WHY We Chose to LIVE in a 13ft Scamp Trailer


Hey, I’m Elsa and I’m Barron and today is our one-year anniversary of
living in this Scamp trailer. We were living in a one-bedroom
apartment about five years ago when Baron brought up the idea to me. The obvious thing that I had on my side was that houses are just stupid
expensive and this was a way that we could pay off the house for an amount of
money that actually makes sense. We were draining away $700 with that
apartment and $900 for a house from a family friend. And that’s just rent like
utilities and everything– and that’s just Kansas City, too. With Barron I started doing
some research on tiny houses looking at YouTube and forums. I would just find the
highlights and then bring Elsa all the highlights of the cutest one or the
one that was like the most.. something that she would dig and then over and over again.. They’re really freaking cool. Tiny houses are SWEET. Fall of 2015 we decided to
take a trip to Portland. We’d been looking at some tiny house builders. We thought that we would get
a tiny house built for us so that we could save time. We wouldn’t have to pay rent living in a space as we were building our tiny house. We like the idea of a tiny house
because we could build something custom. So we could get exactly what we wanted laid out how we wanted. We could have
workspace, a nice bathroom, all the things that we needed. –Or thought we needed. Ironically we wanted a space where Elsa could set up cameras and have
like a good place to do tutorials and stuff and it’s kind of hilarious because
we have 3 cameras set up right now and we’re doing it right here. So, we toured tiny houses and after we left Portland we loved them, like we
were all in. I thought it was a great idea and then we got home and looked into
loans, like how we were gonna pay for it because they were anywhere between
50 to 80 grand depending on how you did it which was still a lot cheaper than
any of the houses we could’ve bought in Kansas City, so we were still like, okay,
we can own a thing– Then we thought about it and we could do so many things with fifty to eighty thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money and that’s a lot
of commitment We’ve both been self-employed for
several years, so getting a loan with our variable incomes and self-employed tax
returns wasn’t gonna be easy. It’s also amatter of is it an RV loan?
Is it a house loan? The other thing was we couldn’t find
anywhere to park it legally. In Kansas City especially. There was nowhere that we could
legally do it aside from an RV park. But then we would be paying rent
to an RV park every month and living in an RV park in a
tiny house which was not super sensical, no. Tiny homes also are very heavy, so you
effectively need a semi truck to pull them around and they’re not meant to be
towed all the time. So we needed a place to park this thing and to
not move it unless we had to. And then all those combined brought us to the idea of RVs. People mentioned it often like, why don’t you just get an RV? We stubbornly clung to the tiny house thing because it’s cool. RVs are generally pretty heinous looking
they look like something out of that 70s show, like intentionally. And we just thought we needed more space, too. We thought that an RV wasn’t
gonna cut it. It started making more sense that RVs are made to be traveled in, RVs are significantly cheaper it was It was easy to get a loan on them – yeah
they’re legal. My grandparents have been living in their RVs through the winters
for I think my entire life. They’re snowbirds and they would go down to Mexico
so we drove up to Iowa and with them and toured a bunch of RVs. We went to some RV retailers
to look at some used RVs and we looked at toy haulers, for example,
and utility trailers Like an empty UHaul. Because because they were convertible we could do whatever we wanted to them. We also looked at truck bed campers with
the camper in the truck bed of a truck. and we looked at some other
tow behind trailers. We really couldn’t find anything much
smaller than 20 feet though. Yeah, and we were looking for something smaller. Primarily so that we
wouldn’t have to get a giant truck. Elsa’s grandpa, Huck, insisted that we
have a truck over and over again, “You gotta have a damn truck!”
He wouldn’t let it go Well because for most of these you do and we would have, so that
was gonna be an added expense. An expense that was probably gonna cost
more than the camper itself. While we were in Iowa, we were also on Craigslist trying to find some other places to look for trailers and up finding a teeny tiny little fiberglass trailer in my grandma’s neighborhood. It was the first Scamp that we had ever seen and we toured it but it was really small. So small, it had a bathroom so that cut
down on its whole size. I thought that it could never be
something livable, but it was really cool. It was an older guy that had it and he said that he had travelled the west
coast up and down and back to Iowa pulling the scamp with his Subaru which
was really appealing to me. That opened an entire new category of things we could live in that maybe wouldn’t require us
buying an expensive truck. We started looking into fiberglass trailers and at this point we thought that a bathroom
was a definite necessity so we were looking at the 16-foot models of the
scamp primarily. And as we were thinking about it it was like, well if we didn’t have a bathroom we could go down to the next size in Scamps to a 13 foot.
Do we really need a bathroom? And after a bunch of thought we kind of realized we didn’t want to be pooping in our tiny space, we didn’t want to have to carry around all
this black water, drain it, clean it, that would take up a lot of space and also
just be a huge pain in the butt, and people shouldn’t be in a bathroom more than 30 minutes a day, so why would we dedicate 20% of our living quarters to a
place where we spend such little amounts of time? There’s toilets everywhere. Everywhere!
In every public establishment there’s a toilet and several in everybody’s homes. If we ever needed a toilet, or even now if we decide that we want one for whatever reason We could do a composting toilet and just put it under where we have our shoes. So then we started broadening our search
online to 13ft fiberglass trailers. We tried to snag like five of them- If they’re under ten thousand dollars they’re gone or claimed in like, 2 days. They hold their value well, we really had no idea that there’s such a market for fiberglass
trailers. They’re awesome- yeah they’re really cool.-
We saw a guy in Minnesota selling his for 4500 with some water damage.
1988, so a little bit older. We borrowed our friend Jordan Mackey’s truck and drove it all the way up an hour south of Canada. When we toured the Scamp, it had
more water damage than we had previously thought. So, we talked to the guy down to $3,700 and gave him
the cash and hooked up the Scamp And drove it back! 20 hours total and then finally decided to
stop at Des Moines, Iowa, Walmart parking lot and stay the
night I cried. Reality was finally kicking in like, oh my god we’re gonna.. We’re doin it!
We did it! We just did it so, we’re doin it I felt pretty good because every time
I looked in the rearview mirror and saw our house that was completely paid off
behind us I was like, okay.. 😀 Yeah… -Elsa not so much. We were planning on using my Pontiac Vibe,
it’s rated to tow about 2,000lbs. I was on the phone with my dad, talking to him about whether we could do it with the Vibe and he was like, couldn’t you just do it with the Mini? I guess, maybe. and we looked into it, put a tow hitch on the back, took it on a
test drive and the Mini Cooper became our tow vehicle for an entire year. A month before we moved into the Scamp full time, I went with a friend to Vietnam
and you stayed back and you worked on- I worked on like all the water damage and just really made the Scamp livable. And the day I got back to the US,
we moved out of our house and into the Scamp.. and it was a pretty big
thing At first it was very challenging, it is a smaller space. Another difficult thing was getting around societal validation, to like keep doing
our thing. It seemed like everybody that we talked to was skeptical and would
just tell us that that’s not gonna work. So to keep our head on straight and just keep
pushing with our vision was pretty difficult, especially initially. –Right now we’re kind of like, what should we do? We have our whole house basically on our backs we can, we can go anywhere! But now after your practice we are living full-time in nature, we have
more time, we’re creating more. We’re making so many new friends and connecting with people that we wouldn’t have been able to. And we have a cool place for our friends from Kansas City to come out and hang out, too, which
is pretty awesome. We are absolutely so much happier living
this way than I could have ever imagined. I would have never guessed that this was
going to be so incredibly perfect. And honestly, solutions have come more
easily than we previously thought. As you do it, or as we do it, we figure
out solutions to things more quickly than I could have imagined, truly. So now we’re here on a mountain
with our new Subaru and a year of scamp life under our belt. And so, our journey begins.. Again! Thanks for watching and we’ll see you in
our next video! Bye!

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