Are tiny homes the wave of the future?

Mt. Hood Tiny Home Village

Julie Vadnal writes in mic.com about her trip to Oregon’s Mt. Hood Tiny Home Village where several tiny homes are for rent in what would otherwise look like a typical campground setting. But are tiny homes actually RVs, or vacation trailers, because they are mounted on wheels? And could tiny homes be the new wave for adventure into the great outdoors?

Vadnal writes, “Our tiny house is more than tiny, it’s teeeeeny, like if you took a gingerbread house, stretched it out to the size of a trailer, and slapped some green-certified, cedar-plank siding on it to make a precious child-sized log cabin. And yet, my 5-foot-9-inch frame couldn’t wait to get inside.”

But firstly, a tiny house isn’t actually a house at all. It’s technically an RV, meaning it can be towed anywhere you’d like to wander. Jenna Spesard, the blogger behind Tiny House Giant Journey, took hers across more than 30 states – Alaska included. The RVs are also ideal for staying put, and that’s the idea at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, an RV park with six tiny houses, each styled to fit different personalities – from the bookish Lincoln I was staying in, to the Southern belle Savannah. Each house is a permanent fixture in the RV park, has indoor plumbing and surrounds a shared fire pit. These guys aren’t for taking on the open road. Instead, they’re tethered to the ground to make up a cozy little town.

They also provide major organizing inspiration for anyone who’s used to living in a too-small apartment space. In Lincoln, each stair up to the loft is a cabinet for stashing books, boots and clothes. (Genius.) Stools for the breakfast nook are stacked and stowed underneath a slim wall-mounted table. Mattresses in the upstairs loft (there are two loft beds in Lincoln, as well as a double and a single) rest on the floor because bed frames would take up too much space. There’s a shower, but no bath. 

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6 Thoughts to “Are tiny homes the wave of the future?”

  1. PennyPA

    What about all the heavy lumber some of these houses are built with? What kind of a truck are the owners going to need to pull the mobile ones? From what I’ve been watching on TV, most of them are being built on private property and are meant to stay in place.

  2. Tommy Molnar

    I think the TV show about these “tiny homes” makes them look like the answer to all of life’s little problems. But, they are not CHEAP! And, they do not have any hookups. If you agonize through one of these shows you’ll notice no mention EVER of water, electricity, or waste issues. They just take it to an idyllic parking spot overlooking a large farm field, or a lake, or some other spot (maybe a back lot at mom and dad’s house . . .), and the new owners are ready to live happily ever after. Phooie!

  3. Gray

    They may be “tiny” houses but the demand for external services is not so tiny, nor is the impact on neighborhood infrastructure. As for composting toilets (and I’m a recent true believer in them) our island town council last year instigated a $130 million sewer treatment “upgrade” that mostly defaced an otherwise priceless waterfront city park, and permanently destroyed an 80-space municipal RV park.
    One disenchanted resident informed the city that for that price, every residence in the city and surrounding impact area could be outfitted with a composting toilet and a municipal composting facility built and after all that, much money could be saved. That idea was quickly quashed when city health officials announced that even if all flush toilets were eliminated, household sink and shower water must also be run through mandated sewage treatment facilities according to state and federal law that considers shower and bath water to be “black” sewage. So although the composting toilet idea was a nice idea, it wouldn’t fly.
    Thus… a “tiny” house demands a legal sewer connection or some legal transport and dumping arrangement, despite having a municipally-approved composting toilet.
    So sorry, Charley. Our federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances have made living “tiny” and on the cheap mostly out of reach, despite dreams of living cute and free.

  4. Roy

    More counties in numerous states are taking a hard ‘compliance’ look at tiny homes, mostly regarding building codes, or lack of compliance in many cases.

    There will be sanitary issues with these as well, considering most of the ones we’ve seen have no holding tanks and require hookups. There are areas that will never accommodate ‘tiny homes’ due to campground size – height and width restrictions.

    This is not to mention the high center of gravity these units must have and the future looming disasters of vehicle rollovers.

    It’s a ‘fad’ and may work only as many are calling them now … Park Models.

    1. I get a lot of these Tiny House builders calling me about how to wire them up to a portable generator. Nobody has asked about solar/battery/inverter power yet, but I’m sure that’s coming soon. As far as sewer hookup, a lot of them are into composting toilets. I’m not sure how a local inspector is going to deal with a composting toilet, especially inside of city limits.

  5. Bull

    You still gotta park a tiny home on a trailer somewhere and connect to services (water, electricity & maybe sewer). This alone will change the tiny home movement in the future as city, county and state regulations inevitably will force these type of homes on to permanent foundations and therefore communities for these home will be developed possibly replacing the Tornado Magnet parks we call today “Trailer Parks”!

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