Tiny Trails To You…
Ready to join the Traveling Tiny House on Wheels Club? Those stout-hearted adventurers who don’t just want to live tiny but want to travel large while doing it? With summer now fully arrived, I know your fingers are itching to hitch up that THOW! (To the uninitiated in the arcane lingo of Tiny Homes, that is “Tiny House On Wheels” but to those in the know, these are also “Simply THE Coolest RVs To Ever Let Wheels Hit the Pavement.”)
I know, I know! The idea of taking that tiny house on a road trip is so exciting, it gives you Adventure Shivers! I feel the same way. Don’t hyperventilate just yet. Before you succumb to emotional euphoria, let us help you prep for the journey. We have put together a short list of tips for Traveling with THOWs for those who are ready to embark for the 1st time. For tiny houses on wheels built by Seattle Tiny Homes, the road trip is a natural idea, since each one is a licensed RV travel trailer. They can be pulled anywhere that any other RV travel trailer can, and without a special license or permit. It simply feels more like a “home away from home,” because it is! I can’t imagine a more ideal way to explore the Unites States than traveling in my own tiny house, sleeping in my own bed every night, and anticipating each new bend in the road ahead!
How to prep for your THOW journey…
- “Light things upward go; heavy things, stay down low.” When packing, think of this little rhyme that is surprisingly easy to remember. This was a reminder my father taught me when I was young and learning to pack for one of our long camping trips. On these trips, we would drive along many twisty and often frightening dirt roads with steep drop-offs …no guard rails included! These often caused me to squinch my eyes shut tightly but the destination was always worth it! While we can assume your THOW won’t be traveling these sorts of paths, we can guess you will want the most stable load you can have, and this will help. When you’re parked in one place for long periods of time, you often don’t think about weight distribution in the same way you do when you’re traveling.
- Things to leave out: There are similarities between prepping for a journey and prepping for a tiny life. Minimalism is goodness. Although it’s tempting to bring a lot of STUFF when you head out RVing in the name of preparedness, resist, resist, resist!!! Remember that the concept of going tiny is to live more simply, and that idea doesn’t go away because you’re now on vacation. Challenge those naughty Over-Shopping gremlins that live in your head and ask yourself questions like: “How often do I use this in my daily life?” “Can I buy this elsewhere?” For example, you can usually find water and food along the route, so save weight and space, and don’t pre-purchase too much.
- Plan your parking: it is worth it to think ahead where you will be driving and where you’ll be parking your tiny house. There are some largely unfounded rumors about RV parks not allowing tiny homes. Tiny homes are usually welcomed just like any other RV, and perhaps even more in some cases. After all, tiny houses are so much fun to look at! What RV campground wouldn’t like to play host to one for a night or two? We will include some ideas below to help you get started. However, it is a wise tiny home owner who plans ahead, and then you can avoid those RV campgrounds that oddly don’t want a tiny house parked there.
- Check the weather. Another good trip-planning activity to do prior to hitting the road, and then continuing doing as you travel, is to stay aware of the weather ahead. If you can, change your timeline and route to avoid “non-vacation” weather. After all, even though we love our tiny houses, the point of vacation is to get outside! Sunshine + tiny house = awesomeness!
- Joy is the point. Don’t get hung up in the details so that you are missing the forest. Expect your THOW vacation to be fun! There are different apps you can use to take some of the stress, headache, and costs out of planning… such as www.rvtripwizard.com. Additionally, to relieve you of some of the planning time, here is a couple of “tiny-house friendly” Camping and RV spots in the Pacific Northwest that we recommend for your tiny summer vacation journey. So get out there and start exploring this fantastic country we call home!
Places to Go in the PNW:
We are listing just a few of the places in the Pacific Northwest we would suggest you put on your list to visit on your Tiny Home on Wheels vacation, but remember this is just the tip of the campground iceberg. A very reputable source (a tiny house-dwelling couple that travels with their THOW) has told us : KOA campgrounds are quite welcoming to tiny houses. That is good information to have if the day is growing long and you’re ready to park it for the night… Look for a KOA!
SUNCREST RV Park in Moses Lake
From the owners: “We have a nice little community of permanents already here at the park with RV’s we would love to have tiny home travelers stay and visit our park or make it their permanent home spot. We offer full hook ups in every site, we provide wireless internet throughout the park, we have a kids water slide, a pool, volleyball net, horseshoe game, and an area with kids toys. We are open all year round and we have some of the friendliest employee and guests here in Moses Lake!”
Elwha Dam Park in Port Angeles
From the owners: “It will always be the site of the old dam, so it will still be ‘The Best RV Park by a Dam Site’, deserving of the 10 consecutive Best of Port Angeles Awards in the Recreational Vehicle Parks qualifying for Port Angeles Business Hall of Fame. You’ll find this camp conveniently located just off of Scenic Highway 112, by the beautiful Elwha River Canyon and former Dam site. It’s a most peaceful setting in the woods, convenient to fishing, boating and beachcombing on the North Olympic Coast, as well as hiking and biking trails in the Olympic National Park. Come join us for a night, or a longer visit, and see why the Elwha Dam R.V. Park is such a great place to stay. We’re proud of our park, and proud of the recognition and awards we’re getting.”
Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort in Coos Bay
Travel the Highway West to Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort where you can unwind in unique accommodations such as vintage trailer and airstream rentals, cottages, tents, or in the comfort of your own RV. Enjoy the rejuvenating Oregon Coast with a variety of on-site amenities including a convenient crab shack and complimentary Wi-Fi. Oceanside also allows guests to easily access Oregon beaches where many guests enjoy whale watching or fishing. Relax at our resort or explore the local museums and wineries that Coos Bay has to offer. If you are looking for a memorable vacation experience on the Oregon Coast, look no further than Oceanside! From the management: We just wanted to say we love hosting tiny homes and offer a fantastic location right on the beach with full hookups. We offer daily rates as well as monthly stays from November thru April if anyone wants to experience life on the Oregon coast.”
Shelter Cove Resort & Marina in Summit
from the website: …where you can unwind in comfortable accommodations such as lodge and cabin rentals and full-service RV sites. Enjoy Oregon’s majestic beauty with a variety of on-site amenities including a convenient general store, boat mooring at the marina, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Shelter Cove also allows guests to easily access many of the areas most popular attractions and destinations. Fishing and boating on Odell Lake, cross-country skiing at the Oregon Cascades, and the serene surroundings of Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest are just a few of the points of interest situated just moments away from our resort. If you are looking for a memorable vacation experience in the heart of Oregon, look no further than Shelter Cove!
CI RV PARK in Dunnigan
from the website: They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but if you ask us, the grass is pretty green over here. It’s tranquil and peaceful. Everything I need. Stop by CI RV PARK to see for yourself. We closed the golf course and made it a private park.Escape to what has been considered by many a place to regroup your thoughts. This work in progress is where your mind, body, and soul will relax and become one with trees. We have RV sites for the largest of rigs and can provide storage area as well.
Park Delta Bay in Isleton
from the website: Delta Bay was established in 1988, and is a RV and tiny house resort in California Delta, one hour from SF Bay Area and Sacramento. The natural resort is on a 12 acre forested and grass covered estate. The resort provides convenient access to touring the local wine country, historic river towns, and surrounding wetland wildlife habitats. Visitors enjoy camping, boating, fishing, waterskiing, birdwatching, and relaxing in a peaceful rural setting with friendly service and country club amenities.
And remember! State parks are a great place to explore:
Taylor Bishop says
Thanks for these tips for a road trip with a tiny home. I’m glad you mentioned that you should try to plan your parking and think where you will be driving. This seems important for planning out your trip and also knowing what you can expect when you actually arrive.