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Man Designs and Builds Amazing Off-Grid Family Tiny Home

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This is Fred Shultz’ fantastic tiny home for his family of three. He built this off-the-grid masterpiece by himself for about $45,000, $12,000 of which he spent on the solar panels that keep the home running.

Outside, you’ll notice this tiny house on wheels is covered in corrugated steel siding and sports two awnings for extra outdoor living space. The solar panels decorate the roof of this 107 square-foot home that took him about four-and-a-half years to design and build. When you go inside, you’ll find pull-out storage beneath his “lounge” or couch area with lovely red cushions. There’s even a table tucked under the loft that can be removed and taken down to create a large dining room table, or even a bed for guests. They have a wood stove to heat the space that doubles as their hot-water heater and built-in shelves to store their kitchen essentials. Their baby daughter has a loft space with plenty of safety gates and a loft across the way provides a sleeping space for mom and dad. Their bathroom includes a composting toilet and a large Japanese-style tub.

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He Built An Awesome Off-Grid Family Tiny Home

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Images © Happen Films via YouTube

Related: Family Builds a Tiny House on Wheels for $8k

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Images © Happen Films via YouTube

Video: Man Designs/Builds Off-Grid Tiny Home on Wheels in Australia

A tour of Fred and Shannon Schultz’s amazing off the grid tiny house on wheels in Victoria, Australia. Fred spent 3 years designing the house in SketchUp and another year building it, mostly by himself and with little experience.

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Our big thanks to Jordon Osmond of Happen Films for sharing!

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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.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • CathyAnn
    February 8, 2016, 6:12 pm

    It’s obvious a lot of thought went into the design and build of this THOW. It looks like every bit of space is utilized for living and storage.

    I also like the fact that there are doors and awnings on both sides of the house. It looks like a very comfortable space in which to live.

  • Sgmaps
    February 8, 2016, 7:58 pm

    It is really nicely finished, well thought out, well organized home. I am assuming that when the daughter is old enough to sleep in her loft they will install some sort of barrier/gate so that she can’t fall over the edge. Despite how very nice it is I fail to see how it could have cost $33,000 .

    • Claire
      February 28, 2016, 2:39 am

      Remember, this is in Aussie: Aus$33,000 = US$23,500 (as of Feb 2015) .

    • Vanyel
      April 7, 2016, 7:07 pm

      If you watch the video you would learn that most of the materials were new. This because in Australia we don’t have the mass materials being thrown out that you do so there is less reclaimed materials to use. Even Derek D D. commented on how much more it would cost to build in Australia.

      Also thanks to inflation even if you convert Aussie dollar to US like Claire did, it’s not an equal translation. For instance minimum wage is something like $16 an hour here. HOWEVER things like water, bread, milk cost $3/$4.50 on average. Movie tickets cost $20 per adult. When it gets to imported stuff the price becomes astronomical because it has to travel so far and go through some serious import fees. Also we generally just get charged more (even when it’s bullshit like with digital content). I’m always amazed at how cheap things are overseas when I travel.

  • Rob Scott
    February 26, 2016, 7:50 pm

    Well done Fred, what you have done is certainly inspiring..thanks

  • robin delaurie
    March 6, 2016, 10:12 am

    Very nice job,What are the dimensions,is your stove pellet,wood,or coal? thands for any info you could give ,are thier plans available?

    • Rob
      April 4, 2016, 6:10 pm

      Think this is very well thought out home. Do have one concern and that is the battery storage. While charging, lead acid batteries give off hydrogen gas which needs to be vented to the atmosphere. I assume he took care of the problem. This is just a heads up for anyone thinking about doing something similar.

      • Steve in Micco
        January 24, 2017, 11:28 am

        Great point about the fridge!

  • Jen
    March 18, 2016, 9:50 pm

    Lovely family,wonderful home and video…Great job with the house and the presentation in the video.

    Best Wishes!

  • Cyndi Raper
    April 4, 2016, 12:44 pm

    Love love love your couch great storage underneath and I love the vibrant red color

  • April 4, 2016, 4:34 pm

    Real people with good family values doing what you want to live the lifestyle you wish for. I am inspired by your story and hopefully will have the means to do the same.

  • Dick
    April 18, 2016, 3:30 pm

    I see nobody has commented on the refrigerator, which I feel is one of the best features–I love that drawer! Since it opens from the top and cold air falls, I imagine it’s less expensive to operate. I wonder if it was made especially for them or is it a model that’s readily available?

    • January 22, 2017, 2:58 pm

      I think it’s a boat refrigerator, same as the Origo alcohol stove/oven (which sells for around $1800!).

  • Cynthia Taylor
    June 21, 2016, 2:36 pm

    Love the tub what are the dimensions? I love to soak


  • jack Bentley
    June 22, 2016, 6:26 pm

    Have been looking for a 40+ ft cargo that can be mounted on a low rider trailer. Haven’t seen any…got any ideas?

  • David Remus
    October 12, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Beautiful design, lots of practical features. It doesn’t get much better.
    I have a corrugated steel roof on my porch and in really hot weather (+100 degrees/38C) I put a reflective tarp about 10 inches above it on a pvc frame. The roof then is the ambient temperature and it’s much more comfortable in it’s shade. Without it the roof is 138+ degrees and radiates it onto your head.

    Great video, a good example for all of us to look up to.

    Excellent design folks.

    • Natalie
      October 14, 2016, 6:34 am

      Glad you liked it, David! — Tiny House Talk Team

    October 13, 2016, 7:37 pm

    Two thumbs up!

    • Natalie
      October 14, 2016, 6:34 am

      Yay 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

    October 13, 2016, 11:01 pm

    I remember this one this is not it’s first time on here…!

  • October 14, 2016, 12:26 am

    Love the tub.

    • Natalie
      October 14, 2016, 6:35 am

      Yes! Me too 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Louise
    January 22, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Interesting, but not for everyone. Cost went into solar panels whether it is 23,000 or 33,000 it is too pricey. Question: I notice that everyone “loves” everything, does no one just “like” anything any more . . . .

    • Natalie
      January 23, 2017, 7:19 am

      Hahah I feel like I see a lot more “I don’t likes” than “I loves,” in general 🙂

  • Audrey
    January 22, 2017, 1:27 pm

    Very well thought out design and execution. It is really hard to go from head (ideas) to hands. Very nice. SketchUp helps, I’ve heard, but never used it. Will have to give it a try. One question – the cookstove in your kitchen is a 2-burner, yet there is an oven beneath it. All one unit, I assume? Would like to know the make of it. Brilliant. I have drawn up a few drafts of a THOW and have designed in a tiny bathroom sink inside the tub surround, so that it shares the tubs’ drain. Any one see a problem with this?

    • Natalie
      January 23, 2017, 7:18 am

      I think the only issue would be whether or not you have to step in the tub to wash your hands 🙂

  • Susan
    January 22, 2017, 2:06 pm

    Lots of storage, comfortable seating. Very nice. But for me, as I age, I just can’t crawl in and out of bed.

    January 23, 2017, 2:04 pm

    107 sq. ft. will not last long, as the little one’s grow so quickly, and before you know it you will be needing extra room for them…! But as I am sure I said once before when viewing this Tiny House, I like the way that it is so autonomous being off grid, and utterly self reliant with no need to pay any utilities what so ever,, With it’s solar panels, composting toilet, and rain water catch system to provide for it’s family needs.. It is a great little tiny house…!

    • Natalie
      January 24, 2017, 6:41 am

      Ya that is just amazing self-sufficiency

  • Cherie T Unger
    September 16, 2018, 1:56 pm

    What did you use for the “japanese soaking tub”? Thank you.

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