Doing PodShare Tiny Hotel the Right Way

Airbnb has shown us there is an unending supply of unusual places you can stay, and PodShare in Southern California is one of them. I’ve slept in various “cube” hotels before including a Japanese capsule in Tokyo and a Yotel pod in London, but PodShare is melding together tiny spaces, affordability and community. Elvina Beck opened the PodShare co-living space three years ago and has since hosted over 4,000 “Podestrians”. She said the concept is perfect for minimalist, solo travelers who also want to meet new people. The design of the pods make them different from a typical hostel.

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“I grew up on MTV’s The Real World and thought: what would happen if you put 10 strangers under one roof with technology to keep them busy, but with no privacy to help them stay engaged?,” Elvina said. “PodShare was built to answer that question. I wanted to create a comfortable and safe environment for people to sleep without putting up walls.”

Instead of individual bunk beds like in a hostel, each pod is build like a separate shipping container divided by carpeted stairways. Each pod contains a memory foam mattress, a personal TV, electrical outlets, adjustable nightlight, and a closet with a locker. The pods were built to face each other and each Podestrian can personalize their pod with their name. Guests are provided with a towel, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and WiFi. They also have access to the community kitchen, bathroom, shower, and the computer station. The pods do not close up at night, but the top pods do have safety rails.

“We actually created more privacy than a traditional bunk bed, without closing the face like a Japanese capsule,” Elvina said.

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“When I was laying out the floor plan for PodShare,  I considered building the pods in a circle, so to not box people out, but then opted for rows like displays,” Elvina said. “This layout gives people an opportunity to horizontally work on their laptops, put their backs against the wall, hang their feet over the balcony to face the person across from them, or sit on the steps.”

Eight single pods are available for $50 a night and two queen size pods are available for $70 a night. Elvina said she will explore long-term housing in an additional location and will plan for more drawer space in the pods. Her goal is to build a network of PodShare locations across the country to offer membership-based housing. Guests would pay a monthly rental fee to travel to different pods.

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House, bike and car sharing is now the norm and PodShare also promotes the sharing of common resources—with some personalization. Each Podestrian gets a lifetime pod number and a profile is opened for each guest.

“Since day one, we have created a profile for each guest—sharing a time capsule online helps us get to know the guest and helps the guest realize that they are more than a unique number,” Elvina added. “We believe in the sharing of space, stories, affordability… and curing the ever-growing world loneliness problem. I believe this type of minimalist social travel will inspire innovation and promote openness and discovery.”

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Photos and video courtesy of PodShare

Tiny Trailer Camper from Casual Turtle Campers

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by Peter Pavlowich

Here’s a new model that I’ve been wanting to build for a while. It’s in the size and tradition of a teardrop, but in Casual Turtle Campers style – dead simple, cedar, domed roof, with lots of windows. In fact, it’s quite a bit roomier than most teardrops – and by leaving the entire trailer area as living space, the cabin feels damn near palatial! Not really, but it is a nice little space that two people and a couple dogs could be perfectly comfortable in.

As an unsolicited build, I had planned to insulate and finish out the interior myself – but then I thought it might appeal to someone looking for either a dead simple, lightweight little camper, or someone looking for a project. One could add nothing to it and have a very comfortable, capable, simple camper – or features could easily be added to their desires – storage, gear hooks, bed platform, etc. And I’m perfectly happy to discuss building out an interior for someone.

Peter inside of it

Here are some of details… It’s built on a very nice, custom 5’x8′, fully boxed trailer frame with 13″ tires from a great manufacturer here in northern Colorado. The cabin’s frame is mostly western Hemlock (1.5″x1.5″), with Western red cedar siding. The bottom of the cabin has a 90 mil PVC membrane covering, and the roofing is a fully adhered, 60 mil, ivory-colored TPO membrane – thermally welded at the seams. It has four opening windows with screens, and two large fixed windows (forward bulkhead and door) for pretty good through-visibility. It weighs 840 lbs, with about 110 lbs of tongue weight. There are more specifications/details on the website -casualturtlecampers.com.

I really like this camper, and I can see using it just as it is – or with a more developed interior. Either way, its a great platform for someone looking to get into a very easily towed, comfortable, unique little camper. At 840 lbs, this model could work with a wide variety of tow vehicles. The forward bulkhead is short enough (66″) to tuck in well behind most crossover and small SUVs. I even towed it around town with our little Subaru Impreza.

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I’ve included a couple photos of the camper with my big ass in it for scale. I’m 6’2″ and 195 lbs. As a shell version, the walls and roof assembly are left open, showing the OSB roof deck’s bottom side – though it could easily be insulated and closed in. If anyone has any thoughts/ideas/questions please email me at casualturtlecampers@gmail.com. I’d be happy to discuss this camper or something similar/different that you might be interested in. And I’m also happy to discuss full or partial delivery from Fort Collins, CO for a rather nominal mileage-based fee.

Thanks for having a look – and please share it with anyone you think might find it interesting. I’m tentatively calling this model the Hatchling, but any other ideas for a model name would be welcome, too!

Price – $6,250

Peter Pavlowich
Casual Turtle Campers
casualturtlecampers.com

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Steve Blanchard’s Chainsaw Tiny Houses

While walking through the traffic and noise of San Francisco last weekend, I found an oasis of peace inside the International Art Museum of America. In their main lobby, a small stream flowed past a whimsical tiny treehouse. Granted, the house would only be perfect for fantasy creatures like gnomes or fairies, but the design captured my heart. The treehouse, sculpted out of a redwood stump, was made by chainsaw artist Steve Blanchard and is just one of his many fairytale structures.

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Blanchard began chainsaw carving about 28 years ago in Monterey, California. He uses the chainsaw and various other power tools to carve large stumps into benches, furniture, large Native American figures and animals. His charming fairy homes contain faces of wood spirits, gnarled porches, curved staircases and even working windows and doors. Blanchard has made about 30 of these tiny houses, but only makes about two unique houses every year for sale and they sell for around $25,000 each. The homes make their way into woodland gardens and yards in the Sierra and Lake Tahoe, as well as museums on Market Street in San Francisco.

“I don’t like to have any straight lines in my houses,” Steve said. “There are very few straight lines in nature and I like my houses to blend in with nature and tell a story, but it has to be believable.”

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Photos by Steve Blanchard Wood Sculpture and the International Art Museum of America

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]