Kathleen and Greg are a young couple living in a 1969 vintage trailer (same year as the COMET!) while they build themselves a tiny house on wheels. Kathleen and I connected a few weeks ago, and I was so excited to meet another couple who lives like Matt and I do! I asked if I could share their ongoing story here, and so here's what Kathleen has to say about their life in their trailer so far. You can read more about Kathleen and Greg and their tiny living adventure on their blog, "Tiny House, Tiny Footprint."
Since living in a 140-square-foot camper trailer, I have received a variety of questions. I thought it would be best to answer them here and help alleviate concerns for those who are considering tiny living. If you're nervous about embarking on a new adventure like this, I think it's important to remember that you can test it out and if it doesn't work out, you can go back to living how you were previously.
Is it too small?
It can be! For one person, I would say it's enough space. My boyfriend Greg, our dog Blaize and myself have run into each other a few times when we try to go from the bedroom toward the bathroom or vice versa. Since Greg and I are usually doing things together while we're in the camper trailer, we have adapted by either helping each other out or staying out of the other's way. The bedroom can easily turn into a sun room where either of us can read or work on our laptops. The table in the living area turns into a kitchen table when we are preparing food.
Does it get cold during low temperatures?
Good question! Winter is coming and we are continuing to insulate the entire camper so that we can be warm and snug. Also, the existing walls are not sound proof, so we figure extra insulation would help mute our voices inside the camper. We have a space heater that we will turn on when the temperature gets too cold. We will be layering and using our body heat to stay warm as well.
What is showering in a camper trailer like?
Right now our shower is a little bit of a pain because of our current shower curtain. We will be investing in an expanding shower curtain that will make our shower feel larger than it actually is. To save water, I have been showering at a local gym. This hasn't really changed my morning routine except for the fact that sometimes I am inclined to work out after work.
How is a travel toilet different than a house one?
We opted to remove the existing camper trailer toilet that fed to a greywater tank on a camper trailer, and replaced it with a composting toilet. Although I was skeptical at first, this was a great decision! Not only is it easy to use, the toilet is not a biohazard like household toilets because the liquids aren't mixed with the solids. It uses no water and no plumbing is involved. I almost forgot the major advantage of them all! It has no smell. I didn't believe it until we actually tested it out. I love that it's portable so that when we build a tiny house, we could transport the toilet from one mobile house to the next.
What about guests? Are you able to have people over?
Recently we had six people and our dog Blaize inside. Greg and I sat on the bed and the others sat on our "couch" in our living area. A friend passing through town slept on the top bunk and said it felt similar to a loft. We plan to add more privacy for guests by creating curtains that we can close and open as makeshift walls.
What are the advantages to camper trailing living?
The number one advantage is being close to the outdoors. We can take our camper trailer with us on road and ski trips. I enjoy hearing wildlife and experiencing the sunrises and sunsets from my bedroom window.
What have you learned?
I've learned to be more patient, reduce my clutter and keep my spaces neat and organized. I know the items I use on a regular basis, so I have cut down on owning things that never get used. Sometimes things don't always go as planned, so it's helpful to have a backup or be okay with going with another plan last minute. When your space is smaller, you are encouraged to be outside and enjoy nature more.
What are the disadvantages?
It would be nice at times to have another space for guests. Hosting a dinner party or having extra bodies in there on a regular basis might prove difficult. Our goal is to up size to a tiny house around 270 square feet to create some spaces that would help address these concerns.
I want to thank Kathleen for answering these questions and for having the guts to go for it! Check out their blog, Tiny House, Tiny Footprint, right here.