RE: Caboose Style Tiny House Build

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RE: Caboose Style Tiny House Build

Postby mezmo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:26 am

Hi BobHenry,

I finally was able to find the info I wanted to pass along to you
for consideration/inspiration as you design your Caboose styled
portable Tiny House.

I'm a fan of vintage trailers and house trailers as well as TDs &
TTTs. My all-time favorite type of vintage 1950-60s House
Trailers are the Double Deckers [DDs]. These were a creative attempt
to provide more living space within width and length and height
restrictions before the width and length restrictions were increased.
Some designs were more successful in their attempts than
others, but all are interesting and can give you possibilities to
consider. I've personally been in 5 different Double Deckers over
the years, of three different makes. I've also, for research purposes,
gathered info over the web over time on whatever info I could find so far
on DDs. I'll post some pics and links of those that I think may be of help.

You'd mentioned of possibly making some kind of dedicated/permenant
bed that you could raise, when not used, and lower, when needed, and
such. I offer that it'd be less complicated and less work to build a loft type
bed, accessable by stairs and it'd probably easier to use too. For this I'd
just frame the bed base, and the ceiling below, in angle iron or 2in steel
tube, for thinness with strength and then cover with your choice of bed
base and ceiling panels to cover it.

Here is the very ingenious Lighthouse Duplex from IL, @1951-53. It was
@ 8ftx28ft body size and 11ft6in high per their brochures. It had 2
"upstairs bedrooms" and a rear kitchen:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

A great Lighthouse DD web site with pics on one as found:

http://www.cannedhamtrailers.com/lighthouse.htm

I had also run across an old article, where a retired guy in the 1950s built a
copy of the lighthouse, for all intents and purposes, as his retirement
home. Unfortunately I can't locate that though.

NEXT:

Here is an evidently one-off Travelite from TX, @ 8ftx26ft body with a rear
bath @mid1950s: It had 2 upstairs sleeping spots under the raised roof
section. It wasn't as sophisticated as the Lighthouse in that area. I
believe the "TruelyVintageTrailers" web site has a few more pics of this.
It won't come up at the moment so you'll have to enter/Google that to
see them. Here are a couple:

Image
Image

LASTLY:

And lastly, here is a very ingenious 1951 UK Caravan, the Falstaff
Knight 50 by the UK builder, Coventry Steel Caravans [even though
it is built of aluminum extrusions]. I found it on the great Australian Vintage
Caravan site "Our Touring Past". This post is for a single level Silver Knight
15, but at the end of it is a brochure page for the Falstaff Knight 50, which is a
DD. The posting shows the unusual construction and design[s] of both.

http://www.ourtouringpast.com/forum/vie ... f=14&t=480

These are very unusual looking, but they grow on you once you see what
they are all about. The designer was way ahead of his time. The Falstaff
has drop floors, front and back and and 3 "upstairs" bedrooms. A double bed
up front and two singles in the back, each in its own "room" and 3-4"'staircases"
to reach them! It also has a dropped floor entry step with a dutch/stable style
entry door.

Here is a pic off the brochure on the 'Our Touring Past' site of the Falstaff
Knight 50 model. [this shows up at the end of the posting.] Someone had
imported the Silver Knight 15 into Australia evidently, and due to that, we
ultimately have this information.

Pic on the web [easier to magnify to look at.]:
http://www.ourtouringpast.com/forum/dow ... 4&mode=vie

Here's the above pic:
Image

My thoughts are:
Using the max dimensions of: 8ft6inW x 13ft6inT x 2XftXinL You could:

Put a usable bath across the back [@4ftx8ft min], or reuse the 'wreck's'
bath, then locate the cupola of the caboose 4-5ft in from the rear. That'd
be over your bed area. You could have a 5ft wide Queen bed centered
on the width. That'd allow twin stairs, of 12-18in width on each side for bed
access. The twin stairs - one for each bed occupant - would allow
individual access to each side of the bed. That'd avoid the 'crawl overs'
and make bed making much simpler. Under the stationary raised bed
platform is room for a clothes & storage areas and a "dressing area"
adjacent to the rear bath. I don't know your heights, so interior height
dimensions would depend on your individual height's required clearance.

Each individual stair and sidewall "aislette" in the raised bed section can be
built to make access to the bed at a comfortable height. Undeneath the
side "aislettes" on each side would be storage areas you could combine
with the under bed and dressing area storage or perhaps have exterior
access storage - a lot of ways to do it. This'd all only take 10-12ft of
length. The remaining length of the total length would be available for
the galley and living areas.

Another thing to consider adding, to enhance the living area, would be bump
outs [side cupolas] on both sides to add extra 'elbow room' and interest. These
would be a takeoff on the side bump-outs you see on some of the newer
cabooses - no reason you couldn't combine top and side 'cupolas'. You could
make them be able to swing inside the legal width for transport. Make the bottom
of them start/allow for the correct comfort height for seating. or build in a storage
seat in them if the bump-out/bay/side-cupola is full height. They could then be
used for a dining nook seat or a true window seat in the living space.

One thing I think all the tiny houses I've seen on the web lack is comfortable
access to the bed, especially for we "upholstered" older folks. Climbing a ladder
up to a low sloped roofed bed space doesn't match my reality. Individual stepped
access to a bed with a comfortable seating height and headroom above would
match my reality. It'd be super easy to achieve, I think, doing some version of
what I've tried to describe.

These are just suggestions to consider using. The Lighthouse and Travelite DDs
show the mid-somewhere located roof bump up has been successful, so just
shape it now to look like a caboose's cupola, and then do the rest of the lower
roof areas correspondingly.

'Hope I haven't put you to sleep! Ha! It's hard to be concise when you are trying
to explain things in a way that you hope others will be getting the info you're
trying to provide.

Happy designing. This will be an intersting build.

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
If you have a house - you have a hobby.
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Postby bobhenry » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:35 am

I remember those "2 story" mobile homes. Our neighbors when I was just a freshman in high school had kin that had a manufacturing plant and I was invited to see the "latest and greatest" mobile home ever!

Flashing forward 47 years and now staring 62 straight in the face I am not sure how much longer stairs and ladders will be in my future.

I have roughed out drawings and the cupola can be shaped to almost the exact size of a full or even a queen bed. The bed frame can be slung on 4 point cables and raised and lowered with a garage door opener mounted under the floor and cable runs routed thru pulleys. With living full time in less than 200 sq ft of floor space every square inch will be at a premium.

The bed in stored position could be masked with a roof treatment to match the other ceiling areas. It could then simply be attached it to the frame.

I am looking forward to those snowy days this winter as I will be designing a wooden 1/4 scale mock up of this project.

Past projects have been with little thought and preplanning but the thoughts of condensing your life into 1/10 of the space it occupies now is a sobering and daunting task.

Thanks for the look at these unusual mobile homes and 30 years ago I would have loved to incorporate several of these ideas into the build but as one matures he/she must face the facts and perils of old age.
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RE: Another link

Postby mezmo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:58 pm

Hi bobhenry,

I know what you mean "with age". Some of our"Kneeds" can be
determined by the shape our knees are in.

Just to blabb a bit more on my "island in the sky" bed [just had an
urge to name it for some unknown reason] I was describing - I meant
to include in the description about having well anchored railings a/o poles
on each side to aid in using the side stairs. Also those stairs would be
like Japanese stair chests with drawers and compartments - no space
unwasted is the cry! Enough on that now.

Your bed concept does sound interesting. Are you going to orient it
longitudinally or across the width? I was wondering about walkaround
room and such. Also will it be held stationary somehow when let down
to use or will it be "a swingin'"? And what are you planning for cable
management? Decorative columns or pilasters or maybe even tubing of
some sort? - Not trying to give you the 3rd degree here, it's just that
interesting concepts inspire questions!

And lastly, for this post, here's a link to an article I saw a little while
ago but couldn't recall where I'd seen it until today. It shows a
1909 wooden caboose converted into a tiny house. And they did a
really great job of it. Just thought I'd relay it for encouragement and
inspiration.

http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-con ... e-caboose/

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:19 am

Well I think I have a working idea for the bed lift so I can utilize the caboose cupalo for day time bed storage.

Image

Those extra heavy duty trucking ratchet straps are drawn onto a common take up shaft powered by a manual gear reduced winch or a gear reduction reversable motor. The straps run over the pully shafts as shown in the crude drawing and lift the bed evenly. The cupalo will be designed with a slight outward taper so the bed will guide itsself into the storage position. A decorative panel under the bed will spruce up the ceiling.

I have to thank the folks at " bed up" for the idea !

http://www.bedup.fr/
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Re: RE: Another link

Postby bobhenry » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:17 pm

mezmo wrote:Your bed concept does sound interesting. Are you going to orient it
longitudinally or across the width? I was wondering about walkaround
room and such. Also will it be held stationary somehow when let down
to use or will it be "a swingin'"? And what are you planning for cable
management? Decorative columns or pilasters or maybe even tubing of
some sort? - Not trying to give you the 3rd degree here, it's just that
interesting concepts inspire questions!

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo


Norm here is a very rough floorplan....

Image

As of now I plan on letting the platform down onto the 4 storage cubes you see in the drawing so you don't feel like you are crawling on the floor.

As to orientation I was originally planning on the 80" going side to side as the cupalo runs to the sidewalls. Your question has me thinking about late night potty calls or making the bed. Maybe making the cupalo set inboard on the roof as 5' plus wide but the weight would no longer bear on the side walls making the roof truss build a bit more tricky. So the short answer is "????????" Thats why we are brainstorming.
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RE: Ascending/Descending Island In The Sky Bed

Postby mezmo » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:35 am

Hi Bob/bobhenry,

I do think a walk area on each side would be really beneficial in daily/
nightly life needs and in the chore of bed making.

I'm guessing you're going to have the cupola not centered, but oriented
towards the front or rear end?

As a suggestion; Couldn't you use 2x2 steel to build two "frames", whose
legs would be embedded in the side wall planes and which at the top would
have a top crossmember corresponding to the top of the cupola, and a
bottom crossmember whose bottom would be in line with the ceiling plane
[or positioned to be embedded within the general ceiling finish level]. I'd
position vertical pieces at the locations for the head and foot board Island
Bed leg positions [the bed being centered longitudinally with walk spaces
on each side], and a center one or two uprights dependent on the cupola
window location. Build the front and rear cupola walls to enclose/embed
the top 'trusses' of these 2x2 steel frames. The two frames would be held
in position by the full-width cupola's side walls above and in the same
plane as the side walls below This'd allow you to attach the
raising/lowering mechanism/system to the embedded steel frames for
plenty of strength and support. The cupola's side windows could act as
skylights/clerestory windows during the day through the elevated side
spaces that are the walk spaces/areas when the bed is lowered for use.

To help visualize it, check out this Little Nemo comic - a cartoon character
from the early 20th century funny papers - whose bed's legs grow tall
and it takes him on adventures. Those tall bedstead legs on the head and
foot boards [when straight of course] are what I'm trying to describe. Use
them as head and foot truss frames to support the Island In the Sky Bed.

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/20 ... -michigan/

The third panel over in the strip shows the long straight extended legs
[our visual aid] before they start walking.

Just one possible approach.

Keep having fun designing.

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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