidifier that, unfortunately, has to run all. the. time. and is definitely louder than I'd like. That said, it has sucked several cups of water out of the air already (I've emptied it once just before the "full" light would have been triggered), and we keep it on the edge of the loft directly above the kitchen to catch any extra moisture that doesn't escape out the window when we cook. This is also from Amazon and cost $54
The white storage cube is roughly 15x15", so you can see the EvaDry is pretty small. I emptied the container 2 days ago, and it's already about 1/4 full again. Sucker works! Literally! 😉 

The white storage cube is roughly 15x15", so you can see the EvaDry is pretty small. I emptied the container 2 days ago, and it's already about 1/4 full again. Sucker works! Literally! 😉 

  • We didn't install a kitchen vent like the Morrison's have mostly because we have a much smaller kitchen with a double hung window smack dab in the center of the wall above the countertop. We have been opening the top window sash in the kitchen and a bottom sash on the other side of the house to create a cross breeze that forces the steam out while cooking, but it wasn't always working as well as we'd like. Instead of boring out a giant hole above the window for a permanent vent, we opted to pick up a small, portable O2Cool 8" square fan that can be run on either batteries or AC power, and we instead pull the top window sash down enough to wedge the fan in (facing out, not in of course) and cover the remaining open space with a piece of cardboard while opening an opposite-side window just a little bit. It's not pretty, but it's portable, storable, functional, and cost effective. Can't beat that!
It's not pretty, but it works!! 

It's not pretty, but it works!! 

  •  We also have a Vetus Marine 12V vent fan to install in the wet shower side that was a recommendation of Art Cormier, a Tumbleweed workshop presenter and dweller of the Tiny SIP House. That's something we bought early on in the build but just never got installed, and thankfully not having hasn't been an issue since we've almost exclusively been showering at the bathhouse, gym, or Rec Center depending on what we've got going on at the time. Once we start using our full-time, however, we will definitely need to use that vent. It's low voltage - as is all the wiring in both our wet and dry bath sides - to prevent shock, and as the name suggests, they were designed for the boating industry. Art has a great demo video with all the part numbers on his YouTube channel that's worth checking out.

 

DEALING WITH EXISTING MOLD

This stuff rocks, and it's non-toxic to boot! 

This stuff rocks, and it's non-toxic to boot! 

Now, if you DO develop mold despite your best efforts, there's a spray we can recommend after using it on 7 different wood windows where we've had problems. Bear in mind that we actually performed a series of steps to actually remove the existing mold in addition to mitigating its return (more on that below), but so far we've been quite pleased with the Concrobium Mold Control spray we spent $9 on at either Lowe's or Home Depot - can't recall which. This stuff is recommended by Mike Holmes, the HGTV star of Holmes Inspection and a few other building-related titles, though that's not why we bought it. This one gets sprayed directly onto the mold, and as it dries it actually kills it. It's non-toxic and had no noticeable smell I could detect,  which is helpful in such a small space. So far, none of the windows we treated with this stuff have had regrowth, though let me provide you the actual steps I used to removed the mold:

  • Scrubbed the mold with undiluted bleach and an old toothbrush. Let soak for 30min with all 5 loft windows open. 
  • Took a heat gun to the remaining wet areas very carefully to make sure the wood was truly dry.
  • Sprayed Concrobium liberally over all the exposed wood that had had mold on it plus a few spots I thought might be prone to it later. Let soak until dry, which was around 5hrs in this case.
  • Dried remaining moisture with heat gun again. 
  • Applied Rustoleum oil-based stain to one window, but the other 4 haven't been stained yet and are STILL mold-free despite repeated exposure to wetness/ice/inside moisture buildup. 

The smell is pretty harsh, so be sure you ventilate the area well! 

The smell is pretty harsh, so be sure you ventilate the area well! 

I didn't have as much luck with the Concrobium on the big nook window I painted with milk paint, but I also just realized I never tried the straight bleach technique. Whoops! Needless to say, not remembering that fact, I decided to try to other mold spray, Mold Armor, to see if it would kill the stuff. It's actually marketed more to remove mold stains than kill the mold itself, and I found out the hard way you MUST ventilate the area you're using it in. I dumbly thought it was like the virtually odor-free Concrobium and sprayed it liberally on the window, but even though I didn't actually notice the smell initially, Brand walked in from outside and had his eyes start watering immediately. Whoops!! Open went the windows post haste, and I haven't used it again. Now, that said, it worked!! We haven't had any new mold growth on the big blue milk paint window since then, and I did nothing else to it at all. No scrubbing, drying, or bleach. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to remove all the milk paint and start from scratch to make it look pretty again, but that's a small price to pay to not have mold again. 

You can still see the "shadows" of mold on the milk paint window, especially in the corners like this one. Unfortunately, you can also tell the anti-mold treatments have damaged the paint job. Looks like I'll be stripping it off and starting over... Oi! 

You can still see the "shadows" of mold on the milk paint window, especially in the corners like this one. Unfortunately, you can also tell the anti-mold treatments have damaged the paint job. Looks like I'll be stripping it off and starting over... Oi! 

 

Speaking of of keeping the windows from molding up, here's an observation I made during the removal process:

Mold only appeared on the windows either with no stain of any kind OR with water-based stains like the milk paint big window or the metallic acrylic paint used on the two bathroom awning windows.  None of the ones where I used an oil-based Rustoleum stain or white paint developed mold, which included all 5 of the double hung windows on the main level excluded the largest one. 

Now I'm staining the remaining 4 loft windows with oil-based black paint, and I'll seal the acrylic painted ones with polyurethane. I will add, though, that the milk paint window DID get a coat of poly on it, yet the mold kept on chowing down on it. After I strip it off I'm going to seal the wood with poly first before reapplying the milk paint and sealing a final time with poly. Hopefully that'll deal the final blow to any molds trying to eat that pretty blue-green paint!

 

I'll be researching a few of the products the Morrisons mention in their post, because we sure don't want to keep dealing with this fuzzy, nasty stuff! We do have a gauge that tells us what our indoor humidity is, but I'm starting to wonder if it's accurate. Some days it says 37%, and others it says 50%, even if there haven't been big indoor or outdoor temperature changes. Hmm. My understanding is that at anything above about 40% humidity, mold will have the chance to grow. We'll just have to keep chipping away at the overall moisture volume with all three types of dehumidification as best we can until the weather warms up enough to keep the windows open all the time. 

 

💙🏡💜 

Our THOW Interior: January 2016

We are most definitely NOT done with the inside of our tiny house - loads of finish work left to do, including painting a zillion different things - but since we had to do a deep clean for a visitor today who needed to take photos, I took advantage of the time to snap some photos. Granted I didn't drag the DSLR out from under the storage sofa for higher quality shots, but as I keep saying, you'll get the gist. Captions will come later, but I think these are pretty self-explanatory. Without further ado, I give you our still-in-progress TinyHouse43 interior! 💙🏡💜

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Riverview RV Park and Tiny Houses: A Community Within A Community?

Before I write anything else, let me preface this post by saying that I have no affiliation with the staff or owner of Riverview RV Park, nor do I have any say in what or to whom the owner rents parking spaces to. I'm simply the owner of the very first tiny-house-on-wheels that has had the pleasure of parking here since October 2015 and hopefully not the last.  Riverview has been a perfect place for us to spend our first winter in our tiny house, and because the park owner and staff have been so wonderful to us and are open to having more tiny houses in their park, I wanted to share our experiences with other THOW dwellers, as well as plant the seeds for the possibility of a tiny house community within the existing RV park should the owner be amenable. The decision to pursue or not any of my ideas and suggestions are solely the decision of the owner of Riverview, but I will make myself available to him or to any potential tiny house residents should he choose to consider the possibility of hosting a group of tiny houses, particularly if that involves grouping them together in a community setup. I have already expressed my interest in helping gather support and residents for such a community to him and his staff, and while this was a simple conversation in the office one afternoon, there appeared to be genuine interest at the very least in having more tiny houses here period. We will continue to be positive examples of tiny house residents during our stay here in hopes that we might set the tone for such a community, and either way we encourage you to visit the park and try out one of their cabins or bring your own RV or THOW for a short stay. We don't think you'll be disappointed! -Meg

_____________________________________

 

Now, with that out of the way, I'm going to post some photos I just took of the eastern edge of the park right along the Big Thompson River where there's a grouping of partial hookup spaces that I feel could be utilized as a semi or permanent tiny house community within the confines of Riverview. There are other areas of the park that the owner, should he choose to pursue such an idea, might prefer over this one, but I picked them because I have yet to see them used since we've been here and they're near a bath/laundry house on the property as a simple starting point. These sites do not presently have sewer connections, but the walk to the on-site dump station is short and the office staff stated that there may be connections added in the near future. They have water and electric hookups present, as well as their own fire rings for outside cooking. They also have an amazing view of the river right behind them!

Some adorable little rental cabins are on the other side of the street from them, so I felt like the aesthetic of grouping the tiny houses with the cabins was also a great fit. The area is somewhat secluded from the rest of the park, which also lends to the community-within-a-community feel. Near that area are also more partial hookup sites, tent camping sites, and the RV storage area at the very back of the property (you'll see it in a photo or two). During the winter you have wide open views around the park, and in the fall when we arrived the trees were still thick with colorful leaves aplenty. Quite a beautiful area if I do say so myself!

The rest of the park has some great amenities, including a second bath/laundry house, a gated off-leash dog park (you're responsible for picking up after your own pets no matter where they do their business FYI), a large central park with playground equipment, and a large covered picnic area that includes a stage and outdoor fireplace. There are trails and ponds around the property we've yet to check out, and you can fish in the Big Thompson River as well. There's a convenience store inside the office, and they have two rentable spaces for large gatherings. There are regular potlucks particularly around the holidays, and so far we've loved all the folks we've met who live here year round. Most if not all of the office and maintenance staff live on-site, so if hiccups do occur someone is available to help.

I could go on and on about how much we've enjoyed our stay here at Riverview and in the town of Loveland, CO, but I know our readers are more interested in seeing photos of the property and my suggested area for a tiny house community within Riverview RV Park and Campground. So, without further ado, here they are! 

 

 

 

Here's a panorama of the partial hookup area as seen from the big central park. That's the bath/laundry house in the foreground, and the spaces I'm thinking of are behind and slightly left of it. 

Here's a panorama of the partial hookup area as seen from the big central park. That's the bath/laundry house in the foreground, and the spaces I'm thinking of are behind and slightly left of it. 

This is the bath/laundry house at the back of the park, but there is another near the office. Where we are presently parked with our THOW puts both bath houses equidistant to us, but this one has private baths and showers vs. the dorm-like setup of the house near the office. There are additional showers on the back side of this building as well.

This is the bath/laundry house at the back of the park, but there is another near the office. Where we are presently parked with our THOW puts both bath houses equidistant to us, but this one has private baths and showers vs. the dorm-like setup of the house near the office. There are additional showers on the back side of this building as well.

This is a view to the southeast of the gated dog park. Here dogs are allowed off-leash, but everywhere else in the park requires them to be leashed. No pets are allowed in the central park playground area at all, and owners are always responsible for cleaning up after their pets. 

This is a view to the southeast of the gated dog park. Here dogs are allowed off-leash, but everywhere else in the park requires them to be leashed. No pets are allowed in the central park playground area at all, and owners are always responsible for cleaning up after their pets. 

These cute little cabins are part of what drew me to that area I think would work for a tiny house community. Their aesthetic would go great with THOWs, and they'd be your view across the street. 

These cute little cabins are part of what drew me to that area I think would work for a tiny house community. Their aesthetic would go great with THOWs, and they'd be your view across the street. 

This is a view of the Big Thompson River behind the parking spaces in question. What a lovely view! 

This is a view of the Big Thompson River behind the parking spaces in question. What a lovely view! 

This is a view looking east of some of the partial hookup spaces directly across from the little park cabins where I think tiny houses on wheels would fit well together. These sites have water and electric, but presently you'd have to haul your gray water (or black if you went that route) a short walk to the dump station. The office staff did tell me that sewer hookups may be added in the near future.

This is a view looking east of some of the partial hookup spaces directly across from the little park cabins where I think tiny houses on wheels would fit well together. These sites have water and electric, but presently you'd have to haul your gray water (or black if you went that route) a short walk to the dump station. The office staff did tell me that sewer hookups may be added in the near future.

This is looking northwest at the end of the row of partial hookup sites along the river. Those trees on the left create a little mini park area that divides these spaces from the full hookup spots closer to the front of the RV park. This division would also help create more of a micro community feel for the THOWs from the rest of the park I believe.

This is looking northwest at the end of the row of partial hookup sites along the river. Those trees on the left create a little mini park area that divides these spaces from the full hookup spots closer to the front of the RV park. This division would also help create more of a micro community feel for the THOWs from the rest of the park I believe.

This is the back of one of the partial hookup spaces where you can see the electrical hookup with the water spigot just below. There's a fire ring at each site, and there are picnic tables for each site currently being stored for the winter. You'd be able to roast marshmallows while watching the river from this spot. 💜 

This is the back of one of the partial hookup spaces where you can see the electrical hookup with the water spigot just below. There's a fire ring at each site, and there are picnic tables for each site currently being stored for the winter. You'd be able to roast marshmallows while watching the river from this spot. 💜 

This is a view from that same spot #157 looking over a couple of neighboring spots and through the tree grove toward the front of the RV park. That's one of the rentable cabins on the left, and in the distance you can see the covered picnic and stage area. 

This is a view from that same spot #157 looking over a couple of neighboring spots and through the tree grove toward the front of the RV park. That's one of the rentable cabins on the left, and in the distance you can see the covered picnic and stage area. 

Here's another view of the neighboring cabins from the back of space #157. To the left and behind of the cabins are additional partial hookup spaces and tent camping sites. 

Here's another view of the neighboring cabins from the back of space #157. To the left and behind of the cabins are additional partial hookup spaces and tent camping sites. 

Behind those trees are the tent camping sites and the RV storage area. The river bends around behind that storage area, and there are trails that meander off to the right of that area as well. 

Behind those trees are the tent camping sites and the RV storage area. The river bends around behind that storage area, and there are trails that meander off to the right of that area as well. 

Here's an easterly view from space #157 that shows more of the river and the neighboring spaces that direction. Beautiful! 

Here's an easterly view from space #157 that shows more of the river and the neighboring spaces that direction. Beautiful! 

If you squint, you can just make out our tiny house dead center in the image sticking out to the left of the playground equipment. This was taken on the walk back and looks across the big central park area.

If you squint, you can just make out our tiny house dead center in the image sticking out to the left of the playground equipment. This was taken on the walk back and looks across the big central park area.

This is the road toward the front of the RV park, and I was passing the grove of trees on my right that act as a divider between the full hookup sites ahead and the partial hookup sites just behind and to the right of me as I walked. Here you can see a view of the mountain that is directly across the street from the turn into Riverview. 

This is the road toward the front of the RV park, and I was passing the grove of trees on my right that act as a divider between the full hookup sites ahead and the partial hookup sites just behind and to the right of me as I walked. Here you can see a view of the mountain that is directly across the street from the turn into Riverview. 

Here's a look to the southwest where you can see the other little mountain flanking the park. 

Here's a look to the southwest where you can see the other little mountain flanking the park. 

These are full hookup sites that border the grove of trees I've mentioned. They're within that same area surrounding the bath/laundry house and could potentially house tiny houses, too. All of those decisions are solely that of the park owner, but since they are in close proximity to the partial hookup sites I wanted to show them as well. 

These are full hookup sites that border the grove of trees I've mentioned. They're within that same area surrounding the bath/laundry house and could potentially house tiny houses, too. All of those decisions are solely that of the park owner, but since they are in close proximity to the partial hookup sites I wanted to show them as well. 

Lastly, this photo was taken from the dump station next to the central park looking back toward the partial hookup sites where I believe a tiny house community within the RV park could be established. So long as those spaces have no sewer hookups you'd make this short walk to dump your waste, but the staff did say there was a possibility of them being converted to full hookup. 

Lastly, this photo was taken from the dump station next to the central park looking back toward the partial hookup sites where I believe a tiny house community within the RV park could be established. So long as those spaces have no sewer hookups you'd make this short walk to dump your waste, but the staff did say there was a possibility of them being converted to full hookup. 

As I talk more with the owner about my ideas, I will share what I find out with his permission. I did tell the staff the day I spoke with them about this possibility that the number one thing the park would need to work on in order to court more THOWs is to have more reliable WiFi service since so many folks who live in tiny houses work from home remotely via Internet. They advised me they were already working on improving the connections here, and in the meantime I've been doing some research of my own.

What I can tell you today with certainty is that no devices that run on the Sprint network will work here, which sadly leaves the otherwise awesome Karma Go concept out. Verizon and AT&T have strong signals all over this area, but unless you have a grandfathered unlimited plan they aren't exactly affordable options for heavy users. I will be buying and testing a T-Mobile device for our use in addition to our Verizon devices to see if that will work as an option for unlimited internet, even if they do throttle speeds after 16GB or thereabouts. According to their coverage map, Riverview is in their lowest signal range BUT there have been user confirmed connections within the park itself. I'll post our findings once I've had a chance to try out T-Mobile, and hopefully the improvements of the park will help bridge any remaining service gaps.

That's it for now! I do know you can bring your THOW for short stays already, so hopefully the idea of creating a more permanent community of them isn't out of the question for the owner. He and his staff are wonderful in our humble opinions, and even with a few hiccups here and there with water pressure and winter weather woes (all of which were quickly attended to by the staff I might add) we've been very pleased with our stay. Our son has loved being by the playground, and there are enough kiddos that cycle through to keep him out playing as often as we let him. The place is a great mix of ages and stages, and we highly recommend it!!

For more information, contact Riverview via their website or call - just know you might get someone different each time, and email replies are much slower than phone calls:

www.RiverviewRV.com or 970-667-9910

They are presently closed on Sundays and Mondays through the winter, and I don't suggest using their online reservation system if you plan to bring your THOW. Call them first so they can accommodate you properly, and let them know Maighen in the tiny house sent you!

Six Week Checkup

Six weeks ago today we arrived in Northern Colorado from North Texas, tiny house and three-year-old in tow. Since then we've had an open house with the Denver Tiny House Enthusiast group at Trailer Made Trailers, shared building details with numerous new and visiting neighbors at Riverview RV Park in Loveland where we are spending the winter (and hopefully longer), and even more recently we had the opportunity to do a tiny house tour swap with a wonderful couple (Brita and Addison of Tiny Tall House) also building a tiny house in Boulder who took inspiration for the siding on their house from our own. I've had great email and phone conversations with Anita of Lily Pad Tiny House in Portland, OR, about her eventual move to Colorado and our mutual interest in finding a stable, legal place to park our tiny houses long term. We're also hoping to arrange a time to get together with fellow 24' Tumbleweed Barn Raiser owner/builder and Colorado resident Jonathon (JStalls Tiny House) for more tiny house tour swaps and maybe to lend a hand with his build if he needs it. I've also received emails from two different young ladies at different colleges writing Master's thesis papers on various aspects of tiny house living asking for info on our experience.

Photo credit to Guillaume Dutilh. 

Photo credit to Guillaume Dutilh. 

Truly, these past weeks have been a whirlwind of tiny house life related contacts, and somehow we managed to squeeze it all in despite my work schedule being particularly packed due to continued delays with the hospital opening. Thankfully that craziness should be winding down this week, and we are definitely all looking forward to me being home my usual 4 days per week. After all, we look at Colorado as a working vacation, and thus far it's been heavy on the work end of the deal. 

Email checking time while the munchkin naps. 

Email checking time while the munchkin naps. 

Today, though, we sit quietly in opposite corners of our "great room" - Brand on the cedar chest/study nook bench, and me on the sofa with Kitty jockeying for a comfy spot to curl up - checking our respective emails and reading the news on our phones, our only source of reliable internet these days, while the now 4-year-old naps in his own bedroom at the opposite end of our 24' long house. Our laundry is hogging two machines down at the larger bath house, and Brand is about to move it all to a single dryer soon. The sink is full of dirty dishes left over from this morning's oatmeal breakfast and the "lazy man's" chicken and dumplings lunch I concocted from Progresso chicken noodle soup and a can of pre-made biscuit dough. We spent the time between breakfast and lunch at a local park where Ro was finally brave enough to try the rock climbing wall (repeatedly, I might add), and I gingerly tried slow jogging on my still healing broken right foot with success. Not being able to run in this cool Colorado weather has been a significant sore spot for me (especially with how stressful work has been), but I'm awaiting another orthopedic checkup in Texas in December before I'm willing to try any serious running anyway. For now I'll have to be content watching the munchkin run around and play with the plethora of visiting kids that regularly rotates at the RV park. It makes me grateful Ro inherited my ability to strike up conversations with anyone in ear shot, because he's had no shortage of playmates since we arrived.

A climbing we will go... 

A climbing we will go... 

 

I can't help but notice all the remaining projects left to do, and even now I vacillate between wether to paint over the beautiful beetle kill staining in the plywood we chose for our ceiling panels or find a way to live with it. We sorted out the hot water issue, but we still aren't taking showers in the house. At least we have managed to get some organizing done here and there, including adding wall storage behind the kitchen sink, and Brand got all of our roller blinds installed as well. We've managed to get the bulk of the exterior winterizing done, but we've still not unpacked the Kimberly stove for its final install. Maybe we're pushing our luck, but there just really hasn't been an urgent need for the high heat output yet. We keep plugging along with our tiny little space heater from time to time, though I did buy us a trio of heated throw blankets since the heater doesn't keep the bed sheets warm. We haven't used ours yet, but the kiddo likes his so far. In fact, we were just remarking to each other a couple nights ago how we found the need to leave the loft windows open at night even when it's 25 degrees outside because of how warm the loft gets. Blame it on heat rising, having a reclaimed tin ceiling over our bed, or super good closed cell foam insulation in the walls and ceiling, but the loft stays toasty almost to a fault. Still, the dry mountain air - despite being about 20+ degrees colder here than in our area of Texas - doesn't feel as cold as the numbers portray, thus making open windows not only tolerable but actually welcomed each night. It's odd for certain, but it makes regulating our sleep cycles significantly easier.

A 20 degree difference w/o the space heater on. Nice! 

A 20 degree difference w/o the space heater on. Nice! 

We've certainly had to make some adjustments to our lifestyle in just these few short weeks, but thankfully some of the less pleasant ones (namely an insanely expensive dining out habit we've picked up) will be rectified or at least blunted significantly once the hospital opens and my travel times vastly reduced. One of the primary reasons we wanted to dramatically downsize our expenses and possessions, as well as move to areas (Colorado, then Washington) with better climates for outdoor activities year round, was to be able to afford both the time and any costs associated with exploring the outdoors around us. The extra long work week and extended travel times (2hr round trip 5 days a week, which equates to 14hr days with only 8hrs of pay right now) I've experienced since arriving here has dramatically reduced my time, energy, and willingness to do anything other than veg out  on the couch. That doesn't include the added cost of diesel at $2.40/gal with only 15mpg here in the mountains, which was equating to $200/wk in fuel costs alone. I actually rented a little 37mpg car at $124/wk and spent less than $40 for three weeks of fuel to help offset some of the travel expenses, but now that winter is slowly starting to set in I'll need the 4x4 of our truck more often than not. Needless to say, we are tapped out from the move itself and the unexpected expenses associated with the delays at my job.

I have single-handededly stocked, organized, and labeled 8 of these giant carts plus 6 smaller rolling carts while squeezing in new staff training classes and attending a few myself. Oi! 😖 

I have single-handededly stocked, organized, and labeled 8 of these giant carts plus 6 smaller rolling carts while squeezing in new staff training classes and attending a few myself. Oi! 😖 

Even still, tiny house living is making all of this possible, because the cost of our truck payment, truck insurance, tiny house insurance, and RV park rent combined equals just what we paid in mortgage for our Big House in Texas not including any bills at all. Sure, we've quadrupled our cell phone data package (and doubled the bill in the process) to accommodate poor wifi signals, and yes we will always have additional fuel costs from living so far from my work at the only place we could find that would accept our tiny house, but we're doing it! We're living in a house we built with our own hands (with help from Tunbleweed for the heavy lifting of course) in a state we chose so I could stay with a company I love yet still be just a day's drive from our families in an area that's perfect for our son to explore all year round. The house isn't totally done, our bank accounts are running on empty, and the drive to work is kicking my ass, but it's worth it. All of it. It's our new tiny life, we love it, and it's only going to get better from here.

💜🏡💙

The view from our loft yesterday morning. Despite the longer than preferred drive to work, we couldn't have found a better place for our tiny house family to call home.  

The view from our loft yesterday morning. Despite the longer than preferred drive to work, we couldn't have found a better place for our tiny house family to call home.  

Our First Blog Post While Living In Our Tiny House

Greetings from colorful Colorado and the beauty of Loveland, CO, which is near the Front Range about an hour north of Denver! We made the roughly 3-day journey from Texas starting 10/9 and arrived in Loveland 10/11 late in the evening after an open house in Denver at Trailer Made Trailer's shop. We had hoped to have open houses in Oklahoma City and Wichita, but departure delays left us heading out in the dark on Friday to make as much distance as our tired brains would let us. Once we start traveling with the house, however, we will make it up to those who missed out seeing the house this time! <3

Since we are now living in the tiny house full-time, even though she's not 100% finished, I thought I'd attempt to start using the Squarespace blog to help differentiate the "building phase" from the "living phase." This is just a test at the moment, and I'll make an announcement on our social media pages if the format switch becomes permanent. For now I'm going to post a little recounting I made this morning of the daily routines that are already starting to establish themselves in the tiny house after just two days. They aren't all that surprising to me, frankly, but watching the little man make such a smooth transition already is definitely encouraging. Brandy and I are still exhausted and stressing out over the remaining work left to complete, but R.A.D has settled right in as though we've lived tiny his whole life. Love it!


October 13, 2015 9:48AM Mountain Time

Our morning routines in the #tinyhouse are already being established. 

Brandy has run off to the hardware store to get supplies to fix our now broken front door (le sigh 😞). I know he's counting down the nanoseconds until the house unofficially d-o-n-e. We've brought most of the components we need to do all of the I-dot, T-cross stuff on our list, but already we're finding things that we inadvertently left in Texas. Thankfully a December return trip is already planned, so we'll pick up those items then. 

R.A.D has been happily playing with Legos in his room, then our loft, and now next to me on the sofa in the great room. 😋 They've been Lord Business, Master Splinter, a boat, a rocket, a car, and gifts for me all in the span of about 30 minutes. 😍 I know his new school won't be wild about the movie watching we do as a family (they're anti-tech for kids, which we actually really like), but frankly I find it impressive that a hodgepodge stack of colorful plastic bricks can take on "character" forms as well as traditional ones like cars, boats, etc. None of his creations look anything like any of what he says they are, but his imagination dictates otherwise. 💖 He starts school this Friday, and I just know he's going to love it!

Kitty has been tolerating Mr. Sir's overly affectionate attempts to snuggle with her in between his Lego relocations better than she did yesterday. 😼 Clearly he didn't learn the lesson the first time as evidenced by his now-healing face (le double sigh 😣).

I'm chugging my morning peach tea Monster (coffee makes me sleepy believe it or not) trying to plot my day through the residual brain fog left from working night shift for over a decade (yawn 😴). You'd think the time change would be working in my favor since 0900 here is 1000 back in Texas, but I find that anytime before about 1500 requires a vast amount of fortitude and willpower (and caffeine) to reach optimum performance levels. Thankfully I've got 2.5 weeks of M-F 8a-5p pre-opening work days to prep me for my brutal 0400-ish wake up calls for my 0645 shift starts after a 60+ minute drive 3 days per week. Yes, I have a two hour round trip for work each day, but that, my friends, is a VERY small price to pay for us to be able to live in our tiny house. 🏡

We aren't completely settled in yet (and likely won't be for about a week+ realistically), but with the shopping trip yesterday and the unboxing of the fridge, the house is starting to feel less glorified camper and more tiny house on wheels. We are still using the RV park's facilities for a few more days (except for #1... Nature's Head requires no extra setup for that) until the last of the water heater setup (that I thought was already done before we left, but apparently not) and vent connections for the compost toilet are completed. Thankfully those facilities are just a short walk away, and the beauty of the park (and the great weather!) make up for any inconvenience experienced on the short journey. 

We've got to fix our temporary front door that went crazy and broke on us last night (the knob broke and locked us all in), but otherwise the first pair of days have been lovely. We've got our permanent door waiting for us back in Texas, so we'll prep it and haul it back from our December visit. Hopefully by then the last of the trim work inside will be done, too, and we can have Jenna & Guillaume of Tiny House Giant Journey over the shoot a proper video tour. Stay tuned!

Have a great day!