Tiny House Movement

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by osii, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I think it would make a great hunting/fishing cabin for long weekends, but it would take two or three to be large enough for a real full time residence.

    Anyhow, I think they are cool!

    Jim :brow
  2. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    I'd like to see someone live in one through a Northern American/European winter or a Southern summer and remain sane. You can do it. Submariners, and US Army personnel put up with far less space on a long term basis, but they don't enjoy it, (or they get :huh ). There is a limit to how tightly you can cram a person's living space.

    There is a big difference between a concept model, a couple day's cabin, and a tiny home you plan of living in long term. I think instead of a systems integration design exercise, a more practical thing would have been to design a series of interlocking cubes, each with it's own functional use, ie; kitchen & bath (and all the plumbing), bedroom, etc.
  3. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    Sure, so was my college dorm room for two 9 month periods, but I did not have to cook or eat in the space, nor bathe, do laundry or anything but sleep, study, party and sometimes screw...
  4. Jurgen

    Jurgen CysHeteroPatriarch Super Moderator

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    I think the main benefit of things like this is to make one think about what is really truly necessary to living well.

    For me, and I bet most, I could be very happy in about 500 well designed square feet.

    But I'd have to completely rid myself of my pack-rat ways. When I did live in that space I wasn't ready and kept too much shit. :nod
  5. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    I've lived and had an office for two businesses (with dog) in about 800 square feet for 19 years. The office is about 1/3, you can't shrink plotters and copiers. It's enough, although there are certainly things in the yard under tarps - motorcycles, for instance.

    Many of the minimalist design exercises (and here I speak as an architect observing this stuff coming back on a 15 year cycle) are fun and clever, but for most people don't work that well for long. Just too small or too dependent on outside services and amenities to round out the cube lifestyle. You give up things - like having a dog. And you get tired of always having to go out to do some life aspect that doesn't fit in the cube.

    By the time you get to an 8'x20' trailer, you're probably in the ballpark for a longer term situation. I did a 8'x16' trailer for 6 months and it was OK for a single, but I was glad to have a bit more space.

    It's an interesting exercise, as noted, it makes you think about what you really need. What I really need is a big shop....1948 Power Wagon, Willys Wagons, Toyota FJ45 to fix - if you have hobbies you need space, and it's nice if it's yours, so you can leave crap out until the next work opportunity.
  6. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I have a funny feeling many of the people posting these house boats have never had the pleasure (or displeasure) of spending any real time on a houseboat. They have most of the expensive needs of a boat, plus those of a house... without any of the benefits of having a boat.
  7. battlecattle

    battlecattle Been here awhile

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    I also lived in an RV for over a year with a 10ft garage (3 motorcycles), and 20ft of living space (bed, shower, kitchen and even hand washed laundry)

    I enjoy living small. I get to the core of what I want, no extras. Another thing that I have a small issue with is how to entertain people that want to come over. Basically you are throwing a party in your bedroom, it is weird.
  8. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Well, the Florida Keys are pretty tough on RVs too. It's illegal to camp on a Key West street, and I am not sure there are still any RV parks in Key West.

    The next island, Stock Island, used to have two RV parks but the nicer of the two was freaking expensive ... To the tune of $100/night as I recall.

    For a place that was full of outlaws in the 70's the Lower Keys got really snooty in the last decade.


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  9. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    That's part of the reason, they did it to run the riff-raff off.
  10. Queen

    Queen Long timer

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    There's actually three outside KW now, one is Boyds (super expensive), Leos (much cheaper but sits along a small channel so it's mosquito and iguana central), and another one that's so snotty it's Class A over 32' and under ten years old ONLY. :rolleyes
  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    That aspect of having workshop space and secure storage for tools, bikes, and projects comes up quite a bit for those of us seriously pursuing these kinds of projects.

    However, the last time that we discussed it here Certain Parties thought that it distracted from their interests in a Little House on a Permanent Foundation so frankly I am not sure if it should be discussed here or in the thread that was spun off to discuss my projects.

    With that said the answer seems to be a combination of ISO containers, portable garages, purpose-built pole barn shelters, and then figuring out some way to maintain some security. I favored an arrangement where there were likely to be people living on the premises most of the time but recently found what appears to be a pretty nice gated community with plenty of RVers that I plan to check out in a month or two.

    Then, if you want to move things as part of your lifestyle, even more issues come into play. Some pole barn structures can be moved a time or two if they are bolted together rather than welded. And now there are canvas structures ("sails") that are being promoted as a low cost and easily erected way to provide shade in hot and dry climates.

    YMMV. But there are plenty of tricks coming along these days for a workshop but things vary depending on climate and the neiborhood.


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  12. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I've stayed at Boyd's. Really liked it but like you said it ain't cheap ;)

    There used to be a KOA somewhere in the mid Keys.

    Bahia Hondo State Park has RV hookups and is super popular but it's so popular they used to have a waiting list that stretched for a year or two.

    And there is another RV park in Marathon next to the Seven Mile Bridge whose name escapes me. They were supposed to close the RV park and condo it but last I heard that project died and the RV park had reopened.

    There was once an RV park literally next to Jimmy Buffett's clandestine Key West studio but that closed a few years ago. I think that was called Jarboes or something similar.

    And there was a mobile home park that had a few RV hookups that was maybe 5 blocks from Duval Street but I haven't heard from them for years.

    I have been thinking about going back to Florida in time for the Pirates of the Conch Republic gig following Bike Week 2014 so if that comes to pass I'll have to update my notes on the Keys ;)



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  13. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    There is also the other hand or re-purposing a larger existing structure as a home and workshop. Barn houses, or old warehouses, and factories with only a part rebuilt with living space, the rest being just an open space for working on things etc. .
  14. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I kinda resemble that comment ;)

    I have a DVD of a movie called Cuba Crossing which has an actor playing a factionalized version of Capt. Tony Terracino, who you and I know was anything but fictional.

    Long story short the KW of the 70's as portrayed in the movie is a far cry from the gentrified Key West of today.


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  15. koncha

    koncha .

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    I think what you are looking for is a deckover with a total deck length, minus dovetail, over 20'.

    My brother has a Big Tex 20' + 5' that he uses to move around his container full of tools for job sites. He kept the dovetail because he uses it to move equipment as well.

    http://bigtextrailers.com/pdf/22gn.pdf

    He also got the dual tandem wheels.

    You also might want to look into a Haacon lift if you are going to move containers yourself. Every once in a while, they show up in government auctions or eBay.

    http://www.haacon.de/en/lifting-systems/lifting-devices.html
  16. AdamFL

    AdamFL Been here awhile

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    The comments on the keys are one of the reasons I always bypassed them and sailed to the Bahamas. Little regulation and or enforcement and the spear fishing way better. The gentrified parrot heads have pretty well claimed the keys with their 35' center consoles and Tommy Bahama shirts.
  17. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I said it earlier but I realize that it's easy to overlook comments. The trailer is intended for another project related to the whole travel-and-living theme. If its primary purpose were to carry containers I'd go with a different design. But for my purposes a slight modification should allow it to carry a single 20 ft. container every so often.


    Thanks! I have set a search on my eBay app to see if any come up for sale. I wasn't familiar with that company or those products but that's very similar to what I planned to build myself.

    Why reinvent the wheel, right?




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  18. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    You know me pretty well. I was involved in the Parrothead and early club movement enough to get a mention in a book on the subject.

    At the time there used to be plenty of travelers and adventurers in the Parrothead movement but we kinda got pushed aside by the drunken old gossiping women who are notorious for not tipping when they go to Key West annually.

    I love the Keys but I stopped attending Meeting of the Minds several years ago when my friends from the Keys started to say that I was pretty cool but they were surprised that I would associate myself with some of those people ;)


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  19. koncha

    koncha .

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    Sorry, I should have been more verbose in my reply.

    My brother originally started with fendered, low-deck gooseneck that was additionally used for equipment movement. This was another Big Tex that was certainly hefty enough to cover the weight of the container with the contents. He tried a series of adaptations to the trailer to get it to cover both uses. He was never able to get the stability to where he felt safe pulling it.

    He dropped a significant amount of money trying to get something before cutting and running to a dedicated trailer. He eventually sold the low-deck and uses the high deck for everything. (Along with a car hauler and a few other lighter duty trailers.)

    Seems like you are moving down a parallel path.

    My brother and I have messed with a few container ideas as we work on a concept for a shared cabin idea. I saw that lift when I was watching footage of the German military pulling out of Afghanistan. I started watching eBay and saw one pop up that was mislabeled as a 'heavy equipment high lift jack'.
  20. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Thanks Amigo!

    I don't have The Answer. This is something that I have been following for maybe 20 years. Without the budget of the Defense Department one has to go with what one can scrounge ;)




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