11/08 Tiny homes on wheels: New trend hits Southern Arizona

Rick Tubaugh, general manager at the Voyager RV Park, opens a storage unit built into the stairs of a Tumbleweed Tiny House RV.

Rick Tubaugh, general manager at the Voyager RV Park, opens a storage unit built into the stairs of a Tumbleweed Tiny House RV. Photo by Christopher Boan.

Imagine hitting the open road and having all the comforts of home hooked up to your trailer hitch. That’s the idea put forth by Colorado Springs-based Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, builder of tiny house RVs for 17 years.

The cedar-paneled homes are certified by both the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and T.R. Arnold & Associates, with the latter awarding them green certification. Tumbleweed RVs are one of nine RV companies to receive such a certification.

There are four models to choose from, allowing customers to virtually build their dream tiny house RV from scratch.

Two of the company’s models — the Rose and the Finn — embarked on a Traveling Tiny House Tour that started in Chicago on Aug. 9, and hitting stops in Tennessee and Texas before visiting Voyager RV Park in Tucson in mid-October.

The event drew about 1,000 people, introducing the tiny house concept to residents and visitors of the age 55-and-over park. Voyager RV has a year-round population of 860, and upwards of 2,000 residents in the high season between January and March.

Rick Tubaugh, general manager at the park, believes the homes, which cost an average of $75,000, speak to a specific demographic.

“Millennials were the target market for these homes,” Tubaugh says. “But what we’ve been finding is that not only are the millennials interested in them, but that baby boomers and young families are too.”

Ross Beck, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s chief operating officer, says the firm’s target demographic has been much wider than what it initially imagined when it started making the RVs in 2013.

“There’s really no typical buyer,” Beck says. “That’s what we find amazing. We’ve found interest from people in their 20s up to their 60s.”

Beck says the RVs have been a hit with seniors who are looking for the comforts of home when they’re on the road and have more expendable income, and from younger generations who don’t want a big house.

“Now young people have everything on their phones and computers, so they can access so much information that they really don’t want possessions,” Beck says. “When I was their age, we were all aiming to get a three-bedroom, two-bath home. Now young people want to do things in groups and have experiences, and to make their homes in a way kind of like their phones, where it’s very small and efficient.”

Tubaugh says Voyager RV Park residents have been impressed by the homes’ storage space and comfortable arrangement. The two model homes on display in Tucson had a lofted bed, a living space with a couch, and a full kitchen and bathroom.

The 14-foot-tall models varied in size, with Rose measuring 218 square feet, while Finn spans 258 square feet. They both weigh about 10,000 pounds and do not require a fifth-wheel or Dually trailer hitch.

Read more – http://www.gvnews.com/get_out/tiny-homes-on-wheels-new-trend-hits-southern-arizona/article_2d942dac-a608-11e6-9442-0b7a249d4b15.html


Elaine Walker

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