Should you go with a tiny house or converted school bus? Both are big projects. Both can feel like a home. One has it’s own motor, the other needs a large tow vehicle. Jenna Spesard visits with Roman and Annie and get the full tour and backstory of their very home-like skoolie. For more great videos like this subscribe to Tiny House Giant Journey on YouTube. To see more of this Skoolie – nicknamed Little Groundhog – on Instagram and YouTube. Video and Images by Tiny House Giant Journey.
Jenna Spesard from Tiny House Giant Journey visits with Matt & Adriana who live full-time in their 2005 Sprinter van conversion that they’ve nicknamed Vanna White. Matt is a video producer and Adriana works in fine dining. They travel the country and experience living in all the places they choose.
Matt learned construction and auto mechanics during the van build. Over three months he and a friend converted the van. Many of the items in the van were reclaimed and up-cycled. It also has a complete kitchen including a large refrigerator. The bathroom is simply a marine toilet and they use a fitness club membership for showers, etc. Video tour below.
Above: Vanna White stealth van based on a 2005 Sprinter. Below & Bottom: Inside Vanna White and a good look at the complete kitchen.
Jenna shares what it costs to build a tiny house. This is one of the most common questions I hear… and apparently Jenna too. It’s not a question that’s easy to answer. But after interviewing so many tiny home owners, she’s found the average cost of a tiny house is $25,000. Jenna has also put together a great cost breakdown at Tiny House Giant Journey.
A lot of people buy my tiny house plans, so hear this question a lot too. I typically tell folks that the biggest areas you can save money on are:
Windows range widely in cost, features and quality.
Utility choices range from large off-grid solar systems, to reliance on grid power, to ultra frugal lighting only systems.
Interior finishes range from plywood countertops to granite, and pine board interior sheathing to thin paneling.
Appliances might range the most from choices like $1000 composting toilets to virtually free sawdust bucket toilets.
Siding & roofing choices also have a wide range in options from lightweight off the shelf corrugated roofing and natural wood siding.
While the trailer will probably be the single most expensive item in your house, and the shell (framing & sheathing) also a big ticket item… these item categories don’t range much in total cost. In other words, you won’t find a big price difference between different brands of tiny house trailers, or in the cost of lumber.
Sure there are regional differences and the like. But you will find that your choices in other areas do offer some frugal alternatives.
So if you’re on a tight budget, think of the trailer and house shell as more or less a fixed cost and how you finish the house off being the place you can find some real savings or some costs that can be postponed.
Recently a reader asked the question, What size truck do I need to pull a Tiny House?
It’s a little tough to say since the final weight has a lot to do with how the tiny house is finished – like choice of siding, roofing, flooring, cabinets, etc. As a general rule of thumb you can estimate the rough dry weight by multiplying 450-pounds by the length.
So a 16 foot house should weigh about 7,200 pounds – which is about the limit of a base level full size truck (like a Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra or GMC Canyon). But most full size trucks often come equipped with bigger engines and towing packages – which can bump their capacity up to 10,000-12,000 pounds or more. So if you have a use for a big truck, owning a vehicle that can also tow your house might make sense.
But most folks prefer driving things like SUVs and trucks like Toyota Tacomas, which can usually tow only 2,500 – 3,500 (or with a towing package up to just about 7,000). So while these vehicles can be great for day-to-day activities, they are just a bit too small for towing a tiny house.
If you don’t need to move the house much it may be a better option to rent a moving truck to tow the house and simply keep a smaller car (or bike!) for getting around town. Many tiny house folks choose to take this route actually.
Guillaume and I waved goodbye to British Columbia, a province that wetted our appetite for glacial lakes and bear viewing, as the Yukon greeted us with a dusty smile. We immediately began by comparing the Canadian neighbors.” – Tiny House Giant Journey
Two years ago, Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard realised they didn’t want to spend another day chasing careers they didn’t love. The adventure junkies’ love for writing, photography, and the great outdoors led them to quit their jobs and pursue travel journalism — opting for life as cross-country nomads.” – Business Insider
Thanks so much to Guillaume for taking these photos. I love how he made our tiny house look huge and the land look magical. These photos gives me the same feelings I get when I realize how lucky I am to live in this little house on this mountain.” – Laura LaVoie
The couple of two years [Jenna & Guillaume] set off last week in their newly finished, 132-square-foot Tumbleweed Cypress home from Shelbyville, Ill., where Spesard’s parents Alan and Rebecca Spesard live… They will travel the nation and Canada indefinitely, making upcoming stops in Boston; New York; and Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.” – daytondailynews.com
We had a baby! Well… it feels that way. What I mean is, our tiny house emerged from the driveway and received her birth certificate. She is officially DMV registered as a coach trailer. License plate and all! We are so proud.” – TINY HOUSE giant journey
See more from the Maiden Voyage of TINY HOUSE giant journey