sub-5,000 lb. Tiny Cabin

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sub-5,000 lb. Tiny Cabin

Postby Tobit » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:01 pm

I have begun planning a tiny cabin with a goal of keeping it under 5,000 lbs. and, ideally, under 4,000 lbs.

A couple weeks ago, I purchased a 1996 Fleetwood Wilderness 19LN travel camper. All the appliances work but it needs a new roof. Therefore, I've decided to demo it down to the frame and build a tiny cabin since I don't really need a camper anyway. I have 5-acres of land in the Ozark mountains. I already have an outdoor shower and outhouse and have plans to build a nice outdoor kitchen. I just need a nice place to sleep, cook light meals, and sit comfortably while waiting out storms.

The existing camper sits on a frame with dual 2,800 lb. axles with electric brakes. The dry GVWR listed on the VIN tag is 4,700 lbs.

I require:

- twin size bunk
- small kitchenette for the existing sink/stove
- sitting area with small table
- clothing and book storage

The existing camper is 19' long. I am hoping to build something around 16' long and 8' wide. I'd probably build a 3' deck over the tongue end of the trailer.

I really like all the various Vardos and other shepherd caravans but I may go with a low-pitch traditional roof.

Any advice for framing to keep the weight down as low as possible? Do you all think it's possible to keep it under 4,000 lbs.? Many thanks.
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Re: sub-5,000 lb. Tiny Cabin

Postby M C Toyer » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:49 pm

All should be doable within the parameters you listed.

I built a 7' x 14' cabin on a 20' long single axle boat trailer.

I made the standard full size bed into a "murphy" configuration to save floor space, and have a seating/dining area there when the bed is folded up.

I have 8 linear foot of kitchen counter/cabinets with a sink, propane oven and range, plus an additional 2 linear foot for a free standing refrigerator with a microwave oven on top. I also have a combination toilet / shower and 7 linear foot of floor to ceiling closet space, 18" deep. There is additional storage under the benches below the bed for folded clothing and my computer, scanner and printer. I also have a wall mounted TV/DVD player.

I framed mostly with 2 x 3 studs on edge, finished the interior with 5/16" bead board paneling, and the entire exterior is 26 and 28 gauge steel which would weight about 50% more than aluminum but less than 5/8" plywood. Total weight is 2800#. The walls are insulated with 1-1/2" polyurethane board, the ceiling/roof is 2-1/2", and the floor varies from 3" to 4."

Interior height is 72" in the center and exterior height 96" to the peak of the gable roof.

It is fully self contained with fresh, gray and black water tanks, 12V DC pump, propane water heater, 12V DC outlets and LED lighting, plus 110V AC outlets for the large appliances. I used a WFCO converter (not everyone here is a fan but mine has been trouble free), Interstate AGM battery, and a 2000W inverter.

I have both a propane heater and an electric "faux" fireplace but last winter only used a sleeping bag and two small dogs,

The 6' tongue has tool storage, a cover for the air conditioner, 1800 watt generator, and space for either 2 bicycles or one motorbike (Yamaha TW200) and room for a little bit of firewood.

See my "Log Cabin" build thread.
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Re: sub-5,000 lb. Tiny Cabin

Postby Tobit » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:54 pm

M C Toyer wrote:See my "Log Cabin" build thread.

I have, commented earlier today. Thanks for stopping in here. I love what you did with the rafters. I've been working up the nerve to start demolition, maybe I will start this week. All the appliances are in working order including the roof mount AC and fridge. I am hoping to resell most of what I don't need.
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