Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Tiny House on Wheels Provides 'Giant Journey' for Couple + Their Dog


Guillaume Dutilh, 30, Jenna Spesard, 28, are proof that you don't need a lot of space for a lot of adventure. Their home, a modified a Tumbleweed Cypress-20 Overlook, is only 125 square feet. But if you look at their photos, their tiny house on wheels really doesn't seem tiny at all—especially when all of North America is their backyard.

Guillaume Dutilh (left) and Jenna Spesard (right) couple pose with Salies, their Australian Shepard, in their lofted bedroom of their tiny house. Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

On the road. Together the three live in less than 200 square feet of space. Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

Currently, the pair and their pup are traveling around North America in a massive year-long road trip that started last August in Spesard's home state of Illinois with stops along the country's coasts and through Canada.

Along the way, Spesard blogs about their travels and imparts advice about simple living on their absorbing website, Tiny House Giant Journey, while Dutilh takes photos of luscious scenery. They also have a YouTube page that features other tiny homes they see on the road.

“It’s truly amazing what we get to see," Dutilh told Buzzfeed. "The experiences we have are like nothing we could have had before in our jobs.”

Before living out their dream careers in travel journalism, Spesard was a executive assistant for a movie studio and Dutilh was a former industrial engineer for a motorcycle manufacturing company in Los Angeles.

The route. In the first 6 months of travel, the tiny house had already traveled 12,000 miles through 30 states. Top speed? 75 mph. Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

However, as Spesard wrote, the two were "burdened" by high rent, their stack of belongings and college debt. They thought they would never get to pursue their true passions of writing and photography.

But when they discovered the tiny house movement, everything changed. They sold all their belongings, enlisted some friends and built their own tiny house from scratch over the course of a year. In total, it cost $29,328 to build.

Although it seems like a dream come true to get away from the 9-5 grind, Dutilh and Spesard also decided on their new, simpler lifestyle out of concern for the environment.

“We’ve done calculations and our imprint is now half of that of the average American couple,” Dutilh told Buzzfeed. “Because the house is so small it takes so little heat, water and electricity to keep it up, and we can live a cheap, low-impact lifestyle.”

For example, when they aren't connected to a water source like a hose, their combined usage is covered by their 40-gallon tank, which is impressive when the average American uses between 80-100 gallons of water a day. "Together we use about 30-40 gallons of water a day," wrote Spesard. "That includes the water we drink and use to cook, clean, shower and do dishes."

It's amazing how many people are coming up with alternatives to conventional lives and typical homes: snowboarding legend Mike Basich moved from a 4,000 home to a tiny cabin in the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains; a set of good friends have created a micro-cabin community by the Llano River in Texas; and on the small Canadian island of Lasqueti about 400 residents are live completely off the grid. As we said previously, for a growing number of Americans, the mentality of “bigger is better” has turned into “small is beautiful.”

By the end of this August, the couple should arrive at their final destination of Boulder, Colorado. But will their giant journey end there? “We could either stay in Colorado and enjoy the beauty of the environment,” Dutilh told Buzzfeed, “or if we’re still not losing money on the trip, we could continue for as long as we want.”

Check out the photos below to see the inside of their home. For more photos of their journey, visit their website or Instagram page.

The living room. Reclaimed barn wood was used for interior accent walls and trim. Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

The kitchen. The two use about 30-40 gallons of water a day, including drinking, cooking, cleaning and showering. Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

The bathroom. "In our tiny home we use biodegradable products, such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, etc.," wrote Spesard. "Our grey water consists of these soaps, our body oils and food products diluted with fresh water." Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

Reclaimed crates used for the staircase leading to the lofted bedroom that's a mere 60 square feet in size. Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

Who needs a backyard when you have the Florida Keys? Photo Credit: Tiny House Giant Journey


This Self-Sustaining Island Paradise Is Something to See

California’s First Zero Net Energy Community Is a Model for Future Living

You’ve Got to See This Remarkable Off-Grid Cabin Built by Snowboarding Legend Mike Basich

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Humpback whale splashing in the North West Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts. Tim Graham / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

In a move that environmentalists warned could further imperil hundreds of endangered species and a protected habitat for the sake of profit, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation rolling back an Obama-era order and opening nearly 5,000 square miles off the coast of New England to commercial fishing.

Read More Show Less

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a healthy way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants into your diet.

Read More Show Less
These 19 organizations and individuals represent a small portion of the efforts underway to fight racism and inequality and to build stronger Black communities and food systems. rez-art / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg

Following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, people around the United States are protesting racism, police brutality, inequality, and violence in their own communities. No matter your political affiliation, the violence by multiple police departments in this country is unacceptable.

Read More Show Less
Residents plant mangroves on the coast of West Aceh District in Indonesia on Feb. 21, 2020. Mangroves play a crucial role in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection from storms, waves and tidal erosion. Dekyon Eon / Opn Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.

Read More Show Less
UN World Oceans Day is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?

Read More Show Less
Cryptococcus yeasts (pictured), including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas

From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.

Read More Show Less


National Trails Day 2020 is now titled In Solidarity, AHS Suspends Promotion of National Trails Day 2020. The American Hiking Society is seeking to amplify Black voices in the outdoor community and advocate for equal access to the outdoors. Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This Saturday, June 6, marks National Trails Day, an annual celebration of the remarkable recreational, scenic and hiking trails that crisscross parks nationwide. The event, which started in 1993, honors the National Trail System and calls for volunteers to help with trail maintenance in parks across the country.

Read More Show Less