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The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

This is the Nugget Tiny House on Wheels.

It’s a 102 sq. ft. micro house built on a 12 ft. trailer by Modern Tiny Living.

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

The Nugget: A 12′ Micro House on Wheels!

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

Photos via Modern Tiny Living

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

The Nugget Micro House on Wheels

Highlights

  • 102 sq. ft.
  • 1 bathroom
  • 12 ft. trailer
  • Off-grid capabilities
  • Solar panels
  • Available for $36,000

Quote

Modern Tiny Living is proud to present the Nugget, our very first micro home! Outfitted with complete off-grid capability, the Nugget is the most livable 12 foot home on the market.1

Resources

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Nick August 13, 2017, 12:26 pm

    For $36,000?
    Good luck, fellas.

    • James D. August 13, 2017, 5:17 pm

      Nick, perhaps but lets compare…

      A 2017 Airstream Basecamp, which is around this size, would cost you up to around $47,000, for comparison… But this is more comfortable, is actually insulated rather than having metal walls, has better solar and water tank capacity, actual shower stall instead of wet bath, and a lot more storage…

      You could find something cheaper, for sure, but it’s unlikely to be as nice, forcing you to make compromises with things like a loft instead of a first level bed, and as comfortable unless you build it yourself and use reclaimed materials to help keep costs low…

      Not for everyone for sure, but it’s not bad for what it offers and those who that will cater to may think it’s worth it…

      • Modern Tiny Living August 14, 2017, 11:28 am

        Thanks James 🙂

      • Evening Iris August 14, 2017, 6:12 pm

        Yes, let’s compare:
        20′ build @ 36K = 1800/ft
        12′ build @ 36K = 3000/ft

        This is very nice, no doubt, but WAY over priced. This build should be coming in around 22K. Yes, yes. We’ve heard all of the rationales ad nauseum about why this is and why it should be, and yes, the seller is free to request whatever price point he desires, BUT… if builders expect top dollars every time they have a product to sell without considering the context of their target market, then don’t expect a stampede any time soon. We, the People, are just keeping it real.

        • James D. August 14, 2017, 7:24 pm

          Evening Iris, no… First, you’re math is off because it’s square footage and not just one measurement of length… at 102 Sq Ft this is only about $353 per sq ft…

          Second, cost per square foot increases as you go smaller for various reasons from it requiring more work as ever smaller spaces require more careful engineering to do right and because you’re squeezing most of the same things into a smaller space but those things still mostly cost the same to provide, they’re just packed into a smaller space… So sq ft comparison can be misleading when comparing difference size structures with different layouts, engineering, designs, appliances, fixtures, etc.

          You’re also ignoring what’s actually in this model… Like the solar and water tank… Things like Off-grid functionality is extra costs… Houses normally don’t come with off-grid functionality and the equipment required to provide that function aren’t free!

          You’re free to get something cheaper that won’t provide off-grid functionality, just realize the trade offs… Most structures this size won’t even give you three inches of closed cell insulation on the side walls like this one does as most are trying to maximize how much internal space is available and thus usually settle for just two inches of insulation…

          Really, while this is a little high for the size but there are houses even higher… Like there’s one that was a DIY build in California that ended up at $160,000 or just under $700 per sq ft… Because the owner wanted everything hand crafted by artisans, imported environmentally friendly products, too years to store the products before the build, the battery he got for the solar is just under $10,000 all by itself, had an architect help with the design, and used high end hardware.

          But that’s still cheap compared to the custom build for the rich that can go over $2000 per sq ft… Like Will Smith’s $2.5 million RV trailer…

          Needless to say, costs aren’t limited to just size and what may be readily visible in some photos as you can’t see things like the solar, the 4 sets of batteries to store power, the 100 gallon water tank, or how much work they actually put into the construction with things like how much insulation it actually has, etc.

    • Maria August 14, 2017, 7:44 am

      I agree with you. The price is way too high. !8,000.00 for this you be a better price. No where really to hang any clothes. Should have put in a small loft with dormer for storage.

      • James D. August 14, 2017, 7:51 am

        Maria, you’re not going to have hanging storage unless you give up the bed… This model doesn’t go to the full height and it’s only 12 feet long for only 102 sq ft, which is smaller than most Tiny Houses.

        What they did put in was surround shelving all around the interior and the bed has storage underneath in addition to a pull drawer.

        For price, you’re also not going to find something with 3″ of spray foam insulation for $8000, that’s going way too far in the other direction of costs…

        You can maybe find something like this for around $16,000 to $24,000 but it may not look as nice and like I pointed out there’s things this size that are priced even higher that aren’t even custom made…

        • Evening Iris August 14, 2017, 6:16 pm

          You don’t have to give up the bed, just those floating shelves. No one ever said a hanging closet had to be positioned on the floor. A very nice wall cupboard would do. For me, there should be drawers under the bed for clothing and bed clothing, and that wall free of floating shelves so I could hang up my guitar collection.

        • James D. August 14, 2017, 7:53 pm

          Evening Iris, the bed already has a drawer and storage compartment…

          While I don’t think you realize how little space there is around the bed… Even a small cupboard closet will have to hang right over the bed, which means the person sleeping has a much higher chance of hitting it every time they get in or out of bed…

          It would be fine if the ceiling was a little higher and this could actually have a storage loft or over hanging closets but it’s a little close for comfort in this design, IMO…

          More practical would be a simple hanging bar and curtain to cover it… That way, even if you hit it that it won’t hurt… But can still make the space feel more claustrophobic…

          But someone can always specify in their own custom build that the roof be a little higher or cantilevered out the back a little to provide a closet space just behind the bed… or just extend that utility shed on the outside to full height and use the upper part to place a closet… add a pull out hanging rod that can slide over the bed should give easy access but stores out of the way the rest of the time…

      • Modern Tiny Living August 14, 2017, 11:30 am

        Hi Maria,

        We hear you about the price, and if we could build a $18k Nugget with full-solar, batteries, water holding tank, full bathroom (Composting Toilet and 30 x 30 shower), Trailer Made Trailer, fully insulated, architect designed – we definitely would 🙂

        Everyone has different tastes and priorities though when going tiny.

        This was built to spec for the owner, and she is thrilled with her home!

        – MTL Team

    • Modern Tiny Living August 14, 2017, 11:26 am

      Hey Nick,

      We can build a Nugget for less than $36k for sure, but since this one is completely off-the-grid (panels + batteries, water holding tank, etc.), built on a Trailer Made trailer, and has a full bathroom (composting toilet + 30 x 30 shower), this is about the best we can do 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Anna pruett August 13, 2017, 1:18 pm

    No stove or indoor cooking facilities? What about the bathroom?

    • James D. August 13, 2017, 5:52 pm

      Anna pruett, it’s only 102 sq ft on a 12′ trailer… So not really enough space for dedicated appliances but you can have a one/two burner you can have stored in one of the cabinets or on a shelf until needed.

      This is a custom builder, so anything about it can be changed as well…

      On their web page for this model, it shows the bathroom is opposite the kitchen, with pocket door access, and has a 30″ x 30″ shower stall and a composting toilet…

      There are things I would recommend changing about the design, especially for the given starting asking price, but it’s an otherwise well made model and some would like the appeal of something that weighs only 4500 lbs, for easy towing, and has an actual bed they don’t have to climb to reach…

      Though, DIY or companies like Incredible Tiny Homes can do it for less… If you don’t mind applying some sweat equity…

    • Modern Tiny Living August 14, 2017, 11:27 am

      Hi Anna,

      There is a little cooktop the owner uses for this one. Bathroom is full, with Nature’s Head Composting Toilet and 30 x 30 in. shower 🙂

      – MTL

  • Gabriella August 13, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Pretty, Pretty, Bonbon. White Sweetly Integrated

  • Ray August 13, 2017, 2:06 pm

    Lots of pics, but I would have liked to see the shower. I like small. Don’t need a big stove. A little countertop hot plate works fine, and it’s out of sight when not in use. If you want a turkey, go visit mom.

  • Van August 13, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Nice little cabin on wheels. Simple but has everything needed for a cabin in the bush or by the water. I think one person or a couple can easily build something like this for about $6000 in material, depending on where it sourced. So I guess the seller is looking for $30000 in profit?
    However cleaver and cute it is, I don’t see $350 per sq/ft there. Believe me I’m trying to justify the price but I just can’t.
    Having said that, neat set up and easy build for just about anyone who can operate a tape measure, saw and hammer.

    • James D. August 14, 2017, 5:19 pm

      Van, it’s at least a couple thousand just for the solar, which has 4 batteries, another couple thousand for the trailer… Among other premium features… So, nope… profit would be a lot less than $30,000…

  • Cindy Long August 13, 2017, 8:23 pm

    👍

  • Wendy August 13, 2017, 8:37 pm

    With a microwave, some upper cabinets and a couple of burners, you could do some real cooking. I would also hope for a sofa bed instead of the big bed, possibly with storage under as it would make it feel more roomy and also allow for flip up, flip down table top/s so there is a place to eat, too. Some hooks for clothes, things stored over the bathroom, and it could mostly work for one, two if very temporary. Really attractive.

  • Marsha Cowan August 13, 2017, 9:41 pm

    Sweet!

  • Van August 13, 2017, 10:05 pm

    James D. Let’s compare. The airstream is considerable more. However, there is a lot to be said for name recognition. RVs, and travel trailers depreciate in value but Airstreams in general hold their value better. So the real comparison should be made in a year or two to see what the market bears for either of the examples.
    I’m sure that there are buyers for this out there somewhere, wish the builder luck, but I’m having problem with cost to value ratio.
    I love Tiny houses, there are many great examples of them here, this one is very cleaver for its size. The problem I have is that since I’ve been following the trend in tiny houses, we are moving away from the original idea of sustainable, simple mortgage free living. Lots of lovely eye candy here, many are even attainable foxy the people with modest means, but I see that the trend is going toward the “small but trandy”.
    I’m truly concerned that this great idea of simple living with small footprint on our environment will price itself into a fad that will go away because it will become way too expensive

    • James D. August 14, 2017, 5:31 pm

      Van, don’t fear… Widening market is a good thing because it means everyone gets more options and it allows for cheaper options to become available because the builders and product makers aren’t constrained by such tight margins that they have to charge everyone the same…

      Instead, those who want a lot then pay a lot and those who want less pay less… Thus it works for everyone…

      As for name recognition… It doesn’t change you can’t have a Airstream custom built for you at this price, or the fact the Airstream is basically a metal box with little to no insulation… Vs this which has 3 inches of closed cell spray foam insulation…

      You’ll get your money back just by how much less heating and cooling this will require over the years and you don’t have to schedule where you travel to by whether the weather is good all the time or not where you’re going… and you have more storage and this can work off-grid/boondock much longer than the Airstream can…

      While holding value is when you compare to other RV’s… Tiny Houses are better built and will last longer before needing repairs and maintenance. So they will actually hold value longer, not counting collectors that’ll be wild cards on how much you can sell it later for but that’s no guarantee even for Airstreams…

      So ask yourself, what’s more important… Name recognition or getting the best experience possible out of the product?

  • Van August 13, 2017, 10:07 pm

    Correction it’s not foxy, it suppose to be…attainable BY the people….

  • Michael L August 13, 2017, 10:29 pm

    You can try to rationalize it any way you’d like to, but with tiny house pricing… good luck trying to get that kind of money!

    • James D. August 14, 2017, 2:53 am

      Michael L, it’s a smaller market for those selling at higher prices but there’s still plenty of people spending even more than this for products that they can’t even get customized to their liking…

      The appeal is for those middle class on up who can afford more than average but want something that can be completely custom made for them, which in the traditional market is usually reserved for products that can cost hundreds of thousands on up into the millions.

  • Claire Gourlie August 13, 2017, 11:27 pm

    A perfect little bunkie.

  • Brad August 14, 2017, 1:04 am

    Very interesting. I realize there is not a lot of room in this design, but it has the basics I’m looking for. To do 102 sqft, you need to make some compromises. Paired with my shed/garage, this may be a winner!

  • Beth Herberger August 14, 2017, 8:00 am

    I like it, lots of bright light and very compact. I used a convection toaster oven for 2 years to cook for 6 people it would work just fine on the counter top with a moveable hot plate stored on top. I don’t know if the roof line would allow it but I would love a murphy bed up against the wall where the shelves are now and then hang hammock chairs from the rafter. Then the hanging chairs can easily been pulled out of the way for the bed to go down. Maybe even a bench with storage under the window that the bed comes down on.
    If it weren’t for my 6’7″ husband and four teenage sons I would love to live in it.

  • Jenn August 14, 2017, 9:00 am

    I love how homey and cozy it looks. Great job.

  • Modern Tiny Living August 14, 2017, 11:41 am

    Hey Everyone,

    Seen a lot of questions about the bathroom – you can see more photos of the bathroom at http://www.moderntinyliving.com/nugget.html.

    For those asking, there is a stow-away 2-burner little stove the owner has in this unit that is included. Since counter space is at a premium, she doesn’t leave it out 🙂

    For those concerned about the price, we definitely are aware that for this size, $36k is not cheap. However, we use the highest end solar setups, highest end trailer, Amish carpenters for the intricate design work, a roof with a 40 year warranty, siding with 50 year warranty, fully insulated, etc. It is built to last forever, and wasn’t built cheaply.

    We can build a measurably less expensive version of the Nugget, but it would require sacrificing some of the off-grid components, etc.

    We know everyone has a different reason for going tiny. This home was built to spec for its owner, who is using it as a very nice “camper-esque” home that can survive off-grid, rather than her full-time home.

    Thanks for checking it out all!

    – MTL Team

  • kevin August 14, 2017, 11:50 am

    I LOVE this house! a couple of small tweeks and it would be perfect.

  • G. Catton August 16, 2017, 1:18 pm

    That is adorable !!! Not sure it would work for me and my 7 rescue Chihuahuas, but none the less it is precious !!!

  • Lisa August 17, 2017, 10:21 am

    It’s beautiful and a great build for someone out there, I’m sure. For a person like myself, where owning a conventional house will probably never happen, this is way out of my price & size range. I have been researching tiny and bus conversions for a few years and know that I can have my own with more square footage and built just as nice for under $30k. Looks great for a weekend getaway or trip for two across the states, but very few people would go this micro with no storage space for long.

    • James D. August 17, 2017, 11:06 pm

      Lisa, it’s micro for sure but it has a small amount of storage… The space underneath the bed is for storage and it has a drawer near the bottom… There’s multiple shelving on virtually every single wall… There’s wall hooks for hanging things… There’s the kitchen cabinets and drawers… and on the exterior there’s the utility shed on the rear side…

      While since it’s custom, others can choose to have more storage… Like the rear window could be eliminated and the utility shed extended up to form a bump out that can be used as a closet/wardrobe that opens up behind the bed… among other possible changes…

      Main thing is this can function for a long time off-grid… solar with multiple battery bank, large water tank, 3 inches of closed cell spray foam insulation for a very high R-Value, etc.

      You can certainly do something like a bus conversion for less but it’s unlikely to offer the same off-grid functionality as this… But then again, this can’t move itself…

      While, leaving out the off-grid functionality will certainly allow the price to be lowered substantially… The price they’re listing is just including those premium features but not everyone needs to be able to live off-grid, or needs to be able to handle extremely hot and cold weather, etc.

      There are always trade offs and reasons why some things cost more and other things less. So it just matters what trade offs you can live with… So long as you’re happy with the end result then that’s all that matters…

  • Van August 18, 2017, 10:01 am

    Seem that most everyone, while they love the design, have problem justifying the price. Ok, so the quality difference between the travel trailers and “tiny houses” being mentioned for the purpose of justification.
    Fair enough… it’s known that most RV are built at a low standard of quality. In reality, they were never intended to be lived in permanently, so the design is geared toward mobility. More “aero dynamic”(note quotation marks) compared to to tiny houses. But they are also lacking overhangs and sharp corners and and flat surfaces that create wind resistance that allows for increased loads on surfaces. The obvious effects are lowering of fuel efficiency of the towing vehicle, less obvious loads on the type of roof structure that never meant to be subjected to extended periods of hurricane force winds.
    This example seem to want to cater to those who want to move it often, i.e. use it as a travel trailer. So time would tell how the roof would hold up to frequent towing at highway speeds. You have better chances of roof pulling away from the walls on this then a travel trailer. I live in South Florida and managed to go through about 8 tropical storms and hurricanes between Florida, Louisiana and the Caribbean, think Andrew, Katrina, Rita, and the two out of four Hurricanes that hit Florida in a row about a week apart back in 2004 if I recall correctly amongst others.
    Anyway, so between the aero dynamics of a brick and the style of roof structure might tempers the idea of using it as an RV, unless it gets as much use as an average trailer. Few times a year.
    If it meant to be more stationary unit, such as a guest room in the back yard or a bachelor pad for a single person to use as a crash pad in between travels for work assignments, then it’s not very efficient for the price.
    Let’s see, off grid being mentioned. I have lived on a 30 foot sailboat more several years so I have an idea about self sufficiency and off grid. Back in 2006 I purchased 2 solar panels (Kyocera, no affiliation of any kind) 130 Watts each for just over $600. Prices have come down on panels since than. Purchased 4 group 31 deep cycle batteries for about $800, and charge controller for about $200. Keep in mind this is 2006 prices. So so with miscellaneous parts such as wiring and other hardware, let me be generous and call it 2 grand for the kit. So, I will over estimate material cost here, trailer, $2000, solar set up, $2000, material for building shell, including spray in foam insulation, (check out the kit in the orange big box store) and the 30×30” shower enclosure, $4000, that particular type of
    composting toilet $1000, add up to about $9000. These are retail prices. No contractors pays those prices with a business license. So let’s take a $1000 off and I think I’m understate the price between wholesale and retail here, that ends up to be about $8000. Btw, I forgot the water tank and the black/gray water thank add about $500 so $8500. This still leaves about $27,500 for labour and profit for about 10-14 days of work for 2 people. I think I’m on the generous side of estimated time. That is about $3200 for salary for two people at 10 work days 8hours each. Ok let’s add and other $800 for over time, that $4000 total for labour at $20 per hour for the hired hands. So that bring it up to $12,500 profit.
    I’m sure I’m missing adds and ends, but it is a good representation of the cost break down.
    So, anyone who is handy, can shave off the cost by sourcing repurposed material, used trailer used solar panels and brings me back to what I said before. Anyone who can operate heavy equipments such as tape measure various types of saws, hammer, screw drivers, and pliers and some wrenches can probably build this for around $6-8000. Including reused windows door and very basic plumbing in case someone may think that I forgot.
    So, all I’m saying, that I can appreciate the efforts of this builder, but that size of construction for something that’s not really a tiny house and not the most ideal RV is not the most ideal business model.
    On a different note, this, just as all the above, is a personal opinion, the idea of the tiny house is not focused on mobility as much as it is designed to get around some codes to be able to produce reasonable and more than adequate housing for people who are interested in redifining what quality life is about. That is not focused on frequent travel. The size of some of these houses make that to be less than reasonable.
    I also noted that many people who build or contract to build tiny houses end up selling within a couple of years, when reality sets in or circumstances change. Few people who can stick to the idea on a really long term bases.
    So because of those factors, I find THOW to be nothing more than a novelty, that as it is will not sustain itself and will continue to be a temporary, transitional means of living. The smaller they are the less viable they are for long term living for MOST of us.
    I think, that there should be a strong push to change planning codes for municipalities to accept small homes to be built in the 400-700 aq/ft range, seem to be ideal for a lot of people, so that when people decide to downsize, they will more likely, stay with it. And for those who would like to be more mobile, for the sake of somewhat more efficiency, they can just use more conventional RV. They are good enough to last for several years of extended use.
    I see no point in being environmentally contious and drag a huge box around burning ungodly amounts of fuel to go from place to place.
    Ok if you move once a year or two. But to live in the road…..?

    • James D. August 18, 2017, 11:10 pm

      Van, there are lot more than simple lead acid batteries that you can’t even drain more than 50% without damaging them and can weigh over 65 lbs each to choose from these days and some of them offer extremely high capacity in very small form factors but at a cost… A high end lithium 48v 180Ah (9.36 kwh 52v actual) can run over $9000 but means you can have 4 of them in something this size for enough power to run the hot water heater, an incinerating toilet, and not worry about the sun being out for weeks at a time…

      That’s an extreme example but goes to show that you shouldn’t assume such options are low cost because solar can still range into the thousands for those needing the best possible options.

      Like there’s a demonstration Tiny House in I believe NZ for Tesla that’s being towed by a Tesla car and not only solar but a Tesla power wall, which at the end of the day allows the house to recharge the car for the next day’s drive… You can be pretty sure that set up is multiple times higher priced than this one!

      You’re typical camper and even Class B Van would also have less than half the capacity of the 100 gallon fresh water tank included in this model as well… It’s more normal to see a 9 to 15 gallon tank in something this size.

      Really, 100 gallons is about 833 lbs! Even if it’s not filled to the top it’s still easily over 700 lbs… and the trailer has to support that weight on top of everything else!

      The 4500 lbs this model is rated for is probably just the dry weight for this, so add a person or two and a full tank of water and you’ve already added over 1000 lbs… So that trailer has to be very well made to handle that, especially on single axle.

      All while still being rigid enough to not worry about warping the Tiny House on top of the trailer chassis…

      While the composting toilet can allow a single person to go 30 to 90 days before needing to dump it… So you’re more likely to run out of food long before you need to worry about water and other supply runs with this model…

      As for the roof line… You’re right that Tiny Houses have a risk of being blown over because they’re not aerodynamic but you exaggerate how aerodynamic RV’s are… Most RV’s still have flat sides, most are only aerodynamic in the direction they normally get towed, and side winds will blow them over even easier because they’re usually so much lighter than a tiny house.

      Most RV roofs are also pretty fragile with most cracking or having other issues within the first year because the entire frame can warp and doesn’t need to just have pressure on the roof line… This vs some Tiny House roofs that are rated for over 50 years and are so rigid that they can literally have a car parked on top of them or more than a couple of feet of snow load…

      Camper trailers can be framed by as little as 1×1 studs… But to allow for 3″ to 4″ of insulation you’d need more like 2×4 for the walls and 2×6 for the roof and floor for a Tiny House, the 3″ is for the walls for R-21 and the roof and floor are 4″ for R-28, and those can be far stronger if they use metal framing and this isn’t counting the usual inclusion of hurricane tie clips and other framing re-enforcements that are normally done because most Tiny Houses are actually over built…

      There’s also the effect of using spray foam insulation as it basically glues the structure together and makes it stronger and more rigid than the framing alone provides…

      Many Tiny Houses have been rated for over 135 MPH winds… Some of the all metal framed ones have even been rated for over 200 MPH winds… Good luck getting a RV that can handle those kinds of winds…

      What you say may have some truth if the roof had a large overhang but most don’t, and so there’s not much for the wind to really grab on to that would threaten the integrity of the roof line.

      It’s more a concern for those that have permanent outdoor porches/decks…

      But you don’t have to take my word for any of this as there’s also the simple fact that we can find many people that have towed their tiny homes for literally thousands of miles all over the country, more than a few have racked up over 25,000 miles and still have no issues.

      So aside from having not being great for gas mileage, they seem to handle high winds with aplomb… Though, the gas mileage isn’t quite terrible, especially for these smaller models because they present a much smaller profile into the wind and being shorter also means more of the tow vehicle stays in front of it and not so much sticking out above it for the wind to directly hit…

      Also, as a general note, not all Tiny Houses lack aerodynamics… Some have wedged shapes so they cut into the wind when towed… Some have bays windows or similar structure so the part being pushed into the wind is actually curved… Some have curved roofs that allows most of the wind to just flow over them… Some have the roof slanted to the front and back so it allows most of the wind to flow over it…

      So not all are literally bricks… Besides, some trailers are literally shaped like bricks anyway… Like horse trailers, box trailers, etc. and there isn’t really a issue towing them either…

      It’s more a issue of weight with Tiny Houses as they tend to be very heavy and trucks capable of towing that weight tend to not be as fuel efficient as lighter trucks…

      So you are right that the waste in gas, though not as big as you’re thinking, is counter to the point of being environmentally conscious but the cost of moving can be still small compared to the normal carbon footprint of every day life in the usual inefficient homes we normally live in…

      Like, you may only tow for a few hours but in winter you’d need to heat your home for possibly months at a time and that adds up to a lot more energy usage in total if you’re wasting energy because your home is too inefficient.

      You’d have to tow the house virtually a few times every week to compete with that… On average people are spending well over 80 million BTUs per year on their home, and over 900 kWh per month on electricity…

      Multiply that by how many average households there are and you can see why this THOW can still makes sense even if you tow it a lot… Especially, if the owner normally lives in a house that uses more than the average per year as the alternative…

    • James D. August 19, 2017, 1:10 am

      Oh, on the costs…

      No, you’re way off…

      First, you’re forgetting just the trailer made custom trailer this is on cost a few thousand alone… Spray Foam insulation in box stores is typically only for filling in gaps and doesn’t include the machinery normally required, which can fill a truck or van and require a generator to run if you don’t have high amp service on the work site. The chemicals also have to be properly mixed and done within ideal temperature and humidity otherwise it’ll be a bad install and you’d have to rip it all out and try again, which can add a lot to the costs… Thus many business hire it out rather than do it themselves as then they can be insured and be sure it gets done right every time but often means there’s a set price to the insulation install…

      To have a typical Tiny House spray foamed, it’s normally near $1800 and that’s for 1-2 inches… But this has 3 to 4 inches, so even though smaller than most Tiny Houses it’s still a fair bit of insulation they installed.

      So, even if they did it themselves and not contracted it out then it’s likely still around a $900, assuming they owned the equipment and didn’t have to rent it or still paying it off…

      There’s also the reality of doing construction in that there are always cost overruns, you will almost never use an exact amount of materials for a given build. There’s always some waste that has to be accounted for in the final total costs…

      Take the metal roofing… It may cost as little as $2 per sq ft of roofing material but you can expect an approximate waste factors of 5-7% at the lower end up to 20% plus at the higher end (depending on the complexity of the roof in question).

      Add to this waste factor details like drip edges, gable edges, ridge caps, valleys, fasteners, pipe flashings, freight, sales tax, crating and handling charges, and other possible options PLUS the labor to install the metal roof and it’s quite easy for that $2 a square foot roof to cost $5-10 a square foot for the finished project and that’s assuming the build goes mostly as expected.

      It would be nice if everything could be done always at the bare minimum cost but that’s not very realistic unfortunately.

      While a group of 4 lithium deep cycle batteries can run you about $900 each… Lead Acid would be significantly cheaper but at over twice the weight with 6V units being easily over 65-95 lbs each, means you’d have to add the cost of a very strong storage box for them that will also have to be well ventilated and be capable of handling any possible spillage… Even then, you’re looking at closer to $5000 for the whole setup…

      Let’s also not exaggerate the retail vs business costs difference… We’re not talking about a company that’s mass producing a product. Custom builders deal with near retail costs because it’s all custom and they can’t just stock everything the customer may possibly want… Many times items are ordered on a per customer basis, which means they don’t get much of a discount if they’re only ordering a few at a time…

      This is why up to now custom builders usually only catered to the rich because that’s the only way it made sense financially and the rest of us had to make due with mass produced cookie cutter, one size fits all, products.

      Mass production makes things more affordable but they also take away choice and individuality of those products.

      This is one of the reasons why people are so interested in things like 3D printers because they hold the potential to allow customization at affordable prices but that technology is still in its infancy and going smaller only saves so much on costs…

      It doesn’t help that prices of materials keep going up… Real wood flooring, for example, is now very expensive, especially if you get your wood from imports from Canada as we now have a tariff on that which adds 3% to the total cost of wood framed construction.

      There are things they can save on costs, especially if they’re equipped to use raw materials… But this doesn’t change that in some places the costs can be multiple times different, depending on factors like whether it can be locally sourced or needs to be imported, and how down the chain you are from the source of the materials.

      Along with how it varies per state as some hit builders with additional costs on top of normal building permits… Then there’s insurance coverage, getting inspected, and things like getting an RVIA certification is something they have to pay for!

      Along with paying rent for the building site, tool costs and maintenance, paying for their workers health coverage, business insurance fees, and finally for their labor… Not to mention normal business costs for marketing, accounting, paying taxes… All before they even see a glimmer of a profit, which needs to be high enough to justify even being in business and for them to have the slightest hope of ever being able to grow the business…

      Many business operate within just 3% profit margin, which doesn’t give them much of a safety net in case they ever face unexpected costs…

      While other factors includes the fact they used steel framing with this THOW, which costs more than wood framing… Along with all the copper fixtures, which cost more than steel fixtures… If the customer had ordered granite or quartz counter tops instead of wood, it would also have cost more…

      Even regular low E windows with tempered glass usually run around $400 each, with 4 in this THOW, not counting the custom door with glass insert window, which also would cost a couple of hundred as well… But, if the windows are the high end custom double to triple pane, gas filled, with solar/heat reflective film then the prices jumps to thousand each and can typically account for over $8000 of the total price of the house.

      Really, it’s not anywhere as cheap as you think to run these custom builder businesses. For example, Upper Valley Tiny Homes fairly recently went out of business and they were previously doing well making up to 9 homes a month but one mistake quickly snowballed and forced them out of business… Joining more than a dozen other companies over the last few years that didn’t make it.

      Really, if it was easy then everybody would be doing it and there would be so much competition that they would all be low priced…

      While let’s ignore the other companies that would charge up to double this price for anything comparable… The Vardos/cottage style custom built camper recently posted about here is priced a bit higher than this THOW but doesn’t even have a full bathroom, just a porta potti under a bench, and no significant off-grid features as well…

      And there’s certainly higher premium features they could have included…

      Just to give an idea of how high things can go, one of the highest priced 5.1 stereo systems available is priced at $5 million! The mid range highest is still $450,000! While custom built RV’s typically run into the millions… Ditto with custom built yachts… Custom built cars can run over $500,000 on up into the millions… Custom big homes can go into the tens on up into the hundreds of millions…

      So the scale of build quality and material costs can go a lot higher than they have so far in most Tiny Houses…

      While going too low starts making them comparable to tents on wheels, unless you cheat by using used and old materials that you can get for next to nothing and do most of the work yourself but not everyone can do that, reclaimed materials are often not ideal and require a lot of compromises, and it’s harder to be able to live in one legally as DIY usually can’t get certified, etc.

      So it can be just as bad arguing for prices to be too low as for them to be too high, while what’s realistic may not be as low as some may think, especially if they want certain things to be included but aren’t willing to do it themselves or take the time to find reclaimable materials and other cost reducers that are more feasible than expecting a custom builder to be able to do things for basically for free, just because someone may think it should cost less than it actually is to do…

  • Van August 18, 2017, 10:14 am

    Oh, and for $36000, I think that a couple of actual wall cabinets could have been included instead of the over use of cheap floating shelves that has very little practical use aside for a few in the galley area. Those are good enough to give you the illusion that you get something for the money, but really present very little value outside of breaking up the flatness of the walls. Off load the selves every time you move the trailer? We tend to fill any flat surface around us, so based on that, with the amount of shelves, you’d have a lot of packing to do. So again, not very practical for travelling and not sufficient for stationary living. Sorry, but as cute and nice looking it is, it’s just not ideal on so many levels.
    My first thought was, that for someone like me, I work overseas and spend about 8-9 months away from here, would work, but without modifications, it would not.
    It’s not the size, a 30′ boat has less space, though better designed storage.
    There is so much that can be improved upon this unit. Looking at it as it is, will prompt you to look at it with critical eyes and come up with better solutions.
    If nothing else, gives ideas, brings out thoughts and creativeness so in it self that is admirable about this micro whatever you want to call it.

    • James D. August 18, 2017, 11:34 pm

      Van, you seem to be too focused on how it looks now but it’s a custom built product… This is just how the present owner wanted it and you or anyone else is free to have it designed any other way they want and can probably still get it for around the same price because having it custom built is included in the pricing…

      Though, you should know open shelving can have straps so you don’t necessarily need to take everything down and cabinets don’t ensure you won’t need to strap everything down anyway as cabinets won’t stop stuff from being knocked around inside of them and unless you have very good locks on them they can still get knocked open and have everything pour out…

      You also have the risk that everything can be pressed against the door so the moment you open one after moving the THOW can find you with all the contents rushing out and possibly hitting you.

      There’s also the question of headroom, as this doesn’t have a high roof it would mean those cabinets will cut into the living space much more than shelves do, especially when you open them and have the doors sticking out.

      While you may not get any more storage out of them because you’d essentially just be trading cabinets for the shelving, which is basically just enclosing them, but cabinets also break up the storage space between the cabinets but the shelves can be continuous all around to make use of all the space.

      Like, if you wanted to store a broom or other long pole item on that upper shelf… That would be easy with this set up but virtually impossible with a cabinet setup, unless you put it on top of the cabinet but that’s the same as leaving it on the shelf in the first place.

      While, even if you have to pack things before each move at least packed away you can be sure even glassware won’t get smashed, which you can’t be sure of with just cabinets and its nothing like opening a cabinet after a move and having a bunch of broken pieces of sharp glass shards pouring out towards you…

      Sure, you can make sure to use non-breakables but that won’t prevent the other issues with using cabinets and would not be acceptable to people who insist on being able to take along breakables, like those who collect things like glass globes during their travels, for example, which they would also like to be able to see and not hide away when parked…

      Thing to understand is that there are always trade offs and there’s really no such thing as a perfect way to do things. Some may be a little better than others but in most cases you’re just trading one pro for another con and vice versa… and thus you mustn’t confuse what you prefer with what everyone should be doing, especially when other people have different preferences…

      While the thing about creativity is to realize there are many different ways to do things and it’s the diversity that allows us to be truly creative and be able to live how we want…

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