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The Mobile Hermitage – Tiny House – News and Updates


27 Oct 2023

For about 20 years, we’ve followed the travels of the Mobile Hermitage. In 2017 it was for sale and eventually changed hands and has new owners who continue to use it in a food service capacity.

23 August 2017


The Mobile Hermitage is ready to continue on it’s journey. This is a great opportunity to purchase and enjoy this delightful tiny home. The home is for sale as described here:

Tumbleweed XS for sale.

Kermit the Mobile Hermitage was built in 2003 by Jay Shaffer and Gregory Paul Johnson – author of “Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned From Living in 140 Square Feet.”

This 10×7 one axle house is easy to tow You need an F250 or bigger. Sleeping loft with queen futon included. AC/DC electric with two solar panels. Propane heater needs a repair, but it gets the place too hot anyway. A portable ceramic heater is included. No bathroom, but room for bucket composting toilet. No water hook-up.

New stain on exterior 2016. Original history here: ResourcesForLife.com/mobile-hermitage.

$16,000 Located in Newark DE. You pick up. Please message me if interested.Thank you! I don’t want to sell, but I have to. Life stuff.

Dragonfly Leathrum
Contact: Facebook.com/Dragonfly.Leathrum
Location: Camp Whistle Pig, Newark, DE
Listed on Facebook Here

“Kermitage” the Mobile Hermitage

5 February 2013


Thanks to everyone who has inquired about the Mobile Hermitage. It’s now been sold. In the small house real estate market, homes move quickly… or at least as fast as they can go down the road!

One of the highlights of my lifetime were the 6 years I spent living in a home designed and built by Jay Shafer. These tiny homes are truly inspirational and a transcendent experience that positively impacts just about every area of one’s life.

If you’re interested in learning more about my experience, I’ve dedicated a book and a webpage to that topic.

~ Greg Johnson

About the Mobile Hermitage

Overview. The Mobile Hermitage is a freestanding movable miniature house that operates entirely from battery power. This totally functional diminutive dwelling is an all-season (well insulated) habitat large enough for one or two (very compatible) adults. This home is almost identical to the XS-House by Tumbleweed Houses costing about $39,000 new. Yet, this home is special because it was built at the beginning of the small house movement. You can continue to follow the journey of this home by visiting the new owner’s website, TinyHouseTimes.com.

Community Focused. Despite its name, the Mobile Hermitage is designed to be part of a community of tiny houses. Interdependent freestanding small houses are very economical to build and maintain. By sharing common resources such as laundry, lavatory facilities, bath house, large kitchen, and activity center, a greater sense of community is established, and significant savings can be achieved.

Media Appeal. The Mobile Hermitage and owner Gregory Paul Johnson have been featured by various print and television media including: American Profile, Better Homes and Gardens (200608 page 72), CBS Affiliate KCCI of Des Moines, PBS Affiliate WQPT, National Public Radio, New York Times Real Estate, Radish Magazine, and Wall Street Journal Real Estate.

20091014we-natural-home-magazine-2008-MayJuneNatural Home Magazine. The November/December 2009 issue of Natural Home Magazine features an article about Gregory Johnson’s book Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned From Living in 140 Square Feet.

Simplicity. “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” – Winston Churchill. The Mobile Hermitage was custom designed and constructed to serve as the office and residence for the Resources for Life global headquarters located in North America. Gregory Johnson explains, “The complexity of Resources for Life demands a level of efficiency and effectiveness that can only be served through simplicity. It was with this in mind that the home’s designer, Jay Shafer, was commissioned to construct this minimalist dwelling.” Because the global operation of Resources for Life is a highly outsourced and redundant distributed network of individuals and organizations, it is possible to operate the main office out of this diminutive dwelling. Although the Mobile Hermitage is tiny enough to be pulled with a small truck, it is very roomy. The inside design is so efficient that it serves the functional equivalent of a house two to three times its size. Many areas serve multiple purposes. Tables and surfaces seem to “come out of the woodwork” on demand as needed.

Radio Interviews. Audio is now available for recent interviews with Gregory Johnson on ABC News AustraliaIowa Public Radio Book Reading/InterviewKRUU FMNational Radio in Ireland, and Public Radio Interview with Ben Kieffer from February 2007.

Learn More. Here are links for more information about the Mobile Hermitage.

Open House – 2008

The most recent Mobile Hermitage open house was on Friday, 11 July 2008, in the afternoon in front of Prairie Light Books in downtown Iowa City on Dubuque Street between Iowa Avenue and Washington Street. In the evening, at 7:00 PM, there was a radio show recorded from Prairie Lights about Gregory Johnson’s new book Put Your Life on a Diet. The WSUI broadcast is available online as well. Photos of the open house are available online (a slideshow preview is below).