The First Ever Tiny House Hotel

The First Ever Tiny House Hotel

I’m Kol Peterson. I’m the owner of this
place, Caravan, the tiny house hotel. It’s the first tiny house hotel probably in
the world, definitely in the United States. So we started this business back
in 2013 under the notion that we were going to provide a new hotel on this
street that needed it but also be able to kind of promote small housing. We
wanted to give a place for people to actually try out living in a tiny house
before they made that huge radical downsizing commitment and this
is a really great platform to kind of do that form of like subtle education. We’ve
had over 10,000 people stay here. People who didn’t know about tiny houses before
they came here oftentimes are like, “Wow, I could live in
a smaller space”, and a lot of people think they want to live in a tiny house
and realize they don’t want to and that’s fine too.
I think tiny houses are really cool and I think they play a role, but I think
from my vantage the bigger thing that we’re doing is kind of influencing
people to think about, “Do I really need to live in a 2,500 square foot house?”
like that’s kind of the ultimate you know mission I guess you could say. My wife and I live in what’s called an
accessory dwelling unit which is a secondary housing unit on a single
family lot. Small house in the backyard. Backyard cottage and we designed and
built that ADU back in 2010. Moved into it and it was done in 2011. We’ve been
living in that ever since. For me, one of the major motivations behind wanting to
build and live in that space was because the single most significant thing an
individual can do to reduce their climate footprint, carbon
footprint, energy footprint, is to reduce the size of the structure in which they
live and that’s because heating and cooling HVAC is the single biggest
energy hog in our residential structures so we
built that and kind of got really interested in small housing, in general.
My wife has a long background of living in funky small alternative structures.
You know garages and yurts and weird places like that. We’re eyeing this empty lot
which was a repo a lot like five years ago and this was before there was HGTV
shows on it about tiny houses. So tiny houses were known, but they weren’t like
quite the phenomena that they’ve since become. We kind of came up with the
idea of a tiny house hotel. What we’ve done with Caravan is we created a urban
design example of what a tiny house community might look like. It’s not
actually a tiny house community. People don’t live here full-time.
Our goal is to kind of feature the most interesting, diverse, beautiful tiny
houses we can get our hands on here. They’re all built in the Pacific
Northwest. There’s Rosebud which is 120 square feet.
It was built in Salem, Oregon by a guy named Hal. Then we have Tandem, which is a
hundred and sixty square feet, sleeps four people. We call it Tandem because
it has bike parts as art integrated into the architecture of the structure as
well as having two beds. Then we have Caboose, which looks like a train
caboose. Sleeps four people, it has three beds in it. Pacifica, which was built by
Abel Zyl of Zyl Vardos out of Olympia Washington and one of the design
challenges for this one that he built for us was we wanted to make a
basically ADA compliant tiny house one of the first that we know of. We have
a wheelchair ramp that we store beneath the tiny house and then people who are
in wheelchairs can access the tiny house. Then we have Skyline which is 160 square
feet. It’s 100% salvaged. It was built locally
here by a friend of ours who takes like scrap metal off of trucks and
creates art out of it. Skyline has interesting features such as a
triangular toilet that’s placed over the trailer tongue so it utilizes the space
over the trailer tongue which no other tiny houses do. And then we have Tango Blue which is our most elegant tiny house. It’s 170
square feet. It’s 21 feet long. It has a blue pine interior. It was built by our
Australian friend Ben. So those are six tiny houses. Each of them have a little
different feel to it. We wanted to go on a camping trip across
Canada in a teardrop trailer. We found out there was none to rent in the
entire Pacific Northwest. We started up a teardrop trailer rental business for
people to come and take a teardrop trailer and go camping and these are,
unlike tiny house on wheels which are 7,000 pounds and actually quite
difficult to tow on the road, teardrop trailers are extremely lightweight. Any
vehicle with a hitch can tow a teardrop trailer. They weigh nine hundred
pounds. The towing weight is like 80 pounds. They don’t have a bathroom, but
they have everything else. What we have right now mostly is not
affordable housing. Anything that you have to do to building code is going to
be by virtue of the fact that you have to meet all this building codes quite
expensive to do. The codes aren’t written with a poor intention. The accidental
result of that is lack of affordable housing and you could say the same thing
about planning, zoning codes. The planning zoning codes are basically saying we
don’t want homelessness happening really anywhere but we won’t let it happen in
residential neighborhoods and as a result it happens in the underbelly of
cities in places that might not be the best places for people to be sleeping.
It’s a bunch of accidental impacts that happen as a result of mindless
regulations that you don’t really get to understand until you see the results of
it, but there isn’t really a lot of conversation going on about this issue
and how we can tweak our zoning codes within residential areas and our
building codes to potentially allow for more affordable housing that is by the
way actually more efficient. The realistic way to get at small housing
right now is to fix your codes pertaining to accessory dwelling units.
So working on that front is a good idea and that’s something I do consulting about.
If people are interested I’m going to be coming out with a book pretty soon to
help people who want to advocate for better ADU codes and I also run a
website called all about accessory dwelling units and
the best practices about them. Then on the other front the way I think about it
is all everything else that isn’t permitted residential structures i.e. tiny
houses on wheels, vans, campers, tread travel, trailers, yurts, in my mind also
fall under like a camping code. I think it would be cool for some cities to
start to think about whether there’s ways that they could allow for camping
on residential properties. Perhaps the provision is that the occupant of
the non permanent structure has to be able to gain access to the kitchen and
bathroom in the primary residence in order to be able to legally camp there.
They have to do it under a permitted program so the homeowner could get a
one-year provisional permit that allows for people to camp on the property and I
think there could be this whole new kind of housing economy that could sprout up
if that legal structure could be started. I’m sure it would come with a lot of
different interesting questions and conversations but ultimately the goal
would be to provide more affordable housing in places where people want to
live and they can’t afford to. If you want to come to Portland try to reserve
a room way in advance because we get booked out months in advance at this
point. If you’re interested in building an accessory dwelling unit, check out and maybe consider coming to Portland next time we
run a citywide ADU tour. We’re going to run the next one in September of 2017 so
that’ll be the next big opportunity. It’s the biggest small housing tour in the
country and it’s actually sponsored by the city, state and governmental entities
in Oregon. Thanks for watching this week’s film. If
you want access to more content like Behind the Scenes videos and Q&A’s,
things of that nature, head over to the Patreon page.
and help support the channel and also get access to those kinds of things.
Links to everything that Kol mentioned as well as the Patreon page and my
social medias are down below if you’re interested in any of that. Thank you
again for watching and I will see you next time!

Posts created 37718

100 thoughts on “The First Ever Tiny House Hotel

  1. Can you please tell me more aboutย yourย shade sail in the back ground of your vid…it appears to have some sort of structural support….I have a shade sail right now but unfortunately it sags in the middle…love your tiny houses….

  2. Good point.ย  Zoning codes prevent many people from owning a home.ย  I hope more young adults like you can do something to fix this problem.ย  Glad you're thinking!

  3. "The single most thing an individual can do to reduce their climate footprint, carbon footprint, energy footprint, is to reduce the size of the structure in which they live"-This is false information.

  4. Excellent production quality! Really great! Super informative video. What did you use to make the animations! Keep pushing hard!

  5. Thank you for being uncommonly concise and well spoken. Some of my favorite video makers are also painfully repetitive and tongue tied (they are favorites for subject matter and enthusiasm). It is refreshing to hear someone speak enthusiastically and still keep it coherent. Cheers.

  6. Great video, Dylan! Cole's got some really great ideas. Sounds like I'll have to make it to Portland next autumn!
    Do you know of any similar code-related websites for those of us in Canada? I'm a renovation carpenter by trade and have my tiny house conceptual design all ready. It's been difficult to find info about rules & regs up here. I don't think it's quite as popular as in the US and NZ…yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. It's because of you that my world will be down sized. Yet what you have done is made my small world feel so much larger with opportunities!! thank you doesn't even cover it!! keep On keepin on๐Ÿ’œ

  8. I live in a huge Japanese half traditional half farm house.. I feel its a waste for me so next year im having a tiny house built on my land and will rent out my main house. . ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Your website is crazy I can't see if your available next year. I can't see half the phone it clams to have. view unit at a 360ยฐ Nope can't even get in one off the units bit I can look around the street

  10. Smart guy but the single most important thing you could do to reduce your foot print is to go vegan. Though tiny houses are also helpful, not contributing to animal agriculture is massive. Because it is the leading cause of air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, and global warming.

  11. Wrong the single most effective way to lower your carbon footprint is to become vegan and not support animal agriculture. Great hotel tho

  12. what kind of stabilisation do you use? Thinking about the shot from 0:19 to 0:37. Is your camera on your gorillapod, or is it free hand with IS lens?

  13. where is your hotel ? what city and state. Also what are your rates. I will sub.
    I think your hotel idea is genius.

  14. Those are huge compared to what I'm living in, a 2001 Freightliner classic. I live in about 56 square feet, lol. I'm dreaming of something a little bigger. :- )
    I love the hotel idea, nice!

  15. I'm in love with the little Pacifica tiny house! I've been looking into tiny homes for a while now and this is the first ADA tiny home I've seen and I just wanna see more of it

  16. magnifique concept.
    les clients doivent รชtre charmรฉs
    c'est tellement plus romantique.
    Beautiful concept.
    Guests must be charmed
    It's so much more romantic.

  17. This is awesome, but a tiny house is a far cry from the best thing you can do for the environment. 51% of human caused GHG emissions come from animal agriculture. Going plant based (vegan) is the best you can do.

  18. planned parenthood is a much more effective long-term, economical solution.

    tiny homes are cute but waste space compared to high rise apartments.

  19. I wish I could like this video one hundred times! Very informative and I love what you are doing! Keep up the awesome work!

  20. lol. you're "NOT" the first tiny house hotel in the United States. A guy in Alabama has had one for around 10 years now.

  21. That is bullshit, going vegan is the change that makes the biggest difference to your environmental footprint.

  22. It's interesting how the video turns from a design segment into a look on the financial insight. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Awesome! But I have seen other cabins on trailer frames, aka 'tiny houses', that used the space over the trailer tongue, for a variety of purposes. If he meant for the toilet, that I have never seen before.

  24. Tiny cabins or homes, whether or not they are on a trailer, are great – but there are a lot of ways to reduce the energy costs of a conventional home. Dressing for the season and the weather is one basic step that many seem to have forgotten. If we are comfortable in the house in shorts and a t-shirt in winter, we know that the house is too hot! We should not be trying to heat the air, anyway. Radiant heat is more efficient, and more comfortable.

    A rocket mass stove heater is probably the most efficient way to do this, but a well-designed wood stove will also do a good job. Cast iron and/or stone or other masonry provides a thermal mass that radiates heat long after the fire is out. On a wood stove, we prefer to have the pipe exposed – at a safe distance from walls – so that the heat does not just go outside or up a chimney. This adds greatly to the amount of heat a woodstove produces from a given amount of wood, and does not require the purchase or building of anything – except an appropriate hole in the roof to run the pipe out through.

    Sweaters, turtleneck shirts, lap throws for when sitting for extended periods of time, neck warmers or continuous scarves, etc, there are a lot of little ways to stay comfortable in a cooler home in winter.

    Homes can be cooled by opening a window as high as possible on the south side (or the upper window of a double-hung window on a one-level house), and also opening a window as low as possible on the south side of the home. This will allow hot air to escape and will also draw cooler air in. If the upper window is on a 2nd story and the lower window is in a basement, the cooling effect will be stronger.

    Tall deciduous shade trees around our homes, especially on the south side (in the Northern Hemisphere) will keep the area around our homes – and our homes – cooler in summer, but let warming winter sunlight in. Gravel driveways instead of black paving reduce heat buildup in summer. Gravel drives keep an area even cooler than white concrete. Dense shrubs or low growing trees to the east and west of our homes prevents them from being heated up in summer. Windbreaks of evergreen trees planted between the home and the prevailing winter winds will reduce heating costs (in the Northeast, this is generally to the north and west), but will not block winter sunlight.

    There are a lot of other things we can all do, wherever we are, to reduce our negative impact on the planet. Even doors inside a home can help, allowing us to close off areas not currently being used. Those who care about these things will have many other good ideas.

  25. This is so wonderful! Thanks! Why are really Good ideas and Practical sense sometimes lost inPolitical RED TAPE?I now know where I want to visit if I get a chance to travel. Portland. Are you near any B&B or regular Hotels should Booking be tricky or if a person wants to cut their stay short? And do you refer people who may want one of these wonderful small homes built to Builders? COOL Video!

  26. My father lived in a 12×12' tiny house when I was a kid, I'm 46 years old now, his house now is about 600 square feet.
    His rule is "if I don't need it, I don't have it".

  27. Funny how politicians are always beating the drum for "global warming" and solar power yet they turn their backs on the tiny house movement. I would love a tiny house but finding a place to park it, is an issue. Cities don't want to hear about tiny homes.

  28. Are you a business personnel , politician, musician, student and you want to be rich, powerful and be famous in life. You can achieve your dreams by being a member of the illuminati and earn $500,000.00.USD monthly With this all your dreams and heart desire can be fully accomplish, this is a brief summary, if you really want to be a member of the great illuminati then get back to me for more information and explanations. email:[email protected]


  30. He's wrong about living in a small space being the number one way to reduce your footprint. People don't like to hear this but it's becoming a vegan and growing your own food. This is just an objective fact regardless of your stance on veganism, industrial agriculture is the number one industry destroying the environment. For example it consumes 51% of the fresh water supply.

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