Winterizing the Tiny House and Other Outdoor Improvements

Hello everyone!  We spent this past weekend winterizing our Tiny House in reaction to the really cold weather we’ve been having here in Santa Fe.  In the 20’s at night…. Brrr!  Now it’s back up into the 70’s, which is nice, but we still needed to get set up for winter, which is different in a tiny house.

  1. Hook up our propane Newport heater
  2. Insulate our graywater tank and hose located under the trailer
  3. Install wind-block and insulation skirting under the trailer foundation
  4. fix the heat tape at our water supply hose (we had used some heat tape we found from an old trailer but turns out it didn’t work – we found this out when our water froze!)

Our propane heater:

we already had propane plumbed near the heater but we just needed to hook up the connection line with a shut off valve.

Newport propane heater provides a cozy fireplace effect.

connecting the propane heater.

Exterior Insulation:

We looked at using rigid insulation board to insulate our graywater tank, but decided fiber batt was a lot cheaper and easier!  we had extra so we ended up using it for insulating skirting around the trailer base too.

Insulating skirting around the trailer base.

We also installed some wind blocking panels at the north and west sides of the house, because that is where our prevailing winds are coming from.  We used the panels Shane had made for protecting our windows when we towed our house from Prescott to Santa Fe.

wind blocking panels at the underside of our deck to winterize the tiny house.

And the heat tape….

In a “normal” house on a foundation the water comes into the house from under the slab / foundation so it is only exposed to ground temperature.  In a tiny house the water comes into the house via a hose hooked up to the outside wall.  This hose is very susceptible to freezing, as we found out when our nighttime temperatures dropped to 16 degrees F.  We thought we had the problem solved with some salvaged heat tape, but it didn’t work.  So we spent some money and got new heat tape (12 ft. in length so it can go into the ground too) and a thermostat plug-in that triggers the tape to run only when it’s cold enough.  This was the most expensive part of winterizing at about $30 for heat tape and $17 for the thermostat plug-in.

electric heat tape inclosed in insulation around our water supply hose

We’ve really been settling into our site here in Santa Fe, as I blogged about previously, but we’ve made  more outdoor improvements since that post!

Outdoor dining:

I commandeered one of Shane’s construction sawhorses and a scrap of plywood, stapled on some oilcloth, painted our chairs to match each other, and voila:

an outdoor dining set up for a tiny house seems essential


we also built ourselves a small greenhouse / raised bed for growing greens and veggies for the winter.  The whole set up only cost us around $100 and the biggest part of that expense was the bags of soil!

a tiny greenhouse for the tiny house! plastic cover is closed after sundown to protect the plants.

the plants in the raised bed survived a 16 degree cold night here at our tiny house.

Wheel covers:

I also sewed some vinyl wheel covers to keep our tires from aging too much in the sun.  This was pretty easy, but the vinyl was not cheap….

vinyl wheel covers for the tiny house trailer

Yoga Platform:

last but certainly not least, Shane made me an outdoor yoga platform – the best views, so amazing for morning yoga.

outdoor yoga platform behind the tiny house

outdoor yoga platform behind our tiny house


The cold weather has made me love this tiny house all the more – it is so easy to warm it up and keep it cozy!  I’ve lived in some big old drafty houses in my rental days…  dark, cold, dreary…  But our tiny house is absolutely amazing in the winter!  We can orient it towards the south to get maximum sun in the winter and it’s always light, bright, and cozy!

Take care everyone….

– Carrie

Categories: Living In the Tiny House | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Winterizing the Tiny House and Other Outdoor Improvements

  1. steve smoot

    Wish I was your neighbor for the winter in my very own little house on wheels. Love your house. Hope you have a great winter. Looking forward to your next installment. Take care.

  2. Jennifer

    Hi Carrie,

    My husband and I have decided we want to live in a tiny house as soon as we can. I just wanted to say I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and thank you so much. First of all, it’s nice to see a couple, but it’s nice to also see details about the good and bad. This is the first time I feel I’ve gotten a realistic and comprehensive view of life in a tiny house, and it’s much appreciated.Your house is beautiful and so are you, and thanks for sharing.


    • hi Jennifer, that’s so exciting for you guys! there are definitely pros and cons to living ultra small, but for us the pros outweigh the cons right now.
      thanks so much for your sweet comment! I love feedback like that! 😉
      – Carrie

  3. what a sweet outdoor yoga station!!

  4. Jennifer

    Jennifer again. Just finished moving into a smaller apartment this weekend and we’re loving it. Cut the rent by a third and love the cozy feel. HOWEVER, we thought we had done a commendable amount of purging beforehand, and the remaining boxes have proved us totally wrong. Time to get tough! 🙂 This alone made me understand better how much you really cannot have in a tiny house. It’s funny how much we thought we still needed even as we were consciously trying to let go.

  5. Pingback: Winter in our Tiny House – Big Snow! « Clothesline Tiny Homes

  6. Pingback: One Year Living in our Tiny House! Year in Review. | Clothesline Tiny Homes

  7. ethanwaldman

    Thanks for the article! I am just winterizing my tiny house for my first winter in Northern VT. I’ve definitely got the heat tape set up, and have two quick questions for you:

    First- Did you put the battings in bags or waterproof it somehow? I would imagine that it could get pretty rotten if it got wet.

    Second- I have the same stove (or a similar one, mine is the P-1200) and I’ve been having trouble with it burning with a lot of soot on the glass. Have you had any issues with yours burning clean?

    • thanks for your comment!
      1- we found insulation that came in a plastic vapor barrier… this sort of water proofed it… but be warned, it’s a mouse haven!
      2- our stove burns great, really clean, no problems. might want to trouble shoot yours…

      best to you!

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