Monday, September 8, 2008

Home built, Trailer Mounted Cabin



Since the day I bought a tract of land on Terlingua Ranch, I have been searching for a solution to the problem of, where do I stay when I visit my land? I mean, I can get one of the rooms at the lodge, or I can camp in the ranch campground, but really, the whole point of buying land is to be able to enjoy that land. I don't know about you, but having to traipse back and forth from ranch HQ kinda puts a damper on the fun. I want to camp on my land, have a campfire, cook and eat there, and all the other things that go along with camping.

Of course, that is what a tent is for, and I enjoy tent camping as much as the next guy, especially in a nice stand-up canvas tent with a woodstove inside. But the day comes when I wish I had something permanent or semi-permanent, with space to stretch out, and a few amenities. I don't want to spend big bucks for a nice travel trailer and then leave it on the ranch to be possibly stolen or vandalized, but I also don't want to be tied down to towing a trailer or driving a motorhome on every trip, getting 10 mpg if I'm lucky and having to set up camp when I go; or even having to wait a couple of days if it's been raining, before I can even get to the land.

I want a cabin. A cabin that is there, waiting for me anytime I get a few days to visit. That way I can drive my Jeep out there at a couple hour's notice without having to tow anything, so I get 20+ mpg on the trip and, if road conditions are bad, just lock in 4x4 when I leave the pavement and I'll get there just fine.

But I don't want to spend an entire vacation or two hauling supplies and building my cabin there, nor pay someone else thousands of dollars to build it for me, especially if I can't be there to supervise. So what do I do?

Well, now there is a solution: here is a site where you can buy plans to build a folding cabin on a trailer frame. It is 7'x21' folded for traveling, and opens to a full 15'x21' once you arrive on location. It can be set up semi-permanently in less than 3 hours, and the axles and hitch may be either left in place or, if you plan to set it up permanently, removed. Either way, once it is set up there is little to no danger of it being stolen because it is no longer in a towable configuration. It just looks like a standard cabin. It can be towed anywhere a 4x4 pickup can go, so those remote areas of Terlingua Ranch, your hunting camp or any other similar place you would like to put a cabin, will be no problem.

Best of all, it is affordable. It can be built for about $3000, or less if you can scrounge used materials; and it can be built at home on weekends, and a little at a time as you have money for materials. Then next time that big trip to the camping property comes around, you are ready to go with your new cabin.

Click here for more information.

2 comments:

Don said...

I am very surprise that I have actually stumbled on this article. I knew these plans were being sold but I have to tell you I actually stayed in one of these Camps, 4 times. All of them for 8 day, 7 night moose hunts in Northern Ontario.
I was invited to go by a friend of my wife’s I met a few years ago at a BBQ. He had noticed the canoe I had stored under my deck & asked if I hunted. I affirmed his suspicion & then came the invitation, I was all over it – a moose hunt in Northern Ontario was a dream comes true.
A few months later he contacted with me to let me know the time dates & what I had to bring. I was amazed how small the list was. Basically my cloths, my gun & a small amount of cash payable anytime before we leave. No ground sheet, no tent, no cot, no mattress, just a sleeping bag, if I wanted, but a heavy blanket would do.
Long story short, on the day we were to leave we met at one of the 6 group member’s house. There were 3 vehicles going & his truck was pulling a trailer, which the rest of the group fondly referred to, as “the camp”. Camp? What camp? Where is this camp? This trailer was only the size of a large utility trailer. My head was swimming with questions but I knew with my newfound friend they would all be answered soon.
We drove north for 10 hours; the last 2 were down logging roads & a dirt path. Arriving on the shore of a small lake. Once the trailer was positioned in the center of a small clearing that sloped to the water, my friend, his brother & 2 other fella’s, I just met, were out of the trucks, disconnecting & un-tarping “the camp”. It was a scurry of activity; I was itching to help but that was not required nor was it needed, I just stayed out of the way.
The 4 of them worked for 2 hours. As I watched, this trailer expanded, walls went up then the roof. There it was “the camp” my home for the next week, it was fantastic.
My friend took a long metal rod and made some adjustments just under the camp to level it, as the ground we were on was very uneven.
Soon after that, the other guest & I were invited in through a door in the rear – it was a marvel inside, complete with a propane heater.
Though I have seen it since, again & again, I still cannot believe that this entire cabin comes from that trailer. There was even a countertop – “L” shaped like the one we have at home. I watched as it was laid on the floor & the bungee removed. Then I was asked to go to one end. “Now lift it by the corners straight up”. We did, I just kept my end level with his, “now, set it down”, magically it was sitting on 3 pairs of legs that had appeared from underneath & once we placed it in the corner we had our Kitchen area. Get this, 2 other fella’s did the same thing with a framed sheet of plywood & poof our center table.

We paired up & set up the bunks, flipping a coin for top or bottom was unnecessary because when I looked around there were bunks enough to sleep 10 men, so the extra top spaces were used for us to store & spread our gear. All duffel bags were slid under the bunks, we could hang stuff from the walls & the rafters. In less than 3 hours we were sitting having a coffee, that’s right we even had folding card chairs that were packed up with this folding camp.
It was the most comfortable week I had ever spent, way back in the woods. But ‘til this day I am amazed at the ingenuity, the size, as well as the comfort. As long as I have my friend I will never stay on the ground in another damp, leaky tent.

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing that, Don!