Tilting Cabins

I was trolling through Craigslist and found this interesting tidbit. It’s one of those forehead-slapping moments where you think “Why didn’t that ever occur to me?”. Here’s a link to a manufacturer: https://www.tiltcabins.com/design

Floorspace is necessarily small, but I love the vertical element. It has a sort of fire-watch-tower look to it. I couldnt see living in one full time, or for any long length of time really, but it would make a nice weekend cabin for fishing and hunting. I suppose the floorspace is limited by how big a load you figure you can get on the road. Since you’re hauling the thing in a horizontal position, the width of your widest wall will be determined by what you can get away with in terms of a ‘wide load’ on the road. Hmmm.

I do find ‘tiny houses’ interesting from a technical and logistics standpoint, but I could never live in one full time. The only way i could do that is to have it sitting on top of the access stairs to my cavernous underground bunker.

Nonetheless, I really do admire the ‘out of the box’ thinking. I doubt ccargo containers are designed to be stood up vertically, but that was the first thing I thought about when I saw these.

12 thoughts on “Tilting Cabins

  1. Huh.

    IIRC, most states require “wide load” procedures/licensing for OTR loads wider than 102 inches. But….a bunch of RVs have slider sections that “telescope” out to stay within that limit and provide more internal space when parked.

    Flatbed trailers can be had in up to 53 foot lengths, in steel and aluminum, and while they’re regularly towed by larger trucks (OTR tractors) I’d think an aluminum 40-53 footer with 10-15,000 pounds of “expandable house” would be Ford/Chevy/Dodge pickup 5th wheel towable.

  2. It was your second paragraph that got me, “I love the vertical element…” I immediately made the mental jump to this.


    I tend to think that you’d spend a good part of your day re-arranging everything you had in the storage, once you placed it back in the vertical. I mean nothing is where you really leave it in a normal pull trailer, turning it 90 degrees and adding miles of vibration/bump, “what could possibly go wrong?”

  3. What could possibly go wrong? Set it up in your favorite mountain hunting spot, storm moves in during the night with 70 mph winds, and you get the idea. Gotta give points for creativity though.

  4. Interesting, though the Navy is not impressed… 😉

    The US Navy’s Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)


    FLIP, the FLoating Instrument Platform, is not a ship, but a 355-foot-long research platform that can be deployed for oceanographic research. Designed by scientists at Scripps’s Marine Physical Laboratory, FLIP is operated by Scripps Oceanography for the U.S. Navy.

  5. I don’t get the tiny house thing, other than ‘cute’. The RV industry will sell you a structure that is portable, with more square footage, and laid out better + complete with furnishings for vastly less than a tiny house costs.

    OK, so you become trailer trash at that moment, but they can call me anything they like so long as it puts money in my pocket.

    • The true tinyhouse thing gets you an actual house, with standard fixtures etc., with no mortgage, which accommodates your needs, not your luxuries.

      Zoning laws usually conspire to make the things to be naught but trailer homes anyways.

      • Granted cheaper materials like plastic pipe are used in RVs, but Standard they are (at least on the mid to hi range ones). You can always park and ‘vacation’ in one anywhere you own land without any permit, unlike a single/doublewide or a permanent tiny house structure. And if you say the tiny house is portable(remember there is a weight penalty if you don’t build with light materials), then it is exactly the same legally as a travel trailer. Except with more square footage and at a vastly cheaper cost. And that vastly cheaper cost means ‘no mortgage’ that you speak of with a LOT of money left over.

        A TT is a ‘true house’ as you call the TH’s in every sense of the term if you treat it as such.

        disclaimer: we will be buying a mid sized (25′) TT shortly to live in fulltime as we travel the country. I think you may be surprised whats in some of these RVs these days. Ours will be <$25k otd and the only thing it will lack over our 2400sq ft home we own now is a Laundromat.

  6. That is pretty cool. Like you said, weekend getaway. Great for star gazing in the desert, the height really increases your perspective, an ‘IMAX’ theatre effect. We have an elevated lumber deck at the ranch for, though not nearly as tall as the trailer. The floor deck is just above eye level, and is 8′ x 8′ square with a rail around the top for safety. Good place to watch the sun go down and enjoy the quiet.

  7. Your widest wall is limited, not to the road-borne width of the thing, but its height, in tipped position. I.e., an 8′ wide IRC container may be 9.5 or even 11′ tall. for 12-24 ft2 additional space.

    And lest it be overlooked, such a thing gains a third floor with the addition of a standard canvas wall tent on the top deck. That gets you from 192 ft2 to 264 ft2 in the 16-20′ length. with 3 levels.

    If you stick to no door at the ground level, and retractable access ladder, it’s bear-proof (and much more burglar-proof).

    And cleverly, wind problems can be obviated with the addition of a few steel guy cables and turnbuckle tighteners from top corners to ground, in under an hour, sufficient to make it proof against hurricane-force winds, or anything short of a buffalo stampede. Just like we’ve done with antennae installations for about 100 years.

    Anything longer than 20′ is probably just asking for a catastrophic Leaning Tower Of Pisa Darwin Award, sooner or later, because you need a roughly level spot, plus room to unload and erect it.

    If you want to vacation in the functional equivalent of a SCUD missile launcher with amenities, it’s a great way to get a lot of space in a relatively small footprint.

    Probably best away from electrical storm activity, too.

  8. You can also have a leveled concrete pad with tie down already in place if you own the property where it will be installed. Nothing for trespassers / burglars to take until you are there. A hurdle that many vacation cabin owners already have experience with – sucks when fellow human beings don’t understand that stealing is wrong.

  9. Cute, but not the least bit practical. Limited usable square footage, high profile (not a good thing if you’re worried about escaping notice in a post-SHTF world), doubtful quality of workmanship and durability of materials…

    I don’t think a standard cargo container would be a good choice for building something like this. Some have enough reinforcement along the upper corners of the side walls that they might be able to support a load when placed on end. Or not… Some are made with no reinforcement and depend on the sides to prevent the solid end frames from moving enough to cause a failure when containers are stacked.

    What would be useful is a field-expedient means of stacking containers. Something that involves less work than building a ramp to allow a container to be pushed or dragged onto the top of another.

    If you’re building pre-SHTF it’s not impossible to rent a rough-terrain forklift that has the capacity and reach to stack an empty 20′ container on top of another. I’ve seen it done with 6k varaible-reaches in the Army.

    Eight, ten or twelve 20′ containers, stacked two-high, side-by-side, would make a pretty secure structure with a lot of storage space. Bolt the containers together, on top of a strong foundation or slab, cut out interior sidewalls and weld the containers together, sealing the gaps with some of the metal cut from inside. Cut a hole in the top of one of the lower tier containers for a ladder or stair, seal all (or all but one) of the lower tier containers’ doors for security.

    Use the top tier for living space and the bottom tier for secure storage. Bolt a relatively lightweight roof to the top — it just needs to provide shape, shed snow and rain, etc — the tops of the containers are the real roof so far as keeping water out. Build a deck around the structure — at the level of the top tier — to increase good weather living space while being more secure than a ground-level entry. Could also provide some reasonably secure storage space for vehicles and such underneath it.

    Check the tincancabin.com website for an example of a cabin build from several containers, where the design was motivated by security in the boondocks rather than getting a good grade in an architecture class or peddling some fanciful Green nonsense in an environmental science course. His basic design — the size increased by another container or two, and set on top of a storage level of containers — has a lot to recommend when it comes to security and durability.

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