Germ of an Idea
About 20 years ago, a friend who was a contractor told us about a job he was working on. He had contracted to convert his client's caboose to a weekend getaway cottage. While we never saw the finished project, he described how he ripped out the interior and replaced the walls with mahogany paneling and red velvet wallpaper, put lots of brass fixtures in, put in a spiral staircase to the cupola, put in 1890s vintage claw foot tubs and sinks, etc. The idea fascinated us, and we kept it in mind for many years.
The Idea Sprouts
We live in a wine growing area with many wine tasting rooms, and we get lots of people coming up from San Diego and down from Los Angeles. We recently began to think about buying a caboose to rent out as a bed and breakfast. We thought this idea would be a natural, but the logistics of working with a real caboose stopped us cold — we didn't want to spend our lives refurbishing a caboose. We still couldn't shake the idea, though, so we began to think about building a replica and maybe offering it for sale. Again, more problems became apparent. How do we ship a big "box" 40 feet long x 10 feet wide x 10 feet high across the country at a reasonable cost? What about siding and roofing? Where would we buy curved roof joists? How do we keep the cost down? Those were just a few of the problems.
Over the next few months, with lots of research and trial and error, we were able to resolve all of the problems except for the cost of shipping. And then the light bulb clicked on. The answer: build a kit that's easily assembled in the field using ordinary household tools and requiring only basic skills. And to keep the cost down, have our customers buy common materials locally to avoid shipping charges. Taking it a step further, we can let our customers decide where they want to put the windows and doors, what size they want, and how many they want. Now the challenge was to design a basic model that could be easily re-engineered here and that offered the customer flexibility and a low price, while still allowing for easy assembly using readily available materials and tools. I think we've done that.
Give us a Shout
If you don't want the expense and headache of dealing with a real caboose, consider one of our replica kits. If your requirements call for a larger or smaller unit than what's available and you're willing to put in a little work to save a bunch of money, contact us and we'll gladly spend the time to help you and show you how you can easily build your own caboose.