Is it possible to restore a trailer and actually live in it?

restored comet camper
© Mariah Pastell

I am very taken with tiny houses. For me, tiny house living is all about freeing yourself from many of the constraints that larger homes burden us with.

I currently live in a smallish 2 bedroom apartment and get this: I am only ever in one room at a time.

So what is the appeal of having all kinds of space that is not really used?

A lot of people have taken to exploring the tiny house movement but may have the realization that actually building a tiny house just isn’t in the cards for them.

But what about a restored trailer that could be completely repurposed to use as a moveable tiny house? Originally a trailer was made to be towed so it has that going for it right off the bat. The shell is there and the floor plan if you want to stay with the original design.

Yes there will be work involved to do it properly.That is the same as everything else. And I realize that in colder locations there would have to be some serious insulating going on to even have a fighting chance of living in it.

But the point is that it can be done.

Massachusetts-based eco-designer and DIYer Mariah Pastell
had 500$ to start with and decided that restoring a camper-trailer just made more sense.

restored camper tiny house © Mariah Pastell[/caption]

The emphasis is on non-toxic, sustainably or locally-sourced, repurposed materials. So far, Mariah has redone the electrical wiring, installed non-toxic Cotton Insulation , and is in the process of installing 555 watts of solar photovoltaic panels on the trailer’s roof. She also plans to build a “bumper garden” out of cedar and aluminum soon. She’s kept the original, hand-powered “rocket pump” for water, and has also opted for a composting toilet.


restored camper tiny house
© Mariah Pastell

“Tiny houses are warmer because they have real insulation, they are very difficult to move and tow, and very expensive for what you get. If I had had $20,000 and more time I would have maybe built a tiny house, but I had $500 and an urgent need. I love my camper and it was definitely the right choice for me.
The more people I interview and the more I see, I realize that the recycling of a vintage camper is superior to a tiny house on wheels green-wise in many ways. People think that a tiny house means mobility, but that’s a misconception in my opinion. Towing a camper that was meant to travel down the highway and is somewhat aerodynamic is hard enough, towing a tiny house regularly is insanity. The more I discuss with people the pros and cons, the more people that I know that originally wanted to do the tiny house thing end up going the vintage trailer route.”- Mariah Pastell


restored trailer tiny home
© Mariah Pastell
trailer tiny house
© Mariah Pastell

Visit Mariah Pastell and her restored trailer The Comet here

Could you see yourself in a restored trailer as your own tiny house?
There are certainly lots of them out there for sale.

Please share your thoughts on this in the comments and share this via social media.

“Live Simply”


5 thoughts on “Restored Trailer As A Tiny House

  1. Interesting idea for a single, young person or couple during a certain stage of life, living in a warmer climate, but how practical for families with kids, older people, or those of us living in most of Canada. Where does the toilet ‘compost’ go if the owner is on the road? Also, where is the bath/shower?
    How insulated is it?

    1. All good points to make and questions to ask. It gets moved when the weather gets colder. Not an option for most people. But for those of us with Nomadic tendencies it has a certain appeal.

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