Mid-Hudson News Network
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. Throngs of people came to the Ulster County Fairgrounds Friday evening for a free preview of this weekend’s Tiny House Green Living Freedom Fest.
The region’s inaugural tiny house expo is the first of its kind for the Northeast. Similar tiny house shows have drawn big crowds in other areas of the U.S.
The diminutive dwellings cost a lot less than regular homes, often sit on wheels and can accommodate only one or two people. Significant savings can be earned through lower taxes and fuel expenses. Almost two dozen models of every shape and size are being showcased at the fairgrounds, which is a paid-admission event Saturday and Sunday.
Included among the miniature menagerie on Friday were varieties that spanned from an egg-shaped double camper to a rolling two-story condo chock full of luxury fixtures. In between were modest efficiencies and glorified backyard sheds.
Derek “Deek” Diedriksen and Alex Eaves drove a converted Ryder truck from Massachusetts with an intricate interior cobbled together from recycled materials. They spent $7,000 on the vehicle and roughly an equal amount transforming it.
“We call it a ‘mobile reuse education center,’” said Eaves, who made the truck his home and takes it on the road to promote his second documentary film.
“Overkill” Bill Rockhill, of Rome, N.Y., one of the New Paltz event’s keynote speakers, is considered a grand patriarch of the tiny house movement. He calls himself a Gepetto.
But “I don’t go to a lot of expos and shows,” Rockhill confessed. “The thing about a tiny house, all the work is behind the scenes. Good work is not a mystery. Follow the rules, don’t cut any corners.”
Highland native Ashlee Fazio, 25, drove her $33,000 tiny house 12 hours from North Carolina. Her blog, Destiny Dweller, describes a personal journey into minimalism.
“I collect rainwater, have a composting toilet and solar panels, totally self-sufficient,” she wrote.
The Tiny House Green Living Freedom Fest continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds, 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz. Admission is $20.