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Stealthy Cargo Trailer Tiny House with Bump Out

This is Thomasin’s stealthy cargo trailer tiny house.

It’s basically a tiny house on wheels disguised as a cargo trailer.

What do you think?

Stealthy Cargo Trailer Tiny House with a Pop Out to Extend the Space Inside

Gypsy Wagon – Trailer – 8 of 48

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Our Interview with the Builder

What are your name(s)?

Thomasin Langlands

Where are you from?

Gananoque, Ontario, Canada

How did you first become seriously interested in tiny houses?

I’ve always been fascinated with small living quarters, ie boats, campers, tiny houses etc. About 14 years ago I purchased a 1962 Shasta travel trailer in very rough shape and completely restored it. As I was bringing it back to its original glory I just couldn’t help thinking that there was a better way to make more efficient use of the square footage and that maybe I should have simply gutted it and started over. I was however too far into the project for that. But the seed was planted and I started thinking about plans for converting a cargo trailer.

What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?

My most recent project was a 12′ aluminum v-nose cargo trailer I purchased new from R&R trailers out of Michigan with a few custom changes. I chose the v-nose because I felt it took advantage of those few square feet in the front that would otherwise be wasted.

Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?

Less is more? Smaller is easier to tow, lighter weight, easier to store and easier to find a spot for parking or camping. It also encourages one to spend more time outside.

How long did it take you to finish your tiny house?

I spent two weeks on it in the fall of 2016 then put it away for the winter. The following summer I spent six weeks on it often working ten hour days, six or even seven days a week.

Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it?

I did all the design and cabinetry/woodwork on my own. My husband also helped out. His time amounted to about two weeks of eight hour days if you add it all up. He did all the electrical and we did the plumbing together. He was also the second pair of hands for any heavy lifting. My brother, an experienced builder, was there with sound advice whenever a question of the best approach/material arose. My mother and sister offered their excellent sewing skills and spent about a week on the various cushions and the custom screening in the back. 14,828.46 USD (my husband was amazing and diligently tracked all the expenses for me) that doesn’t include the fees associated with importing the trailer into Canada.

How did you figure out where to put it?

We used it to camp very briefly, 14 nights to be exact, to ensure everything was working an there were no issues we had missed. Now it has found a lovely permanent lakeside home in Quebec where it will be used as a summer home for its new owners. For me, the joy in the building.

What’s been the most challenging part about going tiny so far?

From a design & build perspective rather than a living quarters perspective, I would have to say plumbing is the greatest challenge. You have all the plumbing of a full-size house and are trying to squeeze it into nine square feet. Just trying to get the tools you need and your arms into the space is a feat!

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

Once again from a building perspective, I love the challenge of efficient space in small quarters.

What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny?

If you can live somewhere warm where it is easy to be outside and you don’t need to try and store winter gear. You need a lot less space for flip flops, shorts & a teeshirt than you do for a parka, sweaters, toques, boots & mitts. And if it’s dark and -30 at 4:30 in the afternoon you mind go stir crazy and have a tough time keeping warm.


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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!
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • September 9, 2018, 11:44 am

    Home made trailer tent. Somewhere on living big in a tiny house (I think, on YouTube anyway) is a video of a lass in Auckland, NZ, living full time in one to beat the cost of renting. Looked/looks cosy and practical.

  • Michele Bellon
    September 9, 2018, 5:45 pm

    I want one. It’s pretty too. Only one easy change, for me. Put in a little taller tin tub for soaking.

  • September 12, 2018, 9:13 pm

    I would like to know more on how he did the canvas room on the drop down door. I have been trying to figure out how to do this with my 12 foot cargo trailer. I could not find a website or email address to contact the builder. Nice job on converting such a small area.

    • jordan Burgsma
      March 17, 2023, 9:42 pm

      I would also like to know where they got the tip out set up!

      • Joey21
        October 17, 2023, 10:56 am

        Same. I too would like to know where the tip out beds were sourced. That is the last head scratcher of my future trailer project.

  • Sue
    September 8, 2019, 11:54 am

    I think you need to recheck the meaning of ‘stealth’. Yours isn’t.

  • John imm
    November 1, 2019, 6:07 am

    Wow…you thought of about everything! Very well done.

  • Pamela M Downs
    May 25, 2021, 1:42 pm

    I have never seen such a brilliant use of space in a trailer conversion, especially the bump out bed and the screen room! Awesome job! I want one!

  • Jamie smith
    July 7, 2021, 2:05 pm

    This is fabulous! Do they come in twin size? My husband is in a wheel chair and this would free up room to make a charging station for his mobility scooter. You video was wonderful and very helpful. Your tiny home build is in a word “perfect”!

  • Desiree
    September 10, 2023, 5:49 pm

    Where did you get the bump out extension for the bed?
    Researching converting a trailer and like the idea of the additional space for the bed but can’t find a source.
    Any help would be appreciated.

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