After living at Simply Home Community for a year and a half, this past weekend I had a unique opportunity to visit another tiny house community. My friend James Taylor, whom I met at the Tiny House Jamboree 2015, invited me and a few of the other folks we connected with there to come visit and check out what they’re up to. (Did someone say “Orlando in December?” Sign me up!)
And it’s so freakin’ cool! You can learn about it by exploring the Orlando Lakefront RV & Tiny House Park website. The story goes like this. A couple years ago a fellow named Adam purchased the existing RV park and a bit later a woman named Emily helped get the first tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) there. Once it became a tiny-house-friendly RV park other tiny house dwellers have decided to make Orlando Lakefront home. And James Taylor has been driving the welcome wagon since he moved there this spring. With their 12th THOW moving in in just a couple weeks, the park is about ¼ tiny houses and ¾ RVs!
Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. James’ next door neighbor, who lives in an RV, visited with us and took photos. People who live in the park or are considering moving there gathered up for a little party. We also had the chance to tour four of the little houses. The tiniest one in the park is Christina’s awesome minimalist U-haul truck to house conversion. The biggest is Mary Kay’s 24’ long house with two full sleeping lofts, a bathroom, lounge, a kitchen, and a dining spot at the stairs. (This house really got me thinking about the two loft option. I just loved the way the stairs lead up to a sleeping loft with the bed platform over the bathroom. I’ve never seen anyone do it quite like this before and it made we want to smack my forehead in that “Hellooo! Of course!” sort of way. Simply brilliant!)
Meanwhile, Lee, BA, and Alek stayed in the Little Lake Nest. None of us brought a tape measure (so unlike us!) but I’m guessing this one was 18’ long. It’s a neat design with a catwalk connecting two sleeping lofts. I thought it was really clever how they took two sets of stair stringers, turned them the tall way, and sistered them together to make a steep set of stairs! This little house also has a small couch, a flip up table, two chairs hung on the wall behind the door, a micro and toaster oven that sit on top of the fridge, a closet under the stairs, and a dish rack is over the sink. The huge (by tiny house standards) bathroom has a trough tub, a handwashing sink, and a flush toilet. I’ve gotta say, after living in tiny houses for four years, that was probably the strangest thing about staying in tiny houses in an RV park: there were flush toilets! How bizzare, how bizarre!
But, I was the lucky one. I got to stay two nights in James’s awesome little house, The Company Store on Wheels. His house was built by Tennessee Tiny Homes with lots of his special design requests. It has a fabulous front porch so that it feels like a miner cabin. (James is a Coloradan so his house had to follow his heart!) It has a fabulous multi-functional couch that converts to a chaise or a guest bed (and has storage and the cat box underneath), a ladder at the same slope as the navy ladders (which James is used to so he can fly up and down it – even when half-asleep), an L-shaped kitchen with a sink, mini fridge with freezer, microwave, toaster oven, and a washer/dryer combo. His sleeping loft is asymmetrical with a dormer on one side, just as he requested it. It’s a lovely little home and it was extra special this time of year because James had decorated for the holidays and it was super festive.
It’s so exciting to see another community that welcomes tiny houses! I keep hearing about others in formation, too. I hope that by this time next year the number has increased exponentially.
Are you involved with the tiny house community? Where’s yours and what’s happening?