Maui Vintage Trailer vs. Tiny House

Maui Tiny House vs. Vintage Trailer

I love the Tiny House movement — as a study in experimental architecture, but in many ways, some of the life distillation so common in the design program of a tiny house was already being workshopped in the 1940s and 1950s by the burgeoning trailer manufacturers of the time. Companies like Airstream, Shasta, Spartan, Avion etc were already solving the issues of cramming an entire house into a small space on wheels — often with better results, and drivability and innovation than many of the modern tiny houses I’ve seen. Feast your retinas on the cuter than a duckling super cottagey interior of this Hanson Love Bug Custom:

Why have a travel trailer on Maui?

People have asked me why would I want to have a travel trailer or RV on Maui when there really isn’t anywhere to go and some of the roads are pretty treacherous for towing. Well the real reason for having a travel trailer, is not so much to use it for its original intended purpose, but to see it as “instant guest cottage” — or “instant office” — mancave, womancave, etc.  With construction costs rising, the instant gratification of a travel trailer is hard to beat.  I myself had the great luxury of owning a glitzy Airstream trailer — the same model owned by Matthew McConaughy.

Sold Before Listed

The trailer pictured in this article sold before listed. That’s so annoying I know. Every time I see “Sold before listed” it drives me a little nuts. But it’s one of the reasons to have a well-connected Realtor on your side. Sometimes the match making between a property and a buyer is so obvious that it just organically happens and everyone is happy before any marketing even begins. Such is the case with this amazing 1950s era Custom Love Bug Trailer by Hanson Manufacturing. I had considered buying it myself but realized I have too many other projects going on, so I reached out to a friend on Oahu who had been looking for something like this. She happened to be on Maui, so I introduced her to the seller and voila! A match made in trailer heaven. To see more pics of this trailer including a 3D Matterport Tour check out my article at 

The Maui Trailer Guy

It seems I’ve become the Maui trailer guy. A title I would happily wear with pride. If you are interested in joining my database of trailer interested folks, please reach out to me via email and let me know you’d like to be added to the trailer mailing list. Liam Ball RB-21691 808.280.7809

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Mark Lingerfelt

November 28, 2017

Awesome! I’ve often wondered which would be better? Wanting to downsize and am weighing the pros and cons. You’ve helped! Thank you.


November 28, 2017

> Great Mark! Thanks for the comment.

Chris Gamby

November 28, 2017

These are awesome Liam. What is the ballpark cost on these? Do you know how much to ship one from the mainland?

Tracy Stice

December 7, 2017

Liam, I was researching these 2 years ago, looking to bring one over as an experiment. I found decent used 26 foot trailers in San Diego in the $10,000 range, but shipping to Maui costs almost the same amount. When you consider that you can buy a complete 208 sq. ft home delivered to Maui for about $20,000, it makes sense . It cost me $15,000 to build a 200 sq. ft. tiny home with a 100 sq.ft loft, but it took a lot of time and work. The only real problem is he design. With no eves to protect them, you can’t leave the windows open. Maybe park it under a carport and catch the water off the roof and power it with PV panels ?

Jayne Whittle

August 10, 2019

Dear Liam:

Visiting Maui in April 2018 I never expected to get bitten by a Maui Love Bug…literally…again I visited in Dec for a concert and the beauty of course…I have a large tiny home…aka RV…DoubleTree Mobile Suites 36 ft…has all you need for living, especially on the island…when I go I am only in my condo in the am and late pm…BUT…many articles I have read claim the island prefers no motorhomes/Rv’s on island…being a Canadian I can only stay 6 months…wherever would you be able to park/lease land with water and power…my favorite part of the island is south Maui because I photograph my whole time there…can you give me any help…looking for 2years out…Mahalo…Jayne Canada

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