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Tiny House on a Trailer for Your Early Retirement

This 8′ x 26′ tiny house on a trailer is being built by Bob Pritts of East Tennessee. It has a country cottage style to it and is being constructed on a 26′ trailer. At approximately 208 square feet it’s going to be his retirement home. With no mortgage or rent, it’s going to help him create a lot more disposable income. So that’s why people say less is more… Since it’s such a small space, Bob splurged on some granite and cherry wood for the inside. Once he’s done building it, it’s going to be parked in a mobile home lot. Bob chose to install plenty of windows throughout so he can enjoy a lot of lighting. Instead of having a sleeping loft he went with a longer trailer and designed the living room to double as a bedroom just like you’d see in a studio. Bob also opted for a full sized shower and insulated the house really well so that it’ll be easy to cool and heat throughout the year.

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Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House

Photo Credits Bob Pritts

Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House with Big Windows

If you’re thinking about retirement.. Would a tiny house on a trailer help you accomplish that earlier?

Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House

Where do you think you would park it?

Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House

You can see some of the plumbing underneath the trailer below.

Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House

He attempted to do the electrical work himself but upon inspection by an electrician had to get much of it re-done at $75 an hour.

Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House
Bob's Towed Haul Tiny House

Photo Credits Bob Pritts

Sources: http://prittsbob.tumblr.com, http://www.wbir.com/news/article/221990/8/East-Tennessee-man-downsizes-to-8-X-26-house

If you want to learn how to build a house like this step by step, check out the Tiny House Construction Guide by Dan Louche. Also be sure to check out Dan’s Tiny Retirement plans.

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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!
{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Dominick Bundy
    September 15, 2012, 8:54 am

    Too bad he can’t put it on any land without wheels instead of putting it in a mobile home park..(hopefully someday that will change) I like what he has done so far .. I hope you’ll have a update to see his finished project…

    • Dominick Bundy
      September 15, 2012, 2:02 pm

      ADDENDUM,,, Sorry, but I forgot to add. Bob Pritt mentions there will be no mortgage or rent to pay.. Question?? Wouldn’t the lot rent from mobile home park still be considered rent ?? That’s why it would be nice to put these tiny houses on land you already own.. Without any wheels or hassles from zoning boards etc..Now that would be true freedom , that this country so prides itself about having. Just live and let live those who choose to live in 100 sq. foot dwellings without being dictated to…That’s all…

      • loretta george
        October 14, 2012, 9:58 am

        that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out as well–tiny house on wheels is good–as long as you can park it somewhere without having to pay some lot rent or move it from place to place everyday. It would be nice if we had the freedom to put these tiny houses on property we owned and live in without any problems from city, county and state restrictions on such.

        • Dominick Bundy
          October 14, 2012, 10:41 pm

          A gated community for wheel-less tiny houses would be nice. As long as you could buy and own your own slab to set it on.. Each home owner would be only responsible and taxed for the small area he owns in the gated community. home’s lets say could be small as 60 sq. feet to 400 sq. ft. maximum .. I’ll bet there would be a great interest and market in this concept. Wonder why any contractors haven’t started something like this or suggested such.

  • jerryd
    September 15, 2012, 9:43 am

    He said mobile home lot, not space so, likely or he should buy a lot. Here near Tampa such lots are available for around $10-15k.

    Remember there are mobile home lots and RV lots. MH ones are far more easy to get and just build your tiny home or in my case, 2 on the old MH frame, legal and in most cases no inspections, etc needed. So you might want to register your trailer tiny home as a MH to increase your choices of homesites.

    Best to buy one that has a dead MH or old house lot as the impact fees are already paid or grandfathered in like I’ve done.

    Though I’m selling mine with the world’s largest swimming pool, floating on the water in my new PV, wind, sail, tide powered 34′ trimaran I’m about to start.

    If anyone interested in tiny houses I have a 4-5 unit possible legal tiny house lots I can sell together or seperately with or without buildings as all but one can be moved. It’s 12 miles SE of Tampa next to shopping, bus, Lowes, etc. Owner financing with 25% down payment.

    It’d be a great compound, living in one and using the others for income with some work.

    • Joe3
      September 17, 2012, 12:09 am

      I’m in Saint Petersburg, I’d be interested in talking with you.

    • Lisa
      December 10, 2013, 1:41 am

      Mobile home and RV lots are not cost effective, especially for seniors on fixed incomes. The prices I saw for the Tampa area for an RV patch with utilities hook ups is 1K a month. At that rate, you might as well own your own standard home. I do and I pay under $500.00 / yr in property taxes. So you do the math: $1200 a year or $500 a year? And many of these RV parks have rules that you must move on in a month or more depending upon the owner. What we REALLY need are TH parks where it doesn’t matter if you’ve got wheels on your living quarters or not, where energy is derived from wind and/or solar and hot water is tankless; so the whole point of a TH Park is to save money. (PS love the color on this TH.)

      • Lisa
        December 10, 2013, 1:43 am

        Correction: Twelve thousand a year; $12,000 or $500 a year.
        Sorry ’bout that.

        • Lisa
          December 10, 2013, 1:45 am

          And the $12,000 doesn’t include the utilities, either.

  • jerryd
    September 17, 2012, 7:53 am

    Hi Joe3 and All,

    I guess I should have given contact info ;^P

    My 813 phone 671 # is 3059.

    There are lots of solutions to placing tiny homes, a little searching preferably in advance can give multiple ones. For Fla residents I can point to many here though they might not work in other areas.

  • sesameB
    September 17, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Hi, Y’all
    Go Bob Go!!!!! I agree with you 100%! This is the future. I am living it now!
    rural south central sunny Arkansas

  • Bob Pritts
    September 26, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Thanks for doing a this article……I had missed it, but a friend sent me the link.
    To answer the one question about lot rent:
    Yes there will be a $250 lot fee but that is far less than rent or mortgage and allows me to if I get the urge to pull up steaks and move…… Want to stay close to my grandkids! If their daddy moves so can I!!!!

    Sign me up for your news letter and thanks again!!!!!

    • dawn
      January 22, 2014, 9:54 pm

      love your house bob! question, any pics of inside you could share? would love to see how you did the bedroom downstairs! if you want to share you could email me at…… [email protected]
      in sunny arizona!

  • loretta george
    October 14, 2012, 10:07 am

    Would love to see a tiny portable home with solar, wind, solar water heater,and rain catchment system in place–if it didn’t add too much weight to the home for towing purposes. Becoming more self reliant and off the grid is more and more appealing to me. Would love to set one of these up on a mountain somewhere.

    • jerryd
      October 15, 2012, 11:37 pm

      Hi Loretta, it’s certainly possible to do it but stick built house style isn’t going to be the way.

      The way many tiny houses like Tumbleweeds, etc are built that way are far too heavy, too tall with terrible aerodynamics that would need a powerful truck to move at low6-8 MPG. Not something you want to tow far or really more than rarely. Many with pointed roof and lofts are 13′ plus tall which can limit which roads you can even use.

      There are other building methods with thinner, lighter walls and you can use the PV as part of your roof or awning can cut weight a lot.

      Having rounded front corners can make even a box be fairly aero as NASA Truck aerodynamics proved. Here is some info and pics,

      A Reassessment of Heavy-Duty Truck Aerodynamic Design …

      adaptiveaerodynamic.com/NASA/88628main_H-2283.pdf · PDF file

      If you make your trailer in a similar shape and your towing vehicle is smaller the trailer will clean up the tow vehicles airflow cutting drag by as much as 50% and likely increase mileage by about as much. The front is more important than the rear.

      Wind generator can be put up when stopped though with PV so low cost now sunelec.com or other sources can supply your needs including A/C.

      • Eunice Vega
        October 17, 2012, 11:37 pm

        Please email me more information. You have touch on things that I questioned I don’t know anything about lighter materials but am interested in learning. Are there websites that you can direct me. Please everything is appreciated before I build my own tiny home.

  • jerryd
    October 19, 2012, 9:03 pm

    Eunice you should look up stressed skin construction or tortured ply boat building and SIP home for ideas.

    Look up fiberglass,Aluminum and wood trailer or boat construction or go to boat, RV shows and see how they do it.

    A FG job shop could make you FG sheets or get metal sheets and look at some of my other posts here for more details.

    I can’t educate you as the subject is too large and details of where you live or going and skills are so varied it would take too long.

    How I’m doing mine is in plywood single sided with slight bends both for aero and strength without many if any frames using built in furiture, cabinets all glued together into a single piece stregthening each other thus little weight.

    I live in the south but if I lived up north I’d need foam insulation as an example of how where you plan to live matters.

    You could call 813 me 671 if you want 3059 or others who might as posting takes too. I could build you, others a shell you could finish which likely would be the easy way and not more than materials a stick built would cost yet be far better towing.

    Another idea is by a Airstream or other Alum or FG trailer with a bad interior and gut, redo it.

  • Judy @ my house and home furniture
    December 27, 2012, 4:46 pm

    My friend bought a very spacious RV and has parked down in a nice lot in San Diego where half is trailer home, a 1/4 is for RV homes, and 1/4 is for the lot manager. They pay a little over $600 per month to just park it there and get water and plumbing included. It is a private community with a bbq and grassy area. So I think it’s pretty nice but expensive! Might as well rent a small studio…

    Also, they installed solar panels but the electricity goes out pretty fast and they can’t do much when the sun isn’t out (even considering it’s Southern California).

    The space is very nice – a full living room, flat TV, full kitchen, dining area for two, queen size bedroom with storage, and stand up shower with relative spacious bathroom (a little more than double the size of an airplane bathroom I would say). However, it takes time to get used to a small space and she keeps a over 90% of her belongings still at her parents’ home.

    In addition, they need to borrow their parents’ truck to haul the RV because it’s so large.

    All in all, I think a trailer home is much more convenient and more permanent. The inconvenience of moving from place to place is too much UNLESS you are traveling across the country – but even so, it’s too large to travel…

    I think the tiny house idea is great but it takes commitment and some time to get use to 🙂 If you are a handy person then RV life would be enjoyable but for a single woman, it would be unbearable. But I can only speak from seeing my friend (who is 30 years old) go through it with her husband who is in the military.

    Thanks for sharing the tiny house above!!


    • Susie
      April 11, 2013, 2:14 am

      As a handy single woman of 50, I am surprised that you would think it ‘unbearable’ for single women. On the contrary, I currently pay a mortgage for a 3 bed/2 bath double-wide on 5 acres in Vermont, downsizing sounds so liberating.
      I grew up as a military brat, and I guess I just kept on moving. This is the longest I have ever lived in one place and I only use about 1/3 of it.
      Every one is different – I could care less for fancy frills and expensive labels/restaurants etc, I am content with my own company, enjoy that of others when I want it, solitude when I don’t.
      I think the biggest allure of Tiny Houses is getting rid of that mortgage payment, living simply, frugally, and enjoying life, rather than working yourself into an early grave just to pay all the bills. Now, where would I keep my table saw???

      • August 3, 2014, 12:42 pm

        Awesome comments Suzie!! I’m with you!
        55 single woman and artist. TH so appealing for so many reasons. I am handy but live in San Jose. Nowhere to build and a little too much for me alone to build.

        Renovating an larger airstream might be perfect.

        I dont understand why if I OWN the land in future why I cant live in a tiny house of airstream??? On the land. Guess I’m missing something.

        Ideally I dont want to own land. Want to stay mobile and use parks. But cheap lot would be ideal.

        Just starting research. [email protected]
        Would live to dialouge about this!

        Was thinking to own a ranch for land, growing etc. wood shop/studio. But with society the way it is… as a single woman, thinkin mobile waaaay better and safer.

        Quick getaway!!!

        Ca done.

  • January 31, 2013, 4:34 pm

    My main reason for building a tiny house is that I want to semi-retire & work part time when my daughter goes off on her own in a couple of years. I like the stick built construction & the fact that they’re built to last & customized.
    Hey jerryd I live on the Treasure Coast in Florida & will be getting in touch with you!

  • jim madden
    February 28, 2013, 9:15 pm

    I live in Chattanooga, if I get up your way would like to stop by & see your tiny house & talk if possible?

  • Maria
    May 23, 2014, 3:27 pm

    Here in Melbourne, Florida there is a 55 and older co-op. You buy the lot and pay 206.00 per month. That covers property taxes and insurance.The lots go for 19,000.00. You can have an RV,mobile home,trailer or a tiny house.

  • Maria
    May 23, 2014, 3:30 pm

    Oh! The cost also covers lawn maintenance and I think water.

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