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We build north woods tough!

Ravenore safe outside

Ravenore safe outside

I recently saw an ad for a tiny house that said they build tiny houses for temperatures from 47 degrees to 147 degrees and the picture showed a cabin in snow storm. Snow at 47 degrees? Maybe they meant  -47?

Our cabins and tiny houses are built for many different climate for instance; the desert southwest to the frozen tundras. Each one has a different level that needs to be met for that climate. The multiple climate zones for building are;

Marine - A marine climate meets is defined as a region where all of the following occur:

  • a mean temperature of the coldest month between 27°F and 65°F;
  • a mean temperature of the warmest month below 72°F;
  • at least four months with mean temperatures over 50°F; and
  • a dry season in the summer, the month with the heaviest precipitation in the cold season has at least three times as much precipitation as the month with the least precipitation.

Mixed Dry – A warm-dry and mixed-dry climate is defined as a region that receives less than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 4,500 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) and less than approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F during the winter months.

Hot Dry – A hot-dry climate is defined as region that receives less than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis)or greater and where the monthly average outdoor temperature remains above 45°F throughout the year.

Hot Humid – A hot-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and where the monthly average outdoor temperature remains above 45°F throughout the year. This definition characterizes a region that is similar to the ASHRAE definition of hot-humid climates where one or both of the following occur:

  • a 67°F r higher wet bulb temperature for 3,000 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year; or
  • a 73°F or higher wet bulb temperature for 1,500 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year.

Florida, Southern Texas, South Mississippi, South Alabama, South Georgia are some states that fit this zone.

Mixed Humid – A mixed-humid and warm-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 4,500 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) and less than approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F during the winter months.
Tennessee and Kentucky region and neighbor states fit this zone.

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Cold Climate Zone – A cold climate is defined as a region with approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 9,000 heating degree days (65°F basis).

From the New England states through the Midwest through the Rockies are in this zone, including the southern half of Minnesota.

Very Cold – A very cold climate is defined as a region with approximately 9,000 heating degree days or greater (65°F basis) or greater and less than 12,600 heating degree days (65°F basis).

Northern Minnesota, northern North Dakota, and the southern half of Canada are in this zone.

Sub Arctic Zone – A subarctic and arctic climate is defined as a region with approximately 12,600 heating degree days (65°F basis) or greater.

Each of these different zones requires different criteria in building envelopes as well as higher R Value assemblies.  Insulation plays a critical value in tiny homes. We have heard from some people that I am already reducing my carbon foot print or energy consumption substantially, it does not matter.

Does it? Fifty years ago, building a home with no insulation did not seem to matter, and yet 50 years later it really does. What will energy prices do in the future is anyone’s guess, and yet leading indicators would suggest using the technology now to create a personal environment and home that will meet your needs now and then.  Housing is becoming high tech and why skimp on something that can enhance your living experience in the future.

Anyhow, how about some winter cabins eye candy. We build our tiny house for our very cold zone as well as everyone else’s climate zone.

Snowflake tiny house – under construction

The Snowflake tiny house, a custom welded steel frame tiny house.

Specs

  • 8′x24′
  • GVW 9000Lbs
  • Sleeps 1-2 people
  • Welded steel frame 16 gauge cold formed steel studs
  • All connections welded
  • Stainless steel floor
  • Stainless steel shower enclosure
  • Stainless steel sink
  • Copper waste and water lines
  • Fabral steel siding exterior
  • Fabral steel siding interior

 

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Ravenlore 2017

A larger Ravenlore Tiny House

Under construction

Specifications;

  • 8′ x 24′
  • 2 lofts
  • storage stairs
  • birch handrail
  • custom color; green, purple, pink, blue
  • Castletop metal shingles
  • Gothic details
  • Gothic window with butterfly grids
  • Reclaimed front door with insulated glass
  • Reclaimed barnwood siding/paneling interior
  • Corrugated Wainscot
  • Reclaimed copper wash basin
  • Hammered Copper sink
  • Copper counter tops
  • Insulated Tempered Windows
  • Hardwood Floors

 

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FYI, Tiny house news

FYI,

Tiny House, trailer

Tiny House Trailer

We have 1 opening for building a tiny house through the rest of the year. Minnesota state rules are that we can only license up to 5 trailers a year without a dealers license and that the trailer title has to be in the companies name and sales tax paid on that purchase.  Since we have already licensed 3 this year, can only do one more.

To get the dealer license for trailers we have to have a display area that can display 7 trailers.
If you want to build a tiny house this year with Tiny Green Cabins you will need to contact us soon.

This does not affect Airstreams or trailers provided by the customer for us to build on.

We will also not buy and sell just trailers until further notice.
Thanks
Jim

The “Sneaky Pete” Airstream

Or otherwise known as the “shiny tiny” part 2

A new trend is emerging among interior design minded road fanatics. The Airstream trailer is a very popular design. And everyone recognizes them!

Based on a 1954 Airstream Flying Cloud Trailer that once served as a hunting and fishing lodge in Oregon, this completely restored and reimagined trailer (Orvis Timeless Airstream) features a hand-polished exterior, a lush interior that makes liberal use of wood, copper, and leather, all-new running gear to ensure a safe ride, and all the creature comforts you’d expect from a modern tow-behind in a classic package. (Source: uncrate.com)

Based on a 1954 Airstream Flying Cloud Trailer that once served as a hunting and fishing lodge in Oregon, this completely restored and reimagined trailer (Orvis Timeless Airstream) features a hand-polished exterior, a lush interior that makes liberal use of wood, copper, and leather, all-new running gear to ensure a safe ride, and all the creature comforts you’d expect from a modern tow-behind in a classic package. (Source: uncrate.com)

Inspired by innovative airplane designs, the first Airstream trailer was introduced back in 1931. They were built out of aluminum and intended for only the mightiest

of road warriors. Their aerodynamic, rounded metallic designs gave them their badass futuristic demeanor. They’ve since diminished in popularity, but a creative Airstream uprising is just on the horizon.

Lately we’ve been seeing more and more people converting these old-fashioned, outdated contraptions into lavish, comfortable collage1-161road wagons complete with beds, kitchens and even bathrooms. In fact, they’re becoming so popular that even Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey has his very own Airstream trailer that he invested over 200k in.

Here are the benefits of owning an Airstream trailer:

  1. They’re handcrafted in America and built to last a lifetime.
  2. They handle well on the road
  3. They make a great instant hotel room
  4. They are easily recognized as an RV and accepted in RV Parks and campgounds
  5. They can be used for guests at home
  6. They are customizable to ones needs
  7. Their retro look and sleek, aerodynamic design makes for good gas mileage
  8. They put you in an elite community of dedicated Airstream owners

 

We are moving several windows and instead of doing a patch at the old location, we chose to cut out a large section of alumimum.

We are moving several windows and instead of doing a patch at the old location, we chose to cut out a large section of aluminum sheathing to blend the old with the new.

A little catch-up.

The new trailer was built to be the same as the old trailer with few modifications. One being we used a heavier gauge steel to minimize bounce in the frame. We salvaged old parts such as the axles, custom rigging for the axles that allowed for drop pans for the water and waste tank, and the trailer tongue/hitch steel.

Jim is routing out the edge of the plywood as the wall frame require 5/8" sheathing and the Purebond hardwood plywood is only available in 3/4"

Jim is routing out the edge of the plywood as the wall frame require 5/8″ sheathing and the Purebond hardwood plywood is only available in 3/4″

After it was all welded back together, the frame went to the paint booth and painted with a Low VOC primer and paint before it was moved into place to be pushed under the shell. We also ripped Purebond hardwood plywood for the perimeter, front bow, and rear bow. We attached the bow plywood to the shell for rigidity. Since the original floor was 5/8 plywood and we were using ¾”, we had to plane down the edges to fit into the wall channels of the frame.

We used 2 forklifts to lift the shell while we pushed the frame under the shell.

Airstream Lift

Airstream Lift

After lowering it, we pulled the temporary steel supports and bolted the shell to the frame. We then installed the perimeter plywood and screwed that to the trailer frame.

The next step was insulating the floor perimeter with John Mansville foam board followed by installation of the rounded skirt aluminum. The drop pan housing followed shortly after with insulating the water and grey tank before lowering them into place.

In floor Heat

In floor Heat

 

Since we are doing a heated floor system, we installed a false floor for laying the mats and heat cables on. The heat tapes are under the floor so we used the reflective foil to bounce the heat to the flooring of the Airstream . One of the requirements was not to install the heat tape under cabinets and another was do not cut, knick, or damage the heat wires. Once they were installed, we poured a light weigh concrete over the wires and temporarily installed the plywood flooring, followed by building the toe kicks boxes of the cabinets.

 

We now have a list of what will be going into this airstream, that I am calling

“The Sneaky Pete”

  • New Trailer
  • Custom layout
  • Relocate 3 windows
  • Relocate door
  • Add window to bath
  • Add 2 skylights
  • Move rear bath to center of Airstream
  • Natures Head composting toilet
  • Move water tank and grey water tank top between axles
  • DC Lighting
  • AC Appliances
  • Electric in-floor heat
  • Insulate airstream with Johns Manville Foam board
  • Subflooring to be Purebond Hardwood plywood
  • Character grade hickory paneling
  • Maple cabinets
  • Quartz countertops
  • Antique copper end caps
  • Ceramic floor and ceramic bath
  • Custom lift bed frame/mattress
  • Built in benches
  • New stove and microwave
  • LG Washer Dryer Combo
  • Electric fireplace
  • Flat screen TV
  • LED Lighting
  • Panasonic Whisper Quiet Air Exchanger
  • Dakien Heat Exchanger
  • New canvas at awnings
  • Polished Exterior
  • New Underbelly and side pan wraps

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The Shiny Tiny; Airstream Update

The Shiny Tiny, part 1

In October, 2016, we received a phone call asking questions about building a tiny house that resembled an RV as they did a lot of relocating for their work and wanted to be able to stay at RV parks. However, they were experiencing a lot of pushback from RV parks about tiny houses, with one park owner saying “if it looked like an RV, say an Airstream, there would be no questions or issues.”

They then asked if we could renovate an Airstream to a nontoxic unit. They admitted that they called numerous places and no one could or would take on the project. They then asked, if I would consider doing it for them. I cautioned them that it would be out of our norm, but since we knew about nontoxic and chemical free tiny houses, we would do it. We set the budget and started looking for an older Airstream that could be gutted and rebuilt.

Criteria;

  • Price had to be under S15,000
  • No major denting of the roof
  • Few major leaks, All airstreams leak.
  • Within 500 miles of the shop
  • Not a “shiny turd”
  • No tail separation

A “shiny turd” is an Airstream that has been polished but not updated in any other way. It is shined up to get a higher sell price from unsuspecting buyers.

Shiny Turd

Shiny Turd

Another key difference is that a restored, renovated, or modernized Airstream will have documentation to prove that trailer has been repaired, a new axle installed, or the flooring replaced. A “shiny turd” will have none of that. A shiny turd is like a sign that says “buyer beware.”

Tail separation is when the tail end of trailer frame has separated from the main trailer, usually in connections to the trailer frame at the axles. A simple way to check this is to stand on the bumper and move up and down while noticing if the body of the trailer also moves or just the frame does. It is costly to fix and at this point, we were not considering rebuilding the trailer.

What we found was a 31ft 1983 Excella Airstream in fair condition. There was dent in the roof, the top was balding, it smelled slightly musty, and some of the appliances did not work. Since we would be gutting it down to the shell and tossing everything, the trailer appeared doable for the project, so we made a deal.

1983 Excella

1983 Excella

We towed it to the shop and started gutting it to the shell, and found that the floor had rot, which since all Airstreams leak, it was not a surprise. What we encountered next did surprise us. We removed the flooring and found the musty smell was strong. The pink fiberglass insulation in the floor had absorbed moisture with mouse droppings scattered on the top. Mice!!!IMG_20161117_103714750

Upon removal, we found that the underbelly had holes that allowed mice to get inside as well as many mouse carcasses. Upon closer examination, we decided to do a separation of the shell from the trailer so we could work on both. Once we had separation, we could see the holes in the frame from rust and corrosion as well as broken welds in outriggers. The trailer needed some major work.

After consulting with the buyers, it was determined to rebuild the trailer with heavier steel while reusing the axles, step assembly, tongue and hitch, as well as tank enclosures.  The rebuilt trailer cost $800 more than trying to fix the old frame.

The trailer was built for the Airstream in the background making sure we followed the old trailer design so that the shell could be reattached. This Airstream is being modernized to a nontoxic chemical free status. The couple chose the Airstream model over a tiny house as it would be accepted in RV parks for long stays without question.

Some have said that there is not much left of the original and while that is true, the most important parts are left; the RV certification and the shell which says I am an RV, and an Airstream! And it will provide a “safe” home for the owners to live in year around.

The new trailer

The new trailer

It has been said that you have not renovated an Airstream until you stood on the ground while inside the Airstream.

Stood on the ground

Stood on the ground

Airstream has a lot of different meaning for its’ parts such as “banana peels”

The floorplan;

Airstream Retorfit 5_2

If you want to follow the place we post pictures of the build click on the link Airstream Build

Come back for the next update to learn about that and more.

 

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Airstream as a tiny house???

Updating a 1984 Excella Airstream

As a leader in builds for nontoxic and chemical sensitivities, we also will convert RV’s to  the same standards. In this case, we are updating a 1984 Airstream Shaska model to one our highest standards for chemical and environmental sensitivities. We are gutting this RV and salvaging the aluminum frame and axles. From there it will be a total rebuild of the interior with some movement of windows and door.
This couple wanted the ability to move around and park easily in RV parks and not be challenged by the legality of the unit. Their solution was to purchase a used Airstream trailer and have it converted.  They might be onto something.
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Update on the Ravenlore Tiny House

or a tiny house can appreciate in value

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Some tiny houses do appreciate in value, and the Ravenlore did. Nicki changed her career path which required a relocation to California and flying as a stewardess for Virgin Airlines. With that, she had to make a hard decision about her tiny house. Rather than take it with her, she decided to sell it as she would seldom be home, but traveling the globe.  So she put it up for sale and the Ravenlore sold quickly………..for more money that she paid for it. Like several thousands of dollars more.

We send Nicki best wishes for her new adventures. And if you are thinking of buying a Ravenlore tiny house, we can create one just for you. We do have a Ravenlore starting the “que” in production within 30 days for a customer that decided to purchase one before the price increased.

 

A tiny house named “Spirit”

Tiny House at Lochness Park for a photo shoot

Spirit has 238 sqft on the main level with 138 sqft in the 2 lofts. There is lots of storage in the smugglers holds, sliding spice rack, 7 -toe kick drawers, cabinet bridge, and stairs with built in storage.  Speaking of the cabinet bridge, it is constructed so that a guest could sleep on them, if needed. This tiny house also has a Airport Ball air exchanger to exhaust the stale house air and moisture to the outside while bringing in fresh air.

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Tiny House transport rounding a corner on the way to the photo shoot

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins, hOMe design

Parking the tiny house

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins, hOMe design

Tiny House photo shoot at the park

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Tiny house in the park

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Tiny house in the trees

 

Tiny house view thru the windows from the entry

Tiny house view thru the windows from the entry

Tiny house Airondack Recliner

A view of the tiny house Adirondack recliners built above the water storage tanks

 

Tiny House Cabinets

Cabinet bridge with cat sleeping areas, and a view of the Adirondack recliners built above the water storage tanks

Childs Loft

Loft for Wyatt

Tiny House Master Loft

Tiny House Master Loft

Fully functional tiny house kitchen

ully functional tiny house kitchen, with space saving dishwasher, range with oven, 7.2 cu refrigerator/freezer and table

Tiny House Boxout window over the sink

Tiny House Boxout window over the sink with custom mason jar lighting fixture

Tiny House Table

The drop leaf table in the kitchen

Drop leaf table

Justin and his father enjoying a cop of joe

Tiny House Kitchen

Tiny house kitchen view from the great room

Tiny house birch branch rail

Tiny house birch branch rail

tiny house, Minnesota tiny house

Tiny house Hobbit stove

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Tiny House Bathroom

Tiny House Bathroom

 

Tiny House Bathroom

Tiny House Bathroom

Tiny House Smugglers Hold Hatch

Smugglers Hold Hatch

There are 3 hatches with 6 peach crates inside of each hatch, and that provides 18 peach crates under the floor for storage.

Smugglers Hold Storage, Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Smugglers Hold Storage

Tiny House spice and storage rack

Tiny house sliding spice and storage rack at the head of the stairs

 

 

Good night tiny house

Good night tiny house

The next post will show you how we made the Adirondack recliners and followed up by the step by step of making the mason jar lighting.

 

Freedom Tiny House Series

Ponderosa Tiny House

Features;

  • Custom tiny house trailer
  • Size 8′-6″ x 26′-0″
  • Sleeps 3 – 5
  • Curved Bow for aerodynamics when towing
  • Sunken Living Room
  • Full Sized tub
  • Space for washer dryer
  • Vanity at bath
  • Dual Lofts
  • Dual Stairs with storage
  • Fold up deck
  • Fold down deck canopy
  • Sliding patio door with grids
  • Wood framed (steel optional)
  • LP Smart Siding shingle panels
  • Corrugated Steel siding
  • Steel roof, guaranteed 50 years
Rustic Traveler Tiny House

Ponderosa Tiny House

Rustic Traveler Slice

Ponderso  Slice

Rustic Traveler Slice

Ponderoas Slice

Pricing starts at   $68,019.53