Autumn, Rusty, and baby Bear Bailey all live in their converted 42-foot-long, 300-square-foot toy trailer. They’re currently in Truckee, CA, but joyfully get to travel in their home as needed for Rusty’s work as a welder. With a new addition on the way, they’re happily settled in their home. They’ve been living in the trailer for almost two years, after deciding to commit and buy their trailer to “live tiny” for five years. In addition to the experiences the family could have together, part of opting for this lifestyle was the fact that Rusty travels for work and having a literal mobile home meant that they would be able to all travel together as a family.
When they first went searching for their future home, it wasn’t the most calm scenario, as Autumn explains, “Trailer hunting with a newborn, two weeks before you’re supposed to be at a job in Virginia, is difficult and it didn’t give us a whole lot of time to hunt down trailers.” The family’s needs for the home weren’t particularly lengthy, but they did have to be specific: “Because we wanted to be able to travel together long distance — like say from California to Virginia — we needed a hauler that would fit my Subaru in the garage. Not too many toyhaulers come with a separate garage bigger than 10-12 feet and the ones that do are newer, so our options were definitely limited. But we lucked out and came across a new 42-foot-long Keystone Fuzion toyhauler with a 16-foot garage, and instantly we knew we weren’t finding a better deal or trailer than this one, so we [did it]!”
The family lived in the trailer as-is for the first year because renovations weren’t possible at first with a newborn. “It was hard staring at all the brown-on-brown for that first year but looking back on it, it gave me the time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with our space and how every room would function for us.” Rusty’s work schedule at the time was working five to six days a week (in another town), leaving naps and after Bear’s bedtime — plus the weekends — as their only times for renovations. All told, it took the couple about three months for the entire renovation to be completed.
When Autumn set about designing the toy-hauler-turned-tiny-house, she knew that living in the space was temporary, but she didn’t want that to stop her from decorating it like a home with quality textiles and materials that will last far beyond how long they’ll live in the trailer. She wanted to create a space for her family that was bright, welcoming, and one that actually looked like a home (but she jokes, one that “just happens to have three axels”). It was also a requirement that the space be safe and functional for their son Bear, and their next baby that will arrive shortly. Autumn also wanted to make it a priority to create space for her to practice self-care and take time for herself.
We love this creative way to have more family time, create memories, and seek adventures, and we can’t wait to see how the new baby settles in when they arrive soon! —Rebekah