by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
Been very busy working on not one, but five projects lately, including a pretty bizarre and fun tree house for a client in Boston, Massachusetts that you might see soon. Some of these other builds, and more, will be toured at my November (15-17th) Tiny House Building and Design Workshop in Massachusetts, where we’ll all build TWO cabins together, and see the very first-built Tumbleweed.
THIS particular little dwelling on wheels though, camper-like in stature, is something I’ve dubbed “The Cub”. It will soon have a very small exterior bathroom on the trailer tongue. In the photos you see, it features a small sleep bunk (I’m 6′ 4″ and have slept up there), a translucent storage wall, and a front wall (the same) that flips open to transform the entire structure into a porch, or a mini-stage, for backyard parties. It could even be used as a camper/flea market kiosk. “The Cub” overall, is just 5′ by 8′. Tiny. Dang Tiny.
Eventually, aside from the bathroom I’ve already planned, I’m going to add another small, hollow, storage bed-couch combo down below, and most likely add some shelved storage that will double as steps to the bunk, a place to hide goods, and a small cook surface (not the part you’ll step on). The bathroom, I might add, will be accessed from the outside of “The Cub” by a different entrance, seeing as this structure is so small, and you wouldn’t want to be enclosed with a toilet in only 40 square feet.
Oh yeah, I suppose I should mention that I already hauled this, with a mere mini-van, to Vermont and back, a 9 hour round trip. At one point, using terrible GPS directions to get to the Yestermorrow Design School for a speaking engagement, we were led over a mountain pass all on a dirt road…. and the van handled it no problem, which is surprising, as the van is a Chrysler. I’ve weighed this lil’ sucker on a scrap-yard scale too, and it clocks in at 1520 pounds- light enough where I was able to hitch it solo without a jack. In hindsight, I could probably even build this a little lighter, while not sacrificing strength. Speaking of which, construction-wise, all the plywood is screwed and glued to the framing, which also makes use of angle-brackets and knee-braces. The front, windward, wall is also double layered for strength, and insulated. The other walls could be insulated down the road if desired, easily. No plumbing- you’d have to carry water in, or hook it up via a simple hose, if you wanted a small sink inside. I figured we’d just go with a 5 gallon camping tote for the time being.
Additionally, I plan to pull out the tiny side table and other loose items, and to replace them with built-ins, thereby lessening the need for tethering items down. All in all, this wasn’t really built so much for travel, but more for the utilization of a wheeled loophole, but built-ins are always a good idea anyway. One item I recently picked up is a little $4.99 Ikea 3-in-1 shelf unit, that I recently shot a short review video on. I’ll soon install this, alongside other compartments.
Anyway, I hope to have another update post for you guys down the road, AND a tour video, once this little camper is officially done.
Other points of interest:
- The ceiling, aside from the white beams, is all FREE barn wood
- The back bead-board wall is wood from a home almost 100 years old that was being thrown out (my neighbors place, who know I LOVE salvaged wood).
- The orange wall-hanging which many have commented on favorably- it’s a 1970s stereo cabinet door, found street-side, which I painted. Nothing more.
- The green wall hanging with a fossil on it – yup, found on the side of the road during a trash day.
- The table- same thing….
- Green vase- grabbed it curbside too (sensing a theme here?)
- Large painting (which was actually just being stored there for a bit)- $2 at a yard sale.
- The bunk railing- threaded pipe from home depot ($20 or so).
- Front door, from a salvage yard (I needed a non-standard, narrow, size- $75
- The large back window- another free street-side find.
- The other two windows are micro-Andersons- I splurged here- they were about $65 each.
- The trailer- brand new and rated for over 2000 pounds- $529
Video of the IKEA shelf…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ37jSBtDs0
MORE TO COME!
Derek “Deek” Diedricksen