Next Adventure: Vancouver Island

That’s right- the tiny house (that used to be on the prairies) is planning on another move! We’ve loved being in the Okanagan for the summer- family, fruit, wine, traveling, the beach, sunshine, more fruit- it’s been wonderful. Although we just arrived here in June, the plan all along has been to move further west to the Island. So the tiny house will be on the road again!

So, we’re looking for a place to host this little beauty in the Victoria, BC area come mid-September. We’re also open to other locations on the Island, if there’s a spot available. We don’t need much: a parking spot, water and electrical connections, and if possible a place to compost our composting toilet stuff. We’re easy-going people and flexible for a variety of arrangements. We’re hoping to be on the Island for at least a year, and possibly even longer.

If you know of anyone/anyone who knows anyone/a farm/an acreage that might be interested in hosting us, please contact us! You can best reach us at kyleandjessicajang@gmail.com.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

-Jessica

Our tiny home!

Our tiny home!

The Move

We made it!

After a busy last week of preparing for the move, we finally made it to the Okanagan!

Back in Three Hills, we were a bit nervous about the move as it seemed like we weren’t getting any power to the trailer. After some testing, we found out that it was just a grounding issue and once it moved around a bit on the ball, the lights came on. So we were off a bit later than we hoped for, but were on the road by 9:30am and heading for BC!

As we were heading out of Three Hills, we passed by a truck moving a more conventional house. We were grateful we didn’t have to move that big of a house.

The move was altogether uneventful (thankfully). We got a lot of looks from passerby’s and we caught some people sneaking photos/videos. The truck did well in pulling our house as we managed to stay close to the speed limit the whole way and was only a bit slow on the hills. I’m pretty sure that if we can travel over the Rockies, we can go pretty much anywhere.

It was neat to interact with people at our stops and was encouraging to get points, waves, thumbs ups and smiles from construction workers, passing vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. It was a little nerve wracking heading down the hills and through the tunnels, but our house made it with no damage whatsoever. And for a drive of normally 9-10 hours, it only took us 14 (with a lot of stops…)! We also have a deeper respect for truck drivers (most of them). Maybe we’ll give a more detailed account later on for those considering moving a tiny house.

Overall, we are very happy with the move and are settling in nicely at our new location. It did take us a bit to level the house again once we situated it since we are on a bit of a slope, but once that was done, it took only a few hours to finish setting up.

Here are some photos of the trip and the house in it’s new place.

Our New Home

The tiny house is now happily parked on a farm outside of town, surrounded by straw bales from a nearby farm. It looks so wonderful! Kyle’s parents came out from BC to help us with the move with their truck, encouragement and huge help- we couldn’t have done it without them! It was wonderful to have family around to worry with, problem solve with and celebrate with. Thanks so much Jerome and Lori! We started the moving day pretty early. The evening before JeromeĀ  shoveled the snow out of our entire yard (and neighbors!) to make sure the truck wouldn’t get stuck, so in the morning the truck was backed right into the back yard with no problems and we worked on taking the house off the jacks, cutting notches in a couple of 2×4’s to hold the low-hanging electrical wire up so the house could pass underneath, getting lots of pictures, disconnecting propane and electricity, moving our mattress into the house, and other odds and ends. Once the house was hitched up to the truck, and Jerome and I were in place holding the electrical wire up, Kyle smoothly moved the house, made the corner and pulled out on the street. It was so exciting! Once it was out on the street, it looked “real” for the first time- it was on its wheels, parked on the street, looking proud. And it looked pretty small! The hardest part was actually getting the cement/clay/sand patio type blocks which support the jacks out of the ground- the ground was frozen solid and the blocks were frozen in it. So that took a good 20-30 minutes of physical labor to free them from the earth!

Once everything was ready to, we took off to the farm. Kyle took it nice and slow, and the tiny house cheerfully rolled along. Since it was a Sunday, the town was super quiet, so there wasn’t much for traffic. It was so neat to see the house on the road (it worked!). The drive was thankfully uneventful, and we pulled up the farm in a short time and parked the house in its new home. The jacks went under, it got leveled and the propane got hooked up again. We did have an issue hooking up electrically- the exterior outlet Kyle installed a couple of weeks ago on the outside of the garage kept tripping the built in breaker in the outlet, so right now we’re just plugging it in inside the garage and Kyle will figure the electrical issue out this week.

After moving the house successfully, we did another trip for large items that would be difficult to transport in our Pontiac Sunfire- leftover wood, bikes, interior paneling, etc. After that, we went to pick up our 24 bales of straw! It was fun, but tiring, to get all of the straw we needed. We’ve been looking around for the best option to insulate under the trailer (it gets COLD here) and since we’re in the middle of the prairies, straw bales is the easiest and cheapest way to go. The one thing we’re concerned about with straw bales is mice, but, since we have 2 cats inside, and there’s lots of barn cats on the farm, we’re thinking it will all work out. (otherwise, we’ll just get rid of the straw I guess!)

All in all, it was an exciting day, and a new part of this whole adventure. Our backyard looks quite empty now and we’re excited to officially move in on Wednesday. We’re very thankful the move went so smooth, and encouraged. Kyle said he didn’t really notice the weight of the house behind the truck, so hopefully that means the house isn’t outrageously heavy. What a relief!

Over the next few days, we’ll be finishing up some odds and ends in the tiny house, packing up this house completely and cleaning. And then life in the tiny house begins!

Autumn Days

At the beginning of this month, we gave our month’s notice to our managing landlord, which means we’re MOVING into our tiny house at the end of this month! It’s exciting, but since then we’ve begun to realize just how much we still have to do- eek! So it’s been a flurry of activity. We realized we put off for too long the ordering of specialty items we hoped to still find here (3″ thick door knob, for example), so we’re also ordering those last items to complete our new home. The interior details have begun- which light fixtures, what kind of flooring and where to get it, how to find and make a shower tub bottom… and not to mention the essential items of electrical wiring, plumbing, gas lines, sheep’s wool insulation, and interior paneling.

To back up a little, the exterior of the house is {mostly} finished! Minus siding a couple tiny parts, making doors for the storage area, and – finally- getting that darn roof cap on, it’s done! And it looks great. For the door, we decided to tackle that project ourselves- so we ended up with a very, very purple 3 ” thick wood door. It just adds some pizzazz, right? The biggest issue with this, as I mentioned, has been finding a suitable door knob/handle. Apparently very few places stock 3″ thick door handles- and none that we could find (although we did get some amazed looks and lots of questions when we asked around!). So we ended up ordering a knob and deadbolt online, and we’ll be happy to see our door close and lock.

It’s been a good change to begin work on the interior. The bathroom walls are up (although not paneled), the only walls in the house. It begins to give structure to the space. The loft floor is fully installed. Kyle’s done an amazing job with the electrical work, and it’s fully completed. Now we just need the right electrical cord to make sure we have power! The plumbing and gas lines will happen this weekend, after spending hours in Home Depot on Friday to get all of the copper lines and sharkbites connectors and whatever else we got… I’ve been busy tung oiling the interior paneling, and stuffing the loft full of sheep’s wool for insulation. After stuffing the loft ceiling, I looked like a sheep myself! Just tonight we finished up the loft with insulation and paneling, and it looks amazing. I can’t wait to put our mattress in the house and sleep up there! It’s so cozy, and I’m sure it’s going to be my favorite spot in the house (along with a good book, a cup of coffee and snugly kitties). We also picked up our flooring just last night- we found some beautiful hardwood on Kijiji in Calgary, so we decided to get it while we had the chance. It’s incredibly heavy hardwood, so we’ll see what that’s like when we go to move… Since there’s a lot happening the weeks to come, I’ll try to update more regularly. At any rate, you all will hear how things go eventually!

– Jesse