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Gina’s Tiny House on Wheels: The Perfect Home if You Serve Overseas

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Gina had just finished spending 7 years serving overseas in Uganda, Darfur, and Central Africa.

And she wanted to continue doing so while coming back forth to the United States several times a year.

Gina needed a home so she can feel grounded while she was back in the United States.

Sure she could have rented a bedroom or maybe even stay with her parents while in the U.S.

But we all want a place of our own. So for her, a tiny house was the perfect idea.


Photo: YouTube/Joan Grimm

I encourage you to enjoy the video of Gina’s tiny home on wheels being delivered then check out the Sweat Pea Tiny House Design/Plans below:


Photo via YouTube/Joan Grimm, Shot Taken by Tammy Strobel

So Gina hired PAD Tiny Houses to design and build her a 130 sq. ft. tiny house back in 2011 in Portland.

Now the design is known as the Sweet Pea and plans for it are available in case you like it enough to build your own version of it.

Update: Currently Lina Menard of TinyHomes.com and NicheDesignBuild.com is occupying the tiny home. Congrats Lina! 🙂
(Thanks for the update Logan!)


If you enjoyed Gina’s tiny home you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with more!

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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!
{ 26 comments… add one }
  • January 10, 2014, 12:46 pm

    Hi Alex!

    Hope you are well! Just a head’s up on details. The last photo of Gina was taken by Tammy Strobel and I believe Lina Menard of nichedesignbuild.com and tinyhomes.com is currently renting Gina’s tiny house. 🙂 Cheers!

    • Alex Pino
      January 10, 2014, 1:10 pm

      Thanks Logan, I updated the credits/links to include that. I appreciate the update. Hope you guys are doing well too!

  • jerryd
    January 10, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Not worth the delivery Vid to watch. Would have better liked a tour of the inside details than parking it.

    Though it was photobombed in the early part with the first US hybrid, highest mileage car every made, an early Honda Insight. The one with the rear wheel skirts. My EV friends get 100 mpg driving them carefully at 70-80 mph.

    They are hand made of alum and only going up in value as only 10k of them were made, thus a car that nearly pays you to drive as it’s value rises as a historic collectable and amazing mileage. Then Honda stopped making them!! Great investment if you get the chance.

    • Duke
      January 10, 2014, 4:05 pm

      All you had to do, is making use of the included URL’s Jerry….

  • Judy
    January 10, 2014, 4:25 pm

    I’m exhausted just from watching the video and I didn’t have to do anything! lol Tight squeeze!

  • Michelle
    January 11, 2014, 12:13 am

    Awe! When it arrived, I got a little choked up, home! It was exciting and interesting to watch the placement progress. Congrats, Gina!

    • Darcy
      January 11, 2014, 1:29 am

      Yeah, I’m with jerryd, the honda insight was more interesting to watch.

      • Michelle
        January 11, 2014, 2:50 am

        It’s interesting to me since I’d had a similar situation in maneuvering mine. Personal experience, joining in the spirit. What does Honda have to do with this post? I didn’t know Darcy was another name for Jerry.

        • Sally
          January 11, 2014, 11:19 am

          Thanks, Michelle, I was thinking the same thing. Who needs the Honda advertisement? It ain’t about Honda and it ain’t about Jerry/Darcy. It’s about solving a problem with a little help from Gina’s friends, and shows firsthand what’s involved to squeeze a little house into an urban environment. My hat’s off to the truck driver, probably a professional? I guess Jerry was so fixated on the Honda that he missed all the interior shots. Or was that Darcy?

        • Judy
          January 11, 2014, 11:24 am

          I’m curious as to how long Gina even lived in it , considering she and her partner are expecting and live in Paris.It almost sounds like it got rented almost after delivery.

        • Susan
          January 12, 2014, 7:46 am

          On a very different note, can you please tell me the song playing on this video? The video, its depicted action, and the song inspired me!

        • Alex Pino
          January 13, 2014, 5:27 pm

          Susan the song is: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

        • jerryd
          January 11, 2014, 12:50 pm

          Wow! A little touchy. No, I’m not Darcy. And was what I said that bad for such a reaction?

          The vid first 90 percent could have been said in 3 pictures, not 3 minutes of vid. Vs would have loved to hear her words about it instead of music and better interior shots, you know, something useful.

          Otherwise it’s just 3 minute of I got it home personal vid which is cool for her, friends but 3 minutes others could have used to better use their time.

          If you want to watch a 3 minute backing in of a TH but complaining that others say they might not, is an interesting take.

          I like the TH, just would have liked much more detail in 3 minutes.

          My special first US sold Hybrid Honda point was for those who want extremely low cost transport that uses little fuel that goes up in value because it’s collectable while getting 70 mpg+ is a good investment.

          And exactly what TH’s are about, lowering costs by using less better? And how to do it?

  • Jamie
    January 13, 2014, 10:37 pm

    Having never towed anything in my life, I would appreciate info on the ‘headache and heartache’ associated with same. I have the truck, just not the nerve to ‘hook it up’


  • Sally
    January 14, 2014, 7:41 am

    Judy, As I recall life at that age, circumstances and opportunities change on a dime. It sounds like she’s had a very interesting life, and had yet another chance to expand her horizons. If she didn’t have a chance to occupy her little house, at least she has it to return to, which was the point of the article. It would be great to have a teeny home you could set in someone’s backyard for safety’s sake while you go gallivanting around the world.:-)

  • Cahow
    January 28, 2014, 10:22 am

    I can’t understand the value of this particular blog posting at all.
    First, we see a 5 minute video with too.much.music. and NOT ANY information about the actual house at all. Just 4.5 minutes of a truck backing the home into it’s tight spot and then .5 minutes of the people toasting the event with maybe 3 seconds of interior shots. I could have spent better time watching cat videos. ~shrug~

    Then, you follow the link to the Oregonian to learn more, and you find out that not only does Gina not even live IN the house, but also doesn’t even live in America, choosing to live in Paris with her partner and baby-to-be.

    So, what’s the message here? How to back up a house? Or, poor life planning results in a tiny home now rented out to other people? She didn’t want to rent an apartment nor live with her parents when she went back home so she spent thousands of dollars on a tiny home that she logged a 2 week vacation and some months when her dad was ill? I would box my kids ears if they were this careless with their money! It’s the ultimate act of hubris, that Gina can sit in Paris and say about her tiny house, “…it’s still “a really important grounding” in her life. “I still count on the POD for my sense of roots,” she says. Say what!? A structure you don’t live in any longer is your sense of roots?!? What about your home city, for instance, or your parents or friends home for grounding you?

    Gina is quoted as saying, “And if it hadn’t worked out? “I don’t think any of us ever thought of that possibility.”

    I’d blame that lack of planning on youth but at age 36 years old, Gina is hardly a 20-something that can be allowed a mercurial attitude toward life. I see this happen over and over again on the listings on tiny homes, where a tiny home is up for sale before the paint dries because “Well, things happened and we changed our minds.” Maybe a little less dreaming and a whole heap more of planning wouldn’t result in these mega-expensive bits of folly.

    Well, glad it worked out for everyone. Gina’s now in Paris, home is rented out…so I guess there’s no harm/no foul. I’d just caution anyone who’s life is in such flux that you just couch surf at friend’s or crash at your parent’s until you know what the heck you plan on doing and KEEP THOSE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN YOUR POCKET!!!

    • Duke
      January 28, 2014, 12:03 pm

      Wow Cahow,
      Take a chill pill!
      You should have observed that some people liked this posting, you’re just not one of them….
      D J H

      • Cahow
        January 28, 2014, 12:27 pm

        Thanks for your medical advice, Duke. I’ll search for “Chill Pills” online and when I find them, I’ll send you some, too. No charge!

        You wrote: “…some people liked this posting.” You’re right. SOME did. And yet others, didn’t. It’s a site that welcomes opinions and I stated mine. I expected an article about a person who is LIVING in their tiny home, not renting it out because they changed your mind. I can look at craigslist ads if I want to learn about rental units. I’m curious if Gina is doing “tiny” in Paris?

        • Duke
          January 28, 2014, 2:22 pm

          Indeed Cahow, that’s why I suggest you limit your comments to the Tiny House aspect. So please withhold your opinions concerning some of the decisions someone makes in their personal life based on facts you virtually know nothing about.
          D J H

        • Sally
          January 28, 2014, 9:15 pm

          Duke, whether you like it or not, this is a public blog, and when people post things for public comment, they are going to get it. I recently clicked a link on this blog, and could not believe how much personal information the young woman posted for the world, including her divorce, her meds, her doubts…jeeez! Why not just advertise for a stalker? And not that they need defending by moi, but Cahow and Doris both have a lot of experience to offer on this blog, and are sometimes understandably exasperated by the younger generations who feel they’ve founded the “Simplify Your Life” movement. Even JerryD is entitled to his opinions :-), and that other guy who often tells us ad nauseum how he would rebuild each structure to suit his own personal needs. I’ve noticed that these house blogs have gotten more controversial questioning the intent and ethics of some THers in the last few months, including those marketing their e-classes as if they were experts, but surely there’s room for everyone. I’d rather look at the pictures for inspiration, and see what I can and can’t out of it. Builders need to know what the majority of us find useful or not, and this forum has a lot of info about common likes and dislikes. It’d be pretty dull if we all cooed “Oh isn’t that cute!”

  • Duke
    January 28, 2014, 11:41 pm

    Thanks for your comments Sally. Like you said -this is a public blog- which in my opinion clearly serves the purpose of enabling discussions concerning Tiny House projects and topics, including technicalities and practicalities in regard to design and construction and of course also the philosophy behind the movement. As long as the blog is public I reserve the right to criticize someone like Cahow who used this forum to pass judgment on some of Gina’s life decisions without actually knowing the facts. I cannot be the judge of your suggestion that Cahow has a lot of experience to offer on this blog, however some of his personal remarks were uncalled for. And you mentioned Doris; Who is Doris and when did she get into the picture?
    D J H

    • jerryd
      January 29, 2014, 9:36 am

      Yes Duke, just as we have the right to say you are way off base as the others who take offence at honest observations.

      Those include letting others know when something is a waste of time or wrong so everyone can do things more eff and not waste time that could be used to actually learn something.

      If you, other want to waste time watching this boring vid fine, but coming down on others for saying it is, you might want to look inward as to why.

      • Duke
        January 29, 2014, 10:20 am

        Please read my posts properly Jerryd and maybe then you will realize that they have nothing to do with coming down on people who are of the opinion that it’s a waste of time to watch the video you are referring to or who make honest observations based on facts for that matter….

  • Annie
    May 20, 2014, 5:47 pm

    wow !!! I was holding my breath the whole time. wonderful job guys!

  • Martha
    July 18, 2014, 8:21 pm

    I bought a 34′ 5th wheel trailer in 2008 and lived in it for nearly 3 yrs. I never could back into a space, although I could correct bad turns i.e., alongside fuel pumps. I found the video absolutely amazing, but would have liked to also see some pictures of the inside.

  • Ben Lunt
    July 19, 2014, 10:26 am

    I have watched at least a hundred (maybe as many as 2 hundred) videos on this site and always like the ‘less clinical’ ones like this. I am a fairly focused engineer type with eyes for innovation, clever use of awkward spaces and novel ideas for passive, natural lighting. It is easy to become distracted and forget Tiny Houses are about people. This was a good ‘People’ vid and I am glad you included it. As a fairly accomplished driver and experienced trailer backer-upper, I did appreciate the tough job of shoe-horning this little beauty into position without having to pull out a chainsaw. 🙂

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