Recently at several RV and sportsman shows throughout Florida Chariot Eagle RV Park Models of Ocala, Florida had a park model/tiny house hybrid on display. Needless to say it was drawing quite a bit of attention. It seems a proper fit since Chariot Eagle is one of the top producers of holiday and vacation park homes in the USA and in North America.
Chariot Eagle is an independent and privately owned builder of the very finest and most luxurious park models available in the industry.
Back in 1989 and 1990 the company was recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. It has enjoyed a top 3 position in private company Park Model sales in the USA for over 20 consecutive years. Their new tiny house model comes with a lot of industry research and understanding.
Upon first entry the tiny house looked like a traditional (for whatever that means) layout. At just 157 sq.ft. it featured a living area, a bathroom (with hard plumbed commode and shower stall), an ‘L-shaped’ kitchen arrangement (with a 2-burner range), and a modest sleeping loft. Access to the loft was by a steel framed ladder. After speaking with the representative I found out the house sits on a stell frame made of 8″ I beams and cross-members, outriggers 4′ OC, a rust-proof coating of high-heat, black paint, and even features a detachable hitch for theft prevention! The flooring “sandwich” is made of 2″x4″ floor joists with R-11 insulation, a rodent-proof underbelly, and a 3/4″ T&G plywood floor deck. So far, so good!
Other documented building specs are as follows:
- 2″x3″ exterior walls 16″ on center
- R-11 fiberglass insulation
- Thermoply wrap w/vapor barrier
- D 4.5 exterior siding
- Vinyl covered gypsum Roof System
- 2″x6″ #2 spruce rafters 16″ on center
- Each rafter strapped to wall studs
- Ice-guard protection on roof perimeter
- 30-year architectural shingles
- 7/16″ OSB roof deck
- R-19 insulation
Unfortunately I saw this unit with over 6 years of experience in the modern tiny house movement and have seen the beauty and ingenuity that can be incorporated into a tiny house build. While the obvious convenience of this house is that it is RVIA certified and is ready for either personal use (although I wouldn’t tote it down the road on a regular basis) or for parking in a mobile home or RV park right away, I was left feeling like it was a rather cheap, mid-1980s camper. The walls seemed to be vinyl covered utility plywood. The ceiling was mobile unit style with batten strips covering the seams and a sort of texture reminiscent of apartment rentals from the ’90s. However, after finding out that the model ECM-3 Loft (the one I saw) was right at $31,500 from a local dealer (not including standard freight, fuel surcharge, and the decorator kit as seen) I rethought my initial skepticism.
Dimensions of the unit are 7’10” wide by 20′ long. The unit includes 5 downstairs windows, 3 loft windows, and an AC unit cutout in the loft. Three other models are available though. They are the ECM-2 Loft (162 sq.ft.), the ECM-3 Loft (223 sq.ft.), and the ECM-4 Loft (223 sq.ft.). The ECM-3 as best I can tell actually includes a downstairs bedroom, a straight kitchen countertop work space (allowing for more walking room), a bathroom, a generous living area, and a small porch constructed of composite decking. (ECM-1 Loft blueprint shown below)