alternative dwellings


Alternative Dwellings is a documentary series, which makes it different than any other tiny house TV show I’ve talked about before. It’s an interesting take on living the tiny life, and as someone that really enjoys documentaries, I find this series well-done.

This series is also great because it gives you insight into many different types of tiny home options—vans, boats, and various kinds of other ways to live the tiny life. It shows how people can embrace the tiny life philosophy and apply it to their dream home (whatever that looks like).

The Story Behind Alternative Dwellings

alternative dwellings van lifeWhat’s so different about this tiny house TV show? Alternative Dwellings is a boots-on-the-ground creation brought to you by Forrest Stevens, a Canadian-based videographer with a passion for, well, alternative dwellings.

Forrest started his YouTube channel in 2016, showing off his own van conversion, with few expectations other than documenting his own van life experience. What followed was a whirlwind of views, likes, and comments for more content—more engagement than he had ever experienced with his other vlogs.

Forrest took the feedback to heart and started a docuseries that now runs more than 100 episodes strong. From van life couples and houseboats to skoolies, tiny houses, and more, Alternative Dwellings gives a real-life look into the lives of those who chose freedom and adventure over the traditional home buying experience. This tiny house docuseries covers ALL aspects of tiny living, from minimalism to the tiny house lifestyle and even homesteading and nomadic living.

If you want to learn more about ways to customize the tiny life to your dreams, Alternative Dwellings is the tiny house show for you. Learn about life on a boat, camper van conversions, and family-friendly tiny living. You’ll find something new and inspiring in each episode of this tiny living documentary series.

What Network Is Alternative Dwellings On?

Alternative Dwellings doesn’t air on any cable or premium TV network, making it a unique online-only tiny house “TV” show. Instead, creator Forrest Stevens is primarily on YouTube, where the series lives. Click here to see where you can watch now.

Is Alternative Dwellings Still Filming?

Yes! Alternative Dwellings adds weekly episodes that feature alternative living and tours of creative, often DIY-ed and converted dwellings.

If you loved Tiny Paradise, check out these other tiny house TV shows that inspire tiny living:

Is Alternative Dwellings Cancelled?

No, Alternative Dwellings is NOT canceled. As I mentioned above, Alternative Dwellings releases new episodes weekly, always featuring a new story of alternative living. Some of the latest episodes feature a young woman living in her SUV, a school bus camper conversion, and a self-sufficient off-the-grid setup in Canada.

Who Hosts Alternative Dwellings?

The real stars of Alternative Dwellings are those featured in each episode—people living in unique homes they call their own, completely free of financial burden and restrictions of 9-to-5 living. However, the man behind the camera is an artist with a serious eye for interesting people.

Meet Forrest Stevens: Creator Of Alternative Dwellings Series

Forrest StevensForrest Stevens is the definition of a YouTuber. He’s been on YouTube creating content professionally since 2015 with the YouTube channel (and his production company) Different Media. After quitting his job to become a full-time content creator, he’s made strides in his career with impressive achievements.

In 2018, Forrest made a documentary called The Reality of #vanlife, documenting his experience converting and living in a van full-time. The movie answers questions and dispels myths about what it really takes to make it in the van life world.

In 2020, Forrest revisited his van conversion skills by converting a Toyota camper van with his partner. Since then, he’s moved to and started cultivating a homestead in Northern Ontario, Canada, with hopes of restoring a farmhouse and turning his land into a “permaculture paradise.” You can follow along on Forrest’s journey on social media—YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook—or become a patron on Patreon.

Is Alternative Dwellings Fake?

Unlike other tiny house TV shows that are made for TV (like fan-favorites Tiny House Nation or Tiny House Hunters), Alternative Dwellings is authentic, showing the lives of many people—singles, couples, and families of all ages—living life entirely on their terms.

These episodes are often filmed in the documentary style of a vlog camera propped on a tripod. You won’t find orchestrated crews, scripted drama, or surprise “reveals” on this tiny house docuseries. As a result, the series feels rawer and more authentic than most highly-produced shows.

If you’ve ever considered giving up the foundation of a full-fledged house and dabbling in alternative living, Alternative Dwellings shows what could be in store for you. It’s a great place to look for resources, true-life stories, and impressive DIY conversions without the glitz and glamor of over-produced TV.

Where Are They Now? The Stars Of Alternative Dwellings

Nomadic and alternative living is a trend that’s continually growing. Adventurous people are packing up, paring down their belongings, and hitting the road, and sharing their experiences along the way. Every episode of Alternative Dwellings features someone new, living the tiny life creatively. While some of these stars aren’t the easiest to track down (especially those living off the grid!), fans of alternative tiny living can still follow along through social media.

However, the episodes of Alternative Dwellings don’t always provide information (like social media or even full names and additional information) for those featured in the series. Here’s a closer look at some of the most popular episodes of Alternative Dwellings.

Dream Tiny House With Modern Conveniences And Style

derek lovellIn this special tiny house episode of Alternative Dwellings, we get a tour of the gorgeous, modern tiny house built and owned by Derek and his partner Jeff. This tiny house spares no expense when it comes to style and modern conveniences. The couple was fed up with noisy city living and needed a quiet retreat to the trees.

In this episode, Derek tells viewers how they created their dream tiny house on wheels (THOW) without sacrificing their personal style. From the challenges of tiny living to the adjustment to minimalism that comes with the lifestyle, Derek shows us a real first-person look at his tiny home. You can learn more about Derek and Jeff’s tiny house living adventure by following Derek on Instagram.

Kevin’s Soccer Mom Mini Van Conversion

kevin aka grasshopperKevin, aka Grasshopper, wanted to travel but didn’t know how to make it happen. So when he discovered van life and found a good-condition Toyota Sienna minivan, he knew he had found his answer. In this episode of Alternative Dwellings, Kevin walks viewers through his 100% DIY minivan conversion, explaining how he could gut the entire vehicle and fit all his necessities.

The conversion includes a functional kitchen setup, plenty of storage, and even a comfortable sleeping area. The skill and creativity that went into this van conversion are really impressive, and it shows that even minimal tiny living doesn’t mean giving up on every luxury. You can follow Kevin on Instagram for more van life updates.

John And Deanna’s DIY Skoolie Conversion

john and deanna skoolieGiving up a stable job may seem scary and risky, but not for John and Deanna. This couple wanted to change, and they knew that leaving their jobs and packing up for a life of adventure would make them the happiest. So they purchased a 2004 coach bus, sourced materials from other conversions, and created a gorgeous 34-foot luxury RV where they now live and travel in full time. From life on Spring Island, BC, to traveling North American, John and Deanna couldn’t be happier to be free of the restraints of corporate life. You can follow their adventures with their dogs on Instagram.

Where To Watch Alternative Dwellings

You can find 160 episodes of Alternative Dwellings streaming for free on YouTube. All the episodes are short, vlog-style videos that average less than 30 minutes, making it an easy playlist to binge-watch. Some of the earliest episodes of Alternative Dwellings are also available for purchase from Amazon Prime.

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Your Turn!

  • What kind of alternative dwelling would you choose—skoolie, van life, or a tiny house?
  • Could you see yourself living the van life on the road?

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