Tiny Heirloom are a small caravan manufacturer based in Portland, Oregon. The term 'caravan' really doesn't adequately describe what this team of designers and artisan builders are getting up to in the Pacific North West though.
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are a team of six wholesome looking guys and girls headed up by Tyson Spiess, who created the company with the vision of providing bespoke luxury homes on wheels. And that's exactly what they do. As I said earlier, the term 'caravan' doesn't do justice to the homes created but it's a useful legal loophole... These truly are little houses on wheels that have been designed and built to the highest possible standards and fitted out without compromise. As each home is bespoke, customers are encouraged to be involved in the specification process and their input is guided by the team to create the best home for their needs.
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There is definitely a growing trend for people to downsize and make use of their living spaces more efficiently. The backlash from recession and people struggling to make ends meet to finance their lifestyles and ever increasing ecological awareness is driving a subculture of people to take stock of their lives and make the move to more economical, innovative ways of achieving their dream homes. There's a housing crisis both sides of the pond and a feeling of disenfranchisement with the status quo.
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The stripped down way of living has it's own movement and champions, perhaps most notable of which in the U.K. is George Clarke
who espouses the virtues of minimizing our impact on the natural environment without compromising on architectural or interior design. Off grid living with luxurious surroundings, on a shoe-string budget. This movement has been beautifully encapsulated and epitomised by the Tiny Heirloom team with real craftsmanship available to the customer at just $65,000 for the base model. That's a touch over £41,000 and I challenge you to find anything so well crafted for the same money, be it house, boat, car or caravan.
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Even the most basic home they offer boasts the highest standards of build quality and luxury. No corners are cut and they pride themselves on using only the best best methods and materials available for your travelling house. They promise never to scrimp on materials or engineering processes to boost their bottom line. Included in the basic $65,000 model are granite worktops, painted or stained wooden cabinets, real wood flooring, top of the range heater, stainless steel kitchen appliances, combination washer/dryer, basic wind or solar package and shipping. They will even pay for you to fly from any US continental state to have your initial consultation.
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They'll talk you through the every aspect of making the move to compact living and aim to take all the stress out of the process. They can offer advice on financing your purchase as well as all the design elements and how to get the most out of your budget. This is where the useful legal loophole of the Tiny Heirloom technically being a caravan comes in to play. Financing your purchase is in essence, no different to financing a car. Most banks will offer you a loan and the Oregon company have a bank onside who are prepared to offer 0% down and an APR of 5% over 15 years. That makes for a very affordable 'mortgage' of $450 (£283) a month. Once they have finalised the plans with you and have your go ahead, they start the ball rolling with their engineer and the final product should be with you in 3-4 months.
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Once you have your new home the world is your oyster. U.S. law states that because the Tiny Heirloom is a 'Travel Trailer' there are no permits required and no taxes involved in establishing it somewhere, you can attach it to your car and drive it wherever you wish, whenever you like. U.K. law states that because it is a movable structure, no planning permission is required to place it on your land. You have the option to hook it up to the mains or to stay off grid with the use of the wind/solar on board power plant. They've even taken care of the sewerage problem. There's a compostable toilet, meaning that you will only need to empty it once every 2-3 months.
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We're a little bit in love with the whole ethos of Tiny Heirloom here at Specialised Covers, in case you hadn't noticed, and as soon as we get home we're selling the kids and moving to Oregon.