Starling Travel

February 25, 2013

Open Trail Homes

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I’m not going to be a hypocrite. I have been very negative about the tiny house movement. You can read what I’ve read in the past here:

As negative as I have been about the tiny house movement and the people who write about it, I was not prepared for how awesome it was to see one in person. Open Trail Homes is a Utah-based tiny house manufacturer and I was so impressed with them when they were at the Utah RV Show.

Open Trail Homes on Starling Travel

What really impressed me were the people. Here is Chris, the guy who builds the homes.

Chris from Open Trail Homes on Starling Travel

Here is Blake, the architect.

Blake from Open Trail Homes on Starling Travel

Blake is the one who designed this home, Lakeview, which is more interesting to me than the home plan they showed at the RV show.

Lakeview Floor Plan from Open Trail Homes on Starling Travel

With a REAL bedroom in the back area and the added loft space, this floor plan is the most efficient AND includes a wonderful fold up porch to protect the door while traveling.

Lakeview Floorplan from Open Trails Homes on Starling Travel

As many times as I’ve seen tiny houses on video tours, I didn’t expect to like the typical design as much as I did. I expected it to be claustrophobic and for Mike to barely fit in it. He was able to walk in the kitchen area under the loft with ease.

Open Trail Homes: Plenty of headroom for a six foot man from Starling Travel

After looking at pathetic RV bathrooms at the RV show all day, it was a pleasant surprise to see such a spacious bathroom.

Open Trail Homes: Spacious Bathroom on Starling Travel

Mike’s fear of heights made the climb to the bedroom loft difficult and that made this particular floor plan unworkable for us. You can see the fear on his face in this photo.

Open Trail Homes: Climb to the bedroom loft from Starling Travel

As prepared as I was to hate a tiny house, nothing prepared me for the feeling of awe when I walked up to one.

Open Trail Homes on Starling Travel

Here I was in front of a cabin on wheels. It really felt like a HOME instead of an RV. In the past I’ve argued against tiny houses:

In the end, I feel insulted every time a tiny house builder brags about how cheaply they built their house or how very portable it is. I keep thinking that they could have just bought a fifth wheel for that price and then they wouldn’t have to dump out a chamber pot every morning. They could have a proper black water tank that easily empties into sewer hookups.

As luxurious as a fifth wheel feels when I’m camping, it doesn’t really feel like a HOME. Walking into the Open Trails Homes felt like I was walking into a REAL house. I could see that it was on wheels, but it felt like a cabin instead of a trailer. Just seeing their designs in person was enough to make me re-evaluate my entire stance on the tiny house movement.


  1. Thanks for this write-up on our tiny home. We are so glad that you enjoyed it and even happier that it helped sway your opinion towards quality tiny homes!

    Comment by Blake — February 28, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  2. I was please to find that there is no chamber pot but hook-ups to sewer and water just like the “other RV’s” or can have their own permant hook-ups on private land.

    Comment by Wanda — March 4, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

  3. Saw you guys at the Portland RV show. Loved the product. We really like how it is built and you have more of s cabin feeling. Interested in the Lakeview model. Question. I assume this is also 20′ in length? Can it be made to be 22′ or 24′ Long and still have the deck? Also is there a bathroom sink? How big is the bed in the bedroom? is there storage anywhere? Maybe in front of the kitchen there seems to be some room.Is it possible to put a coulpe of chairs up there? Thanks for for showing my family your product. Look forward to hearing from you. Big question Cost?

    Comment by Jeff — March 9, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  4. I really like this design. A tiny home that can be trailered easily. Your home moves with you as you explore. No need to unpack when arriving at destination!

    Comment by Becky at Turtle Kraal RV Park — March 14, 2013 @ 6:34 am

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