70 Year Old Builds Innovative Off-Grid Tiny House For Debt Free Retirement

Imagine retiring with living costs so low that you can actually watch your bank account grow just from your government pension. For Peter Matheson who lives in an incredible off-the-grid, DIY-built tiny house, that translates to an abundance of freedom allowing him to live big in his retirement.

Peter named his tiny house on wheels Mi Pad. Originally it was built as an experiment in creating affordable housing but throughout the process Peter realised that he was actually building the home for himself. An avid advocate of alternative housing Peter tricked the council into viewing the home by saying that it was a prototype micro-home from Apple that was going to be in Grand Forks, BC. They weren’t disappointed though and the council are now working together with Peter to create a local tiny house community which could be the first of it’s kind in Canada.

The interior of this 125 square ft (12m2) home is simple yet packed with everything you need for comfortable living. It includes a bed down the far end, a desk space, a kitchen and a small bathroom. The entire home is designed to be off-the-grid and is able to be efficiently run on solar energy. This is currently not set up however due to the shaded parking spot.

The kitchen design doesn’t provide a lot of counter-space to work on and lacks an oven, but for Peters cooking style it’s ideal and he says that he has only ever used one of the propane burners at a time.

When Peter wants to entertain, his bed is able to be quickly transformed into a lounge to comfortably seat four people. This is done with a simple system of 4 cushions which are stored in the trailers utility area.

The bathroom design is brilliant, with a shower and soaking tub which has been created from a reclaimed old freezer. Peter chose the right size freezer after visiting a salvage yard and sitting in a whole bunch of them before finding the one that fit him just right.

The bathroom is complete with a composting toilet which has been built into the room. All the water in the home is heated via propane with the heater located just above the toilet.

This home may be tiny but the current parking spot affords Peter a million dollar location. Situated right on a river-front property with abundant wild-life, he truly has the ideal spot and is able to watch deer grazing and beavers in the stream right from his tiny house while having his morning coffee.

For Peter, this way of life translates to pure freedom. He loves the idea that he has a small and efficient home which allows him to spend his money in other areas of his life. For a man who loves to travel, the freedom to hook up his home and take it with him is another major advantage and for overseas trips it’s simple to just lock up and leave. Be sure to check out the full video tour above for more of Peters inspiring story!

Posted on by Bryce Posted in Tiny House Tours

About Bryce

Bryce Langston is a New Zealand based actor, musician, filmmaker and environmentalist who has spent the past five years travelling the globe exploring the Tiny House movement as the creator and host of the popular online web series Living Big in a Tiny House

15 Responses to 70 Year Old Builds Innovative Off-Grid Tiny House For Debt Free Retirement

  1. robert bosch

    HI! your segment is our favorite! love your home! we live in west kelowna. is there any way we could come for a visit? there are so many questions…..

  2. Signi Thorleifson

    Love this! I’m currently planning on putting a tiny house on a barge as a float home in Victoria BC. We really need to have tiny communities in every city/town. it’s the way of the future. Less stuff, more life! You have packed a lot of living into 125 sf!! Well done! I bet beautiful to wake up to that beautiful stream!!

  3. Janei

    Would love yo know the dimensions of each roo each room. Would love to replicate. What abt laundry and refridge?

  4. Arif Khan

    Grate and wander full project never saw in Canada. I’m 65 years old about to retire living in Brampton Ontario trying to do a similar project at my daughter backyard which on Credit river

  5. Annie

    I live in Vancouver and I would love to own one as my vacation house.

  6. Peter Matheson

    Hi Deborah. Email me and I’ll keep you informed: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007782825011

  7. Alex

    This is one of my absolute favorite thows! I’m in my mid forties and I’m looking for a perfect tiny house design for myself. I want something that I’ll be able to handle when I’m in my nineties! This could be the one. There’s very little that I could think of that I would change except the way the roof is. I’d prefer a barn style but the size is amazing and I’ve already downsized so much I could pretty much move into a house like that today and live in it comfortably! Thank you so much for finding such an amazing tiny house to show! And thank you to Peter for having the guts to go out on a limb for other people and create such an amazing space!

  8. Te

    How does he deal with grey water? He didn’t mention he has water tanks.

  9. william c herm

    this is a great and informative video. thanks very much.

  10. Deborah Linton

    A very inspiring video about an interesting and very positive individual. I just attended a city council meeting in a small southern California community. It was disheartening to hear so much negativity regarding a proposal to allow THOWs to park legally on private property. The wheels of progress are turning way too slowly for me as my tiny house build will be completed within a month, and I haven’t found a place to park it. I’m curious about the planned TH community in Grand Forks, BC. I may want to emigrate there. :o)

    • Cherrie

      I just love this idea also. Especially around like minded persons.

    • Cherrie

      Sounds like my kind of place too. Get to spend time closer to nature too.

    • Pao Truong

      Hi, I am also living in southern california. I was wondering if there was a website or a community here for people interested in tiny house movement. Would you be able to refer me? I am still new to this whole community.

  11. Dawn

    I love this home,it’s perfect,and filled with some great ideas.Love the tub

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