We have received a lot of questions since we made the decision to live tiny. Here are some of the popular topics that come up with our friends and family.
Who was against a composting toilet at first? Yeah ... I'm not sure what you're talking about ...
I thought that it was going to be tedious to maintain, smell and deter guests. All of these things have proved to be wrong.
For those of you who aren't familiar, a composting toilet is a dry toilet that has divisions for #1 and #2.
- #1: feeds into a bucket that you can add to compost, plants or dispose in a regular toilet
- #2: feeds into a bucket that houses a natural and renewable soil amendment, such as Coco Coir (which is what we use), that you can add to compost or dispose in the garbage
Composting toilets are portable and lightweight, they actually don't smell and our guests love it. People are generally intrigued with how it works and want to test it out. Maybe our friends are a little strange, come to think of it.
We tested out our shower a few weeks ago.
- Hot water: check!
- 15 minute shower: check!
- Water contained within the shower: not so much
Our goal is to construct a shower rod that gives us more space while we're showering while keeping the water from spilling outside.
Meanwhile, showering at a gym near work hasn't been too bad! Well, I take that back. It has been pretty hard for me to get up and make it to the gym in the mornings. But on a positive note, it has encouraged me to add early morning workout classes as part of my weekly routine.
However, I think we need more public shower options. Shower Airbnb, anyone?
So far our coldest night has been in the low 40s. With our camper trailer only partially insulated, we learned that it's best to turn on the heater a few hours before going to bed so we're not getting ready in the cold. During the night, it can get pretty warm in there, so we try to leave the heater on a lower setting and dress in layers when we sleep.
There's plenty of food storage for dry foods. For perishable items, we've been keeping them in a mini fridge inside the camper, but we're running out of room. We are going to invest in a used refrigerator that we will keep outside and use for additional items that we may not need on a daily basis.
We already had our first guest spend the night! It felt a little like camping because we were all in one room, but we still all slept comfortably.
We also fit six of our friends in the camper with us as we toasted to tiny living!
Next up: finding out how many people we can fit in there, 'clown car style.'
The camper can feel cramped or claustrophobic at times. If we're trying to get something done, it's helpful to stay out of each other's way. The bathroom is too small for two people to be brushing their teeth in there at the same time. I try to organize my clothes at night for the next day so that they will be easy to find in the morning.
Why a Tiny House?
We get this question a lot, surprisingly. Why not live in a camper trailer forever? Why not just live in a yurt? How is the experience going to be better or worse in a tiny house?
I could definitely stay in a camper trailer more permanently if it was a little bit bigger. We are designing our tiny house to be around 270 square feet, and that seems like a reasonable amount of space while we're living in 140.
I envision our tiny house to have a separate room for privacy or guests to sleep in when they come over. I also miss some normal living luxuries: a full-sized refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer. I would like to be able to have a space indoors to do yoga when the weather is too cold.
Living in a camper has inspired us in the ways we would redesign our space if we could and for envisioning what we need in a tiny home.
So yes, we still want a tiny house! But our camper trailer will do for now.
Here are some things we still need to do in the coming months:
- Insulate the rest of the camper trailer
- Construct a new shower rod and purchase a new shower curtain
- Find a used refrigerator (own an extra?)
- Decorate the camper with photos, linens and tapestries ... maybe you want to come over and sign our walls?
- Buy our tiny house trailer
- Take the camper to the mountains for a ski trip