Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about the Kimberly Wood Stove.
We speak to many people who want to be off-grid in their tiny home. Inevitably, the discussion leads to the three primary challenges to going off the grid in a tiny home: Expense, weight, and space. Most of the options for off-gird electricity, water, and heat are expensive, heavy (a concern for a THOW), and consume a lot of valuable space. So much so that we frequently encourage people to treat the off-grid features as separate from the initial tiny home build altogether. However, there are a few products out there that bypass some of these challenges, making off-grid living more accessible to tiny home enthusiasts. The Kimberly Stove is one of them.
The Kimberly Stove was invented by Roger Lehet, of Unforgettable Fire, LLC. He developed the concept with tiny homes and RV's in mind; it is very small, hyper-efficient, and multi-functional. Weighing 56 lbs. and standing 25 1/2" H and 10" W, she requires only 6-8" of clearance from combustibles on the sides and rear, and 18" in the front. It's hard to believe, but this little stove can heat up to 1500 SF. Not only that, with the available thermal turbine, you can charge your cell phone with it. The top surface of the Kimberly can be used as a cooktop and the Cobb oven attachment furthers your off-grid cooking potential. Roger is currently working on more exciting attachments as we speak - they're like apps on your phone!
The foremost consideration when Introducing a combustible appliance to a tiny home is safety. Proper clearances to combustibles and ample combustion air should both be addressed. Without a cracked window or door, a naturally drafted combustion appliance will not work at its intended level (in a small and/or tight home). More importantly, the homeowner becomes at risk for compromised indoor air quality. That is why the Kimberly has an air inlet option that connects the air supply to the outside. This, along with other reasons mentioned above, makes this stove the only one we recommend to those who want wood heat in their tiny home.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about the Kimberly Wood Stove.
This past week at Wishbone has been a short but rewarding adventure. I was able to experience first hand the complete spectrum of building a tiny home, and the immense amount of detail that goes into constructing such a “tiny” space, and learn about the valuable opportunities tiny housing is creating right here in Asheville. Thank you so much to Teal, Gerry, and everyone at Wishbone for making my internship productive and fun, and just generally being awesome people to hang with! I hope that there’s a tiny home in my future!
The first week on the job was a blast! Teal built me the most amazing custom desk that I have ever seen. I mean look at that cool purple design on the top of it! It’s my size too. I couldn’t have asked for a better workspace. I also got to shadow Gerry, who showed me the design process at Wishbone. Very quickly, I learned that being detail oriented is one of the most important things when it comes to designing tiny homes. The great thing about Wishbone is that every single house is custom made, so a new challenge arises every time I design a new one.
In the short time that I was here, I learned so much more than I ever thought I would. Teal and Gerry took me under their wings and really let me explore the tiny house movement in a unique way. I am so excited that I will be able to continue my experience with them while I am in school as well. I am so honored to be a part of the Wishbone Family!
On their return trip they called to let us know they had applied for Tiny House Nation and had already received some correspondence! Giddy and inspired, they let us know that if things progressed with Loud TV (the production company) they wanted us to be the builder. Naturally, we agreed! After several weeks of back and forth, we learned that Vince and Sam had been chosen for an episode of Tiny House Nation! What now??? Well, we learned that we had one month to assemble a plan, a team that could travel, and a house. There was no time to waste, so we started working right away with Jessica and Kevin from Loud TV on a design. We sketched this drawing based on Vince and Sam's original design and then Jessica and Kevin gave us their ideas. There was a tremendous amount of collaboration right from the beginning. The beautiful part was that because we had already started the design process with Vince and Sam, they were able to lay claim to many fundamental features of the home. Here is the 2.0 sketch of Z Huis:
The plan was simple: build the shell at our shop in Asheville, then drive it up for the shoot in NJ. Much of the build process at our shop was captured by a camera guy we called "Johnny Muscles". He would show up in a black BMW M3 with super sporty camera gadgets in 007 cases and get to work. . . all business.
After 3 weeks of hustle, we were ready for the trip north. Here we are hooked up to the Wishbone truck. It was not the Z Huis yet, just the "Green Monster". It was a beautiful drive, and without incident. The next morning we pulled up to the shoot location, right on time.
Everything after this was a blur. We had 7 days to complete the house and no enlisted help beyond the Loud TV crew. We were out of our neck of the woods and had no subs to call on. The next day there were lots of cameras, boxes, and people around and an overwhelming sense that we had a big job ahead. Loud TV had a solid construction crew, headed up by Zack Giffin. On a side note, I don't think we can overemphasize how much Zack does for this show. Beyond his great creativity, skill, and work ethic, he's just an all around good person. We truly enjoyed working with him and getting to know him. His helpers, Erick and Andrew were also great to work with. We were also joined by Brent Starck, a friend a collaborator from Asheville. He is responsible for all of the amazing patterned plywood in the Z Huis. Here is his company, Drift Studio.
The shoot location was picturesque. . .it was not at all what we thought South Jersey would look like;-) The owner of the land we were on was very gracious to allow the shoot to occur on this property. However, after a few days of full blown construction and production, it became clear that it was more of an ordeal than the land owner had anticipated and that we would need to find another location. . . fast! Here we are hitching, lifting phone lines, and following the camera crew to a new site.
This was somewhat of a crisis, not represented on the show. Having to move locations was certainly unexpected. As it became clear we had to move, everyone looked at each other for ideas. We had nothing. Until, that is, my dad came back to the site with a gentleman he had met at Home Depot, named John Dormann, of Dormann's Custom Plumbing. After hitting it off with my dad and learning about our situation, he offered his property as a new location to conduct the shoot. John's place had functioning workspace, plumbers, a neighbor electrician (Dan Fuss), connections to "Big Dan", of Total Construction, an HVAC specialist brother (Mark Dormann), and a lovely family. John and all of his friends and family helped us through the long days and nights to get Vince and Sam's home done on something of a schedule. Thank you John Dormann. . . and my dad Gerry Brown!
12-15 hour days at the job site were typical. The camera crew spent only a portion of the time at the job site. They spent most of the time with Vince and Sam. On the days that the full crew was present, there were inevitably a lot of starts and stops to the building progress so scenes could be shot. My dad and I were actually involved in a few scenes and it was kind of fun! John and Zack were great at making you feel comfortable with the situation. Nonetheless, repeating conversations in an authentic way is a skill most of us non-TV folk aren't accustomed to. We did our best.
Below are some additional pics from the last stretch of the build. Everyone pulled together to get the home TV ready.
The reveal! It was incredibly satisfying to see Z Huis parked in the middle of that field. We pulled it in the night before the reveal, turned on the lights, and marveled at its off-gridness. Work was done all night prior to the reveal to get Z Huis homey and sparkly. We were still building at this point. A countertop had to be put in, trim had to be placed, and blinds had to be hung. Cleaners came in the morning of and did their magic. The reveal was. . . well, if you haven't already, you should watch it to find out! The episode is called "204 Sq Ft Climbing Gym".
As we drove home from this 12 day event we were utterly exhausted, but filled with a huge sense of accomplishment. I remember telling myself throughout the experience: "this is tiny house bootcamp". That's really what it is. They even send a plaque:
We thank Vince and Sam for calling us last summer and including us in their adventure! We would do it again in a heartbeat.
Since their inception, tiny houses on wheels have had an identity crisis. Are they homes, or are they RV's? This is the question municipalities, home owners, RV park owners, HOA's, zoning departments, and pretty much all other governing bodies ask when they encounter a tiny house on wheels. In the midst of all this uncertainty, there has been one guiding light: the RV Industry Association. When this trade organization opened its doors to some tiny house manufacturers, it provided them, their customers, and all concerned parties with an accountable safety standard and a label to agree upon ("it's an RV"). Financing and insurance options also became more of a possibility with their certification. For all of these reasons, Wishbone Tiny Homes decided to apply for a manufacturing membership with RVIA. We would like to share that experience and offer some thoughts on what the future may hold for the tiny homes on wheels standard.
We started in October of 2013 with careful research. Was this something we could achieve? What were the real benefits for our customers? Could we afford it? We got a lot of encouraging feedback from RVIA. We were told that as long as we met the standard and passed the inspection, we should be good to go. We were confident that this would be a good move for the company and that it was within our reach, so we decided to apply. We learned NFPA 1192, purchased all of the required testing equipment, paid our dues and fees, and waited for our inspection.
We were informed that the inspection would be coming sooner than expected. RVIA wanted to coordinate our inspection with one of their quarterly board meetings in order to expedite our membership process. We were happy to accommodate this request as we were eager to receive our credentials. Our inspector was very professional. He passed us and let us know that all that remained was the board's confirmation, which was all but a formality at that point. A week later we received a letter stating: "We have recently received notification from our Standards Department that you passed the inspection requirements for membership. Congratulations!" Although it mentions the board's vote as the last step, the letter concludes: "Once again congratulations. We look forward to working with you as a new RVIA member." This was promising.
Weeks pass without hearing anything further from RVIA. We called in and were informed very unceremoniously that our membership had been declined. After our shock began to wear off, we started asking questions. After much prodding, we were provided with an official response. Apparently, we were in violation of RV by-laws due to the fact that we were selling "tiny homes". We had no reason to expect this would be an issue. It was never mentioned as a concern of theirs. On top of that, two other tiny home manufacturers were already on their membership roster, so a precedent had been set. We don't know exactly what happened, but it would appear they used our case to demonstrate a new policy toward tiny home manufacturers. Regardless, we believe it opened the door to a new conversation regarding a standard for tiny homes on wheels.
Tiny House RV's (THRV's)
The "light at the end of the tunnel", we were told, was that the growing tiny house segment would be an agenda item for RVIA's annual meeting in March, 2015. Although this was not exactly reassuring news at the time, we started to see this as an opportunity. Perhaps the community of builders and experts could help RVIA create a new standard by providing input about best practices (call it "Tiny House RV's"?). Another possibility is working with HUD. We believe they would be most effective in an advisory capacity. Having them involved early on in the process would provide RVIA with clear boundaries and would minimize possible jurisdiction disputes. It's worth noting that a pilot certification has been developed by the Tiny House Business Association. This is a great start as it combines building standards (something lacking in RVIA's standard) with the electrical and plumbing safety standards in NFPA 1192. However, it needs the infrastructure of an organization like RVIA to make it viable.
Our plan is to keep lines of communication open with RVIA and the TH community. We invite you to add your thoughts below, or via email. What aspects of a tiny home on wheels should be addressed in a standard? Is there another governing body that could be a better fit? Do we no need a standard at all?
Thank you for reading and taking an interest in this important and historic issue! We look forward to your feedback.
Wishbone Tiny Homes enjoys establishing and maintaining healthy and prosperous relationships with local organizations. Even more so, we savor the interactions with the individuals who make them possible. Here is our chance to thank them.
Brent Starck, owner of Drift Studio, moved to Asheville from Madison, WI with his wife and four boys. Along with his family, he also brought a vast amount of creativity and experience with him. He specializes in inventing fantastic modularized furniture out of custom printed plywood using a CNC router. You won't regret a visit to his site. Expect to see some of his work in a Wishbone Tiny Home soon!
Jason Brownlee and partner Will Evert own French Broad Boat Works. These guys hand craft world class drift boats right here in Asheville. Jason and I talk shop and fatherhood. His perspective and insight have been a huge help to Wishbone Tiny Homes. We thank him for his friendship and input. If you haven't seen one of their boats, check out the site. They are going to be offering tours down the French Broad soon!
Kristen Salvatore, leader of Asheville Tiny House Association. Kristen started this meetup in July of 2012 and has since attracted close to 400 members. Her enthusiasm for the movement is infectious. We thank her for donating her time and resources to ATHA, which has enriched the local tiny house community greatly. Join the meetup if you haven't already!
Well, we are finally settling in here at 355 Haywood Rd.! Between cleanup, paint, permitting, electrical work, bay door remodeling, sign work, and Wishbone work, we have been full throttle the last two months. We are thrilled to share our progress with you, and look forward to your feedback over time. See below:
Day one after closing: assessing the work ahead and handing over utilities. Seeing the space opened up with some of our equipment in it was a new level of excitement for us. Ahead of us was a serious cleanup job and paint. Below, Stefan loads some of his last items.
The scaffolding on loan from Steve Bellich came in handy for the painting. The first wall is done here and it already feels more spacious. Is it good luck when paint poops on your shoulder? I think so. After paint, we installed these wood racks and stashed some of our materials on them. It felt great to begin the organization process.
We found a home for my dad's drafting table set up. We call this room the think tank, the drawing room, or the lab. The next photo is a gutter job we took to right away. As you can see, a chronic drain issue was degrading the block and needed to be fixed. The gutter did the trick! On the right: we used some wood that Stefan left behind to make our mailbox post.
. . . And a little time for reflection. . .
Here Stefan removes the last remnants of Steebo Designs from the shop. He's a magician with that crane. To the right, we are busy carving out 2 additional vertical feet for our bay door. We need the full 14' to get our homes on wheels in and out.
Ahh, the sign. A big moment for us. On the left, I used our business card as a reference for the city (for permitting) and the sign makers next door. They did a great job matching the colors.
It's official! Once we moved our model over to the shop, we felt like the culmination of a lot of efforts had come together. We are settling into a good routine at the shop, and the cat (Minnie Mao) is warming up to us. It's feeling like home! Thanks for following our progress. . . please feel free to comment below.
We had the great pleasure of meeting Sicily and Suzannah Kolbeck at the Tiny House Conference earlier in 2014. They were in attendance, but Sicily's beloved tiny house, La Petite Maison, was not. We learned that a hired driver not only failed to get the house out of their yard, but also caused quite a bit of damage in the process. Upon hearing this, we immediately offered our services to move the house should they ever need to move it again. As it turns out, the need did arise when the Kolbecks decided to move to Baltimore and bring La Petite Maison with them. Naturally, we obliged when they asked us to be involved. Then. . . the Kolbecks got a call from the White House! Sicily had been invited to bring her house to the White House Maker Faire, which commemorated the President's national "Day of Making", June 18, 2014! So, plans changed. Now we were to get La Petite Maison to the White House for the event, then take it to its new home in Delaware. Here's how it went:
En route to DC from Marietta, GA. This shot was taken on I-26 W, the Scenic Byway, my favorite stretch of highway in the U.S. The house travelled well on the open road. I was able to average between 60 - 65 MPH. There was some concern about the tires rubbing the frame of the trailer, so we took it easy over the bumps. The other major concern was the lack of lights and brakes. We picked the house up on Father's Day (a Sunday of course) and there were no mechanics working. There was no time to spare so we had to go for it and hope a mechanic would tend to the issue on the fly.
Somewhere in Virginia we found a truck stop with a large shop. Two young and eager guys took on the task of troubleshooting the wiring and ultimately fixing the lights. I have to give these guys credit, they typically work on tractor trailers, and they approached the job with open minds. I am pretty sure they have not worked on a house in their shop before. I also let them know that because of their work, the house would make it to its destination: The White House. That seemed to motivate them.
The Secret Service
Upon arrival to D.C., we were directed to an off-site screening location. We were ushered into an outbuilding while they went to work on the numerous larger vehicles slated to drive onto the grounds of the White House. After looking through the truck and house, they drove an x-ray truck around and presumably took x-rays. I found myself slightly disturbed by this, wondering how the radiation was contained to its intended target (we were not that far away). Eventually, we cleared the first hurdle and were instructed to go to the next.
After a Secret Service escort to the South East gate to the White House, we were again inspected. This time with more hard core Secret Service guys and dogs. At one point an agent waved me over while looking under the hood and asked what that "ticking" sound was. I was happy to let him know it was the hazard lights flashing, and not a home-made ticking time bomb.
Here are Sicily and Suzannah standing by while agents inspect La Petite Maison. After final clearance, we went through the next gate and waited. Then we were ushered through two more gates. And then we got to work.
Can You Do This?
We were informed that the location they had chosen for the house was a good one. In the East Wing, at the visitor's entrance, there is a long portico where cars can drive up. This is where the house was to go.To get to it, one must navigate another tight gate, a winding driveway, and the narrow entrance to the portico. I was asked if a) it was possible, and b) if so, could I do it? After taking careful measurements and doing some mental visualizations, the answers were yes and yes. I was slightly nervous knowing that two houses were involved, both of which were extremely important to their owners. I had the Secret Service, White House staffers, and other exhibitors watching, which didn't add any pressure at all ;-) Below, note the route I had to take, backwards.
Leaving our mark at the White House
We were assigned an usher when we got on the grounds. He was our main POC for the time being, and my set of eyes while maneuvering the house. There was one blind spot that was my biggest concern, and I expressed this to him. . . the gable end on the right side of the house. By my measurements we had 2-3" of clearance between that and the column on that side. All was going well with the parking job when I heard a little scrape. . . Noooooo! My biggest concern had been realized. The usher looked as surprised as me to see that we had indeed rubbed the column of the White House with the edge of the metal roof of the blue house. I was totally shocked as I had heard no warnings of any sort. He shrugged it off like that kind of thing happens every day at the White House. I got back in the truck, made a correction and backed her in. See pics:
Set up and a tour
A note about the staff we worked with at the White House: they were extremely professional and polite. While setting up we were assisted by the official White House electrician and woodworker. After leveling the house, decorating the inside (Sicily has an impeccable sense of interior design), and mounting the stairs and pimple (what Sicily and Suzannah call the shed), we were given a tour of the White House! See below:
Here is the electrician, providing power to La Petite. He had that look that a lot of experienced electricians have - like he had been shocked more than a few times and therefore had the proper respect for the beast that is electricity.
The White House Carpenter. We talked shop. When I asked if he could provide a cross brace for the stairs (you know, thinking the President might be using them the next day), he whipped out a tape measure and hurried off. Before I knew it, he had a 2 x 4 cut and was securing everything in place like a pro.
The shots below provide a sense of the parking place. All visitors for the Maker Faire would be entering and exiting here, and would have a chance to take a tour of Sicily's great work. Our fingers were crossed that the President would come by during the event. . . but alas, he kept his photo opportunities limited to the more technologically-related exhibits. His loss.
After set up we were given an opportunity to cool down in the waiting room of the East Wing. We all wished we were given more time in there to appreciate the details. Every painting represented a major figure in history. Every piece of furniture had been impeccably maintained through the ages. It was overwhelming. Also mind-blowing was looking through the window of the waiting room and seeing another house out there - La Petite Maison! Here are Sicily and Suzannah having fun with that.
I wish I would have taken more pictures of details like this thermostat. I was struck by the antiquity of this particular thermostat, and by the fact that the dial was made of wood. How long had this thermostat been in service? I was going through administrations in my head and guessed that it was probably Nixon or prior.
Day of show
Although Suzannah and Sicily were kind enough to invite me to the event, the White House had not, so it wasn't in the cards. Instead, I was escorted to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is directly beside the West Wing. It was the old Pentagon (or "War Building" then) and was very well fortified. I had a great time exploring the details of this huge architectural feat. One of our ushers told us that Dick Cheney tried to start a fire in one of the inoperable fire places and in the process caught a portion of the building on fire! I also enjoyed the great view of the White House from there. We were permitted to watch a stream of the event in a room called the "Library" (although not a single book was to be found) with many other attendees who had not made the cut for the actual event. The atmosphere was electric as entrepreneurs and industry taste-makers mingled. See pics:
Last leg of the trip!
Here is Sicily striking a pose as I drive the house back out through the gate. This process was a breeze compared to coming in. Sicily did an amazing job during the event and met several distinguished guests. Bill Nye had to be the coolest. The drive to Delaware was. . . surprisingly amazing! After the chaos of D.C., the open farm land of DE was refreshing.
La Petite Maison arrives at her new home! This location in Delaware is two miles from the beach and is completely surrounded by national forest. I think they found a gem of a spot. Soon there will be a concrete pad, water, and electricity. It was Bitter/Sweet heading home from here. I owe these ladies a huge thanks for entrusting Wishbone Tiny Homes with this mission. I had a great time hanging out with them and come away from the whole experience feeling inspired. We wish them the best with their move to MD;-)
Thanks for reading!
We were recently asked to move a beautiful tiny home from Buena Vista, VA down here to Asheville, NC. Grace and her husband Michael moved to Asheville a year ago and have been missing their tiny Tennessee ever since. Tennessee, named after a beloved cat, is an 18' tiny sanctuary on wheels. The owners wanted a peaceful place away from everything where they could hangout, meditate, and sleep. The builder achieved just that by mixing tasteful design elements with a rough-hewn look. Here is the road leading to where the tiny house was parked.
Once we arrived to Buena Vista, we had a short visit with Pat and Grace the hen. Pat travels the country talking about the art of raising chickens. Grace the hen is a lucky one that became somewhat of a favorite (and is named after Grace).
To prepare Tennessee for her road trip, I affixed corrugated plastic to the vulnerable windows to minimize the risk of potential highway debris damage. After removing the leveling jacks, checking the lights and brakes, loading the stairs into the truck, and fastening the license plate to the porch, we hit the road. I had to B line it to the nearest gas station in order to fill the tires to recommended pressure. This reduced the fishtailing we were experiencing significantly. However, at speeds at or above 55 MPH, she still wanted to move left to right. This will be mitigated next time with stabilizer bars. Needless to say, the return trip to Asheville took significantly longer than the trip up to Buena Vista. It was a gorgeous drive through the Shenandoah Valley, so that helped.
Tennessee makes it through the Smokies! This tiny home looks right at home in NC. I will be moving another tiny from Marietta, GA to Delaware later this summer, so look for another post on the subject. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment with your tiny house moving story!
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