Looking to live a more mobile lifestyle, one free of a concrete foundation? Consider a house on wheels, and no, we’re not always talking about an RV or a camper. Some of these houses on wheels really do look like a house, just smaller. You can park them just about anywhere, as long as your local zoning official doesn’t mind.
Cypress - Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Price: $58,000-$70,000
Square footage: 130-191 square feet
Tumbleweed is pretty much the Cadillac of tiny homes on wheels and has been for more than 15 years. That’s long before most even knew what a tiny home was. The Cypress provides a lot of traditional charm, so much so that it doesn’t feel like a mobile home. The wrap-around windows at the front of the home make a great spot for either your kitchen or a seating nook, and even though its options are limited to 200 square feet, it certainly doesn’t feel all that small thanks to its open floor plan.
The Genesis - Liberation Tiny Homes Price: $13,000 (20-foot shell) to $50,500 (28 feet complete)
Square footage: around 170 square feet and up
Pennsylvania builder Liberation Homes makes great use of a small space. The Genesis model features a spacious master loft that's big enough for a queen bed, along with a secondary loft that's perfect for storage. Your kitchen, bathroom, and living room area are beneath these lofts, and there's a decently sized grand room in the center with high ceilings.
We like the innovative use of space, including the stairs and the couch in the living room area, which converts into a bed in case you have visitors. The best part about Liberation Homes is the company's shell-only offering, a package that nets you a trailer with proper framing, sheathing, and roofing. You get to finish the rest of the project on your own, rendering the cost of entry potentially half of what you’d pay otherwise.
Tiny Solar House Price: Varies
Square footage: 162 square feet
One of the best things about a house on wheels is that you can take it just about anywhere. That’s a problem, too, as you’ll always need to find a water and electricity hookup to live with the basics. The Tiny Solar House needs neither, however. A total of six (yes six) solar panels line the roof of the house, providing a total of 1.68KW of power, with enough battery storage to last three days. That’s enough to run an Energy Star refrigerator, along with lights and your other gadgets. The stove and hot water heaters run off of propane, and you can add a water catchment system to go off grid with water, if desired. All you’ll need for power is a pump, as well as a filter to make the water drinkable and usable.
One word of caution, however: This model includes a composting toilet, meaning you’ll need to get used to removing the waste yourself, which likely isn’t as bad as it seems if you do it correctly.
Vista - Escape Home Price: $46,600
Square footage: 160 square feet
What strikes us about Escape Home’s Vista model is the windows. They. Are. Everywhere. You're likely to feel cramped in a 160-square-foot area, so the large windows really open up the space. There’s no loft, so your living room area doubles as your bedroom, though there is a fairly large bathroom (at least by tiny house standards). The centerpiece of the Vista is definitely the kitchen area, which takes up the entire center of the home. It’s even big enough to house full-sized appliances and a small coffee table. If you’re a cook, the Vista will definitely be up your alley.
Custom Gooseneck - Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses Price: $60,000
Square footage: 288 square feet
Homes on wheels don’t always have to be tiny, and using a Gooseneck trailer is one way to maximize living space on a 32-foot bed. The bedroom loft is located over the trailer hitch and provides 70 square feet of bedroom space, in addition to the 218 square feet of living space. A bathroom with a full-size tub is even possible given the extra space, as well as separate living and dining areas. Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses has also added smaller lofts for storage, and a fold-up deck in the front to give you even more livable space outside.
Siskiyou (Colonial) - Oregon Cottage Company Price: $38,500
Square footage: 170 square feet
If you’re looking for a house on wheels with more of a cabin feel, try out the Siskiyou. We like the tiny porch and front-facing windows, along with the high ceilings that characterize the so-called Great Room in the front of the tiny house. Oregon Cottage Company pushes everything else -- i.e., the bedroom loft, small kitchen, and bathroom -- to the back of the house to maximize entertainment space. Skylights over the living area open the space up even more, and we recommend you allow the builders to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. This will open the space up even more and will give you the illusion that it's a bigger space than it actually is.
Check out the six homes below if you’re looking to tap into the mobile market, or, if you’re handy enough, to build one yourself. In most cases, you’ll be surprised at how affordable and luxurious living on wheels can be.