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Custom 12′ Extra Wide Tiny House for Senior

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Patrick and the Rewild Homes team built the custom Ptarmigan extra wide tiny house for a senior who wanted a bedroom and ensuite bathroom on the main floor to avoid having a loft with stairs or a ladder.

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The house is 12 feet wide, cantilevered over a standard width trailer, and 20 feet long for a total of 240 square feet.

To build such a wide tiny house on wheels, the Rewild team built a deck platform to raise the floor high enough so that the trailer wheel wells wouldn’t protrude into the floor.

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The home will be completely on the grid, with power, water and sewer hookups. The layout is very simple, with a small a kitchen, a large living room, a bedroom with space for a queen sized bed, and an en suite bathroom with hand rails for support.

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The person this house was built for had the choice between going into a care facility, or moving into a tiny house in her daughter’s backyard. This is just one of many great examples of how adaptable and practical tiny houses on wheels can be.

VIDEO TOUR: Special 12 ft Extra Wide Tiny House for Senior

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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Val
    August 17, 2017, 3:14 pm

    It would be perfect for me except I rather have smaller size kitchen section. Don’t need alot of kitchen. But to have a small apt siz frig and w/d combo section is great. But the rest is GREAT!
    How much would this cost?

  • Michelle
    August 17, 2017, 3:30 pm

    This is my favorite!!! I would love this for my retirement. I always find the THOW’s with lofts impractical. It’s hard to carry stuff up there, the ceiling is so low that you’re crawling around, it would be a nightmare if you had any kind of injury or illness. This one however is a dream. Obvi, w/ a full kitchen and some other changes!

    • Glanda Widger
      August 17, 2017, 4:52 pm

      No company rarely cook . Even now with 1000 sq ft I use a toaster oven and a hotplate . But I love the size and the ease of a lower level bedroom. I think we could all go for this with minor changes to suit our lifestyle.

  • Diane Gray
    August 17, 2017, 4:18 pm

    As a senior, I appreciate this extra width tiny home. With babyboomers getting older, this just may be “the” answer for many. Great job and much more practical for any age!

    • Glanda Widger
      August 17, 2017, 4:50 pm


  • Glanda Widger
    August 17, 2017, 4:50 pm

    Now this is perfect. Actually I have very little company so I would have a huge bedroom with room for TV and computer and a dog and a living area for a couple of chairs but the concept is perfect. definitely saving this one. Right size for a retiree. yes this is for me.

  • Evening Iris
    August 17, 2017, 6:09 pm

    LOL! I’m so used to looking at 8′ wide builds that this place looks massive to me! 😀 I don’t know if I could get used to all that room or if it would feel ‘barny’ to me. Very nice build though.

  • Jim Rodgers
    August 17, 2017, 6:53 pm

    Am I missing something ? I realize the extra 4′ width would really be nice but why couldn’t the same floor plan have been on a 8’6″ base. I’m not a fan of loft’s either. I know it looks like a home because most rooms in a home are 11″6″ wide so it would appear more homey. If it is to be on the road then a couple extra feet longer would have the same sq. ft. If it is going to be parked somewhere then why wheels?

    • James D.
      August 18, 2017, 5:33 pm

      There are layouts that are only possible when you go wider, such as when trying to make one that’s ADA compliant for things like wheelchair access.

      Longer also has issues like it gets harder to tow, making maneuvers like turns means you need more clearance to make those turns with a longer trailer… The house itself is in more danger of flipping over when it’s long and thin…

      Mind, wider also means placing the wheels further apart, which makes it more stable… It’s harder to balance and trailers optimally need to keep the weight ratio between before and after the wheels at 60/40 with most of the weight towards the tow tongue…

      Longer also means dealing with more weight over a longer length that’s not all supported by the wheels and thus the trailer chassis has to be able to handle and that adds to costs…

      Besides, when you start making a long and narrow home it starts feeling more like a tunnel than a home and we’re talking about a space that not all parts of will allow two or more people to pass each other easily…

      For the wheels, there’s multiple reasons ranging from keeping options open for later in case their situation changes and they do need to move to being able to place it someplace that may not allow any other kind of structure…

      But for those who live someplace that allows it then they can opt to have the Tiny House placed on a foundation or even built like a regular stick built house on site…

      • Jani
        January 1, 2020, 3:10 am

        As far as I can tell, the wheels are not further apart than on any other trailer, so I would think it is even less stable with the house protruding on either side.

  • Betty
    August 17, 2017, 7:23 pm

    This is great for senior. Plenty of room for a wheelchair, walker, even room in bedroom if hospital bed were needed. I don’t need any of that yet and would live in it!😀

  • LP
    August 17, 2017, 8:13 pm

    I wish there were more of these to view. Steps and ladders are an inconvenience to many of us. I really liked this one due to how wide it was.

  • Darlene Pollard
    August 17, 2017, 8:15 pm

    Love this…can you advise pricing and availability? Being a senior myself it is heartwarming that there a tiny homes available for us!

  • Danielle DiLisio
    August 17, 2017, 9:37 pm

    Very nice and simple. Definitely need options like this for bedrooms without a loft.

  • Dusty Hayden
    August 17, 2017, 10:10 pm

    This wide tiny house is just what I need. I would like more details. How much does it cost, how long does it take to build, is it legal to haul on roads & do you need special permit, where would it be built, do you deliver ? 3

    • Joyce
      February 14, 2018, 6:34 pm

      Due to the width a permit to move on major roads is required. These special permits dictate what days you can safely move the trailer and what type of safety equipment or vehicles are needed during that move just like any other mobile home.

  • Van
    August 18, 2017, 11:29 am

    Jim Rodgers, yeah I think you are missing some points there. Obviously this tiny house was meant to be used as an abbreviated version of a park model mobil home. Generally human perception of space is three dimensional, so not only length and height, but also width plays important role role making the difference between comfort or claustrofobia.
    In fact, the most constant factor is what we persive at eye level, wich is depth or length, and width. While height is important, after the first notice of it, it becomes more assumed since it is out of our range of vision unless we turn our heads toward it. In my opinion, for the purpose of getting around building codes rather than considering mobility of the dwelling, it’s always better to build wide. For a lot of us on the downward slope of life, level living is important not to mention to be able to get around upright.
    So for the person who contracted this built, this arrangement is the most suitable.
    Also, I still maintain, that it is rather dillusional to think that towing a THOW as one would an RV trailer is sensible.. I know, some do. I really would love to hear their real opinions after towing it for a thousand miles in the mountains with cross wind. Love to be a fly in the cab of the truck listening to the cussing when the trailer trying to overcome the tow vehicle, see what the pucker factor is during those times. And to do that on a regular bases, no thanks. I’ve towed enough trailers to know better. And they weren’t that big either.
    I do believe that the real purpose of the THOWs are to create financially viable dwelling in the face of the ever increasing oppressions of the planning commissions of various municipalities who visit the holy altar of night property taxes often. For that, wider is better since most people live a stationary life. Notice I said most. Can’t generalise.
    I think this demantion is the most suitable and lends itself to various layouts the best. If you want to be on the road, RVs, however junk they may be, are more suited. Many people use them successfully for that purpose.

  • Van
    August 18, 2017, 11:33 am

    Sorry, I meant demansion not demantion. Lol. My apologies for the grammatical and spelling mistakes.

  • Van
    August 18, 2017, 11:41 am

    The interior design possibilities in this size are endless. Using the 12′ width allows for layouts that would suit varying tastes of people and provide visual and physical space more then the 7′ 10″, roughly, provides that people insist on building for some towing restriction thinking that it will be on the road more often then not. Even 10′ wide allows for spatial designs and the permitting process is simple when the rare occasion comes up that the THOW have to be moved.

  • Van
    August 18, 2017, 11:54 am

    Dusty Hayden, to tow something like that, the same general rules apply as towing a regular mobile home. It is wide load and probably would require escort vehicle. There are many companies out there specialising in transporting mobile homes, they can answer your questions better. There might be certain variations from state to state, but it’s obvious that they are being moved from manufacturers to dealers and from there to buyers.
    Not like any RV trailer though, and you would need a semi to pull it, perhaps not the ones in the 20-25 feet range but longer ones, yes. My only question on this particular model, how’s the stability since it’s built on a regular road trailer and the floor is elevated above the fenders of the trailer to prevent protrusion of it into the floor plan. Seem to me that the centre gravity might be high for good stability. I can’t say, don’t have the numbers to do stability calculations.. I would make sure that the company who does the towing know what they are doing, aware of the elevated building and they have very good insurance. Otherwise, I think it would be ok to deliver to your location where you would have it parked pretty much permanently.

  • Larry Burns
    August 19, 2017, 12:41 am

    I like the 12′ wide idea but I would use the trailer to deliver the home on, then take the trailer out at the site. Then you can build something new on the trailer, etc.

    • James D.
      August 21, 2017, 4:56 pm

      Prefab, modular, Tiny Houses built on skids, Container Houses, or even some assembly required houses can all be delivered on a trailer…

      Some THOWs can also be unfastened from the trailer and then placed on a foundation.

      While sometimes the structure simply allows wheels to be mounted and unmounted… So the delivery vehicle leaves with a lot less and can more easily get out from an area.

      So, there’s a number of options that would work…

    • e.a.f.
      January 14, 2020, 10:20 am

      In some areas in B.C. having something on wheels gets you by the zoning, while putting it on a foundation, won’t, especially if you’re in the ALR.

  • February 14, 2018, 6:46 pm

    The article states the senior was given the option of going to a care home or living in this tiny home. That was a smart decision for the daughter since the building cost of this home is probably less than one year in a care home. She had the tiny home built for the same size as most double rooms are in a nursing home. The decision allows the family members to remain close, helps to maintain stronger mental health for the senior, and shows family members love and attention can be done with many positive benefits–unlike allowing that senior to feel abandoned and unloved when placed in a care home which often happens.

  • Mary Points
    January 19, 2020, 5:16 am

    I totally like this being a senior with Arthritis it helps to not have the ladders /lofts and have the one floor plan is great for us Seniors. My question is I now live in a Mobile Home Park .I am looking for some type of a tiny home to put on my lot .I didn’t know if what legal stuff you need to park a tiny house in a MH Park,if its even possible. I would like this one a lot.

    I live in Ky . and on a limited budget ,could I get an idea of the cost for this tiny house.could you recommend a builder in the Pendleton County Ky area ,close to Cincinnati or Lexington.Appreciate any information you can proide .I give this a thumbs up . Thanks

  • Mike Moore
    January 19, 2020, 9:09 pm

    This is a great start on including accessible features ! Next steps might include making sure all doorways are 36″ in width and some sort of portable fold-up ramp for possible wheelchair access . When I built my tiny I included several universal design features ; this was somewhat easier for me as I built on a foundation and had a little more room ( 13 x 25 ) .

    Nice work !

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