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Geoff & Rose’s DIY Eco-Friendly Wooly Mammoth Tiny Home


Designers, artists and environmentalists Geoff and Rose spent two years taking this 1988 Motorhome and transforming into an eco-friendly and incredibly cozy tiny house!

While the truck still runs they don’t intend to travel in it, but rather have it parked on a 200 acre farm in rural Ontario (they even have their own chickens). Neither Geoff nor Rose have building experience, so they learned as they went and carefully researched everything. They even insulated the whole home with wool they cleaned themselves! Woah.

We got the chance to do a Q&A with Geoff which you can read below the photo tour. They documented the entire build from start to finish on Instagram (@woollymammothtiny) so be sure to follow them to get even more details.

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I just love all the wood inside their home. No restrictions on weight since they plan to stay stationary.

That skylight in the loft is amazing. Imagine looking at the stars from there!

Their two hairless cats also share the space with them.

Here’s a great bar eating area with stunning farm views.

Now this is the kind of place I’d like to drink my morning coffee…and afternoon coffee!

Their cab area is so quaint, and since they don’t need to travel they were able to make it a living space.

Personally, their bathroom is the best part of this THOW! Here’s their DIY composting toilet, but wait until you see the bath.

And here’s the magical tub! Where are my Epsom salts…

Another view at a wider angle. Plus it’s a shower.

Such a lovely warm glow in this home. Love their kitchen set-up!

They heat the tiny with the Cubic Mini Wood Stove, which is definitely on my wish list.

Here’s a picture of the couple when they were just moving in.

Oh and their chickens because I love chickens.

Now this is a place I could call home. What do you think?

The piping on the gutter is actually a rainwater catchment systems. Brilliant! Make sure to read our Q&A below.

Tiny House Living: Q&A with Geoff & Rose

What are your name(s)? My name is Geoff Watson, and my wife’s name is Rose Broadbent.

How many people (and animals) are living in your tiny house? The two of us live here with our two hairless cats, Neffer and Luna.

Where do you live? How long have you lived tiny? Our tiny is in rural Ontario, and we’ve been using it as a cottage for the past year as it’s neared completion. Our permanent residence is in Toronto.

What do you do for work? Or do you travel full-time? We are designers, artists and environmentalists part of an art studio called Make Good Studios based in Toronto, and we also run our own design business called The New Beat.

Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? As environmentalists, Rose and I are on a quest to continually minimize our carbon footprint in search for a sustainable, and eventual regenerative, lifestyle. We’ve also been experiencing the rising prices of the city, and we knew we might not ever be able to afford a home, so the concept of something we could afford to own and design ourselves was very appealing. I personally was also frustrated by the fact that I didn’t know how things worked in the home we rent in Toronto. I knew nothing about plumbing, electrical or heating, so building our own home seemed like a meaningful way to learn those skills.

How did you first learn about tiny life? As designers, we’ve always been interested in designing spaces. When the term “tiny home” started surfacing online, the idea of hyper designing a small space was quite appealing. Paired with the opportunity to create a home that was more sustainable than traditional homes in the city, it took little thought before we decided we were going to do it.

How long did it take to finish your tiny house?
The build took us about 2 years, mostly on weekends, with a few full-week sprints as well. The process was challenging because we’d never built anything like this before, and we wanted to be as responsible as possible in terms of the waste we created. It took a lot of research and trial and error, but the learning process was priceless and I would highly recommend it.

How did you build your tiny house? Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves?
We built the home ourselves with the help from 2 friends, Aaron and Geoff P., and had no experience with home design, woodworking, electrical or plumbing, so we had to learn as we went along.Are you comfortable sharing how much your tiny home cost? What are bills/utilites like compared to before?

Our tiny home cost us roughly $40,000 inclusive of our solar setup. Our propane for both heating water and cooking is a total of $100 per year.

Before going tiny, what was life like? We rented an apartment in Toronto and worked in an art studio a few blocks away. Life was pretty good, though very busy and stressful. Tiny life has allowed us to slow down, appreciate nature, eat healthier and generally make decisions more intentionally.

Is there anything from your old life that you miss?
Our internet isn’t as fast as it was back in Toronto, so that’s perhaps something I miss! Though it has forced me to find other hobbies like woodworking and gardening, and now I enjoy doing that much more than Netflix and video games.
What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny? Time feels slower, but that also has to do a lot with the fact that we’re on a 200 acre farm full of nature. Otherwise, living in a space you designed & built with your own hands is incredibly rewarding. We wake up happier each day, it’s strangely satisfying.

What about some challenges?
Since all of the walls in a tiny are technically exterior, there’s a risk of pipes freezing in the cold Canadian winters. We’ve had to deal with that already, but with an open mind, we look at these challenges like learning experiences. My pipes in Toronto froze one winter too! Nature is powerful.

What makes your tiny special?
A few things make our home special! First of all, our entire insulation is made of wool that we cleaned ourselves! The interior is entirely white pine wood, so it feels like a huge, beautiful sauna. We collect rainwater off our roof, and use foot pedals to turn on our taps, which lets us save a decent amount of water. The entire house is run by 12V DC power, including the fridge, which makes it very efficient in terms of energy consumption. We do have 110V AC outlets, though they only work when we turn on the inverter, which is usually off. I suppose the fact that we actually built our home on the back of a 1988 motorhome is pretty special too, haha. It can still drive, though we don’t plan to travel in it as that wasn’t our intention. The motorhome was just an affordable base to start with.

What is your favorite part of your tiny?
We have a skylight positioned directly above our bed so we can see the stars while we sleep. It also opens, so we have access to our roof, which nearly doubles our square footage!

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny?
Plan as much as you can, but then just go for it! Don’t let life pass you by, take a risk, the rewards will be so worth it. We had no idea how to build a tiny home when we started, but we learned everything one step at a time until it was done. Don’t let the concept of the build overwhelm you, and don’t let other people tell you you can’t do it. We had a lot of people tell us they thought it was crazy what we were doing, and here we are now, living and loving our tiny lives!
Do you have a website, blog, or social media page where we can follow along? The entire build from day 1 is documented on our Instagram page @woollymammothtiny with as many details as possible. We keep it up to date with our daily lives here too. Feel free to reach out and ask questions!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Victoria Banaszak
    April 17, 2020, 2:19 pm

    I think this is so adorable and I love the sky light. So many windows and textures.

  • Avatar Paul Larsen
    April 17, 2020, 2:26 pm

    Looks great ! Congradulations on a job well done , Love the idea that you collect rainwater for use and run on solar panels . And what a great use of a retired motor home!. I am certain there are other old motor homes out there that can benefit with this treatment. Always good to reuse and minimize waste!

    • Avatar James D.
      April 18, 2020, 1:15 am

      These types of homes have quite a bit of history… House trucks, or housetruckers, go back over 60 years, had a little peak during the 60’s and 70’s international counterculture movements, which most people think they started but they go back even further…

      They can also be incredibly creative in design, like there was one that turned into a castle when parked, owners were theatrical artists…

  • Avatar Candy
    April 17, 2020, 10:15 pm

    My adult son and I have had many discussions about insulation. We both keep coming back to wool. It’s naturally fire resistant, and all natural.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 20, 2020, 2:44 pm

      It’s such a great thing!

  • Avatar Eric
    April 17, 2020, 10:58 pm

    Oh wow, look at all that height above the bed. Easy to make up the bed. Don’t have to worry about smacking your head on the roof… unless you are 6′ 3″ plus or so.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 20, 2020, 2:43 pm

      Exactly!

  • Avatar David Pedersen
    April 19, 2020, 3:16 am

    Nice layout. But too much wood on wood. It would be nice to paint the walls in a light color.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 20, 2020, 2:37 pm

      Ahh but the wood is so cozy!

  • Avatar JGH
    April 26, 2020, 1:44 pm

    This is such a beautiful job! I don’t usually like all wood, but this is just a gorgeous job. I would seal it with a flat Gym seal or some such finish, not a varnish or any oil base as I would not want it to darken. It’s laid out so handsomely, a really nice job.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 26, 2020, 10:14 pm

      Oh that’s a great idea!

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