My Tiny House on wheels should roll onto my property today. Do you remember how you felt as a child when Christmas was close? Can you call back the feeling, not being able to wait any longer? Excited, joyful but forgotten feelings. Today one year ago was such a morning for me. I hardly could wait for the afternoon.
KooUdde in Skaulo, Norrbotten, Swedish Lapland
2012 I bought my piece of land with 50 ha forestland. Partly located on a peninsula of the lake Soutujärvi. A remote headland in the forests of the community Skaulo in Swedish Lapland.
The windy half-island in solitude
The half-island is a paradise in solitude, tailor-made for me and my huskies. An old simple cottage belonged to the property. The uninsulated cabin included a four square-metre kitchen, four square-metre sleeping chamber and a 12 square-metre living room. 2015 I enlargened the kitchen with the bedroom to make permanent living possible. I renovated the shower house and arranged a fresh-/waste water system. I straightened out the outhouse and raised dog yards. Missing road access made these improvements more challenging.
Right in time before the harsh winter arrived, I moved here with my sled dogs. For accomodating guests, I bought an old SMV Caravan on the Lofoten in Norway. Its transportation to the yard was challenging with missing road access. I had to wait until the ice on the lake was strong enough. With my ATV we pulled the van on the ice along the shore. The climb from the lake to land was the hardest though we did succeed! The regular wind is usual on a peninsula. In the Arctic summer, it keeps away parts of the mosquitoes. During polar winter it brings many snowstorms.
How I made my cottage windproof
These hibernal winds blew straight through my uninsulated cabin walls. A light breeze often cuddled my face while sleeping. Waking up was every morning a very cold experience. So I cowered the outside of the timbered walls with segments of Styrofoam. That improved my comfort. Awful looking, though the hut appeared like an igloo. Still, permanent living here was not sustainable and a waste of natural resources. A fact that I could hardly futile with my conscience.
Yet, before I could think about a serious building I needed to have other essentials on spot. By snowmachine, I drove materials to the property. I summer 2016 I built firewood shed, enlarged an existing barn and raised a shelter for the guest tiny caravan. After another chilly winter, I decided to build road access. In autumn 2018 a 700-metre long new driveway was almost ready. I would finalise it during spring 2019.
The birth of my Tiny House on wheels
On a dark and cold January morning in 2019, I decided to realize my dream of a Tiny House on wheels. How to go ahead? Tiny Homes are very popular in the USA, but not at all well known in Sweden yet. After very intense internet research, I finally located the small company Treesign. In Tideholm, 1300 kilometres away from me, Fabian and his crew build tailormade Tiny Homes. His business specialises in sustainable building with natural materials. A very important and welcome point for me. During the coming weeks, I brought my dreams and needs down to paper. With the great help of Fabian, we finalized together a workable blueprint. He called this project Tiny Barbara. By regular photo shootings, he kept me updated of their progress. We planned the delivery of the 22 square-metres Tiny Home on wheels for September 2019.
Preparing for Tiny Barbara´s arrival
In summer 2019 I finally finished the driveway to my property. What a change to drive the car to my home. I no longer had to plan for the long term. If necessary for material I could get it. Home deliveries also became possible. It almost felt like a new chapter in life.
At the same time, I prepared the site for the soon expected new home. Since the Tiny House is on wheels, I didn’t need a permit. I had a completely free hand with my decision where the house should be. All spots had advantages and disadvantages. It was clear from the start that I wanted to put the house right by the water. I made my decision and felled some needed trees to create enough space. A tree falls fast and takes many years to grow back. After the ground was flat enough, I covered the area with a thick rubber mat and put gravel over it. I wanted to be sure that the house on wheels was on stable ground. Now I could only wait and enjoy the anticipation of my first date with Tiny Barbara.
My dream on wheels is arriving
Exactly one year ago, on October 28, 2019, my tiny house on wheels came on a semi-trailer to the nearby village Skaulo. I could hardly wait for the moment to take the first step inside this long-awaited new home. The time had finally come and the truck driver called me. I jumped into my car and found myself there immediately. Wow! I climbed onto the truck and opened the door. An indescribable feeling of happiness flowed through my whole body. Tiny Barbara was even more beautiful than I expected!
My tiny house on wheels rolls in
But my new house wasn’t home yet. One of my friends took over with his tractor to the beginning of my new built road. Now the transport project got interesting. Will my Tiny House on wheels survive the new driveway? Will that one curve be too tight? I lively discussed the planned strategy with the tractor driver. Metre by metre we rolled across the path until we were in front of the critical bend. Renewed strategy discussions. We made it and covered the last 200 meters without any problems. Done! The prepared place was perfect, big enough and flat. I began with the necessary detail work to sleep in my new home already for the first night.
Ready around midnight. I climbed up into my sleeping loft and crawled under the blankets on the temporary mattress. Tired and over happy I fall immediately asleep.
The technical part of my new equipped daily life
A built-in 200-litre water tank provides running water. I fill it up about every 10-14 days with the help of a garden hose. In summer this is child’s play, in winter it is stressy that the water in the garden hose does not freeze. An external connection prevents the handling of large amounts of water in-house. There is a small hot water boiler behind the tank.
The wastewater (without toilet) drains through a pipe into a special tank. The entire water system can be completely emptied during longer absences in winter. This means that the house can be set cold without risk of freezing damage.
I chose electric floor heating in combination with the wood fireplace Globefire Atlas with hotplates. I prefer the heat from the fireplace, as it is much more pleasant and I also have a lot of forests. The annual logging always gives me a lot of joy. Forest care and making firewood go hand in hand.
The interior design
My tiny house on wheels is multifunctional. We planned everything to create as much storage space as possible.
The entrance area has a cloak-area. I have provided the many shelves with baskets to keep things tidy. On the opposite is the bath chamber. The two square-metres room holds a shower, a washbasin and a Separett Villa toilet. The choice of the waterless toilet was difficult and not optimal. Depending on the weather, this develops light smells in the chamber. A less energy-efficient but odour-proof solution is an incineration toilet. An idea for the future.
The kitchen features a large fridge with freezer compartment. A sink, microwave oven and kettle. The large wood fireplace with space for three cooking pots is usually used as the stove. For the hurried morning coffee and very warm days in summer there is also a double induction plate.
In the living area, there is a collapsible table with two chairs, equipped with storage space. A sofa converts into two sleeping places. The two table seats can also function as a sofa side table. Above the sofa, there is a loft with two beds, which I reach with the help of a loose ladder.
The not needed luxury of my Tiny House on wheels
Life in luxury does not suit me and is not my goal. Yet, meeting the basic needs in everyday life without great effort is pleasant. Some of the conveniences of my Tiny House on wheels are unnecessary at this point. Yet, I also planned my home for a later phase of life. An investment in my old age.
Today I don’t know in which corner of the world I will spend my future. It does not matter since my rolling tiny home will follow me. Where ever I stay it enables me to lower living costs. I am daily thankful and very happy to have fulfilled my dream of a Tiny Home on wheels.