How I Turned A $600 Trailer Into $100,000

In 2014 a young couple excitedly set out for their first camping trip with their brand-new RV trailer.  They had never towed before and, as it turns out, they were a bit too confident in their ability to tow. Only a few miles down the road they flipped it over.

Nobody was hurt but their personal pride took a real beating that day.

Shortly after the accident, the insurance company sold the literal wreck to an auction where a young and ambitious man purchased it for $600. He had fun plans for what he would do with the trailer as well as the new appliances and fixtures still unused inside.

trailer base

He stripped and recycled the main body of the trailer, installed the appliances and fixtures into his cabin in the nearby woods, and then decided he no longer had the energy or focus to turn the trailer into his vision. So, he listed it on Craigslist where I found it, bought it also for $600, and set out to prove to the tiny-house-world that one can indeed build an 18-foot-long tiny home (using traditional wood building methods) and have it weigh less than the trailer could carry, (7,000 lbs.)

tiny house construction

After eight months of construction,

a 200-mile journey, a yellow slip from a certified scale, $8,000 of my own cash, and $12,000 worth of sponsored materials and labor, My Tiny Perch opened as a short-term rental in Sherwood, Oregon in February of 2018.

What started as an experiment was an immediate hit! Bookings and 5-Star reviews from guests poured in. The media was fascinated, the neighbors excited, and I was inspired enough to embark on three more tiny home builds that same year. My build projects that year also included a tiny luxury home featured for the first time at a local real estate event that had traditionally featured only multi-million-dollar mansions.

Completed Perch tiny house

What followed Perch’s success is, I think, a bit of a fairy tale.

One fueled by blood, sweat, tears, and a boatload of sponsors and money but a fairy tale, nonetheless. One tiny home became seven, plus five teardrop trailers and a whole new RV rental business over the course of four years. Then, the true miracle. The Perch and the entire Tiny House Village “found” a forever home in 2022.

What started with $600, as a very risky proposition, on a leased Christmas Tree farm; became a successful enterprise that is now complete on 2-1/2 acres of waterfront land. Land that I own. Almost every day I wake up thankful that what started as a design dream and happened as a fairy tale, ended up as a miracle.interior tiny house

Since I started My Tiny House Village in 2018 with My Tiny Perch it has generated over $100,000

in revenue. When compared to other short-term rentals, that’s certainly not a lot of money, but when you consider that I started with a $600 trailer; the return on my investment simply can’t be beat!

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