Living In A Lotus Belle Tent

When I was a teenager I had a dream of living in a teepee in the forest. Now, I get to live something very close to that dream. Over the last two months we have been flat out finishing the Belle tent and getting everything ready for me to move in. I’m happy to say that I’m now living in the tent full time and it’s incredible! The Lotus will be my home while I finish building the Tiny House.

INSIDE-THE-LOTUS-BELLE-01

I decided to move into the Lotus tent because it allowed me to escape the rent trap and dedicate more time and resources into the construction of my tiny house. I also wanted to showcase another really great concept of alternative, downsized living. When I first saw a Belle tent my first thought was that someone could live really comfortably in one, and that planted the seed that grew into my decision to move in myself!

DINING-TABLE

The tent itself is a 5 meter (16ft) diameter Lotus Belle Outback. The canvas is 350gsm, which is much heavier duty than regular canvas tents. Even the floor is constructed from the same material that many kayaks are made from.

KITCHENETTE

Inside my tent I have everything that I need, and nothing that I don’t. I have power which comes from a very simple 150watt solar system, running hot and cold water, refrigeration with a Waeco Coolfreeze 25 litre fridge. In future videos and articles I will be going into much more detail on these elements.

LIVING-IN-THE-LOTUS-BELLE-TENT

Keeping warm on the cooler nights is important and The Traveller Stove from UK based company Anevay heats the Lotus Belle tent wonderfully. It’s a tidy little package, and the 4 kilowatt heater does a great job of keeping the tent toasty. To help the heat circulate throughout the tent, I have added a small thermoelectric fan, which actually does make a huge difference in warming the space. At the moment, the Traveller Stove is also what I am using to do all of my cooking on. In the summer, I may find another solution for days when it’s too hot to light the fire.

LOTUS-BELLE-TENT-PLATFORM

The Lotus Belle tent is constructed on a custom built platform. The platform is a decagon shape to follow the form of the tent, and is surrounded by a cantilevered deck which provides easy access to the bathroom.

TIKI-BATHROOM-HUT

In true treehouse style, tiki-hut-style bathroom is accessed via a rope bridge which joins onto the deck. The roof is made from an old canvas patio umbrella and all of the walls are clad in bamboo that was cut down from a neighbours property. Inside the bathroom, there is a basin, shower (both of which have hot, running water) and a composting toilet.

BRYCE-AND-THE-LOTUSI’m really excited to now be living in this wonderful and tranquil space. It’s going to be the perfect place for me to work, play, dream and unwind after a hard day. The location of the tent is also geographically much closer to where I am constructing the Tiny House, which means I will be able to work a lot more often on the house and speed up that build too. There will be lots more updates to come!

Photo credits: Amy Kate Photography




Posted on by Bryce Posted in Living in a Lotus Belle Tent, Tiny House Tours

About Bryce

I'm a film-maker with a passion for small space design, permaculture, and downsized, eco-friendly living. Join me on my travels as I meet people who are living big lives in wonderful small spaces and follow along as I build my very own Tiny House on wheels.

60 Responses to Living In A Lotus Belle Tent

  1. Donna

    Love what you’ve done and all your ideas! Wondering about your bathroom roof. What did you do with the center part of the umbrella? Is the middle part still in place?

  2. Sharon

    This is my husband’s dream pad haha

  3. Lena

    Great initiative and thank you for sharing! I would like to mention you in my book (published and coming out soon), which web site address is best for people to see what you do? Personally, I would like to know the name of the stove you used, being French I can’t make out the name, you say it too fast for me! Tks!

  4. Hannah Cunniingham

    Hi Bryce,

    I love your show it’s the best! You have inspired me and all the other great people on your show. I am going to get one of these tents to live in while I build my dream cob house. Fingers crossed it will stand the NSW rain forest climate 😀

    Keep up the awesome work,

    From Hannah

  5. Etanah

    Ok, I’ve been watching your videos since it started and never felt the urge to comment until I saw this home of yours now. Thank-you so much for sharing everything, your knowledge! It’s been a struggle to meet rent ends while studying Uni, this has made me keep going ahead with desgning a Tiny House to make one day. Lord knows I’m not going to get any mortgage soon without being debt free from student loans. Fa’afetai Lava!

  6. Christian

    Bryce this is fantastic. We are about to embark on the same journey but with a canvas wall tent. You’ve done and are doing all my wife and our two children will be attempting over the remainder of the summer months. I’ll be following with much interest. One question I do have is how you got on with your local council regarding consenting etc. be keen to hear your experiences.

  7. Jannelle

    Absolutely love this. I’m over working to pay bills. Would love to do something like this.

    How much did the tent set you back, if you don’t mind me asking?

  8. Dee W

    Very cool! Any vids on your tiny home?

  9. Emma

    living the dream! How does the tent stand up to the Auckland rain?
    Do you know of any services or people that can do the whole thing from go to woe. Some of us are not blessed with the no. 8 wire gene, not to mention the time involved to diy.

    • Bryce

      Hey Emma,

      Yup, I sure do. Our resident handyman Dylan works on these kinds of projects all the time. He’s certainly the person to talk to. Would you like him to get in touch with you?

      Cheers,

      Bryce

  10. Ingvar

    Hi Bryce.
    Please tell about the next generation of Tiny House you designing. What kind of materials you planning to use? What will be the form and the size? It is very interesting to me.

    • Bryce

      It will all be talked about in the videos on the house design and build. 🙂

  11. Cat Jones

    Hi Bryce! You have done an AWESOME job! I too love the Lotus tent and have been looking at them on the net for some time now. I missed out on a 3 room Yurt for 2 grand but am loving the Lotus.. Thanks for doing this video as I have often wondered what a “live in” set up would be like.. seriously thinking on this now! Look forward to your next video.. Namaste 🙂

    • Bryce

      You’re welcome Cat! Wow – a 3 room Yurt for 2k would have been a total score!

  12. Joe

    My wife and I have been trying to do this with the sweet water bungalow for some time now. Our biggest challenge has been finding property to place a sweet water bungalow cabin wall tent and also the code and zoning permits.

    Where at are you located? Did you buy property And how hard was that to find………

    • Bryce

      Hey there. I’m in Auckland, New Zealand. This set-up is on a friends property. 🙂

  13. Sue

    I love your home! So inspired by simply, functional design. Great use of space and materials. You are certainly living my dream! Keep us posted on new addition and new tiny house designs. I am betting your design and use of space will be exactly what i am looking for In the near future.

  14. Amna

    Hi Bryce, what a beautiful little space..How are you heating your water? We are thinking of setting something like this for guests on our property in NZ.

    • Bryce

      Hey Amna. In this case water is heating using a gas califont which we have installed under the bathroom hut.

  15. Tatiana

    I was wondering where you found a place to live for free? I have already decided to get the tent but have no way to even go about finding free land

    • Bryce

      There are lots of places around, and lots of people who are happy to have guests on their land in exchange for help maintaining the property. 🙂

  16. LouAnn G.

    Beautiful Tent! Lovely décor too. I also love your little wood stove. Is it sold in the US or will they ship to the US? Price? It looks like it would work well in a tiny house too. What do you think? Thank you for sharing your home.

    • Bryce

      Yup, I think this stove would also be a good choice for a Tiny House, although I would use a different flue kit for that install. In my Tiny House I will be using a different wood stove though. I believe these stoves are for sale in the US too. 🙂

  17. Carol Ray

    Lovely! Where does the running water come from? Do you have a pump?

    • Bryce

      There was mains supply running already to this location on the property, so we just hooked up everything via a hose. I am wanting to put in a simple rain water collection system for drinking water in the future though.

  18. Candy

    So how does this wonderful belle tent hold up to winds over 100km and rain? Have you tested this ? It does look like something from a fantasy movies and i would certainly love to have one of these charming tents. Where I am we can get gale force winds , that is why I ask this question.

    Many thanks

    • Bryce

      Hey Candy. I’ve been out there in some pretty big storms already, and it’s held up fine. Especially the way that we have secured the tent to the outriggers, it’s very sturdy. The location that I’ve chosen from the tent has forest on 2 sides which does shelter the tent from the worst of the winds also.

  19. Nancy Lee

    My question is where is your abode and what is the weather like? I am in NM in the mountains and it gets very cold with lots of snow. Great application on all, even the loo.

    • Bryce

      Hey Nancy. I’m in Auckland, New Zealand. The weather can get very cold and rainy, but it’s very rare for it to ever get below freezing. Snow is almost totally unheard of in my area.

  20. Jeanette

    Hello, I love tiny houses, great plan to save money. I could see myself living in the Lotus Belle for the same reason . very appealing. I look forward to see what you do next and would like the details about the process you went through

    • Bryce

      Thanks Jeanette. 🙂

  21. Eileen

    I love this tent! This is the first I have seen one. Are you in the middle of no where?I hope so, lol.I am looking forward to your updates. Thanks.

    • Bryce

      Hey Eileen. I’m actually only about 30 mins from downtown Auckland. The area looks a lot more remote than it really is. Still, I’m nicely tucked away at the back of a very private section.

  22. Adrian

    You could save some electricity by keeping your Waeco fridge outside so it doesn’t fight your wood burning stove.

    • Bryce

      Yup – that’s a good idea, and it is something that I have thought about. I’m thinking about maybe building a bit of a place for it under the tent platform, but we will see. So far, it is working fine even when the stove is going, and I’ve never run out of power.

  23. Penny

    Hi Bryce! Do you own your own property? Have you had zoning issues!? This looks like a very doable space!

    • Bryce

      Hey Penny. Not yet, this is located on a friends property. 🙂

  24. Kari

    First of all, I love it, it kinda reminds me of a yurt. Secondly, a question. IS the solar system powering only the refrigerator, or other things as well? Does it produce enough power to cool the refrigerator and maybe run a 12 volt heater? Thanks!

    • Bryce

      Hey Kari. I’ll be doing a video on the solar system soon. It powers my fridge, charges my lap-top, camera batteries and other batteries for the lighting in the house, runs my blender, and that’s pretty much all it does on a day-to-day basis. Heating requires a huge amount of power, and so it’s not practical to really run one in the tent. To put it into perspective, I would generate less than 1 kilowatt of power on an average day with my set-up, and my wood stove puts out the equivalent of 4 kilowatts of heat every hour. If you’re wanting to simplify and use a downsized solar system, it’s best not to try and heat anything at all with that energy.

  25. Carolina

    Hi Bryce,

    We love all the tiny house videos (and the bell tent one of course). It taught us SO much!

    Kind regards,
    Carolina (The Netherlands)

    • Bryce

      Thanks Carolina! 🙂

  26. Nancy Ellis

    The tent is a lovely space. I’m just wondering how much it cost you to set it up i.e. tent and internal fittings/furnishings, including outdoor bathroom and decking.

    • Bryce

      Hey Nancy – I’ll put up a video later on how much the tent cost to set-up as it’s a very common question. 🙂

  27. Lasse Junget Hartmann

    This is an amazing idea – you really sparked something for me here in Denmark as well. We are planning to build a TH, and this tent could definitely help in that process.

    Keep up the good spirit 🙂

    Lasse
    Copenhagen

    • Bryce

      Thanks Lasse! Best of luck for your own build! 🙂

  28. David

    Where did you get or hoe did you make the thermoelectric fan?

    • Bryce

      I bought mine from a website called TradeMe, it’s similar to ebay in the US. Just search for stove-top fan and you’ll find lots of options.

  29. Larry Odom

    Bryce –

    Not only have successfully escaped the rent trap — but the 30 year mortgage trap too! I’m deeply grateful for your innovative approach to living. Truly … you are living the dream and I couldn’t be more proud of you and your approach to life. The inspiration is immensely motivating & inspiring to all!

    -Larry

    • Bryce

      Thanks Larry! 🙂

  30. Brook Thompson

    I heard the word Trade Me used. Does this happen to be in New Zealand? And if so are there tours ever?

    • Bryce

      Yup, this has been set-up in Auckland. No tours planned at the moment though.

  31. Ricardo Aka:jhon snow

    all in all how much did you spend, including everything.+how many hours of work. And that chest in the middle of the tent what is it?

    • Bryce

      I’ll be putting together all the costs and making a video on how much the whole project cost to complete. For what the space is though. The chest in the middle is just one that someone was selling on the internet, I picked it up for about NZ$250. It’s one of my favourite features in the space though and has provided me with so much extra storage.

  32. David

    Thank you for introducing me to our future guest house. Does Belle Tents ship to the U.S.? The order tab did not provide this option.

    Great execution on this project.

    • Bryce

      Hey David. Yup – Lotus Belle are in the US too! And you’re right, this would be the most amazing guest house. 🙂

  33. Cindy

    What an amazing living space. I love it. I am actually going to go with a tipi for myself, but it is a hard choice between the two. Will have to consider the Lotus Belle if the tipi doesn’t meet my expectations. Great Job! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home. Cheers!

    • Bryce

      I do love tipis too. Stay in touch and let me know how the tipi living goes! 🙂

  34. Raw Law Girl

    The tent and how you decorated it are lovely!

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