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Taku-Tanku portable tiny house can be towed by bike


August 18, 2014

The Taku-Tanku is a tiny house made from two water tanks

The Taku-Tanku is a tiny house made from two water tanks

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The tiny house movement is as much about lifestyle as it is size of dwelling. Simplicity and efficiency are key characteristics of such a house. Not only is Stereotank's Taku-Tanku very small, it has few components, can be easily assembled, and even towed by a bicycle.

Gizmag has featured a number of other portable tiny houses. The Leaf House, for example, is small enough to tow with a car but can still accommodate a family of four, whilst the Salsa Box is smaller, but squeezes a huge amount into 9 sq m (96 sq ft). The Taku-Tanku is similar in size to the Salsa Box, but is much less palatial.

The design, created by Stereotank in collaboration with Takahiro Fukuda, was created for the Little House Competition in Saitama, Japan, earlier this year. It is made primarily of two 3,000 l (670 gal) water tanks that are connected by a ring of wood. In addition to joining the two tanks, the wooden ring also incorporates an entrance and a skylight.

The Taku-Tanku is aimed at being compact and affordable. Its interior can accommodate two to three people and has a compartment to store some luggage or belongings. It is also equipped with solar-powered LED lights. There are no frills inside, however. The house is simply said to be easy to build with off-the-shelf and re-purposed materials, and able to provide shelter in a variety of landscapes.

The house sits on a two-wheeled trailer and Stereotank says it is light enough to to be pulled along by one or two people or towed by a bicycle. It can also be towed by a car or even, the company suggests, by a boat.

Stereotank is in the process of looking for a sponsor to fund a prototype of the Taku-Tanku. It is expected that a first prototype would cost in the region of US$8,000 to $10,000.

Source: Stereotank

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

That would not get hot on the inside in the sun, right?

Bill Bennett

Get the price down 75% and you have solved the homeless problem.

Michael Crumpton

Bill Bennett, no more than other structures of that size. It's all about air circulation. A nice ol' oak tree to park beneath would help, too.....

Noel K Frothingham

The company claims: "or even towed by a boat!" I hope they have worked out the joint seal problem . . .

The Skud

They've missed out on the obvious power source available to 99% of the homeless..... a couple of harnessed mongrels would be perfect to pull this.


So it's another overpriced cheaply built caravan then? Plasticiser fumes must be awesome fun too :)


I suspect that watching one of these in high winds would be quite entertaining.

Mel Tisdale

While not discrediting the product, it should not be called a tiny house but rather a shelter. Gizmag should differentiate between a shelter and tiny house. Tiny house: provides all of the amenities required of a home: Sleep, cook, wash, toilet, heat/cool as a minimum. Otherwise, i will supply a headline: "Disposable tiny houses used in NYC homeless district". These portable disposable homes are made up of recyclable corrugated wallboard that offer insulation properties.

Mike Dubois

Kind of cool, but given the materials, this thing weighs more than 1,200 pounds. Not sure I want to tow it on my bike...especially the first time I encounter a hill!

scott melnick

It was invented by sadists to torture poor people with extremely confining quarters. I'm not joking. Don't support tiny house movement its demeaning and sickening.

Neil Farbstein

this thing would be hot as hell over 80F ambient no amount of shade, oak trees, or ''air circulation'' is going to make enough difference and COLD in winter! if you added any insulation it would double the weight, cost, and reduce space

(insulation would be the problem in winder. in summer it would be 'insolation'. look it up.)



Towed by a bike ...... but who is the superman (or woman) who will be able to pedal such a combination? Downhill maybe! I think they need to go back and have a rethink about its possible weight and what they are trying to achieve.


A house? Really? No place to cook, wash, or from the looks of it to store anything either. More like a hard shelled tent. There was a time when similar items were called camping trailer or even a mobile home. Seems the marketing teams have gotten together to make something it's not.

DAs Siegel

Portable shelter? Go with a expanding base plate trailer you set up on arrival with a modern flex pole tent for on top. Add an outer shell for winter and summer you unzip the screened panels. Likely costs around 500 dollars.


The wood exterior is a maintenance problem.

Super insulation, e.g., foil-backed isocyanurate foam, pays for itself in heating/cooling savings.

Daytime lighting should come from small skylights or optical fiber.

An airtight interior could have filtered outside air changes with heat/exchange.

Don Duncan

As a person who was homeless I take offense to the idea that this would "solve" the homeless problem. There are more people living in the "poor houses" (shelters) than there are living in the streets. In the Big Apple they spend more money on housing the homeless in shelters than they spend on rental apartments. The waste of money by HPD in the city could house every single and whole families in apartments with the amount of money they spend on in the shelters. Homeless is not a disease, and is not spread through bodily fluids; being without a home is a man-made social disorder that needs a solution of real homes and not Bullshit.

Kristianna Thomas

More of a rigid tent.


@ Neil Farbstein And it's not as portable as a cardboard appliance box, that gives you the option of burning your house for heat, if it gets too cold. And as far as having a toilet in it this plastic (house) you could cut a hole in the bottom and just move every few days to a new spot, to avoid the smell or getting stuck on the pile.

Jay Finke

So, no gas, electric, lights, cooker, toilet or bed.

Bad in hot, cold and wind.

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