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A Tiny House on a Trailer That Costs Less

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For some, $20,000 to $50,000 for a tiny house is simply not an option.

So here’s “Plain Jane”.

It’s built on a single axle utility trailer that’s 7′ by 12′ and was sold for just $15k.

Inside you’ll find a…

  • Tiny living room
  • Desk
  • Storage areas
  • Kitchenette with sink, fridge and storage
  • Sleeping loft upstairs with queen bed
  • Storage above
  • Portable toilet
  • Sink and shower
  • 5,000 BTU air conditioner
Plain Jane Tiny House

Photo Credit: Good Idea Temporary Houses and Shelters

Plain Jane Tiny House on a Trailer Sleeping Loft in the Plain Jane Tiny House on a Trailer: Loft The Plain Jane Tiny House

It isn’t my personal preference, but might be a great option for some.

What do you think about the Plain Jane?

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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!
{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Rickles
    August 18, 2011, 6:14 pm

    That’s better.

  • August 18, 2011, 6:39 pm

    Thanks Rickles. I think so too. Really glad that you pointed it out.

  • Rickles
    August 18, 2011, 7:06 pm

    Actually I was referring to the cost of the house, but yes the ads are better too. =)

  • August 19, 2011, 1:39 pm

    Cost of this house is great, but if it were going to be my home I’d pay the extra money for pine paneling on the interior and things like that.

  • Teleia
    August 24, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I like it, though I’m not a big fan of carpeting. While I like the pine paneling Alex mentioned, I think I would drywall it so that it could be colorful. It’s a little too small for my taste, but the price is right. If I could get my dog into the loft, I’d be all over it. πŸ™‚

  • August 24, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I think I’d rather have drywall and replace the carpeting with something else too. But, yup, the price is great. Don’t know about the dog up there, haha.

    • sean dabbelt
      December 9, 2015, 11:04 pm

      As far as your flooring problem goes, Carpet is not always the answer. I am in flooring installer. For something like that I would put down vinyl planks. Then make quite few different types can have it look like wood or tile. Very durable product. Just like anything else the better product you get the longer it will last.

  • BigWarpGuy
    August 24, 2011, 6:52 pm

    I think it would be great for a dorm room and a camp house. I think it is nice. It is a little too small for me but still cool. πŸ™‚

  • August 24, 2011, 8:09 pm

    I hear ya BWG.. Would make a nice backyard office or hobby room though too.

  • Ellen
    August 24, 2011, 11:10 pm

    I love this! Wish I had 15 grand, I’d buy it. Sure beats 40 grand plus, doesn’t it?

    • Ann
      July 13, 2019, 11:40 pm

      Have someone make you one. I have a small trailer that I plan to have someone build a tiny house on and we might make it look like that, too. : )

  • August 25, 2011, 3:30 pm

    I guess so Ellen. But if you had 40 grand (or if you could get financing on it) would you spend the extra money to make it feel nicer inside-out?

    Plus I think it would hold up better, wouldn’t it?

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 25, 2011, 8:26 pm

    I simply love the tiny houses on trailers so much that I have already drawn out at least 6 different plans from which I want to build my own tiny home. My husband is blind, so there are things I must consider in my design that I don’t find in most of the ones I see online. The outside of almost all of them, especially the “plain Jane”, are adorable, but in most of them (Colin and Joanna’s being an exception)(J. Shafer’s, also being an exception), the inside is just not pretty at all, or is very disorganized. Some of the tiny houses actually give tiny houses a bad name. For Pete’s sake, tiny house builders, take more time to design the interiors so they are just as adorable as the outside! Make adorable use of the space, and decorate with style. Show your cleverness in colors and accessories that are pretty but practical. If you are going to make this move, do it right! Thanks!

  • August 27, 2011, 2:56 am

    Marsha, I totally agree. But to each his own, right? Lol. Yeah the way I see it is if I’m going to save so much by building small, I’m going to use some of those savings to make my house look & feel awesome.

  • Henry
    November 21, 2011, 12:30 am

    Drywall would all break and fall down the firs time you moved it — not enough shear strength.

    I like the plain jane.

    • November 23, 2011, 4:39 pm

      Glad you like the plain jane, Henry! Yeah, drywall would be a hassle with these. Even though I’ve seen it being used before in them..

    • Sandra
      October 13, 2014, 12:15 pm

      Drywall doesn’t crack and fall down during a move. My tiny house is 8’6″ x16 and has drywall. I don’t move it often but it has been moved at least 300 km. with no cracking. Alex featured it a few years ago. ( Designer inspired tiny home). It is fine. And looks so much better than all wood.

  • blaze
    February 18, 2012, 4:42 pm

    i see that you have a single axle trailer. what is the weight capacity of the axle? i just got a 6x14ft trailer (single axle) with the axle capacity of 3500. i will be adding another axle to it unless it is cheaper and worth it to upgrade the current single axle to be able to carry more.

  • November 10, 2012, 11:34 am

    The porch is a waste of space unless you’re living outside and just looking at it. When I was small I was given a club house. I had the choice of having a porch or not. For aesthetic reasons I chose to have the porch. It looked great but I didn’t use it much. The porch wasn’t added on to the exterior. It was part of the over all foundation.

    Was this article longer at some point? There aren’t many photographs of the interior.

    In the future I would like to know the dimensions of the house separate from the trailer length. That would make it easier to judge the size of these. The trailer tongues are usually about three feet. When you mention a twelve foot trailer does that mean the house is only about nine feet long? The same goes for the width of the house. Is is seven feet wide or is that the measurement of the outside trailer fenders? Let us know.

  • Melissa
    November 22, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I have been reading and dreaming about tiny houses for a few years now. I have drawn my own plans, house (8′ x 16.5′), house + covered porch (8′ x 20′), trailer bed dimensions (102″ x 20′). My trailer, a gooseneck, tandem with 7000# axles, just arrived 11/21/12.

    My plans have room for a 7′ couch in the living/kitchen area. The kitchen is made of apartment-sized (24″ x 24″) appliances: stainless steel sink and stainless steel lower shelving unit from a restaurant, upper shelves are wire shelving, a 1940s-50s era metal kitchen lower/upper cabinet unit, and a refrigerator/freezer.

    Past the living/kitchen area is a 1.5′ x 2′ wide pantry on one side and on the other side the composting toilet/lavatory stall with safety rails. Next is the washer/dryer-in-one and closet on one side and the 4′ bathtub with safety rails on the other. At the rear is the twin/full bed that slides onto the top of the gooseneck during the day to provide more open floorspace and the 20 gallon low boy water heater and compression tank (under the bed). (I couldn’t give up my long hot soaks in the tub.)

    I have designed a gambrel (barn) roof to make as much usable interior space in the two lofts as possible. The loft over the lower level bedroom is 9′ x 8′ and can accommodate an inflatable full mattress between the storage compartments. It is accessed by a folding attic ladder from the living/kitchen area. The second storage loft is over the front porch (8′ x 3.5′).

    The interior walls/ceiling will be covered by textured plastic wall panels made for bathroom walls: white on the ceiling and off-white on the walls. I like to be able to see inside my house with natural light as much as possible, so for me it is very important to have reflective surfaces. The pantry will be made from cedar plywood, so I will have some natural wood surfaces showing. Using these materials means I will have no painting to do and will have washable surfaces.

    The floor contains my radiant heating system covered by cedar plywood covered by linoleum that is cut bathtub-style so I can easily keep the floors clean. I will use a few area rugs that can be easily cleaned as well.

    My front wall is sliding glass panels, notice I did not say sliding glass doors-they would be too heavy for this application. I have a three-foot wide porch swing and a bench on the porch. I also have a nine-foot aluminum (wheelchair) ramp instead of steps, leading to the porch. I want my house to be as accessible as possible for my elder family and friends and for when I get older.

    The exterior is board and batten (vertical) cedar. The roof is standing seam metal. The walls and floor are made of a combination of wood studs, spray insulation, foam sheets, and cedar plywood.

    I will build my tiny house myself (I’ve built many other structures in my life) and hire the electrician and plumber.

    I’m looking at cameras so I can send pictures as I go. If any one else has or had a tiny house project, I would appreciate pictures of the different stages as well.
    Thanks. Melissa

    • Jeff
      April 29, 2014, 7:39 pm

      Sounds lovely!
      I would definitely enjoy seeing some pictures and sketches as you build this dream. I am particularly impressed with the “tub” floor idea for cleaning and the accessibility for elders & future self!
      I keep thinking that I should contact Alex too; there just don’t seem to be as many gooseneck/5th wheel options available–or at least I haven’t found as many. Many TH are just a tad too T–mostly because of the whole ladder vs stairs and many of the stair “options” are still a bit steep for those of us with disabilities or pending disabilities (when one or two of the ol’ joints no longer meet OEM specs, it’s not a huge stretch to see where that might end up…). Gooseneck/5th wheels seem to be a joyous middle ground between the “traditional” TH & the park models, in my *very* humble opinion.
      Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    • October 12, 2014, 3:22 pm

      Here it is October 2014, and I have just read your description – and it sounds truly perfect in so many of your aspects!
      I hope you now have some photos to share….
      It would be so helpful for me to see them, as I plan ahead towards my own TH!

  • Glema
    December 19, 2012, 7:30 am

    I like it. I would prefer the larger more expensive ones for a life change, but for weekending or short vacations this would be nice and the price seems more reachable. I would keep the porch! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing. Me, still dreaming but looks like reality could catch up! Lol tc Alex and Tiny House lovers wherever you are.

  • James Tyler
    April 8, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Can I use area of the information out of your post above if I give a backlink in your site?

    • Alex
      April 9, 2013, 12:05 pm

      Hi James, yes of course! Thanks for asking.

  • Maria
    October 11, 2014, 4:59 pm

    Who built the house Alex? Are there floor plans for The Plain Jane? Are there more pictures of the inside? What is the square footage?

  • Marsha Cowan
    October 11, 2014, 10:40 pm

    Oh my gosh! My comment above was written before I ever built a tiny house, and now I have built two and am living in a renovated short bus! Agh! What a lot of water under the bridge. What is so funny is that when I look at this house now, I love it! Go figure! I would prefer hardwood floors and hatwood bench, and I wish there was a picture of the kitchen, but overall I think this house is so adorable! But then I have always leaned to the really tiny houses. My bus space is about the size of the interior of this house. Sorry for the negativity in my earlier remark, Alex. I was new to the game…

  • john
    October 12, 2014, 2:18 pm

    To answer your question Alex; it sort of reminds me of Jay Shafer and his really well done XS house. This interior is too dark for me and I sort of view the finish work as a poor knock-off big box version of the much better done Shafer design. But each to his own, there’s no consensus when it comes to individual taste, lol.

  • Brian
    October 12, 2014, 3:36 pm

    I have been wondering how to build smaller and still have everything I need. I like this one. My first project right now is building a “tear drop” trailer on a Harbor Freight trailer. I will see how that goes then maybe go larger. I really love this site, gives me all kinds or ideas. Thanks.

  • Jennie moore
    January 23, 2015, 3:37 pm

    I love this home, this is a true tiny home to me and is exactly the type I am looking for!!! And so cute!!!

  • Karen R
    January 23, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Tiny, yes; plain, no. Very cute and a palace to someone who can’t afford something larger. Oh, to have an entire development of these for people who have to live in substandard housing, cheap hotel rooms, or their cars!

  • Scott Beverly
    January 23, 2015, 9:11 pm

    Very nice!

  • Marsha Cowan
    January 23, 2015, 10:31 pm

    I love this tiny house! Always have! Its adorable! Thank for showing it again!

  • Barbara
    December 8, 2015, 3:47 pm

    I would have happily sent my sons to college with this, which also is a perfect house for a new grad with no money with which to buy a house or condo. (I detested dorm living!) Finding a place to park near campus is the hard part. I’d have loved to see photos of the kitchen and bath. The interior could be brightened with bead board – your choice of color. All natural wood is unappealing to me.

  • Trish
    December 9, 2015, 12:08 pm

    Adorable on the outside, not so much on the inside. Too dark with all the wood, and the loft is claustraphobic to me. It might would work for an overnight, but not for long term.

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