Want Trendy Lodging? Try a Tiny House! Recap of Recent Stay In A Rental Tiny House (UPDATED)

This post has been updated with some new photos…

My husband and I are seasoned campers. We started out tent camping together with mostly borrowed equipment in 1993, when we visited Petoskey State Park and Fisherman’s Island State Park in Northern Michigan, U.S.A.

Cabin style canvas Coleman tent and a 1985 New Yorker (which could “talk”). Fisherman’s Island State Park, 1993.

We continued tent camping almost exclusively until around the late 1990s or thereabouts, when a friend suggested pooling our money and renting a cabin for a trip with friends. So we did that maybe twice a year or so, until 2008, when my husband and I rented a cabin with electricity at Tawas Point State Park, just north of Michigan’s “Thumb” region on the east coast.

This is one of four cabins available to rent at Tawas Point State Park.

As you can imagine, over three decades or so of tent camping with sporadic cabin renting, we encountered all kinds of shall I say…”adversity.” Weather related shenanigans, mainly – some of which were so bad we had to evict ourselves from our tent camp sites and seek shelter in a local fleabag motel for at least a night. Then there was that one time the heat (and biting insects) were so excessively oppressive that we cut our trip short by a day and headed home.

Fast forward to the summer of 2022, and we decided we wanted to “camp” closer to home because of high gas prices. And because we only had a couple of nights to play with, we wanted to hedge our bets when it came to weather. When I learned a nearby campground had an air conditioned tiny house available to rent for under $100 per night, we decided… why not? After all, we both agreed that we couldn’t trust Michigan weather in the summer any farther than we could throw it!

As it turned out, we didn’t even need the AC (go figure!)!

Aside from just a couple of minor and not so minor annoyances, it was a very enjoyable trip!

This campground is delightfully situated in a “middle of nowhere” setting. Though a store selling supplies was only about 10 minutes away.

This tiny house offered sleeping quarters for about 4.5 humans, which means four adult sized humans, and maybe a human 4.5 feet tall or less if they were willing to sleep on the love seat. On the lower level, there is a full sized bed, a twin sized trundle bed underneath that and a love seat.

In the ladder-accessible loft, there is a twin sized bed. The upper loft would be perfect for a kid whom is old enough to want privacy away from mom and dad.

“Kitchen” amenities included a small fridge/freezer, four-cup coffee maker, and a microwave. I honestly do not know what the point of these “kiddie” sized coffee makers are. Makes me think of a funny scene from the movie “Mr. Woodcock” featuring Amy Poehler:

That was how I felt with the tiny coffee maker! I used the normal amount of coffee and the maximum amount of water allowed by this dinky thing. Which meant we had to dilute the coffee – but it still did the job!

Here’s your “kitchen” area of the tiny house:

I actually kind of want one of these wheeled “island” thingies! Though I don’t need those itty bitty stools stowed underneath.

Outside “amenities” included a picnic table, porch with small table and two chairs, a charcoal grill, a public water spigot a short walk away, and modern restrooms with showers and flush toilets a bit of a hike away. It was too far of a walk for my tastes, but that is just one of only a few annoyances about this trip!

What this tiny house could have used were some strategically placed hooks for hats/coats. It got cluttered up pretty quickly in there. Add to that clutter was a box fan we brought from home, which really helped improve the air flow, but with only seven feet of width, we had to navigate around it (it was worth the effort). There is also a ceiling fan to help with the air flow. Speaking of air flow, it was absolutely fantastic in this place! So many windows – and as luck would have it, weather was more than accommodating for us on this trip – with temps not soaring any higher than the mid 80s, mostly accompanied by a glorious lake breeze.

The setting was just perfect – we were steps away from a camper’s only beach, and because of a huge maple tree on the site, we were almost always in the shade.

Sunset afterglow on Sugarloaf Lake.

And most importantly, we had lots of privacy on our little private deck overlooking Sugarloaf Lake. We used this deck for a good part of the afternoon and evening just people watching – and listening to an old-school radio without digital tuning. We managed to tune into a Lansing, MI station airing the syndicated show “House of Hair,” which featured metal/hair bands (hosted by former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider).

Not only did we get into the people watching by being so close to the beach, we also kept an eye on beach toys that wound up abandoned. Behold this poor little air mattress…

Would no one give this blue inflatable toy a home?

It was all so relaxing until our space was invaded the following night (more about that in a bit).

Almost as soon as we arrived and settled in, I joked that there would be at least one person whom would approach us and ask to see the inside of the tiny house. I even had dialogue planned for the occasion:

Scene: Rando approaches us asking to see the inside of the tiny house,.

Me: (sarcastically) “Oh I didn’t realize you were the editor of Tiny House Beautiful. Please allow me some time to tidy up first. And during that time, why don’t you take that time to go f— right off?”

All jokingly, of course! I would not actually say that to a random person invading our privacy at 11:30 p.m. and DOING JUST THAT! Which actually happened on our last night. Granted, I was just as bitter and indignant about this happening, but rest assured, I was a well behaved human! Also, my husband was actually much more friendly to this uninvited guest than I was, so there was peace amongst the campers on this night. Last thing we needed would have been a redneck turf war.

The way I look at it, I wouldn’t even dream of approaching a random camper and asking to see the inside of their “rig” or tent. I just wouldn’t. Respect people’s privacy.

Despite being only steps away from the beach, we had all the privacy we wanted, except for those 10 minutes or so! Seriously, though – you can’t have a camping trip that is 100 percent perfect! That would make for bad television, wouldn’t it?

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