Tumbleweed Tiny Houses has received word that we’re not quite the first house on wheels. Today we learned about Charles Miller, who built and parked his very own Model-T home in Odgen, UT. This 1929 cottage-to-go is a stunner!
Model T Motor Home built in Ogden, Utah (www.theoldmotor.com)
In this classic farm cottage, we appreciate the roof line, finished porch, well-proportioned front door and over-sized windows. This archetypal home resided right on Mr. Miller’s lawn, parked close to his larger homestead.
While Miller’s cottage looks terrific, it might not be ready to withstand the rigors of travel. The Model T trailer foundation seems too light for the load, and its engine horsepower would be severely tested. Once underway, imagine hitting a windy storm and losing this beauty!
Away from home, the lack of amenities would be noticed. Mr. Miller lived in the City of Ogden, and within a short drive to Utah’s high deserts and mountains. Without plumbing, water, power or alternative sources, the cottage provided shelter without some of the comforts of home.
Yet we can overlook construction matters and appreciate this stylish house on wheels. Here’s to Charles Miller, a man ahead of his time!
[Special thanks to David Greenlees and The Old Motor.]
It’s the day before Thanksgiving. Your sister, brother-in-law and niece are visiting you and your tiny home this evening. How will you entertain everyone? What will you make for dinner?
Gourds set the mood (flickr/nickshadel)
Tumbleweed Houses recently posed these questions to Facebook visitors and discovered how you would celebrate in a cute little place.
Along with cheeky suggestions for reservations, we received a flood of heartfelt and creative responses for enjoying the holidays. Square footage didn’t really change how you mingle with family or friends.
Call us impressed! With so many delectable ways to give thanks, here are the most inspiring ideas to chew on.
Thanksgiving Eve and Day Ideas
Turkey Fry - “Deep fry the turkey outside, make remaining dinner inside, set the table outside with a nicely set table weather permitting of course. If not a small folding table inside with names written on small white pumpkins as place setting. Precook as much as possible and after dinner a nice board game or an evening of looking through old photos reminiscing of Thanksgivings of the past. some apple cider or spiced tea with dessert.” Julie Fair Thomas
Indoor Turkey - “Since it will be dinner for four, I’d make two turkey breasts, a small ham, gravy, steamed vegetables and stuffing. If that’s still too much to cook then a chicken and stuffing casserole with a dinner salad. And don’t forget the apple pie for dessert or even some chocolate dipped strawberries. After dinner, serve some wine for the adults and sparkling grape juice for the little one and watch a funny family movie and play some games like pictionary or charades.” Gisela Marquez
Vegetarian - “There would be some type of vegetarian dinner. I am making Shepard’s Pie, soup, salad and a cake this year. Then as long as it is not raining a movie projected onto the side of my house. (my dream tiny house is a moving driving theater on one side…big screen TV where ever I go).” Brenda Lott
Crockpot - “I’d cook some chili in my crockpot, some fresh cornbread & chai tea plus blueberry lime Tiramisu for dessert. Entertainment would depend on the age of the niece… At the very least a funny movie would get popped into the dvd player.” Andee Wasson
Soup – “I would make turkey soup with cranberry scones or muffins. I would theme the dinner Thanksgiving with the Lady who lived in a shoe…tight but cozy. We would build a bonfire and share mother goose stories in the evening while we roasted marshmallows by a roaring fire outside. Then we would go inside and spread pillows all over the floor and drink spiced wine.” Robert Lisowski
Hawaiian – “We would eat outside. I would ask that they bring the wine, dessert, and rolls, and I would make wild rice hotdish (a staple growing up in MN) and one or two other sides. For the turkey, schools have fundraisers here by digging a huge ‘imu (underground pit) and cook hundreds of turkeys in it. Simple!” Sam Craddock
Tiny Theme – “I would make them lots of mini-foods just to freak them out. And make them wear tiny hats.” Carrie Rice
Sweet Singing - “Entertaining outdoors seems to be the best option. Parked at a campsite…I could prepare dinner in my tiny house, but cook it over the campfire. We have always been a musical family, so I think for entertainment I will bring out my acoustic guitar. I don’t know many songs, but I can play a passable version of Scarborough Fair, Kempt’s Jig, and a Waltz and “Andantino” by Ferdinando Carulli. The rest of the time I can fill with random chords and arpeggios.” Sage Blackthorn
Thanksgiving in a tiny house doesn’t mean a tiny holiday. A well designed small kitchen is fully capable of creating fluffy mashed potatoes, juicy turkey and all the fixin’s in a space the size of Martha Stewart’s stove top. Here are Tumbleweed’s holiday tips, courtesy of Bernadette Weissmann, for a fabulous Thanksgiving in your tiny space!
What is your “must have” Thanksgiving dish? Mashed potatoes? Homemade pumpkin pie? Make this decision first and then build the rest of your menu around it. For example, my stuffing will use the oven until show time which, in turn, informs my decisions about turkey and sides.
Thanksgiving can be welcoming and festive in any home.
Small refrigerators, like those in most of Tumbleweed models, CAN hold a 20 lb turkey. Unfortunately, there will not be room for anything else. Instead select turkey breasts (ask butcher to pound to one-inch thick for even cooking) or turkey cutlets utilizes your space wisely.
Items like green beans, brussel sprouts and new potatoes have been living happily outdoors their entire life so, if the climate in your area is cool, feel free to keep them there prior to cooking. Certain cheeses also do not need refrigeration.
Save more space by placing your beverages outside in a tin pail or small cooler with ice the day before and, in many parts of the United States in November, you won’t have to worry about them again until party time. Please note, if you place the pail on your wooden porch, you need to place something under it to protect the wood.
Although Tumbleweeds vary in size, the Linden, in which I spent a great deal of time this past summer, sits four comfortably with plenty of space to move around.
For serving, I prefer family style. This method eliminates the issue of traffic to a “buffet area.” Another low traffic option would be to plate the food yourself in the kitchen. This is simple with a first course like soup but a bit more complicated with a full plate of dinner for each guest and various appetites and/or eating restrictions. This method will also require you, or your guests, to get up if they want seconds or thirds! Best to stick with family style service if possible.
Another time and space saving option is to decide what dishes simply HAVE to be homemade (like your world’s most perfect lump-free gravy) and order those items that appear in supporting roles. Visit your local market and pre-order the dishes you would prefer not to make at home. This also leaves you more time to enjoy preparing those items you do. In situations where you may not have a particular appliance, pre-ordering can save the day. For example, if you do not have an oven, then order your stuffing.
Tumbleweed makes beautiful houses. How you live in your Tumbleweed makes it a home. From Northern California, Boston, Seattle and beyond, Tumbleweed wishes you the merriest of Holidays!
By Bernadette Weissmann
Meg Stephens, Lead House Designer
Dear Tiny House enthusiasts,
As Tumbleweed’s lead designer, I have been expanding our family of House-To-GoTM models. We think of the family names in two ways: as external models and internal floor plans.
You asked for flexibility with floor plans and home lengths, and the house names should create a logical way to select from 21 different homes.
Our exterior models are based on nature.
How do these models differ? The Elm has a nice porch and iconic lancet window to greet you. Our Cypress features an aesthetically-appealing recessed porch and hipped roof. The new Linden has classic proportions, a full porch, open sitting room and innovative loft. And the Mica offers one-floor living, in modern home clad with hot-rolled weathering steel.
Our internal floor plans are based on views.
How do these floor plans differ? We name these plans based on their bedroom perspectives, with loft and downstairs sleeping quarters. These unique names also reflect living space arrangements for sleeping, great rooms, kitchen areas and more.
- Equator – with multiple sleeping spaces or a downstairs office space
- Horizon – with generous loft space along with a twin/twin bunk bedroom
- Arise – with nice kitchen views, more private sleeping and living quarters
- Overlook – with the largest living space, in the great room
- Clear – with one-level living, in a full-size bedroom, separate kitchen and bath
We hope you enjoy selecting the Tumbleweed house that fits you best.
P.S. For those who knew our homes by other names, the well-regarded and original Walden, Fencl, Lusby and Popomo designs now fit into their new families. The Walden is an Elm 18’ Overlook. Our Fencl is called the Cypress 18’ Overlook. The Lusby answers to the name Elm 18’ Equator. Last but not least, the Popomo is renamed the Mica 20’ Clear. We have retired smaller homes from our line-up: X-S, Vardo, Weebie and Epu — and you now can get Vardo plans free!
Guillaume and Jenna are building a Tumbleweed tiny home and sharing their journey. Pepper Clark, our popular workshop leader and tiny home expert, has been in their shoes and decided to chat directly with these “incredibly inspiring tiny house folks.”
Have you ever met people with such enchanting visions of the future that talking to them makes you want to dance? I recently spent time with Guillaume and Jenna, a dynamic duo building a tiny house in LA. They’re committed professionals in their 20′s who have been gainfully employed at work that paid the bills, but didn’t inspire them creatively.
Framing the right wall (courtesy, Tiny House Giant Journey)
Like many idealists attracted to the tiny house idea, they notice a lot of people these days who don’t know how to define happiness or what it takes to create a lifestyle that satisfies their unique talents and preferences. Guillaume and Jenna want to take the road less traveled to see the country, pursue travel writing (Jenna) and photography (Guillaume), and take a jab at the Standard American Dream that, for so many, leads to a rut of working overtime scrambling for six figures and the proverbial picket fence.
When Guillaume’s father passed away not too long, it left him with a small inheritance, and an even more urgent desire to pursue his dreams. Between the two of them, they decided to use the opportunity to truly change the course of their lives. Guillaume went to his first workshop last year, and he and Jenna built a whole new picture of their future. He had a job as an engineer and realized he spent his work days killing time, so he’s since quit, attended a second workshop in Seattle as a refresher, and taken up building their tiny house full time.
He beautifully documents their build process in photos that are striking, playful, and yet still bring across the details of the project clearly – an art that I’m impressed by after my experiences trying to get great photos of my various tiny builds. It’s harder than it seems! Jenna is still at her job for now, working alongside Guillaume on the weekends and doing the writing for their wonderful blog, Tiny House Giant Journey
. I plan to touch base with them periodically throughout the build so we can update you on their progress, but if you want to see a lot more of them, subscribe to the blog or “like” their Facebook page
Guillaume and Jenna will face many challenges as they build their ship and sail off toward the tiny house horizon. Neither of them have actually built anything of this significance before and they’re learning a lot through the process. They haven’t lived together at all and they’ll be cohabiting for the first time, in a tiny house, on the road without their familiar surroundings and support networks.
This duo are taking unusual risks quitting “good” jobs and planning to develop new, more fulfilling careers while they adapt to life on the road. I firmly believe they’re making the best and bravest choice possible, and all of us here in the Tumbleweed family are wishing them the greatest success in every way. Bon voyage!
P.S. Want to join them? If you live in the LA area, then come to their BBBBQ building celebrations on the weekends: more here