Caravan Welcomes Caboose & Skyline

Carvan's tiny houses in the snow

Carvan’s tiny houses in the snow, Caboose to the left, Tandem center, Skyline to the right

The past week I’ve been site managing at Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel while the proprietors Deb and Kol have been out of town. To the best of my knowledge, Caravan is the only hotel in America that features tiny houses on wheels. When Kol first told me about the concept  a year ago I was thoroughly intrigued. So, of course, I was delighted when I found out that Tandem, the tiny house I finished out the summer before last, would be located at Caravan. I am so pleased that other people can try out tiny living in Tandem – if just for a night or two. You can learn more about Tandem in a Teeny, Tiny Video by my friend Emily, or by reading these posts: Summer Dream Job Tiny House Design-Building, Going Whole Hog on the Tiny HouseJill of All TradesTiny House Insulation, Roofing & Interior WallsThe Proof is in the Practicum, and Tiny House on BIG Tour.

When I visited Caravan for the first time I fell in love with the place. In addition to being a fun place for travelers, Caravan is also a great gathering place. Here are a few examples:

I’ve gotten to know all of Caravan’s Tiny Houses really well because I’ve site managed for Kol and Deb a handful of times. I wrote a post called Everything I Need to Know About Designing Tiny Houses I Learned from Cleaning Them, which isn’t quite true, but almost. I even created a Tiny House Cleaning Checklist once I was an expert tiny house cleaner!

So this week I’ve enjoyed getting to know the two new tiny houses much better.

Caboose on a sunshiny day

Caboose on a sunshiny day


At the end of December, Caravan welcomed Caboose, a 16-foot-long house built by Hal McClendon. Caboose sleeps up to four people in a set of bunk beds and a queen size bed in the sleeping loft. The little dining table drops down when not in use, and the ladder tucks away against the wall. I especially adore the arched roof and the crescent moon on the bathroom door. The cobbled floors are beautiful (though not the easiest to clean!) This house also features Hal’s signature copper work and the mason jar lights. And after my grumbling about how Tiny Houses Turn Their Backs on the Street, it’s great to see a porch that drops down onto the tongue of the trailer! I did the finish work on Tandem so it has a special spot in my heart, but Caboose is my favorite of Caravan’s tiny houses. Caboose makes me think of happy times like festivals and the circus!

Skyline on one of Portland's rare snow days

Skyline on one of Portland’s rare snow days



In January Caravan welcomed Skyline, a 16-foot-long house that sleeps four. Skyline was built by Eric Bohne (who also built Caravan’s gate) using almost all salvaged materials. Eric’s unique design includes sleeping space for up to four in two queen beds in a split-level set up. It has a bar for dining and writing and a shelf in the bathroom for toiletries and towels (and luggage tucks nicely underneath.) Skyline has a shallow-pitched shed roof, which makes for soaring ceilings. I especially like the big kitchen sink with drainboard and the awesome ladder that tucks behind the triangular toilet! Skyline reminds me of a ranch house – I mean an actual ranch house – where everything is rough-hewn wood and drain boards and ingenuity, not what we call a ranch house! (And since I don’t bump my head 18 times while making the beds, it’s a breeze to clean!)

So glad I’ve had the chance to appreciate these little houses and learn from them as I hone the design for my own tiny house!

Lina Menard is a co-founder of She lives in a tiny house on wheels called Sweet Pea and tells stories about simple living in small spaces at This Is the Little Life. Through her company Niche Consulting LLC, she provide consultation and design for sustainable housing and lifestyles, specializing in small homes. Subscribe to so you don’t miss any posts from Lina or our other regular contributors.

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