We are asked this question often. . . how portable is a tiny home? Or. how portable is YOUR tiny home? Well. . . it took us a while to write this post for many reasons. But mainly, we put the portability of our tiny home to the test by driving it across the country from Colorado to upstate New York at the end of May/beginning of June. Here is how it went:
Our intended route from CO to NY with stops at Wally Worlds across the US. Why Wally World? Free overnight parking.
After a late night of trying to get the tires back on and a rainy week in CO, we ended up with a muddy mess.
The interior of our tiny house secured for the big move. Almost all of the cabinet handles were designed to fasten with a rubber band.
After a tow out of the field, we were on our way.
About 100 miles east of Fort Collins, we had our first setback. Somehow we had the unbelievable fortune of breaking down in the driveway of an older gentleman’s ranch in rural Colorado who happened to have a “tire rack” and all of the equipment to change a tire. After a few hours, we were back on the road.
Welcome to North Platte Nebraska! We stayed for the night and planned to get on the road the next day. Sadly, we had more tire issues. Dondi searched around and found a used set but it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and all of the tire shops were closed ’til Tuesday.
We decided to enjoy Memorial Day weekend since we were “stranded” in North Platte, NE. We found a beautiful lake a few miles away and spent some time relaxing in the sunshine.
Good Year opened early Tuesday morning, put our tires on, and we were off on the road headed east.
On the road in eastern Nebraska. After another pit stop in western Illinois for a set of new tires, we were back on the open road. We “cruised” at a speed of 40 to 55 miles per hour the whole way to New York.
Just when we thought things were going well, we hit a 4 foot wide pot hole in Chicago and broke a shackle on the trailer frame. Bummer! We found a local auto body shop that welded the shackle back onto the frame and we were back on the road.
Six days later. . . we finally made it to NY but we were not home yet!
The final straw. We made it 35 miles from Ithaca and broke down in the Lows parking lot. They were kind enough to let us stay for the night until the next day when we found a shop to fix another shackle and a bent axle. NY roads sure took a beating last winter and did a number on our trailer!
We finally made it to our new house in Ithaca. Because the ground was wet from all the rain, we didn’t make it far.
One last attempt to pull the tiny home to the back of the property with three pull vehicles. Needless to say, it didn’t work. We made it as far as the front lawn and that is where the tiny home stayed for the night.
Luckily Dondi’s dad showed up with his tractor!
The tractor worked like a charm to pull the tiny house back to its spot on our new property.
Seven days after our departure from Fort Collins, our tiny house was safe and sound at its new location in upstate New York. To Erin (33 weeks pregnant) the trip was a bit of a nightmare. To Dondi, it was an adventure with a new challenge at every turn. Now that we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on our “adventure” we have very different memories but nevertheless, it was an adventure. What did we learn from the experience? Add a 3rd trailer axle for a long haul with a tiny home and definitely put NEW tires on the trailer before the trip! Until next time, Erin & Dondi
Hi All! Since our not so little debut on the Tiny House Blog (check it out here: http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built/erin-and-dondis-off-grid-tiny-house/), we’ve had a flurry of comments and new followers. We’ve been super busy and we promise to answer all of the comments really soon.
Here’s a quick update on our tiny house Soleil (almost completely finished. . . YAY!) and our adventures at the end of July and August. Enjoy!
You may or may not have noticed but we’ve been using screws to open the drawers since we moved in. Dondi finally made the drawer fronts and put on the handles. They slide out like butter now. . . =)
Dondi helped upholster the couch cushions. The two bottom cushions are attached and they fold out to form the bed mattress along with the back cushion. The drawers under the couch are used as storage for hats, gloves, games, blankets, etc.
The drawer fronts are on! Yes. . . the filing cabinets are now a lot easier to pull out. The aspen was only 5 1/2 inches wide so Dondi decided to get a bit creative by joining different boards with opposite graining.
The dresser drawers are fairly heavy so using a drawer pull is much appreciated! This is the last of the 29 drawer fronts. . . who would have thought there could be so many doors and drawers in a tiny home!?!
Dondi also finished the headboard this month. It is 12 inches deep and the doors are hinged to fold down from the top. They are filled with extra sheets, pillows, and towels. And yes, you can sit up in the center of the bed (we can at least).
The garden is doing great. It is exploding right now with basil, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beans, lettuce, carrots, onions, etc.
At the end of July, we did a whirlwind trip to the Southwest corner of Colorado. Great Sand Dunes was the first stop. . . and it was AWESOME!
Can’t beat the view from our camp spot aka the back of the pickup truck!
In the morning, we “hiked” one of the 450 foot tall dunes on all fours. By about 9am, the sand was really hot which explains why Erin climbed up with her hands in her shoes.
At the top of the dunes, we felt like we were in the middle of the desert. Kinda crazy for Colorado. This National Park is pretty awesome.
The best part? Sliding down!! The sand is at “the angle of repose” so it starts sliding when you touch it. The foam mat kind of worked as a sled but an actual sled or one of the super cool “dune boards” the National Park Service rents would have been even more fun.
The hot springs in Pagosa Springs was another highlight of the trip. They had over 20 pools all at different temperatures.
The next day we went to Mesa Verde National Park in the Southwest corner of Colorado (aka the four corners where Colorado meets Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico). The views were gorgeous!
The view from atop Cliff Palace before our tour.
A kiva inside cliff palace at Mesa Verde National Park.
We went on the 3 1/2 mile hike to see the petroglyphs in Mesa Verde National Park. They were pretty cool but maybe it wasn’t such a good idea considering what the next day would bring. . .
Dondi saw the ancient reservoir system in Mesa Verde National Park was designated as a Civil Engineering Landmark and had to get a pic. 😉
On our way to camp in the National Forest above Durango, we saw a full double rainbow. It was majestic!
The view from near our campsite above Durango at about 9,000 feet.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early (like 4:45am. . . ugh) to get to the start of the Durango 100- a 100 mile road ride from Durango, Colorado to Farmington, NM and back through the San Juan mountains.
The start of the Durango 100. . . there’s us. Naive and tired and ready to start the ride. Little did we know that the first 50 miles were mostly down gently sloping hills into NM. . . and the last 50 miles were almost all up really big hills (aka mountains)! It was grueling, fun, and we both made it to the finish. =)
That’s it for this update. Hope you enjoyed all the pics. Leave us a comment if you’d like. . . we love to hear from you! – Erin & Dondi
Its been a while! We’ve been really busy since January– Erin in grad school and running her biz (www.erinharner.com), Dondi at work, skiing and snowboarding, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and of course working on putting the finishing touches on our tiny home. Hope you enjoy these pics. Leave a comment if you’d like. . . we love hearing from you!
Skiing and boarding at Vail with Tyler, Sarah, Erin, Dondi, Steve, and Nick
Skiing at Breckenridge with Ryan, Sarah, Erin, and Dondi
Dondi’s backcountry hut trip with work– splitboarding and lots of other shananigans
Dondi and Shawn (in from Seattle, WA) playing old school ice hockey on a frozen pond near Salida, CO
Dondi installing a light fixture on our tiny house
Cedar siding finally complete and boxed in the propane tanks
Front entry complete with an aspen post, Douglas fir decking, and a mint plant
Exterior of our tiny home is DONE!!!
Dondi building Douglas fir garden boxes
Garneropolis garden work day
Gardens planted and irrigation installed. . . now waiting on the veggies (and the weeds)
Erin hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park with college friends and teammates Meg and Brynja
Rocky Mountain National Park’s Alberta Falls in May
“The Loch” at Rocky Mountain National Park– end of May and about 3 feet of snow the whole 5 miles to get there!
15 mile hike near Pingree Park Memorial Day weekend
Stopping to smell the flowers!
A glimpse of the High Park Fire burn area almost 1 year after the fire started
Mountain biking near Pingree Park
Erin mountain biking through the stream and past the eerie burnt trees
Chillin back at camp and having some lunch
Erin and Dondi laughing about how we eat more veggies than anyone we know when camping. . . where are the hot dogs?!?