TurtleHomes: Living Space You Can Take On The Road
What does a traveling home that is space, cost, and energy efficient, look like?
Affordable, energy-efficient housing for traveling work is difficult to find. The goal of this project is to design an organized, modern, two-to-three occupant house trailer that can be bought and owned by any person who travels on the road frequently, whether their occupation be construction worker, circus performer, or explorer.
People in this demographic would benefit from this tiny home because costs of RVs are upwards of $40,000 and are not energy efficient. The cost of the tiny home should be less than $20,000 base price, and should include rooftop solar panels and a composting toilet system. The interior design should be modern and walls light-colored so as to create a sense of organization and cleanliness within the small space.
Inspiration for this trailer home comes from design ideas such as repurposed shipping containers, capsule hotels, and cottage living. Based in wood and covered in metal or another sturdy exterior, the trailer should also be weather-resistant and sturdy in order to encompass all possible situations. Other materials used in the home’s construction should be sturdy and long-lasting, with the aspiration that the home will be used for decades to come.
If possible, the home should be constructed and furbished using recycled materials so as to save energy and money, such as used shipping containers, recycled wood or metal, and pre-owned appliances.
TurtleHome’s Building Requirements:
Weatherproof: The tiny home may be exposed to all of the elements, so it will have to be completely weather-proof and well-insulated.
Off-Road: The home should be able to connect to utilities (if staying in an RV park of sorts) or disconnect for up to a week. These connections should be supplemented by solar panels to save energy.
Unassuming: The house will not be too outstanding in color or size so as to fit in any situation, as well as having low noise levels to not disrupt others in nearby areas.
Versatile: The home can be towed anywhere, which leaves the adventuring to the owners!
Cost of a TurtleHome:
Materials for a TurtleHome cost about $13,000-$15,000. The homes can be built at about this price without major labor costs. If the user is a capable handy-person, the home can absolutely be built by them.
Breakdown of Costs:
- Building Materials:
- Roof: Corrugated Steel ($200)
- Walls: Oriented Strand Board ($600); Lumber ($300)
- Insulation: ($400)
- Paint: Indoor ($200); Outdoor ($200)
- Painting tools: ($100)
- Power Tools: Chopsaw ($200); Tablesaw ($200); Nailer ($100)
- Water: Piping ($200); Tanks ($250); Composting Toilet ($950)
- Electricity: Wiring ($200); Generator and Solar Panels ($2,000)
- Food Storage: Refrigerator ($200); Freezer ($200)
- Cooking: Microwave ($100); Stove ($300)
- Water: Shower ($200); Sink ($300)
- Storage: Kitchen Cabinets ($300); Other Storage ($300)
- Bedding: Mattress ($200)
- Lighting: ($300)
- Windows: Accordion Window ($300); Front Window ($100); Skylight ($150); Back ($100)
- Home Decor: Countertops ($200);
- Trailer: ($4,000)
Because one of my main goals for this design is to create something energy efficient. In lieu of this goal, the TurtleHome uses a composting toilet (to save electricity), and a solar power generator. Their designs are below:
Nature’s Head Composting Toilet & Goal Zero: Yeti 1250 Solar Generator:
TurtleHome Floor Plans:
Side View: The front door, roof-mounted solar panels, front kitchen window, and trailer hitch.
Top View: Bed (right), water tank (left), removable ladder
Not Pictured: Skylight
Back: tiled shower, bathroom
Interior: Kitchen, Hallway, Bar
Not Pictured: Fold-out couch under indoor countertop, food storage
A Quick Poll:
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