Big Heart Tiny Home
By Diana Gosper
If you have a friend or relative who owns a property that you can temporarily, semi-permanently or permanently situate your tiny home on (be it on wheels, on stumps or on a permanent foundation), you might be able to seriously reduce not only your carbon footprint, but also alleviate financial strain and allow for a better lifestyle, with more time (and finances) for health and fitness, education, family, passions, hobbies, travel and whatever it is that's important to you at this stage in your life.
A tiny house (or container/yurt/shed/cabin/boat/tipi/caravan/bush shack/trailer home/permanent tent etc.) can be a more affordable option for some want-to-be home owners or those looking for a relatively affordable tree-change option and a move away from the day-to-day stress of city or suburban life.
Average house prices are sitting at close to a million dollars for Sydney, and half that for Brisbane, easily out of reach for a lot of Australians.
The average price of renting ($427 p/w and rising) can quickly add up too, and before you know it, you have forked out enough 'dead money' to have owned over 20 cheap and modest tiny homes costing $20,000* (or up to 4 luxury/large 'tiny homes' with appliances and power already set-up, ready to move in).
In response to the current unstable and largely unaffordable housing problem - in the face of rising homelessness and increasing dependence on welfare - people are looking for creative solutions. There are countless active groups on Social Media which are devoted to the growing tiny house movement, and if you are interested in embarking on a tiny house adventure, there is a lot of information, prices and even tiny house plans, available at the click of a button.
Powering your tiny home is a project unto itself, and one that you should entrust to a professional. In the end you want a system that suits your individual needs, that is reliable, and one that has quality components with long warranties and after-sales follow up care. The last thing you need is to contact the supplier of your panels/inverter (or complete system!), just to find they were charlatans or were just in the solar industry for a quick buck. For example, True Value Solar (who were once the nation's biggest solar installation company) have recently shut down their Australian branch, even though it has an international revenue of over $A4 Billion. Good luck to any of their Aussie customers wanting follow up service or after sales care.
RPC are experts in the field and have been operating for over 30 years; when it comes to solar power and renewable energy they really are the ones to trust (and they really DO stand behind the products they sell!). Something like the RPC Mini-Box (with 1 panel, regulator, battery, distribution box, cigarette lighter socket, dual USB outlet, digital voltmeter and Anderson plug for optional inverter), is customisable to your needs and starts at the low price of $2036, all the while using quality products with premium warranties, and accredited solar system designers. A system like this can be used to run a few lights, a radio, phone, tablet and your laptop and a compressor driven chest fridge (or about 500Wh per day). The wall-mountable distribution box is mounted inside, but the batteries may be kept outside. The design is used for stationary applications (sheds, cabins) but can also be useful for mobile motor homes. Installation is quick and simple, no special tools required.
When contemplating power solutions for a potential tiny home, contact a reliable, professional and ethical company with a proven track record.
* Considering that a new trailer base for a tiny home is generally around the $10,000 mark, it is rare to find that something can be made for under $20,000, but if second hand materials are used, and free labour etc., then it has been heard of to create a tiny house for as cheap as $10,000.