MTN Life Design: Mike Basich’s tiny house on wheels
Originally featured in Snowboard Mag Vol. 11, Issue 3 | The Primitive Issue
I am learning that finding the open road can turn into quite the addiction. It always seems to bring something new to the ultimate dream. Homebody or not, I must say the road offers something of a closer connection to people and your ever-changing surroundings. It is a feeling of home for me. Last season was such a low snow year at Area-241, I felt the need to expand my road options. Inspired by the tiny home movement I wanted to apply that same idea to a trailer. With a little bit of research I found the dimensions of road widths and heights and started to shape what I could within a 16-foot trailer. I created this fun addition to my Dodge truck for life on the road. It has a bunch of stuff I got at garage sales over the past years and cheap windows from ReStore (I highly recommend going there for any building project.) My girlfriend and I built this in three weeks and hit the road without any testing. We packed it up and headed north, eventually ending up in AK. The trip turned into three months on the road. Something of this creation I could easily live in for a few years straight, but for now I am back at Area-241 hoping for a better snow season to come. If not, I’ll see you on the road in the snowiest parking lot I can find this year. Now go out and build one! – Mike Basich
Location: On the road.
Square Feet: 128 on bottom floor and the loft is approximately 40. The total is about 173 feet.
Special Features: The back wall opens to fit a snowmobile in — good for ferry rides to AK.
Was it tough to get a safe wood burning stove in the tiny trailer?
It was a little bit of working with the drafts for the smoke. It was not easy to use while driving and there were ashes everywhere. I used some fire caulking and got the cracks sealed nicely and that did the trick. There are smoke detectors in the house for safety.
Is the freedom in minimalistic living enhanced with a home on wheels?
The feeling is far beyond the accepted idea of “freedom.” It is hard sometimes because of the lack of direction. The snow is a beautiful guide, but it’s mysterious at the same time. It’s a fun way to mix work with life.
Does your life feel more organized?
It feels more manageable and gives my daily life more meaning to it. There is not so much long range planning. I live more in the present with whatever is happening and my surroundings.
Are there any negatives to life on the road?
Not being able to garden is hard sometimes, but it’s a fair trade-off for the wintertime. We tried growing some stuff on the road which kind of worked. What’s funny is that at the Canadian border they didn’t seem to care that we had flowers and herbs growing in the sink.
What’s the greatest reward?
Being on the road and not feeling homesick. It feels like life is right there with you, and it’s so exciting to have the real estate always changing. There is a very rich feeling and it makes every effort worth it. I highly recommend making the ceilings high in your place if you build one and give it lots of windows — but get curtains because tourist traffic is nuts.
See also: MTN Life Design: Mike Basich, Area-241