Kirsten Dirksen (the author of "We The Tiny House People") has never traveled with her home in tow, but last summer she had stories to film along the West Coast and she wanted to experiment just how much shelter was necessary for a family of five.
So they bought a used camper van and moved in. Using the road as a way to lighten your load has become a cliché in America, but there is another type of mobile home owner growing in numbers in the US. These are people using the freedom of a home on wheels without the cost of travel to find some sort of peace.
A lot of people don't ever want to own a home or they don't think will ever be able to own a home, so the American dream that has been constructed around the home ownership and being able to work really hard and get everything you want doesn't really make sense when what we've been thought to want is so commercially, consumer based. The ideas of "pursuit of happiness" versus "pursuit of property" got conflated at some point, but lots of people are starting to recognize that the two do not necessarily equate with one another.
The van was becoming to feel like a well-known cocoon. Kirsten filmed a lot of tiny spaces but she never realized that living in a home with just the essentials forces you to confront the basics of life. Many people hit the road as a way to escape but she wanted to do just the opposite. She needed to confront the life.
With no arrangements in advance and only questioning to guide them, they've visited the cabins of ordinary people in their tiny but extraordinary world. With each pause they've gathered some new chunks of insight about life's necessities. Between interviews they've slept on a small side roads, downtown streets and even parking lots.
Watch the full documentary now