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The Shiny Tiny; Airstream Update

The Shiny Tiny, part 1

In October, 2016, we received a phone call asking questions about building a tiny house that resembled an RV as they did a lot of relocating for their work and wanted to be able to stay at RV parks. However, they were experiencing a lot of pushback from RV parks about tiny houses, with one park owner saying “if it looked like an RV, say an Airstream, there would be no questions or issues.”

They then asked if we could renovate an Airstream to a nontoxic unit. They admitted that they called numerous places and no one could or would take on the project. They then asked, if I would consider doing it for them. I cautioned them that it would be out of our norm, but since we knew about nontoxic and chemical free tiny houses, we would do it. We set the budget and started looking for an older Airstream that could be gutted and rebuilt.

Criteria;

  • Price had to be under S15,000
  • No major denting of the roof
  • Few major leaks, All airstreams leak.
  • Within 500 miles of the shop
  • Not a “shiny turd”
  • No tail separation

A “shiny turd” is an Airstream that has been polished but not updated in any other way. It is shined up to get a higher sell price from unsuspecting buyers.

Shiny Turd

Shiny Turd

Another key difference is that a restored, renovated, or modernized Airstream will have documentation to prove that trailer has been repaired, a new axle installed, or the flooring replaced. A “shiny turd” will have none of that. A shiny turd is like a sign that says “buyer beware.”

Tail separation is when the tail end of trailer frame has separated from the main trailer, usually in connections to the trailer frame at the axles. A simple way to check this is to stand on the bumper and move up and down while noticing if the body of the trailer also moves or just the frame does. It is costly to fix and at this point, we were not considering rebuilding the trailer.

What we found was a 31ft 1983 Excella Airstream in fair condition. There was dent in the roof, the top was balding, it smelled slightly musty, and some of the appliances did not work. Since we would be gutting it down to the shell and tossing everything, the trailer appeared doable for the project, so we made a deal.

1983 Excella

1983 Excella

We towed it to the shop and started gutting it to the shell, and found that the floor had rot, which since all Airstreams leak, it was not a surprise. What we encountered next did surprise us. We removed the flooring and found the musty smell was strong. The pink fiberglass insulation in the floor had absorbed moisture with mouse droppings scattered on the top. Mice!!!IMG_20161117_103714750

Upon removal, we found that the underbelly had holes that allowed mice to get inside as well as many mouse carcasses. Upon closer examination, we decided to do a separation of the shell from the trailer so we could work on both. Once we had separation, we could see the holes in the frame from rust and corrosion as well as broken welds in outriggers. The trailer needed some major work.

After consulting with the buyers, it was determined to rebuild the trailer with heavier steel while reusing the axles, step assembly, tongue and hitch, as well as tank enclosures.  The rebuilt trailer cost $800 more than trying to fix the old frame.

The trailer was built for the Airstream in the background making sure we followed the old trailer design so that the shell could be reattached. This Airstream is being modernized to a nontoxic chemical free status. The couple chose the Airstream model over a tiny house as it would be accepted in RV parks for long stays without question.

Some have said that there is not much left of the original and while that is true, the most important parts are left; the RV certification and the shell which says I am an RV, and an Airstream! And it will provide a “safe” home for the owners to live in year around.

The new trailer

The new trailer

It has been said that you have not renovated an Airstream until you stood on the ground while inside the Airstream.

Stood on the ground

Stood on the ground

Airstream has a lot of different meaning for its’ parts such as “banana peels”

The floorplan; Airstream Retorfit 5_2

If you want to follow the place we post pictures of the build click on the link Airstream Build

Come back for the next update to learn about that and more.

 

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Emily Tiny House

Emily Tiny House

  • 8′ x 20′
  • 48″ tall loft
  • Sleeps 1-2
  • GVW 15,000lbs
  • Sitting/Reading nook
  • Storage Stairs with standup desk
  • Pulley system for raising and lowering workout bike desk
  • Natures Head composting toilet
  • 30″ x 48″ shower with metal walls
Emily Tiny House Elevation 4

Emily Tiny House Elevation 4

Emily Tiny House Elevation 1

Emily Tiny House Elevation 1

Emily Tiny House Elevation 2

Emily Tiny House Elevation 2

Emily Tiny House Elevation 3

Emily Tiny House Elevation 3

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Airstream as a tiny house???

Updating a 1984 Excella Airstream

As a leader in builds for nontoxic and chemical sensitivities, we also will convert RV’s to  the same standards. In this case, we are updating a 1984 Airstream Shaska model to one our highest standards for chemical and environmental sensitivities. We are gutting this RV and salvaging the aluminum frame and axles. From there it will be a total rebuild of the interior with some movement of windows and door.
This couple wanted the ability to move around and park easily in RV parks and not be challenged by the legality of the unit. Their solution was to purchase a used Airstream trailer and have it converted.  They might be onto something.
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Tiny House Fall Promotion

Fall Sale

Order the Wildflower II by November 15, 2016 and receive a “gourmet” package of 24″ Refrigerator, 24″ electric range, and Whirlpool stack able washer/dryer combo included FREE!

Wildflower II

Wildflower II

The Wildflower II tiny house, micro home is built to the specifications of our healthy homes series. It is 8′ x 22′ with a 3′ covered front porch. The hardwood finish is a Tung oil hand-rubbed finish, steel roof that is classified as Class IV hail resistant, steel lap siding, and a 3/4″ x 6″ White Ash Character grade paneling, with white ash cabinetry and custom white ash doors.

To see what the inside of the most recently completed Wildflower II looks like follow this link The Grand Tour

Featuring:

  • Healthy Living
  • Barrel Vault
  • Stairs to Loft
  • Space for Washer/Dryer
  • Abundant Storage
  • Steel Frame
  • Hardwood Paneling
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Covered Front Porch

Dimensions

  • Cabin Size: 8′ x 22′
  • Sleeps 1-3
  • Road height when mounted on Trailer: 11′-8″
  • Approximate weight: 10,000 – 12,000 lbs
  • Porch: 7′ x 3′
  • Loft Height: 2′-8″
  • Ceiling Height: 6′-3″

 

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Tiny House article in Local paper

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What happens when you announce that you’re going to live in a tiny house?

For Emily and Justin Gerde, thirty-somethings who have a 2½-year-old son, Wyatt, this is what happened:

“Our whole family was kind of skeptical before everything came together,” Emily says. “You say, ‘350 square feet’ and everyone just loses their minds. It’s actually not that small. And people were worried about Wyatt: ‘Will he have a normal childhood?’ ”

Emily smiles.

“Of course we don’t want him to have a normal childhood!” she says with a laugh.

http://www.twincities.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/tiny-house004.jpg

Two-and-a-half-year-old Wyatt plays in his play room in the Gerde family’s tiny home in the south metro on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

 

Wyatt’s unusual childhood so far includes appearing on HGTV: His family’s tiny home was featured on an episode of “Tiny House, Big Living”: “Young Couple Builds Custom Tiny Birch House.”

It all started with HGTV, actually.

“Our sister-in-law is very earthy and she had been looking into tiny homes,” Emily says. “She helped us find our contractor after a local TV station did a story about Kim Kasl (another local tiny-home dweller). Half the show was about Kim’s house and the other half was about the local contractor and how they were being featured on ‘Tiny House Nation.’

“That got us excited about it. It was just a neat idea at first, but as I researched it, I realized, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is totally doable for us.’ ”

Her husband, however …

“He was definitely not on board at first,” Emily says.

To read more click here

Tiny Birch House Screen Shot Captures

Various tiny house screen shots saved from the show, Tiny House, Big Living when we were on HGTV in May 2016. The show was filmed over 4 months of the actual build.

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Update on the Ravenlore Tiny House

or a tiny house can appreciate in value

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Some tiny houses do appreciate in value, and the Ravenlore did. Nicki changed her career path which required a relocation to California and flying as a stewardess for Virgin Airlines. With that, she had to make a hard decision about her tiny house. Rather than take it with her, she decided to sell it as she would seldom be home, but traveling the globe.  So she put it up for sale and the Ravenlore sold quickly………..for more money that she paid for it. Like several thousands of dollars more.

We send Nicki best wishes for her new adventures. And if you are thinking of buying a Ravenlore tiny house, we can create one just for you. We do have a Ravenlore starting the “que” in production within 30 days for a customer that decided to purchase one before the price increased.

 

Introducing a new tiny house

Tiny House

Home Always with a Tiny Green Cabin

The Snowflake

A new model in the Breathe Easy series of nontoxic tiny homes for people that are chemically and environmentally sensitive.

  • Size; 8′ X 20′
  • Sleeps 1-2
  • Weighs in at 10,000lbs
  • All steel frame construction
  • Steel roofing, steel siding and steel interior finish
  • 100% Wood Free
  •  Johns Manville AP™ Foil-Faced Foam Sheathing board, a closed-cell polyisocyanurate foam core bonded on each side to a foil face

This a prototype so the pricing is being worked out. Right now for this model, the price is approx $45000 and it can be made smaller from a 12′ unit or as long as 28′ in 2′ increments.

Tiny house, nontoxic tiny house

Snowflake Tiny House

 

Nontoxic tiny house

Another perspective of this nontoxic tiny house

 

 

Nontoxic tiny house

Snowflake tiny house floor plan

 

 

nontoxic tiny house

Steel frame of the Snowflake tiny house

 

 

nontoxic tiny house

Another view of the welded steel frame

Call or email for pricing

June Special on Tiny Houses

Tiny House

Home Always with a Tiny Green Cabin

We will match your down payment up to $2000 towards the purchase price of new tiny houses purchased thru the month of June 2016.

Offer not valid on the Wildflower Bunkhouse.

Tiny House

Tiny House June 2016 Match it sale

 

Adirondach Bench for a tiny house

Recliners in a tiny house
or how did they do that?

Tiny Birch House Bench, tiny house, adironack bench

Tiny Birch House Adironach Bench

tiny house recliner bench 12809701_10107462053187530_4741533569350771313_n (2)

We took these photos we found on line and modified the drawings/plans to make the double recliners for the Gerdes’ Tiny House, name Spirit.