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Tiny House Castle

A Tiny House Castle: One of the Most Fun Tiny Homes You'll Find

By Tobias RobertsRise Writer
Dec 27, 2018

When browsing through photos on Google or Instagram of tiny home interiors, it is easy to become engrossed in the seemingly endless creativity that people employ to maximize the useful space inside 200 square feet of living area. From lofted bedrooms to multi-use living rooms, to innovative storage ideas, the interiors of the tiny home are certainly an inspiration for downsizing and finding ways to live well in homes with reduced square footage.

When it comes to the exterior of many time homes, however, most of us are less than impressed. Try as they might disguise it, many tiny homes on wheels still kind of look like a glorified version of a portable shed that you pick up from Home Depot or a smaller version of a trailer home being hauled by a semi-truck. While some tiny homes do break that mold through incorporating wood siding sourced from upcycled pallets, most tiny home exteriors are rather drab. One family from New Zealand, however, challenges the assumption that the exteriors of tiny homes cannot be as exciting as their innovative interiors.

Tiny House Castle Truck Folded
Photo Credit: tinyhousefloorplans.org

A Tiny House Castle? 

Jola Siezen, her partner Justin and their son Piko have created a tiny home on wheels that pushes the boundaries of creativity and originality. Their tiny house on wheels was engineered (the word built simply doesn’t do justice to this home) by the family to turn into a castle when unfolded. Like a Transformer, the house folds up into a full-size truck that is compact and complies with all necessary road regulations. A view from the backside of the vehicle, however, shows two turrets that offer a glimpse of what is to come.

Tiny House Castle Truck Turrets
Photo Credit: Living Big in a Tiny House

When unfolded, the tiny house on wheels turns into an impressive castle that is solar and gas-powered. Except for the wheels of the truck, it is close to impossible to tell that this tiny home is actually an unfurled vehicle.

Tiny House Castle Truck
Photo Credit: Living Big in a Tiny House

Justin, the designer and builder of the home were inspired to build the home through prior experiences of his living in a bus. “We were traveling around overseas and thought about coming back to New Zealand where we were going to live,” Justin says. “And I remembered living in this bus and I thought: ‘Oh, that’s actually not a bad idea.’”

After several months of planning and drawing, Justin came up with the design for his tiny “castle” on wheels. “I like engineering. I like art. When you can put them both together, it’s really good,” he relates.

A Unique Interior

While the exterior of this tiny home is certainly an attention grabber, the interior is just as impressive. The kitchen space is the main central feature of the home. “Everyone needs a kitchen space. That is where you spend most of all your time,” Justin says, “so that should be part of the priority when you are designing.

Tiny House Castle Truck Kitchen
Photo Credit: Living Big in a Tiny House

While many tiny homes have reduced spaces for cooking and eating, the kitchen in this tiny home includes full-sized appliances, including a full-sized oven for baking. The cabinetry in the kitchen was made from wood that was sourced from old power poles. Justin cut the cross-sections of those old power poles into planks which were then upcycled into a beautiful salvaged wood kitchen interior.

The main living room opens directly to the outdoors with large double doors. “A lot of homes have such small doors to get through, you almost have to go through sideways. Having an entire space open makes it just a good shelter,” Justin believes. The connection between the interior and the exterior of the home makes the home feel larger than it really is while also incorporating aspects of biophilic design.

Tiny House Castle Truck Foldout
Photo Credit: Living Big in a Tiny House

The bedroom is a loft that raises above the truck and the unique rotating wardrobe is built into the space underneath the loft, complete with automatic lighting. Jola handmade the wallpaper in their lofted bedroom from cutting out musical notes and lyrics from old music books.

Cupboards and storage spaces are similarly interspersed throughout the entire home. The tiny home/castle on wheels is heated in the winter by a small wood stove, which also provides hot water for the family. Solar panels power the few electric appliances and the lighting needs that the home incorporates.

Tiny House Castle Truck
Photo Credit: Living Big in a Tiny House

A Turret Bathroom and a Second Story

The two towers or turrets that unfold to give this tiny house on wheels its magical, fairytale appearance also have uses. One of the turrets has a composting toilet which further reduces the family’s water needs. The other tower includes a shower and a small washing machine. Unlike other tiny homes, separate turrets create a separate bathroom and shower area which opens up more living space inside the home. The home also has a rainwater catchment system to help the family reduce their dependence on municipal sources of water.

Tiny House Castle Truck
Photo Credit: tinyhousetalk.com

While many tiny homes incorporate a lofted sleeping area, almost none include a second level. Justin and Jola’s tiny house on wheels, however, includes a rooftop balcony with several impressive features. A full-size bathtub located on the covered rooftop allows the homeowners to take in the surrounding sights while enjoying an early morning or late evening bath. The hot water for the tub is either supplied by the wood stove, solar panels, or a separate gas water heater.

The rooftop balcony also includes a hammock and a separate solar food dehydrator that the family uses to dehydrate fruit that they harvest. “There is so much heat generated on a roof,” Justin says, “and it usually gets vented out nowhere. So we might as well channel it into one spot, dry some fruit up and then let it go.” This novel idea is an example of how small homes can utilize what is routinely considered to be an undesirable element (excess heat) into something useful for a more sustainable lifestyle.

Tiny House Castle Roof
Photo Credit: Living Big in a Tiny House

To truly appreciate all the uniqueness and ingenuity that this completely off-grid tiny house offers, enjoy this video tour of this amazing tiny home on wheels provided by Living Big in a Tiny House.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2020-06-24T18:14:25+0000
Tobias Roberts

Article by:

Tobias Roberts

Tobias runs an agroecology farm and a natural building collective in the mountains of El Salvador. He specializes in earthen construction methods and uses permaculture design methods to integrate structures into the sustainability of the landscape.