A family of 4 lived in a 200-square-foot Airstream trailer that only had one bed

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe Cashios lived in a tiny house for five months in 2018.
  • An Arkansas-based couple named Zachary and Colleen Cashio decided to renovate and live in a 200-square-foot Airstream trailer with their two children and dog for five months in 2018.
  • The tiny home featured a multifunctional living space, a kitchen, a bathroom, and one bedroom, in which all four members of the family slept.
  • Zach Cashio told Insider that living in such a small space helped the family learn to communicate better.
  • Today, the Cashios renovate and sell Airstreams. You can check out their work here.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Meet Zachary and Colleen Cashio, an Arkansas-based couple who decided to move into a renovated Airstream after they had kids.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe Cashios lived in a tiny house for five months in 2018.

They originally bought their Airstream for travelling purposes, but they decided to live in it full time after their second child arrived.

“We were wanting and needing a change,” Zach told Insider via email of the decision.

“Once our kids were born, we had a feeling that the ‘American’ dream we were chasing was just a revolving door of wants instead of needs.”


It took them about two years of intermittent work to renovate the Airstream.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe trailer took two years to renovate.

“The renovation was done completely by ourselves, with help from our dads at times,” Zach told Insider.

They moved into the trailer full time in May 2018, and they lived in it for five months.


The trailer is about 200 square feet, and it only has three distinct spaces.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe Airstream is about 200 square feet.

When you step into the trailer, you’re greeted by a multifunctional living space.

“Since our kids co-sleep with us, we were able to utilise the living space for a play area and a place to eat or read,” Zach told Insider.


The living room and kitchen space were connected.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe kitchen had standard appliances.

“The kitchen had all of the same appliances a regular home would,” Zach said, including a 24-inch oven and a cooktop.

“This was something we didn’t want to lose while downsizing,” he said of the appliances.

The hallway beyond the kitchen featured a closet and built-in drawers that the family used to store their clothes.


All four Cashio family members slept in the bedroom located toward the back of the Airstream trailer.

Zach and Colleen CashioThe Cashios slept in one bed.

All four could sleep comfortably, but the bed took up the entire room.

“Because our king bed took up much space, we decided to use the space underneath the bed as storage,” Zach said.

“Things that weren’t used every month were stored away, like winter clothes.”


The bathroom was the smallest space in the Airstream, measuring just 3 feet by 5 feet.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe bathroom was the smallest room in the trailer.

“It was tiny, but it was functional,” Zach said of the bathroom.

It featured a shower and toilet, but it didn’t have a sink.

“Since we chose to go without a bathroom sink, we only used the kitchen sink, which gave us more countertop space in the bathroom.”


Zach told Insider that the living area was their favourite part of the trailer.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe living room was their favourite in the space.

“Because it was so multifunctional, everyone was in this space at the same time usually, which helped us learn to interact with each other much better,” he said.

“And if there were confrontations or anything of that nature, there wasn’t anywhere to run. You had to work them out.”


Temperature regulation was the biggest challenge the Cashios faced during their time living in the Airstream.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe Airstream got hot in the summer.

“The biggest challenge in just about any Airstream that’s in the South is keeping it cool inside,” Zach told Insider. “Man, oh man, did it get hot.”

“We eventually bought a sunshade to fly over the trailer to help.”

“We still battled some afternoon sunbeams in the front of the trailer,” he added.


The Cashio kids had a good time living tiny, too.

Zachary and Colleen CashioThe Cashios have two children.

“They never acted as if they hated the Airstream or needed more space,” Zach said of his children.

“Ultimately, your kids just need you, so the tiny space ensured them that we were always there, just a few steps away.”


The Cashios had some advice for people who are considering downsizing: “Just go for it.”

Zachary and Colleen CashioToday, the Cashios renovate Airstreams for others.

“Yes, it’s scary, but it is worth it. You realise what is important in life,” Zach said of downsizing.

“We can live with minimal things.”

The Cashios no longer live tiny, as they rent a shop-house so that they can renovate Airstreams for other people.

You can check out their work here.

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