Tiny Home Ideas for Inspired, Affordable Homes on Wheels

Do you desire small-home living that’s mobile, too? Peruse these tiny home ideas before you embark on your own adventure with a tiny home on wheels.

June/July 2016

By Kristi Quillen

A number of young people, families with small children, and retirees have been building small homes on wheels. These tiny homes on wheels diverge from the average size of new single-family homes in the United States, which has risen 1,000 square feet in the past 40 years. Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes on the Move captures this movement, featuring nearly 100 tiny home ideas that have come to life in the form of vans, trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats, and houseboats.

The homeowners’ accounts of small home living reveal people who long to be free of mortgage payments and who want to enjoy nature and spend time together rather than work to buy more stuff or square footage. Some tiny-home dwellers rent land or live on family property until they can transport their homes to permanent spaces. Others use tiny homes on wheels as temporary quarters while they build larger, more permanent structures.

They’re not all planning to live life on the road, but making a home on wheels anticipates a journey. These tiny homes enable both intentional living and the constant possibility of the open road.

Tiny Homes 1

Built with wood from local sawmills and insulated with sheep’s wool, this army-truck home on wheels can move as its owner looks for land.

Tiny Homes 2

Instead of getting stuck in a long-term loan, Julien Lafaille and Ophelia Kwong decided to build and pay off their school-bus tiny home over time.

Tiny Homes 3

The owners of this tiny home on wheels, who currently live on rented land, plan to move their home when they find a plot they love.

Tiny Homes 4

Julien Lafaille and Ophelia Kwong traded expensive city living for small home living and the woods and bike rides outside their repurposed school bus.

Tiny Homes 5

Undeterred by practical concerns such as licensing and plumbing, Kian Clipson followed inspiration to create a movable tiny home, piece by piece, over eight months.

Tiny Homes 6

In tiny homes, eye-level windows can help bring in outdoor landscapes.

Tiny Homes 7

Curved or arched roofs make small spaces feel open.

Tiny Homes 8

Homes on foundations usually must connect to a septic or sewer system, but in tiny homes on wheels, RV-like plumbing setups or a composting toilet like this one are feasible options.

Tiny Homes 9

Kera's transition to small home living was another step away from a consumer lifestyle. "I'm happier than I've ever been in my life. I make my own hours and live life at my own pace. It is glorious."

Tiny Homes 10

Kera used money she'd saved for retirement and contracted with a builder to construct her ideal space.

Tiny Homes 11

Paul and Melissa Rodgers envisioned their vardo around a hand-hammered copper sink from Mexico and used mostly salvaged materials.

Tiny Homes 12

Matt Hayman previously converted a van and lived on the road. His current home, which has no engine to maintain, has allowed him more amenities.

Tiny Homes 13

Matt Hayman has amenities such as this kitchen, a garden, chickens, 500 watts of solar power, and an additional yurt living space, all of which could be packed and moved with a vehicle someday.

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