RV Lifestyle eZine


September 2017  Issue #356

In This Issue

What’s New
Tiny Home Villages
Tiny House Giant Journey

Geography Trivia


RV Lifestyle Books

by Margo Armstrong


Click cover for Details


RV Maintenance


Traveling Solo


Motorhome Care


The RV Lifestyle















What's New in Tiny Houses 


So much is happening in the tiny home community these days, it is time to do an update.


Huffington Post did an article last year that interviewed several tiny home owners. It seems the common denominator is the ability to travel and retain that home-like feeling in their surroundings.


Ranging between 100 to 400 square feet, one of the most fascinating parts of any tiny home is the creativity in fitting the necessities into such a small space. These homes can be easily constructed by the owner or purchased ready to roll.


The biggest changes to the construction in the past year is the increase in size. Imagine a 400-square foot tiny house rolling down the road, wow!


One of the drawbacks to tiny home living is zone restrictions. Because the tiny home is on wheels, it is classified and registered as a travel trailer, complete with license plate.


In some counties, living full-time in a travel trailer is illegal. These regulations usually develop when a local resident files a complaint stating that the travel trailer (tiny home) degrades the neighborhood.


Visit tinyhouseexpedition.com to find out what the community is doing to change the legal aspects of tiny house living. Their goal is “Inspiring & empowering others to redefine home and rethink housing through our documentary storytelling and community engagement.”


Here are some examples of the latest designs. Let’s start with the smallest square footage and work up:






Bite-sized Nugget tiny house is a weekend getaway on wheels.

  • Solar-generated power includes an inverter and battery setup
  • Separate shower & composting toilet
  • Kitchenette
  • 100 gal. fresh water tank and pump
  • 12-ft. long pine siding
  • Metal roof 
  • Total floorspace of 102 sq. ft. 
  •  Weighs 4,500 lb.


If you prefer to go back to the basics, the French firm Baluchon created this one just for you.


French laws require tiny houses to be very small and light compared to their counterparts over in North America. With this in mind, it's impressive that they managed to squeeze so much into this latest project.


Based on double axle trailer 19.6 ft. long, it has a separate shower, interior wood paneling, but no electronics.




Based on a trailer measuring 24 ft. long and 10 ft. wide, the Damselfly weighs around 12,000 lbs. However, the overhanging eaves increase its width to 12 ft., so you'd need a special permit to tow this thing on a public road in the USA.


The biggest selling point with this tiny house is clearly its appearance. Zyl Vardos spent significant time on the Onduvilla-tiled roof and the total of 13 handmade wooden window frames. Note the eye-catching window box.


The Damselfly draws power from a standard RV-style electrical hookup and includes an electric water heater, ceiling fan, and an electric heater.


Moon Dragon


This is another Zyl Vardos design. Unique in its special features as well as its exterior architecture. Only some of the features are listed here:

  • $103,500 as pictured
  • 24' x 9' main floor, 13' x 9' loft,
  • 11,500 lb
  • Large kitchen, Dutch door,
  • 2 outside storage closets
  • Overwide floorplan: 9.25' wide x 24' long
  • Onduvilla tile roof in choice of color
  • Cedar exterior siding
  • Handmade windows and Dutch doors, all uniquely shaped.
  • Domed, curved roofline, and 5' overhang makes for a huge loft (13' long)



It features plenty of insulation, underfloor heating to keep the owner warm at night, and clever interior design.



Hydronic radiant under floor heating, a small air-conditioning unit, and a ventilation system with heat exchangers are standard for this model. My favorite features are the white cedar siding, with steel accents, and, the really cool feature, a small rooftop terrace accessed from inside.


The Sakura measures 32 ft. long with a total floorspace of 380 sq. ft. The Sakura's bedroom is spacious for a tiny house with plenty of headroom to stand up straight.


   Tiny Home Villages


At least once each year, I do an update on the evolution of "tiny homes." I keep waiting to see them parked alongside motorhomes and fifth wheels, but no sightings yet. This year could be it.


If you want to do a trial run in a tiny home before investing in your own, visit the village locations mentioned below.


Four Jellystone Parks to Offer Tiny Home Rentals


Custom designed tiny houses are available for rent this summer and fall at Jellystone Parks in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.


The units are being built for Northgate Resorts by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The tiny houses sleep four to five and include kitchens and bathrooms.


Styled by Kansas City designer Kristen Rieke, they are the Yogi Bear Suite, the Boo Boo Bear Suite and the Cindy Bear Suite. Named, of course, after the three cartoon bears that make appearances to greet guests and take part in activities. In addition, each location is themed with elements from these famous Hanna-Barbera characters.


Thousand Trails Offering Tiny Home Rentals

If you are a Thousand Trails campground member, here is your chance to try out a tiny home. Two of their parks, Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ and the Baravian-themed Levenworth, WA locations now have Tumbleweed tiny homes for rent.


Mt. Hood Tiny House Village


The Tiny House Village at Mt. Hood offers a unique way to experience the artistry and culinary vibe of Portland while surrounded by the nature of the Pacific Northwest. It's just close enough to the heart of the city and just far away enough to give you the escape you need. Built by Tumbleweed, these tiny homes are chock full of character and range from 175 to 260 square feet.


  Tiny House Village  Map

Plan your next vacation to stay in one of the many tiny house villages springing up around the country. Tumbleweed Houses offers a map showing the locations featuring their Tiny House hotels.

Tiny House Giant Journey Blog

For more information on the Tiny House lifestyle, visit Jenna’s blog.

Geography Trivia

1. If you took a small boat 50 miles west of Haiti, what tiny place would you find?

a. Goat Island

b. Key West

c. Navassa

Hint: Few have heard of this “lost island.”


2. Name the world’s second largest lake.

a. Superior

b. Champlain

c. Onega

Hint: This lake has a shoreline in the United States and a shoreline in Canada.


3. Name the river that runs from Otsego Lake to Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

a. Sabine

b. Susquehanna

c. Stikine

Hint: Otsego Lake is in Cooperstown, New York.


4. Name the place that recorded the highest temperature to date—134 degrees F—in the United States.

a. Seymour, Texas

b. Volcano Springs, Calif.

c. Death Valley, Calif.

Hint: This spot also boasts the lowest point in the Americas.


5. At 412 billion gallons, this reservoir is the largest man-made reservoir in the world that is devoted solely to water supply.

a. Quabbin in Massachusetts

b. Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona

c. Lake Shasta in California

HInt: The towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott were evacuated and submerged as part of the process to establish this reservoir.



1. Navassa. Columbus managed to find the American territory of Navassa in 1507, but today the 2-square-mile island remains virtually invisible to tourists and cruise ships that swarm the Caribbean.

2. Superior. Lake Superior, the largest, highest, and deepest of the Great Lakes, is also the world’s largest freshwater lake.

3. Susquehanna. In 1872, the normally quite shallow 444-mi long Susquehanna—swollen by the rains brought by Hurricane Agnes—flooded, causing one of the greatest flood disasters in U.S. history.

4. Death Valley, Calif. Death Valley’s high temperature of July 10, 1913, is bested only by the 136 degrees F recorded in El Azizia, Libya.

5. Quabbin in Massachusetts. Two huge earthen dams were built in the 1930s, using the Swift River and, seasonally, the Ware River, to create Quabbin reservoir, which is 39 square miles and has 181 miles of shoreline.