SHEDsistence D.I.Y. Modern Tiny House Base Camp on Wheels!

Hey Everyone! We are Robert and Samantha Garlow, a husband and wife team that designed and built our 24’ THOW on weekends, paycheck to paycheck, over the course of 14 months. This project became a testament to what belief in yourself and trust in each other can achieve when applied to a shared vision and we now have everything we need and nothing that we don’t; an equilibrium that is incredibly liberating. This journey has been an exercise in minimalism in which excessive material possessions and the time and effort required to acquire, store, clean, organize and eventually sell or discard them is minimized and our time is spent doing more meaningful things.

The idea of a tiny house aligns closely with many of the underlying principles we believe in, including reducing our ecological footprint, but the conversation was ultimately kick started by our interest in saving money and increasing our option for mobility. For the past seven years we had rented apartments while borrowing the money needed to acquire our educations and we were ready to make a change. The thought of buying a house and acquiring more debt in the form of a mortgage while trying to pay off six figures worth of student loans was a huge red flag. A brief joke about building a tiny house evolved into reality when we realized that it would help achieve all of the goals we were currently pursuing while sparking a new sense of excitement in us.

There were other things of interest, including the firsthand experience and knowledge gained by taking on such a project combined with the ability to apply my formal education (architecture) to a unique real world scenario in which we would be experiencing both the positive and negative consequences of our design first hand. We also saw it as a fun challenge; another opportunity to spend a lot of time with each other, toiling away at a communal project and learning even more about our strengths and weaknesses along the way.

Our unique roof profile was a result of our interest in reducing the unnecessary weight, energy costs and construction costs associated with over 270 cubic feet of unneeded volume in certain areas of the house and also lends itself to a more aerodynamic form when transporting. We applied some innovative construction techniques to our home by combining 2×3 advanced framing with 1” of continuous exterior insulation to create a lighter wall assembly with better thermal performance than that of a standard 2×4 wall. We used 100% reclaimed siding including re-milled walnut and salvaged corrugated metal from the roof of a 50 year old local barn.

We also wanted our THOW to support our outdoor lifestyle so we built a dedicated area adjacent to our 180 sf of living space to store the tools and equipment that allow us to do what we love. We now life full time in our tiny house base camp on wheels in the center of the Pacific North West and spend our time thoroughly exploring the deserts, mountain tops, coastlines, rivers, thermal waters and forests of this incredibly diverse corner of our country.

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to explore our home and maybe even toss us a vote in this friendly contest!:)

If you would like to learn more about or D.I.Y. Tiny House on Wheels, we invite you to explore some of our resources below:



INSTAGRAM: shed_tinyhouse

Our E-BOOK: BUILT WITH OUR HANDS: A D.I.Y. Tiny House Memoir

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We were drawn to the nick name β€˜SHED’ because it spoke to the simple form and a utilitarian design that we sought (noun) while

simultaneously speaking to the process of downsizing and simplifying when used as a verb. We have included some photos of us building our tiny house below!

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13 thoughts on “SHEDsistence D.I.Y. Modern Tiny House Base Camp on Wheels!

    • Sherrill Smith says:

      Robert and Samantha, hello.

      What a pleasure to find your THOW for the first time thirty minutes ago. It is brilliant and a work of art. It is beautiful aesthetically as well as the most pleasing and logical layout I have seen in six months of looking at tiny homes. Everything makes sense in the motions necessary to enjoy an activity. In planning for my retirement, a THOW has been an extremely attractive alternative, yet I had not seen one that addressed all of my interests until now.

      There is nothing more to say at this time except that whether you are selected for this recognition, or not, you are the creative winners in the hearts and/or minds of many viewers. Thank you for sharing your passion and vision with us.

  1. Ruth Yael Ben-Adir says:

    Love your shed especially the stairstorage depth of steps, kitchen layout and storage in kitchen. I like yr base camp storage centre. Iam going to study yr design a bit more. I also LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS ON THE ROAD.
    Very inspiring.

  2. John Goodin says:

    I saw a Shed Roof (style) Tiny Home in the past and was intrigued, but didn’t like the floorplan (split kitchen/bathroom). The shed roof is simple concept that is thermally superior (for cooling) and makes for great sense of space. You kids (yes, I’m old) have hit all the right design nuances with your home/execution. The kitchen space is great, bathroom is great and stairs/closet is simple, elegant and comprehensive (most seem to be a mishmash of cubby’s).

    The utility/storage room is a surprise/bonus (I’d use for laundry/utility). The entry door/alcove is a design twist (literally) without loosing to much floorspace. Your use of windows is generous and makes space seem larger; however my own preference would be for horizontal windows (above six feet) to let in light with walls for privacy, shelving. etc..

    But, all in all, the best Shed Roof (best in class) Tiny Home I’ve seen and your execution seems flawless! I hope your entry wins many categories! I did my part (voting for you). Good luck!

  3. Kbee says:

    This is my favorite because it can be adapted for sleeping downstairs (widen the couch) and add width to the prep counter for dining without losing storage. I am only one person and this would be perfect. Oh, the bedroom would be an art studio.

  4. Ros Hayman says:

    My husband and I travelled Australia for 6 and a half years, back in 1983. We had a converted School bus. My husband did all the design and labour himself, we also did it from paycheck to paycheck in between work shifts. After living in a Tiny Home myself for that amount of time, I can say that your design wins hands down. Functionality as well as style is the key. We welcomed our child into our tiny home, and made a few alterations to suit. It all worked out very well. Well done to you both.

  5. Gordon Swenson says:

    I bought your book and now I am reading it for the second time. Well thought out and I like that you are not afraid to do things in a different way.

  6. J Stringer says:

    Thank you Robert & Samantha…

    Your home is an inspiration and its hallmark is the clever and multiple use of space. It packs more into your tiny home than many people would have in a 600 sf bungalow or apartment.

    I have studied it over and over and almost without exception, I come away with an idea and a new question each time I see it.

    Thank you again. Best regards and have a superb 2017

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