Shelbyville, IL: A Big Cross-Country Move

Shelbyville, IL: A Big Cross-Country Move

Tiny House Travels 2

As some of you may know, Guillaume and I have been building a modified Cypress since last September. The build experience has been more of a marathon than a sprint, but I can finally say we are on our last lap! As we prepare to cross the finish line, we decided to move our tiny house from Los Angeles to my home town in central Illinois.

Guillaume and I were nervous to tow the house, but also eager to become comfortable with taking it on long road trips. We drove slow, bumping down the interstate at 45 mph and traveling only 250-300 miles a day. We could have easily gone 65 mph, but at 45 mph we were getting just over 10 miles per gallon (at 55 mph we were getting 8.5 mpg, etc). Going slow saved us approximately $150 in gas over the course of the trip. Ultimately it took us about a week to cross the 2,000 miles, but we did it without incident!

Tiny House Travels

Interstates are required to have at least 14 feet of vertical clearance, which is necessary for our 13’ 4” house. For our trek, we stayed mostly on I-40, traveling through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Once we hit Oklahoma City, we turned north east onto I-44 toward St. Louis and onward to my small hometown in central Illinois.

Here are a few highlights of “Tiny House Giant Journey’s” trip:

Tiny House Painted Desert
THGJ @ Painted Desert
Tiny House Petrified Forest
THGJ @ Painted Desert
Tiny House Giant Journey Breaking Bad
THGJ @ “Breaking Bad “House in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Moments after taking the above photo, that ominous sky began to alternate between hail and rain! It was the first substantial bath our tiny California abode ever received. We were worried how the reclaimed wood would hold up, but it dried out just fine. Although the back of the house (front of the trailer) tolerated the unintended power-wash from us driving down the road during the downpour, the vigorous shower did remove some of our beloved patina. Next time, we will pull over and wait out the storm.

New Mexico is also home to a quirky campground that we stumbled upon – Kiva RV Park, right on Route 66. Check out the tiny trailers built by the owner!

Tiny House RV Park
THGJ next to “Betty Boop travel trailer” at Kiva RV Park
Kiva RV Park
Teardrop Trailer Designed and Built by Kiva RV Park Owner on Display
THGJ @ Cadillac Ranch in Texas
THGJ @ Cadillac Ranch in Texas

The horse towing our precious wagon was our 2006 Ford F-250 Diesel 4×4. The last time we weighed our house it was creeping up on 8,000 pounds, and that was without our belongings! Luckily we built on a Tumbleweed trailer, so we knew we were within the weight limit and that our axels were specifically designed to handle towing. That being said, we still made sure to evenly pack and disperse our belongings inside the house for travel. We also bought a no sway weight distribution system from Andersen Hitches – which was extremely helpful. We highly recommend it!

Our Weight Distribution System
Our Weight Distribution System

We had no trouble finding places to stay along the trip. Every campground was excited to welcome our curious cabin. Setting up was easy with pull-through campsites with electric and water hookups. The scissor jacks on the trailer supplied us with stability, and we leveled-out easily using a camper leveler, tuff pads, and rapid jack. By the end of the trip, we could setup or teardown in less than 15 minutes!

Guillaume & Our Dog Relaxing in THGJ's Loft
Guillaume & Our Dog Relaxing in THGJ’s Loft

It was a lot of fun to see people react to our home. On the road, travelers would often give us a thumbs-up or snap photos. Many times we answered questions and gave impromptu tours. Only once were we pulled over by a police officer – for going 43 mph in a 45 minimum – did I mention we were being cautious? The officer gave us a verbal warning mixed with praise for the tiny house. Secretly, we think he just wanted a closer look!

Tiny House Road Trip-2

When we finally pulled into our new build site, it was bitter-sweet. We loved our mini-adventure and can’t wait to continue traveling when our house is complete. I think we caught the tiny-traveling-fever!

Click here to see our tentative route! 

Our New Build Spot in Central Illinois!
Our New Build Spot in Central Illinois!

Stayed tuned, our Giant Journey begins soon.

All the best,




  1. Roger & Retha Orr Shelbyville Il.
    December 27, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    I was reading in the home town news paper and getting ready to watch it on HGTV tonight It’s so cool see some one from hometown .. Shelbyville IL. and did you see the largest wind chimes in Casey IL. Have a safe journey and may God’s angels surround you with protection through your travel through out the country side ….enjoying reading your blog. Retha O.

    • User Avatar December 28, 2014 / 7:06 am

      No we missed the wind chimes! If ever we’re back in the area I guess.
      Glad you enjoy our adventures.

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