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2000 Chevrolet Astro High Top for Van Dwelling - Brenda Curtiss

In late 2009 the downturn in the economy dramatically changed the overall substance of 30+ year business professional, Brenda Curtiss’s life.

In her words, “Even though I had always dreamed about and somewhat planned for the day I could be ‘free’ to full-time in a small RV or camper van, the need to do so financially, seemed to suddenly be thrust upon me when the once thriving Tax Planning Firm I managed for years, had to close due to the economic downturn.

I had bought a 2000 Astro High-Top Conversion Van with my meager savings and started my full-time vandwelling  journey in it at a membership vacation community in the scenic North GA Mountains where I had bought memberships in better times.

When I started out I was on shore power (electric hook-up) the majority of the time and not very well equipped without it. It was a beautifully scenic area, but after I had explored it extensively, and entertained family and friends who came to visit throughout the year (staying in the cabins there) the excitement began to wane and the nomadic side of me that had always longed to explore God’s amazing artistry began to rise up in me once again.

2000 Chevrolet Astro High Top for Van Dwelling - Brenda Curtiss

Photos Courtesy of Brenda Curtiss

By the end of 2010 I was ready to hit the road to travel across the USA in my little campervan! Some good friends helped me get a good battery system set up and further ready my van to live more self-sustainably.

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Tiny House Living and City Zoning and Building Codes - How to Get Around Them

Greg Johnson of the Small House Society published a video on how city housing codes influence tiny house living.

In a 4 minute video he covers a viewers question, “where can you legally put a tiny house on wheels?”

Greg does a great job of explaining the problems we face in addition to different ways you can get around them.

He also briefly discusses cities that are beginning to allow this type of housing as completely legal accessory dwelling units.

Greg talks about the challenges faced by code enforcement to catch folks sleeping in recreational vehicles, campers, and tiny houses.

I’ll let him do the talking, Hope you enjoy and be sure to visit the Small House Society for more information related to the tiny house movement.

Tiny House Living and City Zoning and Building Codes - How to Get Around Them

Photo Courtesy of the Small House Society and Greg Johnson on YouTube

If you want to listen to Greg’s tips on how to get around building codes and city zoning, I encourage you to watch his 4-minute video below: [click to continue…]

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Explorer Box Mobile DIY Tent Camper with Easy Set Up Kind of like a Teardrop Trailer

The Explorer Boxes are a hybrid of a teardrop trailers and easy to set up tent campers.

Designed and developed by Compact Camping Concepts, LLC, they’re campers that you can easily build yourself.

The company has developed an 85-page set of building plans so that you can build your own tent trailer.

They’re small in size and lightweight so you can tow with just about any vehicle including some motorcycles.

The company likes to call it a Mobile Outdoor Adventure Bedroom. On their site, you’ll find different kinds of roof top tents, changing rooms, ladder extensions, and more so that you can create the perfect camping solution for yourself.

But that’s not it’s only purpose. These compact tent trailers can also haul your bicycles, kayak, and other gear.

Enjoy the pictures below and if you’re interested Scott has included a special offer for you, readers of TinyHouseTalk.com. Just check out the bottom of this post for details.

Explorer Box Mobile DIY Tent Camper with Easy Set Up Kind of like a Teardrop Trailer

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Simple, Japanese Inspired Tiny House / Zen Cabin in the Woods

This simple, Japanese-inspired tiny house can also be described as a zen cabin in the woods.

I’ve always wanted to use that word in the description of one of the featured homes, shacks, cabins, or retreats here.

Looking back, I’d have to say that the tree-house/mushroom/dome cabin I featured a while back was also kind of meditative. But not as much as this one.

With it’s natural timbers, over-sized beams, natural-looking plaster walls, it seems to induce a sense of calmness just by looking at it.

If you’re a carpenter you may notice that there are no attempts (purposely, mind you) to disguise screws, nails, or bolts.

Update: Video tour and interview with owner/builder added at the bottom!

Man Designs/Builds Japanese-style Tiny Zen Cabin in the Woods

Simple, Japanese Inspired Tiny House / Zen Cabin in the Woods

Photos Courtesy of Brian Schulz

The builder, Brian Schulz, founder of Cape Falcon Kayak, admittedly reveals his design’s flaws, “..the roof pitch is slightly too steep, the body of the house is a bit too tall, and if I’d known that I was going to use a cedar shake roof I absolutely would have dipped the ridge and flown the gables.”

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Van Dwelling in a Volkswagen Westfalia

I wanted you to meet someone who decided to turn to become a van dweller in his 1991 Volkswagen Westfalia.

Kidding about the down by the river part but seriously: he decided to move into his van while still working at his job.

His reason behind it is because one of his dreams has been to become a photographer. He didn’t have to do this, as you’ll learn in a moment.

So he got rid of his house payment by living in a van made for traveling. In the video he’ll show and explain everything, including his:

  • $99 foam mattress for sleeping
  • Sleeping bag to stay warm
  • Dresser drawer underneath couch
  • Electronics and accessories

Van Dwelling in a Volkswagen Westfalia

Photo Courtesy of Living the Van Life on YouTube

I encourage you to check out the rest of the details and watch the video tour below: [click to continue…]

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Tiny House with a Balcony

I’ve been exchanging emails with a gentleman named Andy in the North West about his tiny house with a balcony.

You can also consider it a “cabin”… It’s really compact but has everything I would need to be more than satisfied.

He sent me photos and I wanted to share them with you guys since he gave me permission to do so but I don’t have too many details on this particular project.

Andy is planning on building several more of these two story units with small balconies since that adds value to the structures.

What are your thoughts of this small cabin design? Could you see yourself comfortably living here?

Tiny House with a Balcony

I encourage you to check out the rest of the construction photos Andy shared with us below: [click to continue…]

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Kids' multifunctional playroom study dress up shelving sleeping loft all in one room

Growing up, every kid wants a bedroom of his or her own, customized to personality and full of the things they love to do. That’s the purpose that this multifunctional playroom/bedroom serves.

Of course, most homes simply don’t have the space for a permanent playroom, but Heidi, a thirty-something mother of two, used tiny house logic to transform her daughter’s bedroom into a four-year-old’s dream come true.

With the help of her carpenter husband, Heidi turned an average sized bedroom into a little girl’s ideal space. A desk and chair, dress up area, spacious shelving unit and loft bed all fit comfortably in their design.

A vibrant wall paper makes the play space pop and gives the design a more spacious feel. Homework is more exciting for a four year old when completed at their own personal desk in a chair their size.

Kids' multifunctional playroom study dress up shelving sleeping loft all in one room

Photos Courtesy of Heidi

I encourage you to check out the rest of the photos and details below: [click to continue…]

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