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Starting over & towing West an off-grid, wood clad tiny home

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Kim Harmsen crossed the country by RV when she was married, but now single she built herself a tiny home on wheels, hitched it to her truck and departed Minnesota to find a new home state (or states). It took her three years to build, but her tiny mobile home provides a security, particularly from extreme Midwestern weather, she never felt while traveling in an RV. She started with an Iron Eagle trailer (with a drop pan for tiny home builders) and built an insulated, all-wood, off-grid home for herself and her rescue dog Mazie. With appliances powered by her photovoltaics and ample food and water, she can live for weeks on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management oversees millions of acres of wilderness areas where camping is free and legal). We bumped into her at a rest stop at the edge of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. https://faircompanies.com/videos/starting-over-towing-west-an-off-grid-wood-clad-tiny-home/ Kim posts daily on Instagram @ tinyhouseawoken
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Text Comments (225)
Brian O'Sullivan (1 day ago)
gosh. talented person. love to know where she developed the skills to build something like this.
Lance Watt (16 days ago)
One of the coolest ones I’ve seen!
Samii O (1 month ago)
The Minnesotan accent is strong. 🖤
Nicole Delucci (1 month ago)
Do you know how to get in touch with her besides her Instagram?
makemoneyrelax (1 month ago)
wow she is so lucky......that is all I want....nothign else...only some solar panels to power my laptop
José Senna (1 month ago)
Nice box! Well done I don’t like dogs lived with one to long made me crazy. Some ppl don’t wanna buy into the scenario you know if your gunna be alone it pays to keep it that way. I’d drive it up to the canyon & just leave him there. The dog I mean lol.
manictiger (1 month ago)
Hmm, on demand water heater. Like that concept.
Brian O'Sullivan (1 month ago)
fair play to this lady. well done.
Ohskelily Wurarah (1 month ago)
😲👍👍👍👌
Big Smalls (1 month ago)
Regular truck..yea it’s a Ford Turbo Diesel F350 Crew Cab Dully Extra Long Bed American Made Tiny Home Mover
happykt (1 month ago)
I could do this if I had a good retirement income to pay for my healthcare. The lack of single payer healthcare in the U.S. makes all citizens vulnerable because healthcare insurance is still very expensive and if you don't have healthcare insurance and something happens you might as well just die because you couldn't afford to pay the huge bill.
G Forcke (1 month ago)
Her home has sooo much character 😍 Good karma to all my nomad sisters❤️☮️
Stacy Hackney (1 month ago)
Nice.
Toria Rose (1 month ago)
Kinda cool, an impromptu tiny home tour. That being the case, her home was pretty put together. Have to say, very interesting that she referenced ppl being in their "safe little box" and she earlier mentioned how she feels safe in her little "box," ha ;-) But I agree, ppl cling to their familiar, and the feeling of safety that comes with it. Even when the reality might be that it's not so safe, just familiar. Being mobile seems more safe, if you really think about it. But it does depend on a lot of factors.
Samuel Colt (1 month ago)
Recently got divorced and having raped my ex in court, I got everything and left the State..
Pablo Horteg (1 month ago)
Interesting lady and awesome doggo!
magic cheeseball (1 month ago)
instead of living in a box live in a box! That's a beautiful box. She really did a good job on it
Kerri Fisher (1 month ago)
Love this tiny house💜💜💜👍👍
Amanda Billings (1 month ago)
She stays well away from Windy States.
KiwiBanana (1 month ago)
Lovely home. Thank you for sharing.
John Armstead (1 month ago)
Congratulations 🎉🎉🎉🎉
Aika Papa (2 months ago)
Lovely !
Anuvrath chadal (2 months ago)
love from india
Bonnie P. (2 months ago)
Great video, great home.
A Black (2 months ago)
Please Contact Bryce from - Living Big In A Tiny House. He would love to meet this lady when he film's his channel in U.S.A.
Judith Bisson (2 months ago)
She was delightful, I loved her home
mat the wander son (2 months ago)
I think I'd be quite pissed if you described my home as "hilarious", that one word changes the whole feel of this video!
Douglas Huajardo (2 months ago)
I like the mechanics tool box in/near the kitchen
tim Tom (2 months ago)
ive been to that spot. so exciting to see it again
bocolewish (2 months ago)
I wonder how much gas she uses traveling around with the heavy trailer.
dee dee (2 months ago)
Beautiful home! Thanks for sharing. I'm so sick of the box life... We like to call it cookie cutter commuter drone life!
Wilder Scotland (2 months ago)
Awesome home
Jack Archer (2 months ago)
Hi Aunt Kiki!
Rod Sapyta (2 months ago)
Thanks for the video. Good for her. Now, I have ,new Ideas, I like to build things, This , would be cool.
BTBIANCO (2 months ago)
Love the house (especially that drawer)
PNW Tactical prepper (2 months ago)
Pretty cool
Kurt & Sara (2 months ago)
This is great! It was nice of her to show her home off. You can tell she has put lots of thought into it. Right now I’m torn between a homestead and nomadic living in a tiny house. Maybe I should do both!
Aoudhubillahi (2 months ago)
I thought about doing what she is doing. My plans were with an Airstream and a Super Duty Ford Pickup, solar panels, backup generator, enough power to support a desktop gaming/media computer. Then there is that satellite internet that would need auto tracking...same with the tv dish dome. It is a pricey initial layout, but with Tiny Houses way way cheaper.
DelbertStinkfester (2 months ago)
I like tiny houses but if I was going to be doing a lot of traveling and had a 1 ton truck like that I would rather just tow a 5th wheel....I really want that doggie
Florence Pi. (2 months ago)
Nice to see a lived tiny house! Is nice to see the places when people know they will be shown the space but is also nice to see it when is just like the person see is it every day.
Richard Sinclair (2 months ago)
She has a bureau!
jklfds85 (2 months ago)
Wish she mentioned how old the house is, how long she had it, and if she custom build it or just bought what was selling.
Graycee Calloway (2 months ago)
Awesome!!!👠🚌👠
Nicole Shivel (2 months ago)
Love the impromptu video! <3 Great suggestion kiddos!
Luke r (2 months ago)
gypsy magic
Rebecca Conn (2 months ago)
Wonderful!
Sandra Nelson (2 months ago)
This is lovely! I don't know what she does for money, but if she needs some advice all she needs to do is get hooked into the CheapRVLiving .com site for what to look for. There is lots of work for those following the footloose lifestyle. She has everything she wants, arranged just the way she likes it. And a dog as well. Not a bad life, really.
Transportia (2 months ago)
THANK YOU for so many inspiring (and useful) videos! Awesome life you guys have made, taking the kids right along with you. Have been a subscriber for awhile now.
Transportia (2 months ago)
First Tiny on Wheels that has seemed feasible to me (I've looked at tons) rather than ambitious to be in Architectural Digest/Dwell. It's not exactly aerodynamic and you'd get dismal gas mileage. But if you're not in any hurry and you're not paying for much else, it becomes practical. She's so right about RVs. Am hoping to convince my partner but he doesn't like the need-to-tow aspect.
Debra Fry (2 months ago)
Nice! 👍Safe travels! 😊
Allen Hare (2 months ago)
Thanks so much for another great home tour. This gal is living the dream, on her own terms. What a lovely, well thought out home she has there. Onward
SYSTEMS DYNAMICS (2 months ago)
Btful home!!!!
My Life Thriving in Canada (2 months ago)
I am just curious how much she moves around? My wife and I will be traveling in a 16 foot trailer, and are quite aware that gas will be a big expense, unless you are staying someplace for two weeks at a time.
NobleDesignMedia (2 months ago)
Beautiful set up! And how nice for her to open up her personal space to strangers without any notice. Much respect
Andrea Wisner (2 months ago)
Love the stair/table/chair/cabinet/pantry/ dresser/ desk/step-stool solution.
L. J. Bush (2 months ago)
That looked like a rain storm not a tornado, maybe it looks different on video than in person. that was nice, thanks Kirsten.
Jacy Bramwell (2 months ago)
I used to work with this person! Finally get to see the inside of her tiny house! That's so awesome : ) recognized her in the thumbnail lol
Jack gosch (2 months ago)
i wish you a younger chap with the balls to follow you on you tripp, after wat you gone true, the road knows no limit.
ZMAC LLC (2 months ago)
A very clever use of space and some great space saving ideas. I especially love the stool and antique secretary desk. Good for her that she's made the best out of what started as a a not so great situation.
J. Joy (2 months ago)
Such a gracious lady to invite you (and us) in at the drop of a hat!
Otosj van Tolerbok (2 months ago)
There are so many tiny houses on youtube, but they do all look only designed, as if nobody really lives in them. So much different is this one! All the stuff everybody has laying in their (bigger) house is laying here somewhere also and it looks just fine, not like a museum for an idea. All respect for Kim Harmsen her work into this home! Comes with it; this home has actualy a well working off-grid installation! So many times off-grid living looks well thought out and they might work a little but they lack proof that the idea would really on a daily basis. Kim has made something that actualy does work on daily basis as she lives with it! Well done!!
Ryan (2 months ago)
I love TRNP! Great stuff.
DRC 85 (2 months ago)
good luck! i wish i could do something like this one day!
Rasanjana Vidanagamge (2 months ago)
what an awesomely industrious lady!!
ElHorste (2 months ago)
Sooo good! Thank you for making the video and thank you lady tinyhome for sharing with the world!!
Becca Wildel (2 months ago)
I totally love the dresser/desk. My uncle manages the Re-Store in the area I live (he also helps with local Habitat Homes). Some day I want to build my own Tiny House and, until I watched this, it never crossed my mind to look at the Re-Store for thinks. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. I got a lot of great ideas for my tiny home from this.
chez moi (2 months ago)
Yes, I love that she found her half-moon windows and the bay window, and built them into her design - those are the things that make a home truly unique and personal.
Charlotte (2 months ago)
I could have listened to this lady speak all day. Her home is fabulous and I really wish her well on her travels xx
Fonda LaShay (2 months ago)
That surprise desk was awesome!
2 1/2 Acres (2 months ago)
strong and a DIY woman. You go girl!!
Jessie DeVore (2 months ago)
Smart thinking and the dresser desk is totally awesome.
Lass-in Angeles (2 months ago)
Superb job, Kim! Your dog is cute! You did the right thing, life is short. See the world instead of being single after a divorce and having your social life cut in half. Best thing to do! I admire your pluck and guts. Esp the divorce part. Such a cozy, homey place with 3 sleeping areas, brava!! By the way, please get rid of those pesky paper blinds and get yourself some curtain tracks from IKEA or the curved kinds for boats online. Make yourself some nice curtains which will add a lot of color and style. I use www.fabrics.com and I love Kaffe Fassett, an American designer who loves color. His fabrics are very silky cotton 400 thread count, 45" width, $10 per yard, in the most vibrant designs. He also makes Shot Cotton, which is a simpler dual shaded cloth with a handmade feel. You must add a backing because then the colors don't fade from sun through the cloth, and you also get a blackout effect. This is Roclon Rubber Cloth or Blackout cloth for only $2 per yard 60 inches wide. Easy to sew in. Wash the cotton cloth for shrinkage first, iron out, then sew. At IKEA, you also get Shirring Tape. Sew this on top band. Add the small IKEA drapery hooks, and stick these into the track for smooth rolling. Very easy. The tracks come with wall or ceiling mounts. Ceiling is easier, but wall mounts have two sizes which allow two sets of curtains and tracks for sheer and blackout blinds.
Nomad J (2 months ago)
This is a great idea,no mortgage. How tall is it? There are height limits.
Jeff Session (2 months ago)
she seems nice
espn mk (2 months ago)
Those last words really resonate live in a box be in a box get back to the box. You sit and stew about it and it's true were all just geared like hamsters in our boxes.
Jonathan Hansen (2 months ago)
I wish her the best of luck. I’m kind of concerned for her. Her self build is very high profile, and will be a sail in high winds. I certainly wouldn’t tow it in anything like the Santa Ana winds we get out her in So. Cal. Every year they tip over tractor trailers.
Thupten Khangsar (2 months ago)
very smart no money for the bank
Kevin Pickett (2 months ago)
How do you paint a sink bowl? The paint should wash away no
A Fucking Leaf (2 months ago)
You use a glaze, and then fire it in a kiln.
Kevin Pickett (2 months ago)
I almost wanna pack a blanket and a can of soup and hop in with the dog
Josie's Journey (2 months ago)
I love that you just bumped into her & now we all get to meet her. So happy that she's doing what she wants. She's right - fear is what keeps people from breaking out of the box. She's an inspiration!
reinux (2 months ago)
Pleasant lady.
Chinoodin 47 (2 months ago)
Great on the road catch. I’ve been to that ND stop...great view, great little house on wheels...and Minnesota you betcha. Love the bigger stove, fridge, hot water on demand, solar powered. Obviously it needs a BFT to pull it.
ItzAn Opinion (2 months ago)
My only concern is the front of the tiny house behind the truck and how flat it is..must really lower her MPH vs a more rounder front cap you'd find on more traditional 5th wheels... overall though...I LOVE this! I'd rather have a bigger truck to use for pulling, but that's just me! :-)
Andrea Wisner (2 months ago)
The thing that bothered me was the Restore window in the front, but maybe she just drives super slow.
gloria (2 months ago)
11: 43 sooo true...one day hope can do...but will have to carry self protection gears like guns pepper sprays bear sprays etc. that's another issue.
Bryant Ford (2 months ago)
How kind of her to let us take a brief look into her life. She's a strong, confident woman & I wish her well. 👍🏻
coelho sports (2 months ago)
drive slowly, especially around turns like interstate off-ramps. the wind could really push this like a sail.
Allegro Sotto (2 months ago)
I love her attitude :-)
psychospence (2 months ago)
That's the best video in quite a while...
Carol Hewett (2 months ago)
A lovely lady with a classic designed tiny house which for better or worse reveals just how tiny these structures really are. No camera tricks here. I was taken aback by the realism. The walls were surprisngly dark but are probably very cozy looking at night with a little fire. Sorry, I wasn't inspired by this. Instead it made me think twice as to whether this lifestyle was for me. Thank you both for your integrity.
Xue Lee (2 months ago)
Im going to do what she does.
Ashlin Ahlip (2 months ago)
lived in! the real deal... Thanks for posting
follyage61 (2 months ago)
Finally, a real, lived-in tiny home! Loved this episode.
S A Whaley (2 months ago)
I love her tiny home. It's eclectic and real.
PrestoWind (2 months ago)
What an awesome lady.
Stephen Powdexter (2 months ago)
It's extremely well designed for a do-it-yourselfer but ... ,the reality of tiny homes is you have supplies stashed everywhere and in the open. As a trailer you can see that the wheels have nowhere to go for bumps and the front is flat and non-aerodynamic. There are no slide-outs to make it more spacious.
bodacias402 (2 months ago)
shes crazy not to have her tiny house stable somewhere, truck can go out anytime
Cathy Lynn Pietranton (2 months ago)
We wish her save travels and happy adventures.
Kodey Whitewolf (2 months ago)
Great tiny house Love her / interview Such a positive outlook / attitude So inspirational. Don't let fear stop you in your life Live your life
Frenk Vortice (2 months ago)
wow this woman is amazing
SAPPER FOREVER (2 months ago)
_I like her style and home, she got it going on! : )_
Bobby Sayasane (2 months ago)
Did you ask her how much it cost to make it including everything inside?