We don't see many tiny houses that can deal with extremes in weather. The Leaf House 3 is one exception, and Tennessee-based Transcend Tiny Homes' new Amsterdam 24 model is another. The towable dwelling is remarkably lightweight, offers plenty of storage space for its size, and is rated to withstand very high winds.
As its name suggests, the Amsterdam 24 is based on a 24 ft (7.3 m)-long double-axle trailer and has 292 sq ft (27 sq m) of floorspace. It has fiberglass composite walls, which are very light and help bring the total weight down to just 8,340 lb (3,782 kg). To put that into perspective, this similarly-proportioned model with a standard wood frame and walls weighs a much more typical 13,200 lb (5,987 kg).
"We laminate two skins of high strength phenolic resin based fiberglass on to a foam core," explains the firm regarding the makeup of the composite walls."A typical 8 x 10 ft (2.4 x 3 m) wall section takes 115,000 lb (52,163 kg) of pressure with a foaming gorilla type glue to fuse the layers into one of our wall panels. Think of the fiberglass skin as the exoskeleton of the shell."
The walls, windows and door of the Amsterdam 24 have been rated as capable of withstanding winds of up to 156 mph (251 km/h), which just about nudges it into a Category 5 hurricane rating.
"The hurricane testing was done by Intertek, a global testing facility," the company's Randall Marmet told us. "The test was for the engineered structural strength of the wall panels and how they are fastened together, along with windows and doors. All the tests proved that the wall panels could withstand the wind forces of a category 5, 156 mph hurricane with very little deflection."
The tiny house still needs to be secured to the ground to stop it from blowing over in a storm, plus there's flying debris to worry about, and we'd advise against riding out a hurricane in any tiny house. Still, it bodes well for the home's structural integrity.
The interior of the home is accessed with a keyless entry system and features a fairly typical tiny house floor plan. The ground floor has a lounge with a sofa bed and integrated storage, and the kitchenette includes a sink, refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, and a small dining table. A door leads to a bathroom with sink, large shower, and toilet, and the sleeping loft is accessed by a movable ladder.
Storage space is always a concern with tiny houses and on this note, the Amsterdam 24 looks in good shape. There's a pull-out pantry, large kitchen cabinets, closet, and other storage areas around the home.
The home operates from an RV-style hookup as standard but Transcend is working to offer an off-grid package with solar power and composting toilet. It's also pretty airtight, which should make it energy-efficient, and ventilation comes from an energy recovery ventilator. Prices start at US$69,700.
Source: Transcend Tiny Homes
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