All of your questions answered, right here. Let's do away with suspense, though, by saying, "It was AWESOME!!" One other quick note: the good people at Vertical Adventure Guides generously waived the pet fee for our stay in exchange for me writing this article. However, all thoughts, opinions, and experiences were mine alone and were not influenced by this condition. This is not a sponsored post.
Size: 200 sq ft tiny house on wheels
Location: Reedsburg, WI
Year-Round Rental: Yes
Property: 22 acres
Bed: Queen size in loft
Capacity: 2 persons
Dogs Allowed: Yes (limit 2)
How I Found It: Tiny House Listings
Later on, I'll describe the "Haves" and "Have Nots," the differences between renting in the Summer vs Winter, and what I "Loved" and "Loved Not" about our experience. But for now, let me just dive right into some prose! Here's what it was like staying in the tiny house.
This was a great unit for a test drive in tiny house living. It's 200 square feet, so pretty representative for a TOW (tiny house on wheels). It felt more spacious that I expected, though the last tiny I toured was a mere 86 sq ft!! Naturally, during my stay I started "designing" my own tiny in my mind. I'd tweak this or change that or add this or get rid of that. That was part of the fun!
When we arrived, it was easy to find the key, even though it was dark. I'd gotten a pretty good list of what to bring before we left, so I had a flashlight handy. We got in and started unpacking right away. It should go without saying, but here's me saying it anyway: pack light! I brought books (5 of them, lol), one change of clothes, cold weather clothes and outerwear, minimal food, and bedding. And of course River's stuff: food (only what we needed), travel bowls, harness, leash, doggie sleeping bag, winter coat, bully stick for chewing, one toy, and a towel for wiping her snowy feet.
Since we were renting in the middle of winter and the well was turned off for the season, we had to bring our own water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. Yes, that means no shower, flush toilet, or running water in the sinks. It was a bit inconvenient, but we are used to camping in similar conditions. I was very glad to jump in the shower once we got home, though!
Speaking of winter, there was a small heater that did a pretty good job. It was a bit cold downstairs, and I wrapped a blanket around me while reading or watching a movie. What most people don't realize is that the loft stays quite warm at night. Here's why: for one, heat rises, but the other fun fact is that the loft is suspended over air without the insulation one typically sees in a separate storey in a house. It is very easy to heat since the air beneath the loft becomes warm. We were more than toasty at night and slept great!
Let's go back to the being downstairs part. The only thing I'd change in my own tiny is having a lounge area where one can curl up and relax. To watch the movie, I was in a kitchen chair with my feet propped on the other kitchen chair. Not super comfortable, but it worked. The other alternative was the upholstered bench by the entryway, which is also a good view of the TV, but again, hard to get comfortable. The table was great for reading and eating, though, and I loved the view out the window right next to the table.
Ok, back to the loft, which was what I was most excited for. It brought back memories of being in a college dorm, but it was way better. For one thing, I had a wonderful queen size mattress that was extremely comfortable. There was also plenty of room up in the loft; I didn't feel claustrophobic or cramped at all. Enough head room to crouch comfortably, plus space on either side of the bed to make putting a sheet on a doable task. No risk of falling off because your head was at the opposite end of the loft. There were 3 windows and a skylight, so it was plenty bright but also helped to make it feel more open. River LOVED looking out the skylight, even though I doubt she could see anything other than wind in the trees.
Ok, ready for a little bit of creepy? There is a porch on this unit (which I LOVE! even though it was too cold and snowy to sit out there), which means inside the house there is a mini-loft where the roof extends over the porch. In this nook reside two additional, unexpected "house guests." A stuffed (no, not the plush kind, the taxidermy kind) raccoon and pheasant. Thankfully they were not oriented so as to be "watching" you as you slept! They didn't really bother me, but I could see if you were staying by yourself how it might be unnerving lol. Here is River keeping an eye on them from the loft.
Ok, I think we've talked enough about the inside of the house, which was lovely, well-appointed, and very cozy. Now let's talk about the splendor of the outdoors!!
The 22 acre lot was a huge reason why I selected this tiny rental. They have done an excellent job of creating two separate trails around the property, through the woods, and along the fields. It was stunningly beautiful, perfectly quiet, and exactly the kind of nature retreat I needed to get away from it all. Keep an eye out for the trail markers; I completely missed them my first trek out and ended up just wandering around in the woods. The trailhead is located in the center of the property, just past the bath house. From there, you can go left or right, but watch for trail markers: sometimes flags in the ground (the kind that alert you to buried wires) and sometimes markers at eye level on trees. Once you know what to look for, it's easy to find your way.
Visual teaser and incentive to come stay here:
Ok, now that you are stunned by the natural beauty of this hideaway in Wisconsin, let's get into the details.
Heater, 3 burner gas range, mini fridge with freezer, large TV, DVD player, DVD’s, dishes, cookware, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, portable toilet, kitchen table with leaves, 2 kitchen chairs, fold down kitchen surface/table, long upholstered bench in entryway, wall hooks, ladder to loft, loft with queen size bed, coffee maker, comforter, two pillows, outdoor light, porch, picnic table, fire ring, electricity, plugins
Air conditioner, shower, flush toilet, microwave, oven, linens, blankets, towels, toilet paper, paper towels, firewood, wifi, camp chairs
Winter vs Summer
In winter, the well is shut off and there is no running water. You’ll have to use a portable toilet inside the tiny house and bring water to use for cooking, cleaning, and drinking during your stay. Yep, that means no shower. There is a small electric heating unit which works pretty good, but you’ll likely want a blanket if spending time downstairs in cold weather.
In the summer, there is running water inside the tiny house to use in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Flush toilets and a shower are available in the bath house nearby. I hear they are great! There is no air conditioner unit, so it might get warm in the summer. Plenty of windows, though.
DVDs and TV (unexpected!)
The little touches - candles, guest book, decor
Felt very secure
The entire experience staying in the tiny house was wonderful. Easy to get inside, quality unit with plenty of space, and a very enjoyable stay overall!
Not a smooth booking process. Several separate steps and I had to provide several forms of personal information.
Ladder vs Stairs to the loft. Ladder is hard on the feet, and I'd put stairs in my own tiny when I build. Ladder certainly saves space, but it would be hard to climb up/down every day if living in a tiny. For the rental, it wasn't a problem.
Lack of a shower, though not much can be done about that! :)
Having to bring toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, and other basics that I think could easily be provided in the unit and kept on hand. Many guests leave a roll of toilet paper or dish soap, so I actually could have gotten by that weekend without bringing any.
More Tiny Pics
All in all, an absolutely wonderful experience renting and living in a tiny house for a weekend!! I highly recommend trying one out! Here are some tiny house resources for the curious:
Tiny House Listings (great place to find rentals)
Air BnB (another great place to find rentals)
VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner)
Tiny House Community (great place for the tiny curious!)
Tiny House Association (read up on laws in your state)
Again, if you'd like to book this particular tiny house on wheels, head to their website: Vertical Adventure Guides.
Adventure On! Tiny On!