What I Learned After a Year of Tiny House Living

It’s been a year now since we moved into our 200 sqft tiny house. If only I could go back and advise the younger me about the lessons ahead. What started out as a night drinking too much cabernet and many hours on Pinterest, resulted in my wife Kristen and I buying keys to a 1976 Airstream off Kijiji. We spent a year in renovations, sold 90% of our belongings and enthusiastically prepped our life for the nomadic road ahead. Was it worth it you ask? Yes. Would I do it again? Ahhhhh…keep reading.

Tiny house living Airstream Living RV Living

Living in a tiny house is astounding, don’t get me wrong. I’m sitting here now in my petite office, parked in the middle of a field surrounded by trees, next to a lake. You can’t beat this lifestyle sometimes. If you’re debating whether tiny home living is for you, then I urge you to at least rent a trailer for a few months and see how you adapt to small living conditions. Say goodbye to your collectables, long showers and having a full wardrobe. On the flip side, say hello to less cleaning, lower expenses and more efficient appliances. We almost exclusively use Furrion for our appliances and built-in electronics. They also released an exterior Vision S camera system which has made driving and parking way easier. You may notice we talk about this company frequently,  it's because their products have made our Airstream both functional and elegant! We recommend them to anyone upgrading or renovating an RV/Boat/Tiny House.

Airstream backup camera Furrion

It was exciting and stressful at the beginning, as many things are. Neither of us had lived in a tiny space like this, nor towed anything before. Trailers in the 70’s didn’t have fancy built-in gadgets like reverse/side cameras but thankfully the Furrion cameras were easy to install. We didn’t know how to properly hitch up to a truck, how to deal with the trailer swaying downhill next to a cliff (screaming didn’t help surprisingly), or how to safely change lanes. If can make a recommendation, buy a good hitch system, get new tires and install a camera system. They’re life savers, literally. You'll find a video at the bottom of this post with the camera install + a wild road trip through American National Parks.

Our journey to California started in Ontario; curving around the great lakes of Ontario, slicing through the prairies of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and ascending the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and BC. Getting to each checkpoint held new opportunities for tiny house learning (aka challenges). Driving in the rain taught us how to leak proof a wheel-well. Changing lanes with a blind spot and dodgy reverse parking resulted in learning how to install a camera system. Not having a black water tank taught us about compost toilets and the struggle of 1-ply toilet paper. Living off the grid taught us how to use solar panels…and the list goes on.

Tiny house living Airstream Living RV Living
Airstream Office Tour Tiny House Living
Tiny house living Airstream Living RV Living

Would I do it again? The answer is yes, but only because I have the knowledge I have today. We don’t just live in a tiny house, it’s a tiny house on wheels. We had to learn about RV living, Tiny Living and Off-Grid living at the same time. I don’t recommend going this route unless you’re ambitious or already have some prior knowledge in these categories. It has taken us a year to get comfortable with the ins and outs of this silver bullet. Everything we have learned is featured on our YouTube channel and in other articles you’ll find here. We've been through the struggle so you don't have to.

Could you live in a tiny house?

Before you click away, you're definitely going to want to click on the video below to watch Luna the Airstream in action. I drove her from California to Ontario on an epic road trip with my father and our adorable pup Atlas. Click play and get ready for an awesome road trip, Airstream style!

A special thanks to Furrion for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinion are my own. We only promote brands we 100% believe in and use. 

Siya Zarrabi began his travel lifestyle at the age of 16, embarking on a four month solo trip to Paraguay. Since then, he has filled passports with stamps of foreign borders.

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6 Comments

  1. October 15, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    My boyfriend and I really wants to try doing this, I hope someday we are able to be! You guys are such an inspiration!

  2. September 2, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    It’s really an important article. Your all tips are awesome.

  3. August 21, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    Wow how cool it would be be living in a tiny house. I am from New Zealand and we have really just started taking on the tiny house concept. Normally when we move into a house here or buy a new place we get a building inspection done just in case we come across any repairs we cant afford so this is a good way of letting us know if there are major things going on. Rreally cool article guys ive enjoyed looking at your pages

  4. July 9, 2018 / 1:47 am

    I would love try out tiny living. I think it would be a great experience. But if i’m gonna be honest with myself, I don’t think I could last long like you did. I’m such a messy girl and i have so many things so I think my messy stuff won’t fit a small space.I might ask my husband to try it out for a few months like you mentioned because I really want to experience it. Good luck on your travels!

    • July 10, 2018 / 2:56 pm

      You definitely need to downsize to live in a small space or it just becomes clutter everywhere. Living with less and in an Airstream or tiny home kind of goes together. Once you downsize and only have what you need, it’s hard to make a mess because you don’t have much stuff to make a mess with. Have you seen this video we did on how we downsized? I highly recommend it if this is something that interests you: https://youtu.be/Gjl6FvBrUpg

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