Father and daughter renovate 1973 teach caboose into an Airbnb

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Jim Dotzenrod purchased a practice caboose in 2016. 

The 12 months in advance of, Jim, 65, from Decorah, Iowa, had totally renovated a silo on his property and turned it into an Airbnb. In accordance to his daughter Danielle Dotzenrod, 42, the silo rental was “truly effective out of the gate.”

“It acquired a bunch of press and it received a bunch of awards,” Danielle explained to G3 Box News. 


So in 2016, when Jim seen a assortment of train cabooses along the highway in a city about 30 miles north of Decorah, he explained to G3 Box News he was motivated to open an additional Airbnb. 

Jim Dotzenrod, from Decorah, Iowa, acquired a educate caboose in 2016 and renovated it into an Airbnb the exact same yr. 
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

“He realized it had to be something actually unique,” Danielle explained.

Even although the owner of the very first selection he saw would not market to Jim, he was ready to obtain yet another educate caboose 30 miles absent in the reverse direction, on a recycling yard. 


Jim acquired the 52,000-pound train caboose from 1973 for $8,000 in the spring of 2016. He compensated about $2,500 to transportation the caboose to his residence, he advised G3 Box News. He even had the caboose placed on authentic railroad tracks, in accordance to Insider.

Then, Jim received to renovating. 

Jim paid about $2,500 to transport the 52,000-pound caboose to his property, he told G3 Box News. He even had the caboose placed on real railroad tracks.

Jim paid out about $2,500 to transportation the 52,000-pound caboose to his assets, he instructed G3 Box News. He even had the caboose put on serious railroad tracks.
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

Overall, Jim told G3 Box News that he spent about $4,000 and 300 hours – on nights and weekends, when he wasn't working – renovating the train caboose.

Total, Jim instructed G3 Box News that he expended about $4,000 and 300 hrs – on evenings and weekends, when he wasn’t operating – renovating the educate caboose.
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

Jim has been a carpenter for his entire experienced life, but due to the fact the interior of the teach caboose was all iron, he experienced a great deal of operate to do – and a whole lot of major lifting. 

“You just begin cutting out iron and getting that thrown out of there and you exchange it with wooden,” Jim advised G3 Box News about his function. 

He also experienced to thoroughly clean out the pretty robust odor of oil with a fantastic powerwash. 


Danielle told G3 Box News that people have come from all over the country to stay in the caboose, including as far as Maryland and New York. 

Danielle advised G3 Box News that persons have arrive from all over the place to continue to be in the caboose, which includes as much as Maryland and New York. 
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

Jim crafted the beds in the prepare caboose, which include bunk beds on the initial flooring and a queen-measurement mattress in the cupola. He also created the stairs main up to the cupola and a porch that goes together the full again of the caboose, overlooking the pasture.

In the meantime, Danielle chipped in with ending touches, like tiling the shower and encouraging her dad in the course of the method, she explained. 

“Since he was a carpenter his whole job, he can rather a lot create or do anything at all that he sets his brain to,” Danielle mentioned “I set his intellect to exclusive projects.’

“He genuinely did all of the real tough operate,” she additional. “I support more on finishing touches.”

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All round, Jim informed G3 Box News that he expended about $4,000 and 300 hrs – on evenings and weekends, when he was not doing work – renovating the practice caboose.

He told G3 Box News that however he appreciated the renovations, “I started exhausted of it at the end.”

“I commenced having burned out on the finish when I did the silo, too,” he extra. 

By November 2016, the teach caboose was prepared for renters. 

Even though the caboose has minimal house, the Dotzenrods have the beds, as effectively as a refrigerator, microwave, double burner warm plate, dishes for cooking, barware for cocktails and the train’s initial conductor chairs, which can be swapped to glimpse within the teach caboose, or out in excess of the pasture. 

In accordance to the Airbnb listing, the teach caboose does have WiFi, a Television set and air conditioning, as effectively as a 6-gallon sizzling water heater.

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Danielle explained to G3 Box News that individuals have come from all in excess of the country to continue to be in the caboose, such as as much as Maryland and New York. 

“Dad’s been a superhost from the beginning, so that can help us a great deal,” Danielle reported. “He’s welcoming and charming… He truly goes previously mentioned and further than for whatever [guests] need.”

Jim even presents carriage rides into Decorah.

While it was a long renovation approach for the two the silo and the coach caboose, Jim advised G3 Box News that he is imagining of increasing and opening nevertheless yet another Airbnb. 

“Soon after it bought all accomplished, it was pretty gratifying,” Jim reported.

To come across out far more facts about the train caboose, here’s the Airbnb listing: CR Station Train Caboose.

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