I never thought she’d look so good in a skirt…

Well winter is officially here in New England, sort of. The weather has been strange and the temperature has been like a roller coaster. We did have a stretch of some arctic cold that came rolling through and the temps dropped to -15F,  however earlier this week it was almost 60F wicked weird right. Anyhow, with the extreme cold forecasted, we finally decided to build a long overdue skirt system. So we spent New Years Day constructing it. It is very basic, the materials cost $0, and it works fairly well.

We used some 1×2 pine and an old tarp. Jenny measured and cut the wood on the chop saw and I screwed the frame together.  The height we needed to get was 21″ so the uprights were cut at 19″ we decided to space them at 19″ as well. Laid the old tarp out over the frame, pulled it tight and used a hammer tacker to fasten it to the frame. Then we screwed the framing together around the Mallard, and built a little cover to go over the rear bumper and around the ladder.

Within the next few days we got hit with winter storm Hercules, and brutally cold temps. Now all we have for heat are two oil filled electric radiators which work very well. And with thanks to mother nature we had some extra insulation to pile up around the skirt and cab.  It was chilly in here, but with some layers and a blanket we were nice and cozy.

The tiny life has been very good to us and we are loving (almost) every minute of it. Something you don’t know about us is I had been out of work for a few months. I was working in the property insurance industry. The WORST job and company ever,  I despised it. And due to a car accident, Jenny has also been out of work. I had been looking for work and had a few tempting offers, but thanks to my current living situation, and Jenny’s support, I was able to hold off till I found the perfect job for me.

So, I recently started a new job, woodworking with the best company I have ever had the pleasure to work for! The employees are always smiling, the company treats the employees like no other I have seen, I LOVE what I do, and we can start saving again for our land and tiny house.  Had we not been in our current tiny living situation I would have had to take a job that I would not have been happy with. It means so much to me being able to do something I love and be happy doing it. Life too short to not love what you are doing with it.

Thank you tiny life, you are the best.

Oh yea check out what Jenny’s lil’ bro got us for Christmas, how awesome right!

Camper Ornament

A (tiny) Triumphant Return

Oh boy is it good to be back! We cant wait to share our experiences thus far living the tiny life.  After an extended hiatus I decided we were long overdue for an update. I don’t even know where to begin there is so much to tell… Jenny, Benny, and I have been in our temporary tiny home for over 3 months now, there have been highs and lows as to be expected, but living tiny is pretty amazing. After the initial excitement, there was a brief period where we were both not too sure about this. But, we have it figured out pretty well now and things have come together nicely.

When we did the “big” move we were saying goodbye to a 2 level apartment and shacking up in an incomplete RV, still under construction. We had a small tv no reception, laptop no internet, faucets no hot water, heat…yea no. It was a true test to our dedication of wanting to succeed in our not so tiny goal. In our time here we have been able to address our peeves making living a bit more comfortable. We are not trying to go all Thoreau by any means. We now have heat, hot water, tv reception, wifi, etc. There are however a few things that are still a little caveman when it comes to our tiny life:

 We don’t shower here
Black water, need I say more?
The water lines must be drained every night
It’s winter in Rhode Island…we live in an RV…
Tend to leaky windows when it rains

Because we have to fill and drain our on board water storage tanks we shower at Jenny’s dads house to help lessen the frequency of fill ups. Now, the black water is another story. We do use our bathroom and in turn we have to dispose of the waste.  This consists of  carting it in 5gal buckets across the property and pouring it down a perk tube into the septic. It is not our favorite weekend activity, I can assure you that, very smelly.

Moving on, the floor gets really cold at night and the water lines are fastened to the not so insulated floor. After our first morning waking to frozen pipes we learned our lesson and now drain the lines every night. The first few cold nights we could see our breath in the house but a couple of oil filled radiators alleviated that issue. However it still can get quit cold, we have taken extra steps in winterizing such as covering the windows with plastic, constructing a wall sectioning off the cab, adding insulation to the exterior access panels, but it is December in New England.

Living in our temporary tiny home has been a great experience so far. I am thankful we had the support, means, and courage that it took to take that first leap and start down the path to our dream. We have been able to experience life in under 200sf before making a large investment and we will take away so much value from it. It has opened our eyes to new things, ideas, designs, that we would have missed in our tiny home has we just gone ahead and started a build. Not to mention we now know we can comfortably live in under 200sf.

If anyone is considering making the transition to tiny DO IT, I could not encourage you enough. If there is a will there is a way.

We are almost in!

Hello everybody how goes it? At last we are almost ready to move on in to our temporary tiny home. It really feels like we are getting some forward momentum. So far this week the rear wall is complete and sealed along with the window, or so we thought…  Upon my arrival yesterday, after a heavy rain storm the prior night, there was some water sitting in the window track. I am confident that the butyl tape and silicone we applied did the job when we re-installed the window, so it appears the window seal to the frame it self needs to be addressed. No biggie.

Anyhow, we also had to install new Shark Bite fittings. I had already finished running the water lines but we sprung a leak. I am no plumber and have never worked with pex before so I half expected there to be at least one leak. Because we are running pex to poly there is a special fitting for that type of application I did not originally know about. Once that was all set and the correct fittings were installed, no more leaks. I rerouted the propane line that was for the old water heater for a more direct shot to the new water heater location. And removed the propane line for the furnace capping it off at the splitter.  So with that all taken care of the I was as able to install the Excel water heater which went in flawlessly. And let me tell you this little tank less vent less unit produces some seriously HOT water. Since we are dealing with a tiny area I had to carefully think of how and where it would fit well. On top of that since its vent less it could not be in the bathroom or bedroom for safety reasons. After we are moved in I am planning on installing a small exhaust fan to help with the heat and fumes the unit puts out.

Jenny built some sweet shelves for storage in the shed. The fridge had gotten a little funky from not running and being closed up for a while so she worked her magic bringing it back to its original luster. Benny seems to be taking to the small space and the big outdoors. We have to keep him on a lead/run because him and the cat do not see eye to eye, but he seems to love it none the less. Benny has already claimed his seat as you can see. Well its still going to need some work but we can wrap it up while we are staying there. I feel like it will be much easier to take care of everything while we are living there because we wont have to go home to make dinner, or let the dog out, or whatever. This way we can work on this or that at our own pace and not try to rush everything to get it done.

This weekend is going to be the big day, wish us luck!

Tiny bit of progress

Hello hello. Like the title says we have made a tiny bit of progress. Its actually not so tiny, its a lot more than I feel it is but the progress is more in the construction of the shed and not so much on the Mallard. The rear room had been at a temporary stand still due to needing butyl tape to install the window and the rear corner beads. Turns out its kind of hard to find. None of the hardware or automotive stores around here carry it. I could have just ordered it online however shipping was like a minimum of 2 weeks and I figured a local RV dealer would carry it but I did not know of any in the immediate area. Good news is we found one and picked up 4 rolls today so we can focus more on the RV again.

So for the shed. We scored some great heavy duty 4×8 pallets for free, my favorite, and used one for the floor. I had originally planned to use the second one for the roof but its a bit heavy and  the shed needs to be light for mobility. We are only going to be at this location for a year or so and can always use some storage for tools, seasonal clothes, camping gear, etc. so we opted to stick build the frame to keep the weight down. Since there’s no major load on the roof we went with 2×3′s 24″ OC. It held me up no problem while putting on the roll roofing.  Oh yeah, in addition to the free pallets, also got the material for the roof for free, some free plywood/OSB (which took care of the sheathing for the floor and some of the roof) and some of the trim boards free. The exterior sheathing is texture 1-11. And I am making a simple door made from the t 1-11 I cut out for the door  rough opening and some furring strips.

Just need to finish the door, trim, and some shelving then the shed in complete! My focus for the reminder of the week is going to be the camper.

 

I almost forgot we ordered a propane tank less vent less hot water heater last week! Should be here any day now!