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Moving Day
Today is moving day.
I had been parked on my Uncle Tom's property, which had low-hanging utility wires across the driveway. To get out, I needed to enlist some help. My mother came along with a camera and took many, many more pictures than I ever do.

Mom also took a number of videos on both her camera and mine. They'll be coming later. Right now, though, I wanted to get these posted. I'm going to let the pictures do the talking this time around - I'll probably say more when I put the videos up. For now, though, here are the pics.

And that's it!

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You know, when I first decided to build one, I picked the Fencl because it was the largest model Tumbleweed had. Had there been a bigger one, I probably would have gone with that because they all just seemed so small!

Now that I've lived in it, though, I feel different about it. It really feels quite roomy, and it actually feels bigger as time goes on. Why, just the other day I misplaced something and spent over an hour looking for it! Really, how can you lose something in 120 square feet?

Well there you are! All moved in. Were there any surprises? Was it harder to pull with the truck than you expected?

No real surprises, per se. There were a few times that I got the truck stuck, but nothing that couldn't be solved by rocking it back and forth (and probably screwing up my transmission.) And I wouldn't say it was harder than I expected, since I've moved it many times before. It has been a year, though, so it took a bit of getting used to. There's something disheartening about hitting the gas pedal and watching the fuel gauge drop faster than the speedometer rises...


My ten year old son and I follow your blog, we both think that what you are doing is great. My son also has become interested in woodworking and wants to build his own tiny home one day.

I know there's a 16-year-old out there somewhere who's building a tiny house like this, and he's getting a decent amount of publicity because of it. I can only imagine how the media would respond to a 10-year-old building one!

the move

Outstanding photo record.

Thank my mother! She was the one with the camera today.

I'm disappointed by the absence of Barney.

Barney doesn't like cameras. He tucks his tail and hides from them now. :( It's a shame, because he's so cute! He's in a couple of the videos, though. I've posted them on YouTube, but I should be posting a link to them on this blog soon.


Love your new place! Hope you enjoy it there :)

Thanks! It's been raining the last few days, but I'm hoping it'll be more cheerful out here once the sun comes out!

All the best!

I wish you all the best with your beautiful new lot and your little house!

Re: All the best!

Thank you!

Fantastic! I am so excited to hear that you have found a place. And, if you're in Lapeer, perhaps we can meet up when Matt and I are in Michigan over the holidays this year - I would love to meet another tiny house builder and swap stories and ideas.

That sounds awesome! And yes, I'm just a few miles north of Lapeer. Let me know once you've got your travel plans and we can figure out a day.

Congrats & Questions

Congrats! That looks like the perfect piece of property - I'm a little jealous!

How are you handing utilities? With solar, you may be set for power. Are you planning on hauling in water?

I'm also curious about the messy parts of life in a tiny house... where do you put the trash can? Dirty laundry? How do you handle doing laundry?

As the Michigan season turns (I live in the state too..), I'm curious about how you'll winterize- particularly the under-floor drains & pipes.

Love your blog, and congrats again on the awesome land!


Re: Congrats & Questions

Hi, Mitch

I've ordered more solar panels, since right now the ones I have provide for the bare minimum - lights, the water pump, and the fan. I've turned the fridge off and use the computer sparingly (and charge it in my truck when I drive into town) until the new panels are installed. Once they're in, though, I should be in decent shape.

Water needs to be hauled in right now, although I'm looking at either drilling a well or installing a cistern for rainwater catchment, whichever is cheaper. Ultimately I'd like to do the rainwater catchment.

I have 2 small trash cans inside - one next to the computer desk and one in the bathroom. When either can is full, I empty them into a larger can that sits outside. I haven't filled that can yet, but once I do I think I have curbside pickup.

The laundry basket is kept under the bookshelf, behind the rolling ladder and next to the couch. I handle doing laundry by going to a laundromat (or by bringing it with me when I visit my folks)

Last winter I spent half of the season at home and half of the season away for work and watching my folks' house while they were in Florida. To winterize, I just drained the water tank and let the lines run empty. I then ran about a gallon of RV antifreeze into the tank, just in case. It seemed to work just fine.

For the times I was there, the water lines never froze. None of them are in the floor, they're all in the walls. The drain pipes, however, DID freeze a couple of times. My immediate solution was to pour salt down the drain, and that freed things up. I tried insulating the lines after that, but it didn't seem to help. Later, I put a skirting up around the house (which I should have done at the very start of the season) and the drains didn't freeze after that. However, it didn't get as cold again as it did before the skirting, so I can't say how much that helped. I guess we'll have to wait and see this winter!

Re: Congrats & Questions

there is a tool for draining lines on an rv with air. its essentially a car tire air nozzle adaption to a garden hose. I can send pics later if asked. i made one of these a while back for a couple dollars out of a standard pvc pipe cap in plumbing and a pull through rim/tire air nozzle with a flange. you can also buy them at menards and such but they are all plastic. I typically use a 12v air pump and purge the lines closest to furthest from the air input after draining the water heater. when you use a all air purge and its done correctly no antifreeze (and expense) is needed. as an added assurance i redid the the plumbing in the rv to pex. pex is capable of handling the expansion and contraction of the ice in the lines much better that any other product. also you can purchase the click together fittings so if something does fail unclick and replace. i redid to whole plumbing in 2 days including tear out. it goes together like legos. I suppose as an added bonus it would be very light compared to other products as well.

I have used rock salt was well. in practice i found 1-2 32oz cups in the black water once per week tank works great. about 1 8oz cup per drain once per week as well. the solution for outside pipes was heattape and neoprene insulation. hair dyer or the like in emergency situations. it was weird because the magic temp was always around 17 degrees f when i got starting to freezeups even with skirting. I believe this to be a result in plumbing design. where ever the was a bend or v i got a freeze up because the waste water slows down in that area. heattape runs around the .5-6amp ac range for draw on power depending on the length of your heat tape. also heattape as per code can be only around pipes with water in them. rv stores in mi area do sell heating pads that stick to tanks and such but i just made my own using sticky foam/foil tape to put the heat tape on the tank backed with a foam board and turn on as needed.

i have meet others in the rv community that use a small kerosene/oil heater/blower and put up skirting. blowing the hot air underneath the trailer near the drainpipes (kinda like an oversized hair dryer). they report no problems and a nice warm floor to walk on. this will probably be my end solution as heat tape requires electricity and has to be uninstalled/reinstalled yearly or on every move.

your fan,
Jon Mire
mire blades and tools

Re: Congrats & Questions

All fair solutions.
I didn't use Pex in my build because I specifically wanted to work with copper - but that was all detailed in another blog. Just a personal preference based upon what skills I wanted to learn.

Heat tape and pads are no longer options for a solar-powered hookup, but now that I have a tank full of rainwater, I've found that a gallon of boiling water down the drain does wonders for clearing out ice! Of course, my plumbing lines are short, so a gallon is all I need. There's no tank (no black water involved and the grey goes onto the plants) so there's no worries of that freezing.

I hadn't thought about blowing heated air under the skirting... I always have a supply of propane tanks sitting around, and they make external use heaters for those that I'd imagine would work pretty well. I'm satisfied with my setup as it is now, but it's definitely good to know!

I spend yesterday reading through your efforts here and wish to thank you. Your efforts are appreciated, as is your sense of humor. Every time I read something like this it encourages me to do the same.

Thank you.

Thanks! And thanks for reading! It's good to know that I'm amusing more than just myself here. :)

And really, if you don't fret the small stuff, are willing to make some mistakes, correct them when you find them, and keep moving forward, you'll be able to do it! In retrospect, nothing about it has been particularly hard. Good luck!

Congratulations on the new land

Congratulations on the new land. I am sure that its a welcome relief to have a permanent place to park the house when you're not traveling.

Hey would love to see pictures when you get your compost pile up and running.

What do you think about having outside access to a composting toilet's bucket so that you wouldn't have to walk through the house with the buckets when full?

Re: Congratulations on the new land

Thanks, Chris!

I've been watching Craigslist again for spare pallets (actually, I've had my folks pick me up a few while I've been out of town) to use to frame out my compost bins. I hope to have them up soon, and I'm sure I'll be documenting it.

As for having outside access, it sounds like a neat idea! Of course, it would also require having the composting toilet as a permanent, built-in fixture of the tiny house. It would most likely help others feel like it was more sanitary. I, personally, wouldn't feel like it would be necessary, but I think it would be a neat feature if someone wanted to include it.

Hmm that's one thing the city isn't missing is spare pallets. They seem to be everywhere in Los Angeles! If I thought I could do a nice and safe job ( which I don't) framing a tiny house with pallets I wouldn't need to pay for any lumber.

Hey Jonathan Im over near Imlay City and know where LOTS of free pallets are. If you would like some, just send me a message on yahoo IM . Nick name is oooooopsy_daisy

Ooh, thanks, Carol!
Unfortunately I just sold my truck, so I'm in no position to haul anything. My dad just brought a load of pallets over for me, though, so I've got enough to keep me busy for a bit.

If I need more pallets in the future, though, I'll definitely be sending you a message!

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