Friday, September 12, 2014

12x12 Portable Cabin

It's been a long while since I've posted anything.  This was because we thought we were going to need to sale our property due to relocating and taking a significant pay decrease.  We were able to keep our property after all.  However, in the process of selling we ended up getting rid of the camper on site.  Now we had nothing to go up to except a tent.  Wanting to do still have a place to sleep and stay out of the elements I decided to build a 12x12 portable cabin.

I bought the plans online and spent most of July and August building this in my back yard.  Everything is built in 6' sections that bolt together.  It all was able to fit in the back of my 6x10 trailer.
The plans included 4 bunks.  I added windows to let in light.  It is built out of 2x2s, 12" on center.  There's a mono truss system, but because I'm going to leave it set up were going to add temporary support for snow build up from winter.

The floor is built out of treated 2x4s, and 3/4" plywood.  The walls and roof are out thin plywood that's sealed with outdoor paint and a special coating on the roof.
Top view before walls and the roof were added.

Fully framed, ready to add plywood for sides and roof. 

Plywood tacked up.  It didn't get nailed down until we disassembled it.
Everything packed up and Equinox pulled it fine.

 This was where the camper used to set.  The deck is a 12x12.  The plan was to set the portable cabin up next to the deck.  It went well.

We were excited to drive up since it had been almost a year since we went up.  We set the cabin up in a day and then slept in it that night.
 We laid down railroad ties to get the floor off of the ground.  You can see the 4 6' flooring sections.  Bolted up makes the center of the floor 4x4s.
 Once the floor was level and bolted together we started to bolt up the walls.  I wish I had more pictures of this but we were running out of day light.  I wasn't able to get a picture of the inside without the roof installed.
Going up fairly nice.

 Here it is erected.  It took about 4 hours to bolt up, install windows and wire up the electricity.  There was a thunderstorm the 1st night so we were unable to seal the roof with coating.  We made a 2nd trip up for that and we will be going back up for another coat to be added.  Even with out the coating there were no leaks.  It kept us dry.

 For electricity I simply wired up an outdoor receptacle and back fed it into the cabin.  Inside the cabin it's simply one box to plug into.  It works for now.  After we insulate it I'll install a few receptacles around the cabin.  For now were able to plug in a light, fan or heater.  I have a recreational electrical box with the ability to run 220 if I want.  Right now we have a 30 amp camper plug and a standard 20 amp receptacle that we can plug into.
 The inside of the cabin is pretty roomy.  It seems like it's tight but it's not.  There's a 6 foot center between the bunks and and 12x6 for the table and kitchen area.  For water we using a 5 gallon back for washing.  It drains in a bucket underneath the sink and we bring our own drinking water in one or more 5 gallon water containers.  I have an old 3 burner Colman camp stove, it works great.  I'd like to get a pro-pain stove though because I don't like the smell of white gas.  A simple card table is what were using with camping chairs.  We have a nice, small wooden table we thought would work but determined the card table would be best.  I have added some shelves but didn't get a picture.

 All in all I'm pretty happy with the set up.  A camper is easier.  It has everything you need.  The portable cabin I think will always be a work in progress, not look as elegant, but it's more fun.  I built this with my 3 boys and wife.  You can't get that kind of time together in a camper.  I'm sure we'll keep adding to it each trip we go up.  Little projects here and there.  We'll need to think about how to shower for extended stays, warm water, but for now... we have lights, a bed, heat.  I can't wait to see what kind of memories we are going to make.