Caravan's Skyline

Caravan’s Skyline

During a trip to Portland last week, I was fortunate enough to meet up with Deb and Kol of Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel in the cool and funky area of Alberta Street in the Northeast part of the city. Most readers know about the couple’s selection of tiny homes for nightly rental in the middle of the city, and now the hotel has a new addition. The 160 square foot Skyline is Caravan’s newest tiny house available for guests and reflects a rustic, Western style with a cozy interior and some great details.

Skyline was built in the Portland driveway of Eric Bohne and completed this February. Eric works full time as a craftsman and also built his own house on the Oregon coast out of recycled materials. His company, Metalwood Salvage, sells salvaged metal pieces and his design and carpentry business, Alter Areas, focuses on re-purposing unique building materials.

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The Skyline does not have a loft, but a bunked sleeping and living area. The typical ladder has been replaced with a short, metal staircase. The main part of the house has a bar style eating area and a kitchen with a roomy farm sink and storage. One of the most unusual parts of the trailer is the bathroom. It includes a shower and angled toilet that fits just perfectly into the tongue of the trailer. An ingenious folding ladder sits above the toilet in a metal bracket. It can be unfolded for accessibility to a storage loft above the bathroom.

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Deb and Kol recently had an open house for Caravan and the line formed around the block.They estimated about 1,000 to 1,500 people from all walks of life visited the hotel. When I visited on a warm, dry evening (unexpected in Portland during the spring) we sat in the courtyard around a metal burn barrel (fueled with scrap lumber Kol gathers from around the city) and chatted about tiny houses, codes and laws, permits and opportunities. Deb and Kol’s own permitting process was “creative and long” but they feel that their hotel is a unique and legitimate staging area as to what is possible in the tiny house industry.

“With the tiny house movement, everything about it is good,” Deb said. “There is no reason not to make it happen.”

Portland is a hotbed of the tiny house movement and the excitement and possibilities for the dwellings are really catching on. During this warm night, the Caboose was filled with four young people, a young couple from Chicago were enjoying the Portland-themed Tandem and the Rosebud was inhabited by a travel writer from New York — all visitors curious about tinier living. The hotel not only seems to be a tidy selection of tiny houses, but a gathering place for interesting, like-minded people.

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Photos by Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel and Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann  for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Crow DogWidow - March 31, 2014 Reply

This is fantastic!
Exactly the inspiration I have been looking for for to fuel my own tiny dwelling dream.

I recently became ‘disabled,’ and climbing up to a loft is not always possible for me. I have often turned to the design employed in the making of Roma Vardo, and the typical bed with storage beneath approach appeals to me…but this bunk with seating beneath,the small metal stairs, and gorgeous the gorgeous ornamental iron railings surrounding the bed, are pure perfection.

I am a HUGE devotee of the reclaimed aesthetic, so creatively and skillfully utilized in the creation of Caravan’s Skyline.
It is simply marvelous!

I hope one day to be able to build and live in a tiny house that is as as lovely and inspired.

Kudos to the forward thinking and insightfulness of the community, there.
I long for that sense of community, here, on the East Coast…but we are woefully behind in the tiny house movement, and it is difficult to find people of like mind who share in the joy of tiny living.

Lisa - March 31, 2014 Reply

This is really nice; very cozy feel and even though it has been accomplished with salvaged items, you don’t get that run-down feeling but rather a unique cozy nook feeling. Well done!!!
I love so many of the features like the aqua colored commode that fits out over the tongue, the ladder to the loft, the stained glass, the country sink (love these sinks!!! I want one in my TH; too bad they aren’t making them new these days for easy acquisition,) and bunks that don’t look like ugly bunks; love the wrought iron touch and the metal staircase… ingenious!!! All in all, this is a two thumbs up! 😀

Walt Barrett - March 31, 2014 Reply

Reall nice work!

Will Sirotak - March 31, 2014 Reply

Excellent! I am finishing the cabinetry on THE ARC, which is now parked on property in Goldendale and have bought another trailer to start on THE ARC II.

I live in North Portland. I’ll stop by and say hello.

Will

Wendy - March 31, 2014 Reply

I would love to hear about the permitting process that was involved in getting this approved through the planning/zoning boards. I think it’s great- but I would expect a LOT of opposition here in Ca from the Powers that Be if someone tried it here.

    Richard - March 31, 2014 Reply

    We are in Texas not CA, so there may be a world of difference here, but we didn’t have to get any permits since it is on wheels. The city, county or state don’t enter into what you build on a trailer, just if you build it on the ground. If you think about a camper, it is licensed as a vehicle, not a house. Oh well, this is Texas thinking, maybe I don’t know how bad it is in CA.

      Heath - April 1, 2014 Reply

      While I am not in Texas, I would suspect that even there you would need to get permits to get a bunch of trailers, park them in your backyard and rent them out in a B&B or motel style.
      I would be interested in knowing what kind of hoops were had to be jumped through for this as well, including insurance. Or is this being done under the table with a hope for the best plan?

    Deimos Apex - April 3, 2014 Reply

    There is a video where they talk about the permitting and process involved in making this place a reality. (Link below) It’s in Portland which is VERY liberal so it may be much more difficult to do this anywhere else. Hopefully more stuff like this pops up all over. My wife and I have talked about visiting this place to get a feel for what it would be like living in a tiny home. Love it!

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K7njaiLK-lw

David Remus - March 31, 2014 Reply

Next time I heading to Portland I am calling this place first!

steve - March 31, 2014 Reply

My girlfriend and I stayed in their Caboose house last Valentine weekend and really enjoyed the experience. I live in a tiny (400) sq ft floating home and my girlfriend is seriously considering having me help her build a tiny house for her. I’m currently building a teardrop trailer. I’ve been a woodworker/cabinet maker for many years and think that I have a good understanding of design and how things should go together. It isn’t necessary, but I believe that it is incredibly useful to spend some time in a tiny house before you start your design or order up plans for your build. Staying in one gives you a real feeling for what tiny living is going to be. Our stay didn’t put us off tiny houses, in fact quite the opposite it was very inspiring. Our visit got the mental process going and helped us get a feel for the way we want a tiny house to function.

We were concerned about climbing into the loft, I would build the ladder differently, but it wasn’t the challenge we thought it would be. We loved what Hal did in the bathroom but would locate it differently it to fit our needs. We spent a lot of time talking about the design, what we liked and what we would change. It may be difficult for you to find a tiny house to visit in your area, but I think it’s invaluable in your design process.

Richard - March 31, 2014 Reply

This TH is full of inspiration! I especially LOVE the toilet over the trailer tongue, the storage over the toilet, the bunk concept and the metal steps. The kitchen is also very functional with the old sink and wrought iron that can double as a hanging rack of other creative uses. I give this TH 5 stars!

Berry Hatami - March 31, 2014 Reply

Hi
I was wondering if you have any Tiny House rental or for sale units in the San Francisco Bay Area.
and what is the address.
Thanks
Berry Hatami

Joshua Wagstaff - July 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks for your solution.Its really help us

Skyline is the latest addition to Caravan—The Tiny House Hotel - September 2, 2019 Reply

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