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Tiny Home Airbnbs: The idea
Did you know Airbnb has a “Unique homes” filter?
I had no idea there were so many fun and adorable options until fate stepped in one day.
While planning a last-minute trip to Asheville, North Carolina, I noticed a few tiny houses, Yurts and other unconventional options popping up.
As someone that loves tiny house shows, these caught my attention.
Looking at all the listings a burst of crazy hit and I decided to try out a few different types of tiny homes.
By the end of the trip, I experienced living in a renovated storage container, a tiny home, a Yurt, and a vintage RV.
Staying in these tiny homes was a great experience and I found myself surprised at what I liked and didn’t like.
Booking a Tiny Home Airbnb
After noticing the unusual options popping up on the website, I realized that Airbnb makes finding these listings easy. In the Advanced Filters section, there’s an option for “Unique listings”. Well, hello!
The filter has a break down where you can select a specific unique Airbnb such as RV, tent, Yurt, et cetera. You can also select all of them.
The tricky part was lining up the available options with the dates and finding places that allowed one night stays.
Since this was “traveling” and not “backpacking”, I put a few rules in place.
I wanted a rental that was entirely mine. It also had to have an indoor bathroom and shower with hot water. Composting toilets were fine.
Finally, rentals had to be within 15-20 minutes from downtown Asheville.
You would think these were simple rules, but they narrowed the list by quite a bit.
The Renovated Storage Container
In full transparency, the little red storage container was what prompted this crazy idea to stay in a tiny home Airbnb. It was a must.
I was enamored with this listing from the moment I saw it.
All of my planning was worked around this little gem.
The listing showed a pretty red container with a homey front porch set up with an area to enjoy the outdoors.
It came with its own off-street parking, a flush (yes FLUSH) toilet, and a full shower. The homeowners hooked it up to their plumbing and it had full electric.
There was a wall-mounted unit for heating and air to keep the rental comfortable. Since I was visiting in November and there was a bit of a cold spell, this was welcomed.
When I first pulled up, I couldn’t help but smile. It looked exactly like the photos. I let myself in with the keypad and explored.
While small, it was well designed and the owners did a great job with the space.
The little kitchen had everything I needed even if I was staying for a week.
There was a comfortable couch with a TV and a queen-sized bed. A fancy chandelier over the bed made the place feel glamorous.
Just beyond the kitchen was the door leading to the huge bathroom. There was a shower bigger than mine at home, a linen closet, a toilet, and a sink.
Because the bathroom was so large, the owners had installed a heater in the ceiling along with the fan.
Even though I wasn’t there long, I really enjoyed this unconventional home. It felt comfortable, not cramped.
Everything I needed was there, within reach, but I wasn’t bumping into things.
Had it been warmer, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the huge porch out front.
The location was less than 10 minutes from downtown Asheville. It was also a plus to pull into a safe, residential neighborhood when I got back from my ghost tour at 11 pm.
After walking around in near-freezing temperatures all night, the hot shower was a treat. It was one of those instances where you know you have to stop the water and dry off, but you really don’t want to.
The bed was comfortable and the container was quiet. I slept really well and was a bit sad to say good-bye when I had left in the morning.
I would definitely stay here again, especially if I had more time. I would also plan to visit in warm weather where I could really enjoy the porch.
Would I live in one? Possibly. I would need to merge two units though. I need a second bedroom for all my backpacking stuff.
The Tiny House
I have been a fan of the tiny house revolution for years. I’ve been dying to try one out and jumped at the chance.
Since Asheville has embraced tiny houses as rental units there were plenty to choose from.
The one I chose had a good layout and look cute and clean. It was also available.
When I arrived, it was dusk, but I could tell the tiny house looked exactly like the pictures. There was a little porch outside and the wood exterior gleamed.
Inside, it was everything you imagine when you think “tiny home”.
A small closet built into a cubby right next to the door, cute little kitchen area efficiently designed with everything you need, storage elegantly tucked into nooks, a couch and an upstairs loft with a ladder leading to the bed.
Even though it was getting dark, I could tell during the day it let in a lot of light.
Everything was clean and the design worked well. The bathroom was on the far side of the kitchen behind a barn door. There was a composting toilet which wasn’t bad and a shower with hot water.
I brought food with me to save on money and time since I knew my schedule was tight. Using the kitchen, I was able to easily make some pasta with cheese sauce.
My bags were tucked out of the way and I didn’t feel like I was tripping over anything.
After hanging out on the couch with the computer for a bit, I headed into the shower which had boiling hot water and a surprising amount of room to maneuver.
After a little more hanging out, I headed up the ladder to the loft. Initially, I was afraid it would feel cramped and claustrophobic but instead found it comfortable and cozy.
The lighting was good which helped and switches were in handy locations.
I found out later the owner built it to live in himself, but his plans changed. You can tell by the craftsmanship it wasn’t built to just rent.
Location wise, this was probably furthest from downtown Asheville at around a 20-minute drive.
It was in a more remote area but I felt very safe. It had off-street parking right in front which was great.
I would definitely stay here again.
Would I live in one? Probably not. Now that I’ve scratched the itch, they’re fun for a short stay, but overall too small for long term living.
I think the walls would feel like they’re closing in on me day after day.
Airbnb had no shortage of Yurts in Asheville.
They really appealed to me as they marry my love of camping and backpacking with my tiny house obsession. I think of Yurts as permanent tent housing.
I kept seeing this one Yurt on Airbnb and had to stay there.
It was built into a hill on a farm with a beautiful porch overlooking the area below. They only allowed a minimum of two nights, but it was worth it.
When I arrived, I could see the Yurt in the field. It had a serene look to it, quiet and safe.
Inside, it was everything I could ask for. There was a cute seating area with a table and two chairs, perfect for going through photos and catching up on the computer.
The queen size bed was in the middle, facing me as I entered with windows behind it looking to the porch and views.
The bathroom had a composting toilet and indoor shower with hot water.
The kitchen area was small but had everything I needed.
It was dusk by the time I settled in so I made some tea and headed out to the porch for sunset. It was peaceful and, for the first time during the trip, I had time to relax.
This may sound weird, but the design of the composting toilet was brilliant. There was truly no odor. Not even a little. Someone figured out how to make a non-smelling composting toilet.
The bed was comfortable and I felt safe sleeping in the tent structure. In the morning, the tiny shower worked well and I had scalding hot water.
During my stay, I found the porch was a perfect place to enjoy tea in the evenings and coffee in the morning.
The two night stay worked out well for me. It was nice to pull into the same location and not have to pack everything up the morning after arriving.
The location was conveniently around 10 minutes from downtown Asheville and less to West Asheville.
I would definitely stay here again.
Would I live in one? Probably not. I wouldn’t mind spending a month or so in a Yurt like this one, but I doubt I would live in one.
The lack of storage and walls would become an issue for me long term.
The Vintage Trailer
As I was searching for my final tiny home Airbnb, a few RVs popped up. I wasn’t really interested in staying in a camper, but then I saw Lucy and my heart melted.
Lucy was a vintage trailer, the kind you tow behind a truck. I was so enamored by Lucy, I made an exception to one of my rules. There was no bathroom or running water inside the trailer.
The Trailer was parked in the driveway of a home and renters have access to a mudroom in the house, less than 50 feet away, that has a washer, dryer, and full bathroom.
I justified this by deciding that even though it required a walk outside, it was still an inside bathroom.
The owners designed the trailer to look like a hotel room. There was a balance of outdoor and cute hotel that worked well.
There was a little seating area, a tiny kitchen, and a bed at the back.
She was hooked to electricity to charge devices and keep the refrigerator running.
The blue stripes on the outside gave Lucy a ton of personality and the mural behind the bed on the back wall was perfect.
When I pulled up, I just looked at her with a stupid grin on my face. Lucy was perfect.
It was raining that night, but running to the bathroom wasn’t bad at all.
Once inside the main house, it was heated and having a flush toilet and a really good shower was welcome. You don’t realize how much you miss those until you don’t have them.
Tired from my whirlwind week, I made some tea with the hot pot and sat on the bed. I remember being in that moment and thinking about how perfect it felt.
The trailer was equipped with a small heater which kept me warm throughout the night. It was one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while.
Lucy was less than 10 minutes from downtown Asheville, but I was heading home in the morning and there was a great coffee shop 5 minutes away.
The location was perfect for my route back home and I’m glad she was my last night in Asheville.
This was my favorite unconventional Airbnb, hands down. I would try to stay here again when visiting Asheville.
Nothing against the other places, but something about the vintage trailer tugged at my heartstrings and gave me a sense of peace.
Would I live in one? No. Definitely not. But I would consider renting one and traveling around the country.
Tiny Home Airbnbs: The Final Decision
Whenever I need to stay in an Airbnb, I will definitely filter for all the unique stays and see what’s available.
Not every city will have these choices, but when they pop up, they’re a welcome sight.
If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a unique home, or love shows about unconventional homes, this is a great way to give them a try and live the dream.
You may find yourself surprised at how you live and what type of home works for you in the short term, and possibly even the long term.