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High School Students Build Solar Off Grid Tiny House (SOLD)

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Rancho Cotage High School students have built an amazing solar-powered off-grid tiny house on wheels. It’s the 98 sq. ft. off grid mobile micro cabin on wheels appropriately named The Independence. (Update: Now SOLD)

You can use it as a backyard micro guest house, an office space, or as temporary housing while you build a larger cabin on your land. In fact, if you did own it, what would you use it for? Full-time living? Vacation cabin? Just curious… Let us know in the comments. I’ll tell you what I’d do with it below.

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Students Build Off-Grid Solar Tiny House


See the rest of this student-built off-grid micro home and see how you might still be able to own it (it might still be available for sale) below:




solar-off-grid-tiny-house-for-sale-built-by-high-school-students-003 solar-off-grid-tiny-house-for-sale-built-by-high-school-students-004

Bathroom is to the Left (see below)

solar-off-grid-tiny-house-for-sale-built-by-high-school-students-005 solar-off-grid-tiny-house-for-sale-built-by-high-school-students-006

There’s a Shower Too


Sleeping Loft with Skylight


Space to Get Into the Loft

solar-off-grid-tiny-house-for-sale-built-by-high-school-students-0010 solar-off-grid-tiny-house-for-sale-built-by-high-school-students-008

Off Grid Mobile Micro House with Solar Power



Watch a video on how The Independence (this tiny house) was built.

Where It’s Located

It’s located in Santa Rosa, California. It was built by students of Rancho Cotate High School.

How You Can Use It

At just 98 sq. ft. it still has many utilities. It’s fully contained and ready for off grid living.

With solar power it generates most of it’s own electricity and can even be moved and placed in various locations much like an RV.

How to Buy it (If interested)

If you’re interested in buying this tiny home on wheels you can contact Craig and his assistant at 707-477-5120 or via email at Craig AT CraigCurreri DOT com. (SOLD)

Price: $38,000

How Would You Use This Tiny Home If You Owned It?

I’m just curious… If you owned this tiny house on wheels what would you use it for? Primary minimalist home for simple living? Micro vacation cabin for the weekends? Guest house in your backyard? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s What I’d Do With It

My dream for this would be to take it over to an RV campground in the Florida Keys and use it on weekends and vacations. How about you? (share in the comments)

If you enjoyed the tour of this tiny house for sale you’ll love our free daily newsletter with even 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!
{ 21 comments… add one }
  • jerryd
    March 5, 2014, 7:51 am

    The question is how would one tow it away? It’s so front heavy most trucks would have steering problems from way, way too much hitch weight.

    A Tow truck can move it but that is serious $ for any distance, short or long.

    Nicely done otherwise. Still don’t know why designers think lofts are worth their building height, cost especially this one with little room in it. I just use them for storage.

    And few others who actually live in TH’s like or use lofts for sleeping. So why does almost every TH design use them? I haven’t heard of anyone really liking them and many that don’t/can’t use, want them.

    Where are the designs for these people who don’t want lofts and their problems, costs? Since they seem to be the majority of TH people, shouldn’t the majority of designs be without lofts?

    • Jerry
      March 5, 2014, 1:18 pm

      I don’t fully agree, I have read many posts from people actually living in tiny houses that love the feeling of their lofts. That being said, I have also read more than a few posts touting the raised stub walls or “dormers” for these lofts making them so much more usable. I believe raised stub wall lofts are the best answer to maximizing space for those who do not have physical or other limitations. For those with limitations, there are designs available with single story layouts.

    • Byron
      March 5, 2014, 2:43 pm

      I agree with the trailer part of your comment. I made a separate comment about that box on the front. I see the trailer choice as being a weak point in the home design on many of the homes. The trailers don’t appear to have much capacity, based on the front jack and wheels that I see pictured.

    • Lawson Smith
      March 5, 2014, 5:50 pm

      My husband and I built a tiny home with a loft, and we love it. We are older (50+) and we do not sleep there, but we love having all of our college age kids visit and that’s where THEY sleep. Actually, we can sleep 7 people in our tiny house of under 200 square feet. We love it!

    • Heather
      December 11, 2014, 12:23 pm

      Hi Jerryd.
      My husband and I are Tiny House home owners living in 130 sq ft with TWO separate lofts. We LOVE having the loft design. We sleep(on our king size mattress) in one loft and use the smaller loft for storage. We feel(as do MOST tiny housers) that having a loft is a great use of space in such a small square footage. Might I suggest you do more research on tiny homes and those that are actually living in them. There are also many designs that do not have lofts or have the capability of taking the loft out of the design for those that can not climb up or might not prefer a loft for whatever reason. It sounds like you are new to the tiny house concepts…so welcome! The tiny house world is a lot bigger than most realize and there exists a substantial amount of information on building, selling, and living in one, how to tow and with what, how to organize and and clean etc. in a tiny home…. On a trailer or off a trailer. It takes a lot of research time but you will find the answers. In our home we have a tiny woodstove, a washer/dryer combo, sink in the kitchen, sink in the bathroom, induction cooktop(our preference), shower, composting toilet, bay window, 12 windows(double pain), AC/heating ductless split unit, brand new 12,000lb rated double axle trailer…..built it in Maine and have traveled through New York all the way down to Florida where we now live. And we only spent about $19,000(that includes our truck plus food, gas and beer).

      • Alex
        December 11, 2014, 12:56 pm

        Thanks Heather! Cool story, too! I’d love to learn more and maybe get to see your tiny house.

  • Anthony McCarthy
    March 5, 2014, 10:52 am

    Nice little cabin, would be better on a foundation than on a trailer for the reasons the other comment mentions.

    I have a real problem with the name, the cult of independence is a fantasy, there is no such thing, only the denial of inter-dependence.

    • SuzyQue
      September 12, 2014, 1:18 pm

      Oh, good grief. No, some level of independence is not a fantasy.

  • Princess Mom
    March 5, 2014, 12:22 pm

    This is too small for me, but I just love the attention to detail in the shaped beams.

  • Robert
    March 5, 2014, 2:25 pm

    Very nice tiny house. I commend the scholl and the students. I do think however that for this price, 38k, much more detail should have been done in the kitchen area. Also, the window in the shower seem like it would be hit will water regularly. I think that could cause future issues. Thank you and the students again, it is nice to read positve storied about our young people and there schools.

  • Byron
    March 5, 2014, 2:36 pm

    They did a nice job of making a very pleasant looking place. I do have one concern, as far as towing it, the box on the front is positioned such that you would clip the sides when making moderately sharp turns. I tow a lot of trailers and I don’t see how that won’t be a huge problem. A gooseneck trailer would make a better trailer for something so heavy and provide more usable space.

  • Connie
    March 5, 2014, 2:38 pm

    I love the idea of a tiny home, and minimalism grows more and more appealing as time goes on. But, for me this house would be too small. I like the idea of a loft–it seems so cozy. With all of that being said, I think, for my needs, a tiny/small home 225-400 square feet on a fixed underground space/storm shelter on an acre or two of land would be perfect. It seems the biggest reason tiny homes are built on wheels is building codes. I want to have a home where I can be there 100% of the time and do everything I need to do to live. I would, however, need others nearby doing the same. It’s not likely you’d ever find me living alone out in the remote areas of the country where you wouldn’t have code restrictions to prevent this kind of living.

    Thank you so much, Alex, for bringing us this informative and thought-provoking info everyday–it is much appreciated!

  • Alberto
    March 5, 2014, 4:21 pm

    Its kind of ironic that is an independent option (prominently displaying solar panels and I guess the solar charger/controller in the kitchen) but there’s no info whatsoever about the system it uses, which for me would be a nice point to note. I can imagine the batteries (but which types and amp/hours) are on the utility section on the outside, but other than this…

    If it had another name… I guess I wouldnt complain 🙂

    • Alberto
      March 5, 2014, 4:23 pm

      To this day, I still see Lamar’s videos the best source for learning how to setup your own solar system (and wind, and how to connect the other stuff too, hell, even the music…).

  • Vickie
    March 5, 2014, 7:07 pm

    I love this and many other designs! I would love to live in one full time! The sales price for this is far too high. I would be looking to live simply and inexpensively. With a price tag like this, I would be paying for it like a mortgage! I don’t want that!

    • Alex
      March 5, 2014, 8:30 pm

      I agree Vickie the price is pretty high. For the money I’d rather design/build one myself. 🙂

  • March 5, 2014, 10:54 pm

    Thanks to all who read about our project and took the time to comment. I am the teacher that dreamed up the project and led the students through it. To answer some of your questions…

    The Independence tows like a dream. We designed and built the trailer ourselves, and we have logged over 300 miles – both highway and backroads – with nothing but easy towing.

    Our project is not a legal RV but a load on a flat bed trailer (which just happens to be well crafted off the grid house).

    The loft is a great sleeping area. It is large enough for a queen size futon mattress and feels nice and open with the skylight and the front window.

    The “box” at the hitch end is the utility closet where the charge controller, inverter, batteries, 32 gallon freshwater tank with .2 micron filter, and water heater reside. If you would like to learn more about the utilities, visit our website at ranchocotate.org/tinyhouse.

    And we are asking $30,000 for The Independence (a name chosen as much for its sixteen year old creators as it reference to off the grid living), not $38,000.

    Feel free to keep the questions coming.

    • Alex
      March 7, 2014, 9:24 am

      Thank you so much for the update! -Alex

  • cheryl lowery
    September 12, 2014, 2:51 pm

    I really like it a lot but what are disabled people supposed to do about climbing?

  • Ericctax deduction
    December 11, 2014, 9:00 pm

    Thank You Cole, for the upgrade information. It seems too many readers failed to recognize that due to this being an educational training program, your asking price amounts to the needed budget to continue the program next year. The product is what could be built within budget. If the school has made the appropriate documentation, the purchase would constitute a tax deductable contribution to the school. A $30,000 tax deduction is a substantial payback on acquisition.

  • maria
    September 14, 2019, 7:23 am

    They did a great job. They should sell the plans for this to make more money for the school, I would buy the building plans.

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