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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eli Curtis' Tiny Cabin On Wheels- A micro getaway shack and workshop...

      I came across Eli Curtis' photos of his tiny little cabin/sleep shack on wheels a little ways back and invited him to tell its tale. Some of you may have see one of two shots of his latest project, as Eli is a member of our "Tiny Yellow House and" tiny housing discussion group on facebook. Anyway, here, in Eli's words, is the back story on this cool little mobile house....

This micro cabin build just happened at the drop of a hat almost. I had purchased this heavy duty 5x10 trailer and took it with me to a barn restoration/addition job and parked it in the barn so that I could work on it when it was too wet out to set poles. My plan was to construct a cargo style builder-trailer with some reclaimed industrial metal building panels, but when I got the trailer painted and re-decked I decided that it would get used more if I left it flat. 

     I had been working on a few cedar cabin kits, that I eventually wanted to get some plans together for and sell, but this at the time was just one of many back burner projects I had going on. One day when I went to pick up some cedar from a local mill I had a conversation about barns,cabins and just wood in general with the owner. He told me that if I just had a place to put a demo building I could probably get some people interested in these kits. He also offered to donate all the lumber to build one! Well, in less time than it took me to get down the road, I decided that I was going to build a cabin on wheels! Three days later I picked up my package of materials with my flat deck trailer and set upon building it for the next two and a half weeks. This project really kind of consumed me and there was not a waking moment where I did not plan or work on it  until I was driving it down the road. Now that its complete I am ready to pull it to some of my longer jobs and I will use it as a job shack.
     This cabin is really grabbing some attention locally and I have already had some passerbys come over to  take a look inside. I hope to build more of them down the road for those who might be interested. (Deek: Info on that is further below...)

     The trailer is rated for about 5,000 lbs -dimensions are 5x10. I really wanted to keep the size down so I could pull it with ease (and the pile of lumber I loaded on it) when I picked it up. As for the large porch, the cabin is12 ft tall so instead of the two foot back porch, I shrunk the building down two feet to lessen the overall load and weight of the building.
     As far as outfitting it, I am basically going to keep it "camping style" with small portable propane stoves and heaters within. I'm going to do some basic wiring so I can have power, and the overall plan is to basically design custom cubbies and benches for storage later on. Another one of my major plans, design wise, is to have some custom canvas skirts made for the back porch that connect up under the eaves of the cabin and then snaps onto the fence area and so as to enclose the deck.

I do plan on building this model, and others, for people down the road. The price of the kits for a 6x8 is $3500 and one fully built for $4900. I will increase size all the way up to 6x16 for 7,000 (kit) and 9,800 (built). I will also build them 8ft wide all the way up to 8x14. If interested, you can email Eli at

If interested, we have a couple of vardos, carvans, and wheeled tiny houses in the new color photo section of my book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks"- which you can order below- only $11.29

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen