01/21 Turning a travel trailer into a mini-mansion

 Keith Schneider stands inside the 1972 Airstream Argosy travel trailer he has spent several months transforming into more of a permanent living space

Keith Schneider stands inside the 1972 Airstream Argosy travel trailer he has spent several months transforming into more of a permanent living space.

Tiny houses are huge right now.

Cities such as Eugene and Portland are promoting infill development to make best use of limited buildable land, making little cottages and “accessory dwelling units” an attractive choice for people who want to downsize their own lives or add extra living spaces.

And cable networks such as DIY Network, HGTV and FYI have galvanized a trend toward smaller living with popular programs such as “Tiny House Nation,” “Tiny House, Big Living” and “Tiny Houses: Living Large in a Small Space.”

Eugene builder Keith Schneider is on the cutting edge of this trend. The owner of Bohemian Cottages has built about 30 little abodes with custom floor plans designed to let clients live the lives they want in just a few hundred square feet.

At the Jan. 22-24 Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show, Schneider also will unveil the results of his biggest and tiniest challenge yet: to turn a 24-foot 1972 Airstream Argosy travel trailer into a stylish, functional, semi-permanent living space of only 160 square feet.

“These Airstreams are built so incredibly well,” Schneider says of the iconic streamlined trailers that endure thanks to their long-lasting aluminum skin. (Argosy was a short-lived Airstream brand that featured painted rather than polished exteriors.)

“The green-ness is a cool thing about the Airstream; here’s this shell that’s been around for 40-some years, and it’s not being thrown away,” Schneider adds.

But, he allows, “we’re used to tiny housebuilding with about 200 square feet of footprint and another 100 square feet of loft, and then front-porch space … so this is challenging even for me.”

While he still has some finishing touches to apply before he opens the trailer door for public tours at the home show, Schneider is near the end of an exhaustive three-month overhaul.

Read more – http://registerguard.com/rg/life/homeandgarden/33904090-72/turning-a-travel-trailer-into-a-mini-mansion.html.csp

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Elaine Walker