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Summer of (family) love: tiny home VW-roadtrip doc trailer

Last summer, life handed us a roadtrip: we had tiny homes to film along the West Coast and while we don’t own a car, someone was selling our dream rig – a vintage VW Westfalia campervan – cheap on Craigslist.

It was the ideal setup for filming stories across three states (California, Oregon, Washington), but, above all, this was a chance to find out what we really needed to live.

Limiting ourselves to one backpack per person, our family of five moved into our 50-square-foot mobile home. We hit the road determined to cook all our own meals (propane stove & refrigerator included) and to create our home every night in a different location (RV parks not included).

With no advanced reservations and only interviews to guide us, we visited the homes of regulars in the tiny house world, like Dee Williams (her 10K backyard microhome in Olympia, WA), Tammy and Logan (debt/car-free tiny house couple in Chico, CA) and Steve Sauer (DIY, crafted micro-apartment in Seattle, WA).

We stopped at America’s first tiny house hotel (Portland, OR), a treehouse resort (fully-plumbed “treesort” in Takilma, OR) and a surfer’s roadside workshop and meditation space (milepost 24, Hwy 101, Seaside, OR).

We explored forest bathing in old growth redwood groves and Olympic Peninsula rainforest/lakefront, pushed the limits of “freedom to roam” (the Swedish allmansrätten), tested the reality of camping at Walmart, mingled with accidental pantheists and confronted our own philosophies of life when the essentials of life aren’t taken for granted.

* Watch the full documentary Summer of (family) love: tiny home VW-roadtrip documentary.

  • Pam Schultz Westra

    Oh my gosh….. I remember watching this documentary right after you did it a few years ago but I didn’t connect the dots that it was you and your family until now. Your children were so young. Our venture was but a dream at this point.