Traveling with a tiny house

I love the simplicity of living in a tiny home. Less is definitely more! I am blessed to have been able to retire, build a tiny house & travel at a young age! 

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Hi! My name is Donna Cruciani, a little bit about me … I retired on 1/1/19 after working 43 years in the electric utility industry. I am a human & animal rights advocate & activist and previously a volunteer coordinator for many charitable organizations in my community.
Prior to retiring, I had been watching tiny house shows on tv & knew that was what I wanted to do so I could travel & experience the majestic beauty that the U.S. has to offer.
Having never camped or towed anything in my life, I knew that this would be quite a challenge especially since I would be traveling alone with my senior rescue beagle, Sadie.
I began doing my homework & searched online for a reputable tiny house builder that was reasonably close to my home in PA.  Much to my surprise, I found Liberation Tiny Homes which was only a one hour commute.  I was relieved that I would be able to monitor the build of my dream home.
Mid Dec 2018 I attended their open house, fell in love with their designs, put a deposit down to get on their build schedule & the rest is history.  There was no turning back.
At the time they had 3 models to choose from (they now have 4). I liked features from 2 of their models (the Farmhouse & the Rumspringa), so they combined these 2 models to create my very own custom home. 

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My home is 24 feet long, 8.5 feet wide & 13.5 feet high. The interior is under 300 sq feet. It’s a 30 amp service in a 50 amp breaker box in case I want to add anything. It weighs approximately 12,000 pounds without my personal items. Total cost was slightly above $70,000.

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In February 2019 they contacted me to begin the design process. My home would be their 63rd tiny house build. In April 2019, they began building & 8 weeks later on June 3rd, my home was delivered to my driveway!
Liberation custom built everything according to our mutually agreed upon design specs. They used new & repurposed materials. On one of my visits, I gave them an 80 year old farmhouse table and asked them to use the wood to make a medicine cabinet.  They surprised me & also made shelving, a picture frame & a sconce holder with that wood! I asked for lots of storage, they built 43 different cabinets & nooks & crannies & storage in the stairs to store my possessions. Since I would be traveling with my home, I suggested locking devices on all the cabinets, they installed magnets to keep the cabinets closed. They also attached the fridge to a cabinet so that it wouldn’t ‘walk’ while on the road.

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My home has 9 windows including a sky light in the loft so I could see the stars at night. It has 15 recessed/sconce lights & 17 outlets.  My only slight regret was not having 1 or 2 outlets installed on the exterior of my home. They also built a custom sliding barn door that separates the bathroom from the kitchen. My kitchen has a subway tile backsplash, a 9.9 cu ft fridge/freezer, a washer/dryer combo, farmhouse sink in the kitchen & a vessel sink in the bathroom with a huge 4x4x7 shower with a removable rain shower head. It has an on demand hot water heater that goes from 67 degrees to 121 degrees in less than a minute. Interior comfort is supplied by an electric mini split that offers central air, central heat, dehumidifier & fan. While traveling I opted for a Separett composting toilet that can easily convert to a normal household toilet.

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Like I said earlier, I never towed anything in my life.  Prior to selling my other home & leaving PA, my friends kept asking me when I was going to practice driving my tiny house. I told them I would practice when I leave. On August 12th, after settlement on my old home, my friends gathered to bid me farewell. I pulled out of my old driveway & headed to Niagara Falls.  Since 8/12, I have towed my home 3,200 miles through 8 states & am currently at the 18th campground in central Florida.  After I am done traveling, my ultimate goal is to find a safe, eco & dog friendly tiny house community to permanently park my home.  

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Going from 1,800 sq feet to 300 sq feet was not going to be easy. Downsizing 60 years of memories & accumulated items was beyond emotional, it was exhausting.  I emptied out a ranch house, basement, attic & shed. I sold, donated, trashed, recycled & gave away 7/8th of my possessions & junk that I hadn’t used in years.  Afterwards I actually felt liberated & free!

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The best part of living in a tiny home is that I can take my home anywhere, at anytime. Home is literally where we park it! So far during my multi state journey, I have met thousands of people. The annoying part is everyone asking to take photos of the inside which I do not allow. I only share photos of the inside prior to me decorating it with my personal items. I am finding that there is another annoying part of traveling with a tiny house, not all campgrounds accept them. Mostly due to the fact that the tiny house movement is new and most campgrounds are uneducated about them. My tiny house is RVIA certified and is considered a travel trailer. If you are part of the tiny house community, we must join forces to educate campgrounds about the safety of tiny homes. On a positive note, my tiny house was the first tiny home in each of the 18 campgrounds that I visited, so, I am confident that their good experience with my visit will encourage them to allow other tiny homes to stay in their communities. 

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I love the simplicity of living in a tiny home. Less is definitely more! I am blessed to have been able to retire, build a tiny house & travel at a young age! 

My advice is to do your homework, find a reputable builder, & if you plan to travel with your home, make sure the builder is able to RVIA certify your home.

Since August 2019, I have been blogging our journey with over 140 posts & thousands of photos.  My blog is :  www.theadventuresofsadiethebeagle.dog

 

One thought on “Traveling with a tiny house

  1. Hi Maria it was such a pleasure to read your journey from the beginning of what you couldn’t wait to start. I still remember the day you showed me your tiny house and I couldn’t have been more happier for you. Your home is incredibly beautiful! Be safe I wish you great health 🙏 and keep enjoying every minute of your retirement.

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