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Hannah’s Tiny House: A Father-Daughter Project

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This is Hannah’s Tiny House which she built in six months with the help of her dad, Mike.

Hannah attends college away from home, but was ready to move out of her dorm situation. However, her off-campus options kept falling through:

We joked around about building a tiny house, but the more we joked, the more serious the actual plan became and lo and behold we decided to take the plunge.

Read more about their journey below!

Related: Father/Son’s Big Blue Bus Conversion Project

Hannah’s Tiny House: A Father-Daughter Project

Father and Son Build Modern Tiny House

Related: Man Renovates 70s Airstream into Father/Daughter Tiny Home

From the Blog:

We started with a wrecked travel trailer and a rough drawing on paper of how we wanted the final product to look. We demo’d the RV down to the frame and built it back up as a tiny house. We reused as much of the original RV as possible, such as the frame (with slide-outs), appliances, fresh and waste water tanks, etc. We did strengthen the frame and replaced the axles with heavier ones to handle the weight.

We reused the slide-outs that were part of the original RV, though we had to move and shorten one and move it forward to fit the design. These add an additional 36 square feet and opens up a large area for the living room. The overall outside dimensions are 27 feet by 8.5 feet with roughly 300 square feet of living space with slide-outs and lofts. The total weight is 14,500 pounds outfitted for full-time living. It is powered by 50 Amp RV service to be able to power the 220V requirement of the Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump (though it only needs 15A). All connections (water, power, sewer) are standard RV hookups because it will spend the first few years of its life in an RV park setting.

Even though the short-term goal is to have it in an RV park, this tiny house is built to be capable of being completely off the grid if that is what we eventually decide to do. All appliances are RV-style that are either propane fired or propane capable. Most all lighting is 12V LED, and those that aren’t are 120V LED that are connected through a 2000W inverter, as are most all outlets. The power is broken up through two breaker boxes – one that is for shore power / generator only (electric portion of the water heater, HVAC, microwave, washer/dryer) and one that is powered through the inverter to be battery-powered if off the grid. It is also wired for solar panels and controller in the chance that those are added later. The intent is that the fresh water tank will be filled by a water-catchment system (gutters on the roof) in an off-the grid setting. Currently the bathroom is configured with a standard household toilet since it will be in an RV park setting for a while, but that will be replaced with a composting toilet if it is taken off-grid.

See photos of the construction here. If you have questions, ask here.


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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 three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 68 comments… add one }
  • kathleen veltsos
    February 23, 2017, 6:19 pm

    Love the layout of this! Awesome job.

    February 23, 2017, 7:23 pm

    I am so glad that you continued to plug along with your plans. BRAVO! For a job well done. Beautiful TH! Three thumbs up! Glad that good old Dad helped along too!

  • keepyourpower
    February 23, 2017, 7:39 pm

    Very nice! I was wondering, do you have to use a ladder to get to the microwave?

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 24, 2017, 6:57 am

      The microwave is at the same height as it was in the original RV, but Hannah does have a step stool to reach things on the top shelf. 🙂

  • keepyourpower
    February 23, 2017, 7:41 pm

    One other question…Where is the other bump out? I see one in the living room.

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 23, 2017, 8:41 pm

      The other slide-out is back bedroom / study.

    • Patricia
      February 24, 2017, 12:53 am

      In the picture showing the stairs with the washer/dryer under them, look in the far left corner and you can see the bump out with the sofa and desk.

      • Mame
        March 13, 2017, 1:16 pm

        Ahhhh, that’s where that other sofa is… and the desk. I couldn’t place them till I read your comment. 🙂 I just love this tiny home; it appears so complete and comfortable. I could easily be very happy with this one. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 24, 2017, 3:18 am

      If you follow the link to the blog, there are more pictures there that show the back room and slide-out .

  • mike gushey
    February 23, 2017, 7:53 pm

    This may well be the most livable and well done of all the ‘tiny house’ completions that I’ve seen in my 2 years of following this concept of off grid living………Congratulations on exceptional planning. Good luck in your life. Mike

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 24, 2017, 5:31 am

      It’s excellent 🙂 I could live here!

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 24, 2017, 6:45 am

      Thanks! I really do want to get to a point where we can get some remote land in the mountains somewhere by a stream and have it as a completely off the grid get-away.

  • kathy
    February 23, 2017, 8:31 pm

    So cute and well thought out. I think the 2nd slide out is in the back where the sofa sleeper and desk are.

  • Marie Francesca
    February 23, 2017, 9:27 pm

    What a beautiful home! I like the blue color you chose, and love the shape and placement of the kitchen. I’ve been drawing up plans for my own tiny house, so I’m just curious – how wide are your stairs, and how wide is the entrance to your bathroom? – hope you don’t mind my asking. Again, awesome job on your little abode!!

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 23, 2017, 9:36 pm

      Thanks for the compliments. The stairs are 24″ wide, mainly because the washer is 24″ deep. The opening to the bathroom is also 24″ with a pocket door. The door way into the back area to access the bathroom is much tighter, though. It’s only about 16″ after it was trimmed out. That’s one area I wish we had planned out a little better.

  • Silver Gypsy
    February 23, 2017, 9:34 pm

    What can I say? … “Awesome!” 😀

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 24, 2017, 5:30 am

      Agreed 🙂

  • Rusty Kerr
    February 23, 2017, 10:40 pm

    Love your home, cheerful and comfortable looking. You did good.

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 24, 2017, 7:31 am

      Thanks Rusty, and everyone else who I have not responded to. We appreciate all the kind comments.

  • Jo Chanin
    February 24, 2017, 8:44 am

    Darling in every way

  • Luis
    February 24, 2017, 10:01 am

    Great job on the built. Like the layout My only concern is thje placement of A/C unit above stairs. Don’t you have to lean to the right to get by it? Maybe a stair banister for safety would help. Good job overall.

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 24, 2017, 10:22 am

      Thanks for the compliments. And yes, the A/C unit sticks out too far over the stairs. Going up and down a few times, we got used to it, but it isn’t ideal. We were initially told on the walk-through with the installer that it wouldn’t fit above the window at the base of the stairs, so we moved it over the stairs. After it was all said and done, it would have fit over the window. :-/

  • Annette
    February 24, 2017, 11:17 am

    Good heavens, what a huge undertaking! After seeing the “before” shots of the travel trailer on your blog, I sure like what you’ve done with the place. You and your dad make a nice team.

    Good luck with college.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 27, 2017, 8:13 am

      Yes they did so much!

    February 24, 2017, 7:20 pm

    Great father daughter project and came out just beautifully…!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 27, 2017, 8:02 am

      It really did!

  • Jae
    February 24, 2017, 10:39 pm

    Fantastic. I love this and want one exactly like it. Your tastes in decorating are also mine. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 27, 2017, 8:01 am

      Me neither 🙂

  • Debbie
    February 25, 2017, 5:20 am

    What a beautiful tiny home! I love that you can use it off grid. Do you have a water catchment system? You have given me a lot of great ideas. Thanks for sharing your tiny house with us!

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 25, 2017, 8:05 am

      Hi Debbie. We do not have a water catchment system yet, but my plan – when that time comes – is to put standard household rain gutters on the roof and catch it into a large water tank, then pump that into the on-board fresh-water tank in the tiny house as needed – filtering it along the way, of course.

  • Debbie
    February 25, 2017, 3:04 pm

    Wow that sounds great! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. I really appreciate any ideas you have for us still the designing phase.

  • TinyHouseLover
    February 26, 2017, 8:39 am

    It’s amazing what a huge difference the small bump outs make. They really give that additional space to freely move in, making it perfect for a growing family. This whole house has been well planned and looks to be homely, cosy, practical and oozes its own individual charm. Love it. Could easily live in it. Have been staring at the photos for the second night in a row now. Thanks for sharing.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 27, 2017, 7:56 am

      Yes bump outs can really add a whole lot to a space!

  • Sandi B
    February 27, 2017, 12:11 am

    Wow, what a terrific build and design. I thought the doorway to the bathroom was a little small — but I love the way you put your tiny home together. Also, how great that father, daughter got to work on this project together. I know that Hanna will love it while she is in college and actually could just go on living in it until she got herself more established, if not longer, but also great for an off grid get away place. You seem to have thought of everything and I thank you for giving me a new perspective on how to use my damaged travel trailer and not completely have to tear it all down and start over from scratch on a THOW. I know you would have had to strengthen it in the back for the loft, and the slide openings appear to have been beefed up – where else did you strengthen the frame? Everything about it is first class, inside and out — thank you for sharing and I will be looking at your blog. Kudos to you both!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 27, 2017, 7:52 am

      Yes I loved seeing how much they did with the old frame!

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 27, 2017, 4:29 pm

      Hi Sandi. Thanks for the compliments. For the strengthening, we had 3″ angle iron welded down the inside of both main rails, partly for our wooden subfloor frame to rest on, but also to make the rails more rigid. We also had a couple more cross beams welded in and ran 5/8″ all-thread from side to side at 4 places front to back to help ensure the rails wouldn’t spread out. Finally, and probably most importantly, we replaced the original 5200 lb axles with 7000 lb ones and used 14-ply tires. We considered adding a 3rd 5200 lb axle instead, but it would have impacted the slide-outs. All in all, we spent about $2500 in improvements to the frame, but it was worth every penny. While we could have probably started off with an equipment trailer that was already sturdy enough for less money, we wouldn’t have had all the added features we were able to reuse from the travel trailer for the same cost, so in the end we still came out ahead doing it this way.

  • Jaci
    February 27, 2017, 1:03 pm

    Awesome! Only needs a railing for the stairs and move the ac unit

  • Shirley Huber
    February 27, 2017, 4:10 pm

    Absolutely love this TH. The bumpouts are fantastic. I would love to know the total cost of this TH. So warm and cozy and now you have given me more ideas. I have been following TH for probably 5 years now. Also, do you need at 250 or 350 truck to pull this? I can not believe this was an RV prior. Great that father and daughter did this together. What a great dad!!!!

    • Hannahs Dad
      February 28, 2017, 4:25 pm

      Hi Shirley. Thanks for the compliments. The total cost was about $25,000, but that was doing all the work ourselves and finding bargains where we could. It weighs over 14000 lbs, so I don’t know if I would trust pulling something this heavy with a 3/4 ton truck. We used a friend’s F350 dually, which didn’t have any problems at all.

      • Natalie C. McKee
        March 1, 2017, 8:05 am

        Wow! That’s such a deal. I figured you HAD to have spent more because it was so well-done. Kudos!!!

  • Ron Holtz
    April 23, 2017, 7:07 pm

    This is an awesome job! I love it. The layout works beautifully and plenty of space. Good job.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 24, 2017, 4:13 am

      It’s amazing!

  • Michele
    April 23, 2017, 8:10 pm

    This is my favorite tiny house I have seen. I love the bump outs! I love everything about it. Just beautiful. I just sent a link to my Dad (who is retired) and told him I have a project for us. 😉 I hope you all enjoy it for many years. I loved the link to you FB page so I could see the whole build. You got some exceptional deals. Well done.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 24, 2017, 4:13 am

      Aww glad you shared it with your dad!

  • Hudson
    April 23, 2017, 8:19 pm

    Wow, that is gorgeous! (My dad had trouble opening the car hood– we would never have tried anything as complicated as a tiny house.)

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 24, 2017, 4:11 am

      Hahaha that comment made me laugh out loud!

  • iris
    April 23, 2017, 8:25 pm

    One of the best yet! And, I too, have concerns about the A/C. If a guest was to fall and hit the head, you could be sued, and for not having a railing. But, what a wonderful little nook you have made for yourself. Everyone is saying the same word, “awesome”. There is some room above the window

  • Linda
    April 23, 2017, 8:52 pm

    Love this one. LOTS of sleeping and storage and eating area options and wonderful design. She/they did a fabulous job. I would like to see it lived in and stored in. But it looks very feasible. I do not like going up and down stairs daily as I get older. So might use spare room for office and walk in closet and sleep on first floor with both lofts for storage. Great Job!

  • Linda
    April 23, 2017, 9:00 pm

    One other thing……how do you keep air from leaking around the slide outs? How do you insulate it? I was wondering if whatever keeps it “tight” wears out after while and then what? Thnx.

  • keepyourpower
    April 24, 2017, 1:07 am

    I really like this house. Wish there were a bedroom, on the first floor!
    Hannah, Do you realize how blessed you are to have a loving, and able, father? Remember him on Father’s Day, and every other day!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 24, 2017, 4:06 am

      So true 🙂

  • Larry Burns
    April 24, 2017, 11:46 am

    I like the house the only thing I would change is the stairway, it’s not only this place but many of the tiny home’s. There are no hand rails when you get to the top of you miss your footing it’s a long way down. When I build my tiny house I’m putting in a spiral staircase that way hand rails are on both sides.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 25, 2017, 5:48 am

      Good idea, Larry!

  • Beth Plantenga
    May 5, 2017, 7:22 pm

    Love love love this tiny house. Just trying to figure out how to fit in a golden retriever and two shelties lol. Also…wouldn’t hurt to have a Hannah’s dad in my life. Blessed.

  • Tim
    May 5, 2017, 9:41 pm

    Are you interested in building another if so how much

  • Kathy
    June 4, 2017, 3:32 pm

    Quite honestly, I was expecting a ‘so so’ job, but this THOW is gorgeous! I love the colors and the layout! Nice job…

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 5, 2017, 3:40 pm

      They really impressed me too, Kathy!

  • Sondra
    September 22, 2017, 7:45 pm

    Ok this house is my obsession, brilliant and kudos !

  • September 23, 2017, 8:00 am

    WOW!!! Awesome Job! My daughter is an environmental Science Major and she has been begging me to assist her in a project like this. Would not be disappointed if you cared to share your floor plans!

  • Dawn
    September 24, 2017, 6:00 pm

    Love it! This is one of my favorites by far. Great job!

  • F. Hugo Chasingrabbits
    September 26, 2017, 10:11 am

    Really nice design. Somebody has skills. Mind your head going up the stairs, what with the air-con RIGHT THERE! =)

  • sara
    September 28, 2017, 4:16 am

    This is very nice. Well done. I like the pantry with the barn door, and the pull down desk.

  • Dennis T Reynolds
    January 23, 2018, 9:01 pm

    One of the nicest tiny I’ve seen, glad to hear you strengthened frame and upgraded axles ! Wonderfully done ! I’d like it with 1st floor sleeping and guest bed and storage in loft. I don’t do stairs very well and get up often at night so I like the one floor living tiny. With the slides this makes this easily obtainable.

  • Kyle
    March 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

    This tiny house on wheels looks awesome! Mine will be nowhere near as good as this one. I am thinking about buying a used travel trailer or fifth wheel, remodeling it, and making my own tiny house on wheels.

    What is the brand and model of toilet that you used for the tiny house?

    How long are you allowed to stay at the RV park for?

    • Alex
      March 20, 2018, 3:51 pm

      Hey Kyle, not sure on how long you are allowed to stay in RV parks for, it probably depends on where. I’m sure there are many out there that allow long-term stays. Some RV parks even have ownership opportunities.

      But in regards to the travel trailer remodel, check this one out, thought you may like it: https://tinyhousetalk.com/5th-wheel-travel-trailer-tiny-home/

  • Nita Hiltner
    June 11, 2020, 5:06 pm

    Two things I must have in these tiny houses, a bedroom where I can stand up and dress, and a large living room with plenty of seating. Not just one built in couch.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 12, 2020, 1:07 pm

      Those are good musts!

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