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PNW Tiny Home Life After Finding a Sweet Parking Spot

Today’s Tiny House Parking Spot, Episode 18

In December, we made the beautiful drive from far Northern California to central Oregon. We settled in Bend is one of our favorite places. It’s a small, happening city with incredible access to nature. There are breweries and coffee shops for days. I made a goal to try each coffee shop in town, minus Starbucks—we drink plenty of that on the road. One of the great things about Bend is the wide-selection of small businesses. There seems to be so much charm and character that goes along with that. It is a highly desirable place to live, so we started our parking search far in advance of arriving.

Tiny House Parking Wanted Flyer

We usually find parking through networking, which tried. One solid option came from our connections, but it was further out of town then we would like. Instead of settling, we got creative with our search. I found a Facebook Marketplace listing for a room for rent, in the heart of town. The pictures showed a large backyard; looked like ample space for our 20’ tiny house on wheels. I figured that if someone was renting a room, he or she was likely looking for supplemental income. So I reached out to the landlord to see if he would be open to hosting a tiny house. At the same time, I put up a Craigslist post with a flyer about us, our house, our parking needs, and what we were willing to offer. Many times, a work/trade agreement can be made. For reduced lot rent, the tiny dweller offers their services. We offered snow shoveling, pet care, trash duties, and basic home security. Though, we realized that it might be easier for us just to pay rent. We set a budget of $300/month, excluding any on-site work. That’s what we could afford. Additionally, we did a little local RV park research and found that we could find a spot with full hook-ups for $500/month.

Good news! Our parking request was appealing to five landowners, including the Facebook lister I first reached out to. We were thrilled. Our backyard spot was very close to downtown and just a five-minute walk to a beautiful river trail. The “host” house is on a dead-end street in a quiet neighborhood. On the property, there is also an on foundation accessory dwelling unit, a historic cabin, and an RV pad. Both are occupied. We feel entirely secure here. If there’s ever an issue, we have several fall-back parking options.

For a closer look at our parking spot, watch the above vlog episode.

The best part about settling in for the holidays was spending time with Garrett, my 12-year-old son, aka Gman. It was his second time flying across the country to join us; he is one brave kid. We spent two full weeks of pure family time. Together we explored Bend, playing in the snow and enjoyed lots of holiday cheer. Christmas morning in our tiny home was absolutely wonderful. I have always loved playing the elf to make holiday extra magical and fun. And believe it or not, I cooked a full Christmas dinner in our tiny kitchen— ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and crescent rolls. Gman loved the dedicated quality time, especially kicking Christian’s butt at video games. Being together meant the world to me.

FEATURED in today’s vlog:

Every Thursday: new episodes of Today's Tiny House Parking Spot, tiny home tours, tiny living how-to’s and more!

-Alexis Stephens, co-founder of Tiny House Expedition

Past Vlog Episodes:

Today's Tiny House Parking Spot: our travel vlog series. Our nomadic tiny home lifestyle, adventures and insights into the tiny house movement.