Neil's Tiny Houses

Tiny House on the Road

We moved the tiny house I’ve lived in the past 10 months back up to Olympia today and tucked it into its spot near the old apple tree. The Bayside Bungalow is once again truly bayside and it’s available as a rental for people who want to try out tiny house living. Of course, it’s also a nice vacation rental for folks who just want a sweet spot to stay in Olympia, WA, too.

Brittany and Dylan arrived in Portland yesterday afternoon so they could make sure the little house was ready to roll again. We picked up a flatbed F550 truck from family-owned Lewis Rents on Stark for a 24-hour rental from 4pm on Friday to 4pm on Saturday. Then we checked tire pressure on all four tires and zip-tied the shutters closed so they would protect the windows during transport. We unhooked the utilities: the water supply hose, the electrical cord, the greywater system, and the propane tank. We also removed the stairs and tucked them inside with the spare trailer tire. Then we headed over to Logan and Tammy’s place for a fantastic dinner and great conversation. It was hard to leave, but we knew we’d need to get an early start in the morning.

First thing this morning we hooked the trailer up to the truck and Brittany expertly backed it out of its parking spot. We did a quick double-check to make sure everything looked okay and then we hit the road, tiny house in tow. Brittany drove the massive truck and I copiloted while Dylan followed us in the chase vehicle. We took it easy, going between 50 and 55 mph most of the way, and stopped at the rest stops to check the tire temperature and lug nuts. It was fun lining up with all the semi trucks and gasoline trucks. The whole house is smaller than one of those trucks! I wonder how long it would take the tiny house to use that much energy. (On that note, I checked my Kill-A-Watt meter when I unplugged the electrical cord and was pleased to discover I had used 72 killowatt hours in the past 87 days. That’s less than 1 KWH per day. The average American uses 10-11 KWHs per day!)

We’d been pretty nervous on the trip down to Portland since it was the tiny house’s first highway trip, so it was white knuckles whole way. On this return trip to Olympia we were all more confident that everything would be okay so we had a good time watching for other people’s reactions. We were surprised by how many people driving along didn’t even notice the tiny house going down the highway, but we got a few amusing reactions. One older fella waved and gave us two thumbs up. A little girl riding in a backwards car seat stared at us with her mouth gaping. And a guy riding shotgun in a big freight truck turned all the way around to watch us go by. Dylan took a little video footage of the process and Brittany’s sister even stood on one of the overpasses in Olympia to tape us going by. Hopefully there will be a video forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Brittany and her friend Steve backed the tiny house into its spot and we got blocks around the tires. Brittany will be back this week to get the tiny house ready for its first guests. Once the house was settled we headed to Dylan and Brittany’s for a tour of their amazing garden. We also visited Brittany’s friend Neil who is a woodworker. He’s building a tiny house right now, too, so we got to take a sneak peek. You can see it, too, by visiting Neil's Tiny Homes on Facebook. I especially loved the arched roof so I asked Neil if he’ll consider letting me commission him to build the rafters for the arched roof for my vardo. I think it would be pretty cool to learn to do it myself, but Neil has the tools and the knowledge to do it elegantly and roofs are one of those things you want to get right. Check out his website Wooden Concept for more information about this tiny house and Neil’s other work.

After a tasty brunch with Dylan and Brittany at Fish Tale, I drove the F550 pick up truck back down to the rental shop in Portland. Then I took the bus home to my new house. This evening I did a bit of unpacking but I think I’m going to hit the hay early. It was a big day for us and the tiny house!