Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Archive for November 2009

Space Saving Toilet

sink toilet

If you asked me a year ago if I would ever be blogging about toilets, well I most likely would have laughed at you.

I have seen these before, but they are most often conversion kits and a never looked quite as nice.  The Caroma Profile Smart is a Small profile toilet that has an integrated sink that uses the water before it goes into the toilet.  I have told folks about these before and often get this disgusted look, if you have never had to fix one you might not know how they work.  First the water fills a reservoir tank, that tank empties down into the bow through small holes at the top, the water collects in the bowl and well you know the rest.   The water that goes into the reservoir is 100% clean water, same stuff you drink from the tap.

If you are in another country this may not be the case as they sometimes use grey water, which I hope catches on here, but here in the US of A we use the regular water to fill the bowl.  What is more many folks put what are essentially chlorine tablets in the reservoir which creates a barrier if you will.  In fact if you read any disaster preparedness guide they talk about if push comes to shove, you can drink from the reservoir (best to boil).

sink toilet 2

So what’s so great about this toilet first it actually looks somewhat attractive, the second is that it is a very narrow profile, perfect for tiny houses.

  • High efficiency dual flush toilet – 1.28/0.8 gallons (4.8/3 liters) per flush
  • Integrated sink for enhanced water savings
  • After flushing, fresh cold water is directed through the faucet for hand washing and drains into the tank to be used for the next flush
  • Unique water and space saving design
  • Chrome buttons built-in to tapware design
  • Easy installation
  • Large trapway virtually eliminates blockages
  • 12″ rough-in

more here

Getting Cold Feet?

mobile mini

And interesting development over at Mini-Mobile Cottage.  They recently have moved into their new Tiny House and have run into an issue with Tiny Houses: cold feet!  Now I am not talking about second guessing themselves, no they seem to be quite happy, but I mean literally their feet keep getting cold.  This is a result from have a open air space below the trailer which isn’t insulated or closed off.

Trailer 2

If you have ever been in a trailer park or taken a good look at one you will notice people try to close off the gap between the trailers subfloor and the ground.  This hides the wheel axles, but also creates a air pocket of air, a barrier to the cold and heat of the outdoor temperature.  Most of the time I don’t like the look of how they do it, everything from fake stone to sheet metal.  But then again if you stay allot warmer I guess its worth it, just do some nice landscaping.

Jeff and Arlene…..or rather just Arlene came up with a approach to use Industrial Wool Felt, at $1 a foot its a pretty good steal and it’s 1/2″ thick.  Check out their post on it, which is rather funny, about their cold feet here

Back when I lived in my loft apartment it was really hard to heat – or rather pay for the heat – when you have 15′ ceilings and single layer exposed brick.  My solution was to warm it just enough to not freeze the pipes and I bought a pair of these

bootiesNow I got a ton of flack from my girl friend of the time, until she tried them out, but at then end of the month I was always happy to see that I had cut my bill in half.  However I am looking forward to only having to heat the space of a Tiny House.

New Poll

So I have been trying to get better at ways to bring this blog to the next level for me and my readers, I am very new at all this, I have never blogged before in my life and can stand to learn allot.

[poll id="4"]

The New Age Of Cities

Over at GOOD they have an interesting brainstorm initiative about how to rethink our cities and the way we live.  If you click on each heading, it will bring you to a brainstorm/discussion starter.   To see the full list of ideas you can go here

What other ideas have you all seen/heard/thought about how we can bring cities to their full potential and minimize their impact?

Ideas for Cities: Decentralized Design Hubs and Work Centers

office

Ideas for Cities: Wide-walks

walk ways

Ideas for Cities: Street Activity Stimulation

city activity

Ideas for Cities: Learning Jobs

learning jobs

An Old RV Into A Tiny House

stove

Kent Griswald has written up a great rundown of how to take an old RV and gut it for parts in order to build a Tiny House.  He outlines three main points that are great advantages to this approach:

  1. RV components are designed to withstand trailering long distances, are made to be turned off for many months, so they are very durable.
  2. Most RV’s utilize 12 volt direct current systems or DC electricity, so generally use 12 volt appliances. However they usually have an inverter for when they are plugged into a grid which converts everything back to AC usage. Most inverters will transfer back and forth automatically.
  3. Many RV’s have portable gas stoves that can be moved in and out of your home. Many of the new bathrooms are one peace and incorporate everything in them form tub to toilet, so this can make setting up your new space a relatively easy process.

This is also a great approach because you can get it for cheap or free.  The only thing you should look into is checking to see if there will be a cost to dispose of the left overs, however, there are certain parts that you can actually sell for scrap metal and make a pretty penny doing it.  Imagine get a trailer for free, taking what you need and then making money off it!

There also has been who took these RVs and took the top off them, grinded it down to clean it up and had their trailer for free!

So their blog has a broken link on it and there is no actualy way to link to it.  The full story is below and was taken from Tiny Tumbleweed House Blog. (if Jay or Kent gets it fixed then Ill just post a link)

Salvaging an old or destroyed RV trailer can be a great way to furnish your tiny house. Many salvageable items can be claimed from an old trailer to be used again in a tiny house on wheels.

The above photo shows a 32 foot trailer that was listed in Kentucky for $600. The side was ripped off but the owner still had the sink, tub and other appliances available that were included in the purchase. Watch your local craigslist for bargains like these or check around your town, you may find someone who would be happy for you to take it, just to get it out of their way.

The base trailer was not damaged so the the outer shell could be completely removed and you would than have a 32 foot trailer to build your tiny house on. You could than salvage all the internal items, such as the electrical control system, plumbing and water supply. Re-use the furniture and cabinets and incorporate the kitchen appliances and bathroom toilet and tub into your tiny house.

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