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Minimalist Couple Living in a Tiny Camper Trailer That Cost Only $1,800 – VIDEO

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Kathleen and Greg from Tiny House, Tiny Footprint downsized their lives from a downtown apartment in Denver, Colorado to a 140 square foot camper trailer two years ago. For the first year of their tiny house experiment, their tiny trailer was parked in a friend’s backyard until they bought a piece of land where they could park the trailer and grow their own food.

The couple’s inspiration to adopt a minimalist lifestyle and move into a small space was multifaceted: they wanted to have a smaller environmental footprint, spend less money, have more time for outdoor adventures, and be location independent. Check out the latest video by Exploring Alternatives to see a full tour of the trailer.

Minimalist Couple Living in a Tiny Camper Trailer That Cost Only $1,800

Minimalist Couple Living in a Tiny Camper Trailer That Cost Only $1,800 – VIDEO


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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Claude
    January 12, 2017, 10:39 am

    Well, I guess you have to be really adventurous for that kind of minimal living.

    • Natalie
      January 13, 2017, 9:31 am

      That you do!

    January 12, 2017, 10:49 am

    Yay, RV life!

    • Natalie
      January 13, 2017, 9:29 am

      Woot! 🙂

  • jm
    January 12, 2017, 11:28 am

    There will be many more soon living like this. The national median home price has increased 60 percent since the beginning of 2012. Just a year ago, 13 percent of U.S. counties were falling behind in housing affordability compared to historic averages. Now, the figure is at 29 percent. Further interest rate hikes in 2017 will likely cause further deterioration of home affordability.
    The two greatest factors, college loans and health care, take such a big chunk out of our paychecks that people will be forever poor. And medical bills have become imposible to pay off and are the number one reason for bankruptcy in this country. Financial slavery. It’s coming. Over 60’s are having great difficulty paying off student loans from their social security checks–forced into taking these loans for any chance of future employment. Many cities issuing bonds to help pay for affordable housing. Crime rising…addiction rising…it’s going to get interesting.
    We can disect these houses to save pennies–but sociatal forces are going to determine whether or not we have housing st all.

    • Cynthia Ross
      January 12, 2017, 12:13 pm

      Agree absolutely, as I’m a living example of exactly what you’re talking about. After my late husband’s eight years of cancer treatments (all the while covered by insurance) I’m so far in debt that I will have to work as long as I can keep going. Selling my house, paying off the HELOC, and finding something small and cheap, dirt-cheap – that’s all part of my game plan. I keep an eye on Craigslist for cheap camping trailers, while perusing here and sighing over most of these posts, featuring expensive little jewels I’ll never be able to afford. Life’s like that…and the safety nets become more and more flimsy.

      • Sondra Peters
        January 12, 2017, 1:06 pm

        Cynthia I bought a great 18ft 1982 Wilderness Lite for $2500 on ebay, I completely re-did it inside and some parts outside. She’s a beauty and I plan on living in her while my husband and I build our home ! You can find great deals out there !

        • Natalie
          January 13, 2017, 9:21 am

          Wow! That’s so awesome Sondra. I’d love to see it!

  • Andrea
    January 12, 2017, 11:49 am

    PREACH jm!!!! Agreed with everything you just said, 100% Very smart/insightful comments and living!

  • Joe mcPlumber
    January 12, 2017, 5:11 pm

    I’m currently living in a 30 year old 23ft motor home which is incrementally losing its critical bits. The water heater froze and split open, the gray water tank is leaking, the microwave died, and the converter crapped out so the solar panels don’t keep up when it’s cloudy. You might think disdainfully, “oh dear, first world problems” but when you lose basic functionality it’s not the same as your dishwasher quitting.

    I adjust for each loss. I heat water on the stove. I put a battery charger on the bank and try to remember to shut it off when it’s topped up. But there are consequences that i can’t get around without restoring things to rights. The batteries suffer for not being charged properly, and when they prematurely die they will be a bigger expense than a new converter. The microwave might’ve been a luxury but it sure helped mitigate the dirty dishes when the pipes freeze up. Soap residue from cold water rinsing gives me the runs.

    It’s not an easy life and furthermore i have no grounding, no sense of home, because i’m always being chased from place to place. I vacillate between despair for being claimed by entropy, and gratitude that i have a roof that keeps me and my dog warm and (more or less) dry.

    I could envy these folks having their own bit of land to call home, but watching them wash their dishes with gallon jugs makes my skin crawl because i know how tedious it is. They are absolutely right in that expenses are low enough to provide a measure of security and freedom, but on the other hand when you get nickeled and dimed (and occasionally multiple-hundred-dollared) out of a good portion of your savings, the benefits diminish commensurately. And when you’re stuck in cramped murkiness because you’ve got insulation panels stuffed in the windows, you lose the sense of dimension you get from your nice big yard. I could be wrong but the cheeriness seems a bit forced.

    I LOL’d when they described the sublime thrill of the wind blowing through the walls.

    Yeah, i’ve seen photos of mud huts and the ladies with the big clay pots on their heads hauling dirty water from the river. I’ve seen the little children all skin and bones. So yeah i know i’m relatively fortunate. But neither this, nor the big cardboard castles in the suburbs, really nourish the potential of humanity.

    I feel like what i’m seeing here is a struggle for balance in a civilization that’s gone off its axis.

    • Natalie
      January 13, 2017, 9:13 am

      Thanks for sharing your story! It’s not a life for everyone, most certainly.

    • Cynthia Mandello
      January 21, 2017, 12:24 pm

      I bought a 33′ 1983 Holiday Rambler with 66,000 miles several years ago on craigslist . It was $3000. I parked it in a mobile home/rv park where there were sewer hookups and 30amp electric plugs. They provided the water, I paid $210 a month, plus my individual metered electric. My monthly electric ran from a low of $26 to a high of $86; most were in the $35-$45 range.

      Electric heat tape, under pinning, supplemental heat that crowded the narrow walkway wasn’t particularly fun, but it was manageable. I saved every cent for three years to buy six fenced acres in Kentucky.

      Once that was bought ($18,500), the electric company put up a pole for free. A local electrician dropped the service and installed a panel with a 30 amp plug and two separate 15 amp plugs for $700. My plan was to move the rv there and save to build a cabin.

      Unfortunately, my son needed a place to live. He is now living in the rv, saving to buy a piece of land. I did a “rent to own” purchase of a 14×30′ built-rite “deluxe cabin shed.” It was a shell. $9,400 delivered and set up. My monthly payment is $448 for 3-years so the interest rate is high.

      I put an rv connection for electricity, have a compost toilet, and spent all my residual savings for insulation and winterizing. County water is available, but I have to run the line the 1/2 mile. I’ll be installing a cistern instead this coming summer. Well drilling is possible but outrageously expensive.

      I’ve lived here now for six months. It’s been a learning experience and I always hated camping. There have been days when I questioned why I thought I could do it. Wine, instead of whine, helps.

      The point to this is not to brag. Centuries ago, some people left the comfort of the cities and went out to establish a homestead while others stayed behind wishing and complaining, giving all the reasons why they couldn’t.

      If you really want a simple life, set a goal. Buy used homesteading books to keep you focused. Start a binder to collect and save ideas. Cut corners to save where you can: do you really need to eat out four times a week, can you switch to broadcast tv and give up that expensive cable, would a straight talk phone at $45 a month with 5G data be enough?

      My job when I started this paid $13 an hour. I took every hour of overtime they offered. Having moved, I am now working at $10 an hour in a much smaller farming location.

      I’m a 63 year old woman. I have four children. Three are active duty military stationed all over the world. One lives 70-miles away, in a large city, in my old rv. So I didn’t have help I could easily call upon.

      I broke my back in 1993 and have rheumatoid arthritis, yet I still am doing it.

      My cabin is a long way from my final vision, but I HAVE a vision. You can too.

      I suspect I’ll get alot of people posting angry notes of why they can’t. Hopefully, some will post how they also DID it.

      Sorry for the long post.

      • Natalie
        January 23, 2017, 8:20 am

        Wow! Love this inspirational post about your awesome determination! 🙂 🙂 You are great!

      • Raindrop
        April 2, 2020, 8:54 am

        Bravo!!! I love your courage and fortitude. Amazingly inspirational and I will follow in your footsteps one day soon, hopefully with my kids on the same land. Thank you for sharing your story!

    January 14, 2017, 6:20 am

    Hay it works for them and that is all that needs to be said….!

    • Natalie
      January 17, 2017, 12:03 pm

      Totally agree!

  • Marsha Cowan
    January 14, 2017, 6:44 pm

    You are so precious! I think it’s wonderful and romantic. You are great! Always value each other over anything else, and you will always be happy.

  • Glen
    January 15, 2017, 1:01 am

    This is brilliant. I am considering this route in order to save for the property and the TH I really want. As well as the solar package I want/need. Green house…aquaponic set up…etc.

    I live on Craigslist looking for cheap RVs and not travel trailers so much. Want the ability to drive it away not tow it. Maybe tow a food trailer behind it and live and work wherever I want until I set roots more permanent.

    Either way…this is a starter plan for me. Year round travel trailer living? If I had to I could live anywhere basically…as I get closer to 50…I want a little more comfort. But for a start up plan….it is not bad.

    • Natalie
      January 17, 2017, 11:55 am

      That’s a great plan, Glen. Really like that!

  • Susanne
    January 15, 2017, 10:06 pm

    It was good to hear her honesty about when they first moved in. Joe, keep in mind a regular home will have expenses too, but much greater than ( and potentially greater) than the Camper. I am always worried about such things -IE- trees falling on roof? Plumbing bursting,
    Furnace going out, etc…plus while living there they will save money very quickly allowing them to make improvements or even buy a little larger newer place., camper, RV , etc….

    • Natalie
      January 17, 2017, 11:41 am

      Good thinking!

  • jm
    January 16, 2017, 8:02 am

    Low wages for the working poor make it impossible for them to build a safety net. The richest country in the world should do more to help those trying to help themselves.

  • Large Marge
    January 16, 2017, 9:06 pm

    Since everybody in the office lived/lives in small spaces == boats and RVs and garage/basement conversions == we accumulated a wealth of travel trailer knowledge:

    A) Acquire new. Each road-trip is equivalent to an earthquake plus a hurricane plus rioters. Seams loosen around windows and roof vents, walls flex, roofs droop. Moisture intrusion equals mold.

    B) As equipment sits unused, decay and rot and rust show. Before you acquire old RVs, budget for replacements.

    C) Speaking of replacement(s), acquire two. As trees smash your primary, move into the secondary… and acquire a ‘new’ secondary. Some folks do this for decades. It’s a wonder the neighbors don’t complain. [chuckling, squinting around at cow-orkers]

  • January 21, 2017, 9:23 pm

    They did a nice job fixing up their trailer! It’s really cute! They are pretty smart with their installation aluminum blocks to insulate their home in the winter and summer months. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!?

    • Natalie
      January 23, 2017, 7:51 am

      Very clever! Well done to them.

  • Dawn
    January 24, 2017, 7:26 pm

    I saw a 1992 36 foot Cobra Salem on Craigslist this week. Despite having my own home which I’m on track to pay off, I considered buying it and a piece of land and putting it on it. Add a front bedroom area a bunk a full bathroom a couch area and a kitchenette with a full stove and large refrigerator. It was $3,800. it needed a bit updating and the cupboards needed painting but it was nice

    • Natalie
      January 25, 2017, 8:29 am

      It’s certainly tempting! We always RV camped when I was a kid and I know I could live in one 🙂

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