• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


small trailers and homes

Page history last edited by rsb 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Summary (skippable):


TONS of fascinating links here, reflecting what's been going on in this space over the last few years.  




As an aside, urban planning is way ahead of governance. 


My experience: at one point I wanted to build a companion home on a property in Mountain View, CA.  I thought maybe I could build something so small that I could afford to rent it super cheap to one of the many people living in cars in my city.  I learned about city politics and then I gave that idea up.  There is hope for more sensible zoning - just not in California.  I'm looking to build small elsewhere. 


Check out the Strong Towns blog for more insight into this problem.  From time to time I might link to commentary on urban planning.  I am learning about urban planning through studying tiny homes.  I am just getting started, but I have an "ideas" section at the bottom of this page I'm linking off some of the ideas I have around urban planning.


What I'm most interested in:


Right now I am most interested in houses and not trailers, but I have a lot of info on both here.


I am considering making modular lego-like wall units out of foam(and/or hempcrete but I don't like how heavy that is) and laminate materials (board and beams).  Of course, a lot depends on what materials cost, what my budget will be, what the environmental impact of it all is, and where/if I end up building. 


Joining modular materials/components is an interesting problem - the joinery of these walls could be puzzle-piece laminate and thin steel bolts, for the most part, as in some of the prototype homes I link to below.  In the end, a few wood screws would probably be needed as well, but nothing near what is normally required.  If you look at what the SIP builders do, they occasionally make puzzle pieces out of their modular walls and roofs, but they don't take it very far, because they are not designing for re-use - they are only interested in the easiest single-build, with no re-use.  For builders and component makers - no one is incentivized to see re-use anywhere.  That seems like an opportunity.



Ultra-light trailers:


Teardrop Criteria:

  • Less than 1000 pounds for the trailer and shell - can tow with an average four cylinder engine vehicle

  • Insulated and weatherproof.

  • Lots of light and air (large sunroof/moonroof for stargazing, etc. and big windows/doors on either side.)

  • Not too tiny for a teardrop - fits queen-ish-sized mattress, with lots of room for storage, cooking.


Favorite Links to Teardrop Trailers:






General, practical Ultra-Light Trailer planning and construction links:



Specific Van/Trailer builds I like:


Sink with grey water system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2604Le2k0A


Tiny Homes:


My Tiny Home Criteria:

  • Genuinely tiny for a home (100 to 800 sq feet - will build storage and power building separately if needed) 

  • Lots of light, including large skylight(s) for viewing the night sky.

  • Can be built to be unusually durable - easily last a lifetime with minimal maintenance.

  • Love the idea of making constructed, decomposable sections no larger than 4 by 8.



Favorite Tiny Home Links:


http://tinyhousetalk.com/ - probably the most comprehensive starting point


http://faircompanies.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/user/kirstendirksen














Tiny Home Maps and Parking Resources






Specific homes and plans I'm pretty stoked about:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QQTiXGSpUw - super fun modern cabins with lots of exercise stuff built in

https://youtu.be/MkjfiH-KuhI - nice corner wall/ceiling window and some other good ideas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQguR_Ucbtc - hiding all dimensional lumber with uncut lumber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRfJyXks09o - super small hygge inspired home

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtsLtsYJLmc - super cool japanese design. 





http://www.ecocapsule.sk/ - not too practical for me but I love the layout for one person, and the water filter.  it's like a tiny airstream with a wind turbine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slsJmN2AdXY (120K and 450 square feet, so not really tiny, but nice - based on a 40 foot container)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgyWViPUsls (68K  - a really nicely thought-out, new 2 bedroom home.)

http://www.huhmagazine.co.uk/5177/an-eco-house-controllable-by-smartphone (well thought out, handsome, energy efficient - with some nice landscaping ideas)

http://www.vintage-cottages.com/gallery---pictures.html (the metro-retro and cedar bungalows are nice, and pricing is great)


Solar and electronics:


My favorite DIY solar channel



Plumbing, Water, Grey Water, and Toilets:




As soon as these guys have a biodegradable option, they will be an excellent choice for off-grid toilets - http://www.dry-flush.com/ - maybe they could get there with a thick PLA.




I've used composting elevated outhouses in africa and there is zero smell or mess - even disposing of the compost can be made simple and odorless.  


The composting toilet design is kinda neat: http://www.offthegridnews.com/how-to-2/off-grid-toilets-your-options-for-lifes-necessity/


And I would say that the watershed management group is doing some good work: https://watershedmg.org/ - I suspect we have found a diamond in the rough here - their consulting services would likely be very useful in the design stage: https://watershedmg.org/services/home



Modular Home Building


Interesting projects:


Bay Breeze Tiny Homes can be removed from their foundation by removing just 5 bolts, cranking up the home and sliding the trailer from underneath it.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv_rvQmPAdE  

Large Insulating Preformed Foam Blocks: http://www.multipod-studio.com/pop-up-house-concep/

Custom Lego-Like plastic Blocks: http://kitebricks.com/

Spray Foam and Concrete: http://www.chron.com/homes/article/Combination-of-foam-concrete-creates-strong-1537319.php

Open Built Idea: http://www.treehugger.com/modular-design/new-flatpack-unity-homes-may-be-greenest-prefab-market.html

Keyed Walls and Ceiling: http://inhabitat.com/build-your-own-off-grid-flat-pack-micro-home-for-less-than-30000/nomad-micro-home11/?extend=1

Cubicco - Laminated Beams: http://www.cubicco.com/How%20we%20do%20it.html#ourTechnology

Ikea is getting into it: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/ikea-launches-86500-flat-pack-home-but-dont-worry-theyll-build-it-for-you/

James Law Cybertecture designed the Opod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aZhWV1fN7Y


Places to find interesting materials:


SIP Panels



Large Expanded Polystyrene Blocks


Screw-Pile foundations


Laminated Beams


Spray Foams




Steel Framing


Extruded/Molded Plastic Blocks


Hemp-Based Materials










Interesting Tools:




Energy Efficiency Tips and Net Zero Homes


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAJIandP5c0 - net zero home

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbz35FLg9L4 - net zero home project by Carleton university


Vapor and Air Barriers


Really good discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8fOMBlfh3A


Fast/Simple Home Builds


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtmccgV2S4Q - habitat for humanity blitz build with some good info on sip panels

http://www.jetsongreen.com/2009/03/affordable-leed-platinum-habitat-for-humanity-housing.html - another good habitat for humanity next-gen prototype


Fun Ideas


Semi-Super Blocks of Self-Driving Homes  - Inspired by the Kasita rackable tiny homes






Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.