Many of our friends and family have been reading our Facebook posts about Tiny Homes for our OneYearRoadTrip and have to be wondering, “what the heck are they thinking with this tiny home thing?” Trust us, we get it. We were as surprised as you.
We’ve been contemplating how to traverse the US for our OneYearRoadTrip for some time, weighing the pros and cons of a LOT of different options. We’ve decided that unless a strange occurrence happens (like a free one comes our way) we’ll likely not take a traditional RV mobile home where you drive a bus-like structure and the family plays Parcheesi in the back. While it would be a sweet ride, and in some ways simpler, it limits where we can drive and park and generally makes us just enough LESS mobile that it’s not our first choice.
Option 2 is a camping trailer. There are TONS of options here from pop-ups to slide-outs to fold-ups to many other hyphenated options. These offer a great deal more variety and are relatively inexpensive, so they are still on the list, but unless we go SUPER short it will be hard to find one that is not like pulling a train behind our tow vehicle. The upside is we can park it and drive the tow vehicle anywhere the trailer is not allowed, too big, cumbersome or dangerous to go. This is still on the table, but is behind option #3…
…the 5th-Wheel. Fifth-wheel vehicles are like RV mobile homes, but rather than drive it, you tow it. It’s a trailer that attaches to the back of a truck, but not by a traditional ball hitch. A 5th-wheel has a portion of the trailer that sits high, up above the bed of the truck, and is actually attached to the truck on the bed with a special hitch. You can buy a flat-bed trailer with the same hitch mount idea that’s called a goose-neck because…that’s what it looks like.
For several months we’ve used this image as our little symbol for the roadtrip, and our amazing animator friend, Brian Ferguson, even created a drawing of our family to match the style. It’s a classic truck camper from the 1960s & 70s, and if it were just the parents we might consider this option. But for now we’ll just celebrate the beauty of that model and enjoy reading Travels With Charley and hearing about Steinbeck’s adventures in his truck camper, Rocinante.
Which brings us to the tiny home. This whole idea was totally out of left field for us. Eva’s friend, Mary, first told us about them, and since that time we’ve been researching them, finding businesses around the U.S. who design and build them, and drawing up our own ideas for how we might be able to travel in one.
This past weekend we went to a tiny home building workshop in LA that was hosted by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and our brains were blown out our ears. There was SOOO much information. It was a combination of construction, design, RVing, tiny living and housing-/DMV-law school all wrapped up into two 9-hour days. It was amazing and slightly overwhelming and informative and encouraging. The only downside was that, while we did see a trailer (the foundation of the tiny house) and were able to imagine the house on top, we didn’t get to walk around, feel and smell, touch and see a real tiny house. So until we do, we just can’t commit to traveling the U.S. in one for OneYearRoadTrip.
Luckily, Tumbleweed has a model we can rent and stay in through AirBnB! So hopefully in August we’ll drive to Sonoma, meet the team at Tumbleweed, stay a night in the Linden, and either coming or going, swing by Half Moon Bay and visit 24 year-old tiny home builder and owner Ella Jenkins!
What are your suggestions or experiences with traveling cross-country with kids? Anyone traveling full-time or for a long time like we’re planning to? Please share your stories below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our FB page.