What To Look For
Portable cabins are real log cabins built on a trailer. When looking to buy a cabin trailer consider what you will be using it for. Large portable cabin trailers are often used as semi-permanent homes. Smaller portable cabin trailers can be used like a travel trailer. Look for a trailer with sealed log construction and hookups for electric, water and sewer. Cabin trailers that will be transported regularly must have furniture and appliances that are tied in as permanent fixtures.
Common pitfalls of cabin trailers are their overall weight for towing and the lack of space for long-term living. Cabin trailers are best suited for use as a vacation home that is not moved often. The trailer's heavy logs are durable, but they cannot compete with fiberglass or aluminum trailers for gas mileage. The interior look of a cabin trailer is more decorative, but living and storage space are limited.
Where To Buy
Cabin trailers are built by small manufacturing companies that specialize in log construction. There are several companies that make them, but you likely will have to order the trailer and have it transported to you. Most portable cabin companies are located in states where cabin construction is common. Rocky Mountain states and states in the Northwest have the highest concentration of portable cabins available.
The cost of a portable cabin trailer depends on its size and features. Base models typically begin at $12,000, but larger portable cabins can cost well over $20,000 if furniture and appliances are added. Used portable cabins are also sometimes available.
All portable cabins are custom built. Forest Classics makes a top-of-the-line portable cabin and the company will work with you to customize it. The cabin is small enough to tow with a standard truck and large enough for a weekend getaway. Pheasant Ridge Resort in Black River Falls, Wisconsin also builds portable cabins, but on a much larger scale. The cabins have custom floor plans and must be towed by a professional. The cabins are large enough to live in for an extended period of time.
In addition to the cabin shell, you will need furniture and appliances. If the cabin is going to be towed on a regular basis, any features must be secured to the shell. If the cabin will be transported to a permanent site, it can be decorated in any style. Consider bookshelves, storage, kitchen features and seating.
Contact several sources to decide the type and size of cabin you can afford. Request copies of the floor plan before any building begins, and brainstorm custom features while mapping out where the furniture and appliances you will be.