First 24 hours living “Tiny” in the TaHOW 40-foot Gooseneck Tiny House on Wheels

Finally, after over an entire year of construction and building (plus time spent planning, designing and customizing), “move in” day took place in the 40-foot long, 400 square foot gooseneck tiny house on wheels, aka the #TaHOW.

IMG_1258It was by the far the easiest and simplest move-in ever.

There was more than one suitcase (lol), but there was NO heavy furniture to move or anyone else needed to move in.  In fact, it was rather anticlimactic.  But that just made it faster to get in and living in the house.

Now that’s not to say we moved everything in and had everything set up within minutes or a few hours, but we DID get in, and set up quickly enough to where Lacey came home from work and within a few hours we were soundly asleep in the cozy loft of the tiny house.IMG_1263

Just like moving into any new house or living situation, it takes a little time to readjust to where things are and establish new routines.  The advantage in the tiny house of course, is that you find things pretty quick and nothing’s that far away :).  It’s really nice and convenient and we have no boxes stacked around to sort through to try to find where we put stuff, it’s more a matter of organization so that we ensure everything has its place and doesn’t get in the way.  I’m really enjoying the efficiency of living this way so far, everything with its place and not a bunch of useless junk taking up space.  It makes you feel nimble and light on your toes…IMG_1280

Moved into TaHOW Tiny House, but still work to be done

With all that said, the house still isn’t completely finished and we aren’t completely set up.  We thought that would be a nuisance, trying to live in an unfinished space, but its actually been kind of the opposite.  Every day the house comes even more alive (its been 72 hours now or 3 days since we officially started living in the house) and continues to transform into an even cozier, comfortable and really good feeling space.  It definitely is home sweet home!

Dogs and Tiny House Living

IMG_1114IMG_1291The transition for the dogs has been a little more challenging.  Claude, my 12-year old black lab, doesn’t do so well with steps anymore, so he definitely won’t be able to make it up to the loft but also struggles getting up to the bathroom or front room, so he’s limited to the main floor.  Initially he hesitated to even go up the front steps through the french door and did not like the 8 foot long ramp I custom-built just for him (even with slats like a chicken coup ladder or whatever).

IMG_1293But after a couple days now he’s getting used to the front steps (I did make them 16-inch deep for him now) and I built him a whole new staircase off the back deck as well, also with 16-inch deep stairs.  He does love being so close to us in the house at all times though, loves being right there in the mix when you’re trying to work on something…

Sailor, the highland west-terrier, doesn’t mind the steps, and although he normally would sleep in the bed, he’s not a fan of the loft and actually prefers staying down below with Claude (which I’m sure Claude is happy about), and they sleep curled up in their beds, side by side.  It’s pretty cute – and not what we were expecting lol.

IMG_1310Sailor’s big hangup is the dog door.  Claude will go in and out with no problem (just hesitates at the stairs as he’s getting used to them), whereas sailor will just sit outside the back door and stare at us in the kitchen – and even scratch the back door glass on occasion – instead of going thru the dog door a foot to the right of the door.  He has no problem using the dog door, he just seems to pretend that its not there and wants his masters to open the “human” door for him (he thinks he’s royalty – King of the tiny house.  I’m sure in time he’ll enjoy being perched up on top of the loft, better able to oversee his “kingdom” below… ;).

Tiny House Surprises – Extra Space!

IMG_1276One of the surprising things so far about living in the TaHOW Tiny House on Wheels has been how much extra space we have in the kitchen!

IMG_1308Not only is there plenty of counter-top space (even with a temporary microwave taking up a lot of it – eventually we’ll have a microwave/hood installed above stove), but the cabinets underneath also have plenty of extra space, where we’ve also stashed the dog food container.  We don’t even have any upper kitchen cabinets, just two open shelves above the 8 foot long counter tops; it makes me wonder what else I had that filled up my kitchen in my old “traditional” house in the kitchen that seemed small without enough space.  How funny…

We did end up deciding that the best place for the trash can was under the sink.  I do wish I had thought out a better space for that because a larger free standing trash can would work much better.

IMG_1324It’s also been good that the house hasn’t been completely finished for that fact that it allows us to continue to customize different spaces for the best utilization of them.

IMG_1325For example, I wasn’t sure exactly how we’d use the closet space.  It has a 6-foot, 4-inch long closet rod for hanging clothes (which is a premium because that’s hard space to find after the fact if you don’t plan ahead for that).

On top of that is two large, tall, deep shelves in addition to a pantry shelving system to the right of and in front of the clothes, closed off to the kitchen.  I didn’t know how much food pantry space we needed so I’ve been customizing that as we’ve moved in and brought food into the space to see how it could best be utilized and accessed.

IMG_1323I also left space next to the fridge at the back of the house where the dog door is to create a little mud-room type area.  So as we use the kitchen and closet and house we’ll determine how to best design that space as well.

Clothes storage always seems to be a main concern for people going tiny, so I built in a lot of different options for that as well.  It’s a little different than a normal housing situation in that you don’t have big bureaus and drawers and a closet all inside your sleeping room, but all in all, its no big deal.  We have drawers in the stairs, a bootleggers hatch in the hallway, a large closet in the kitchen, there’ll be more storage under the couch (still to be built), plus the bonus room/study/guest room/other room over the gooseneck where I’m building another custom hanging clothes closet as well as the 8 foot wide by 7 foot long storage area under the bathroom.  AND I’ve been adding additional storage areas to every nook and cranny I find (which drives Lacey nuts lol)…

IMG_1321IMG_1322I was able to build a lot of stuff into the bathroom though I do wish I had built it a little bigger. The washer/dryer took up quite a bit of space that would have been nice for good cabinet and drawer storage of bathroom items, so that definitely is a change we’re adjusting to, but again with some clever storage ideas we’re able to maximize the space.  There is a large counter top over the washer/dryer so that allowed for multiple organizing options which gave Lacey the opportunity to incorporate more decor as well.

My favorite spot in the TaHOW Tiny House on Wheels

My favorite area of the house so far though is the loft.

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With the skylight, five surrounding windows, view of the feature cedar wall with the large TV and fireplace and dogs below… its just awesome.IMG_1312

And Lacey has decorated it so wonderfully, adding colors, layers, textures (I’m learning a lot of decorating! :), it really has a warm, cozy, homey feel to it, just makes me smile sitting up there or lying in bed looking down below and seeing the rest of the house.  It’s cooler than I ever imagined!  It’s the space with the view that reminds me just how much time, planning, money and work went into creating and bring to to life this big (but tiny) beautiful baby.

To sum it up, we are loving it.  Go Tiny Be Free.

More posts, pics and videos to come over the next few days, weeks and months as we continue to finish the house (and catch up on sharing all the pics and videos I’ve been taking over the last year!).  Still lots to do, watch this space!

And if you’re on snapchat, follow me @snaukered and @gotinybefree for live spontaneous, fun pics and videos.

And for the latest updates, like the GoTinyBeFree facebook page.

Thanks for reading!  I appreciate you!

– Hans

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Building a 32-foot Gooseneck Luxury Tiny House on Wheels (Part 1 – Trailer Modifications)

It has begun!

However, I’m sending the trailer back to the trailer dealer so they can flash the whole underside of the trailer and paint it to keep the elements out (road grime, water, snow, ice, salt, insects, etc, etc) from getting in under my house as I drive (and while stationary).  This flashing also gives the closed-cell spray foam something to spray to and actually seal up any gaps between metal sheets, etc (subfloor OSB will be installed directly on top of the steel cross-members, maximizing my vertical interior height in my tiny house and providing a very solid flooring system).

Here’s a little step by step of what I was doing to get it ready for the flashing.

Tiny House Trailer Preparation for underside flashing

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I took 2×8’s and stapled on some polyurethane foam strips were the wood be in contact with the metal trailer frame (because it would help reduce thermal bridging and was easy).  I then screwed them into place on the sides of the trailer, attaching them to the angle iron on the sides.

This again allowed to close in the floor cavity from top to bottom (sheet metal on the bottom and angle iron on the top) and gave me a few inches still under the angle iron to secure future all-threads, screws and/or bolts to secure the walls to the trailer in the future.

See the pictures to get a better idea of what I mean.

The wall sheathing will then cover this remaining exterior gap between the angle iron and the sheet metal flashing, closing that in as well.

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Here’s the final product once I got my trailer back again from the manufacturer who installed the rear jacks and flashing underneath.  The 24 awg flashing was very strong, strong enough that you could walk on it.  I then put the front stabliziers down and the rear jacks to level the trailer and get it ready for insulation and subflooring which you’ll find in the next post.

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Thanks for reading – what do you think so far?

Let me know in the comments below (video was a little shaky, I know… lol).

I appreciate you!

– Hans Schoff

Hans and tiny house trailer

PS> Get the latest updates on my tiny house build as well as free resources, information and training on Going Tiny and Being Free and building your own tiny house and much, much more by clicking here.

Building a 32-foot Gooseneck Luxury Tiny House on Wheels (Part 0 – Trailer Intro)

My Tiny House Journey Begins!

That picture above is of my custom 32-foot Gooseneck Trailer with an 8.5 foot deck over the gooseneck (maximizes space), on which I plan to build a 40.5 foot long tiny house (38 feet long inside with a 2.5 foot deck on the back, including a 10 foot loft, roughly ~380sf or so).  

If you haven’t heard my story or want to know WHY I’d want to live in a space less than 400 square feet (LOL), click here to read my story about going Tiny if you missed it or you can also watch this 4-part video series I created on my personal blog about what a tiny house is and some of the benefits of going tiny, which I created while “out on the road” traveling, as I love to do…

The Details of my 32-foot Tiny House Trailer

In this first blog post about my future 40+ foot gooseneck tiny house on wheels (THOW) that I’m going to be building personally, I’d like to get right into the details about this trailer.  But first (lol), here’s a quick video of me on the day I first laid eyes on my custom built 32-foot long gooseneck trailer…

My Custom 32-foot Gooseneck Tiny House Trailer Specs:

  • Custom-built 32-foot long gooseneck trailer with 8.5-foot deck over the gooseneck (40.5 total length, 8’4″ total width)
  • Triple axles rated for 7,100 lbs each or total of 21,300 lbs
  • Constructed with 32-foot long 2×8 metal tubing and 8-inch C-channel for front and backs of trailer and deck; gooseneck drops down from front C-channel (so house has flat front wall) along with electric brake controls and trailer lighting (as well as gel battery brake backup unit) and backup/emergency chains; (bought a gooseneck hitch lock as well and converted trailer supports handle to be removable); also had additional jacks welded onto the back of the trailer on each side so entire trailer could be lifted/leveled off ground and wheels (pics and details in the next post)
  • 2″x3″ perpendicular cross-members, flush with 2×8 metal tubing, every 16 O.C. (on-center)
  • 3″ angle-iron runs on both sides of trailer, parallel to 2×8 metal tubing to get to width of 100 inches (8’4″), connected via 2″x3″ metal tubing cross-member extensions from front and back of 9-foot long rectangular-boxed fenders (which rise about 8″ above trailer deck) and on deck over gooseneck
    • I also installed treated 2×8 boards on both sides of trailer to mount the 24 awg flashing I had added to the bottom of the trailer to create an 8-inch deep subfloor; the 3/4″ subflooring attached directly to the floor of the metal trailer for optimum rigidity and strength from the bottom of the house up (you can see this detail in the next blog post in the series here)

(You can click on any of the pictures below to enlarge them…)

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Pretty exciting start on the Tiny House Journey!

The trailer cost me around $6,000 and took several weeks to construct.  Had I thought to get the flashing added ahead of time (much easier for them to do when building the trailer at the factory than for me to get access to that kind of flashing and attach myself), might have cost me around $7,000 total (probably would be $9,000 plus as configured anywhere else that I looked).

The next step is modifying the gooseneck trailer in order to begin insulating the 8-inch cavity floor which you will see in the next post!

Let me know what you think in the comments below…

I appreciate you!

– Hans Schoff

Hans and tiny house trailer

PS> Get the latest updates on my tiny house build as well as free resources, information and training on Going Tiny and Being Free and building your own tiny house and much, much more by clicking here.

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