Boxpert Blog

Our first year in a shipping container home

Posted by Stephen Shang on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:16 PM

During hunting season, we were in the cabin every weekend, and some full weeks as well.  If this were a full time situation, I’d want a few more amenities, but for a weekend it works well.

We have three boxes – the fully insulated cabin, another box for "clean" storage that has the ceramic radiant barrier coating, and another box with no insulation for storage of tools and vehicles.  We immediately noticed a difference in temperature between the three boxes, roughly 5-10 degrees between each (depending on the outside temperature).

At first, we cooked outside on a campfire or gas grill.  Before too long, though, I bought a hot plate for small stuff, to save time and wood.  The kitchen was very compact, but functional. 

The bath was great – really the best part of having the cabin.  The incineration toilet took a little getting used to, but now I really like it.  It’s clean, and the only maintenance is periodically dumping out a little inert ash.  We did learn one thing – don’t turn on the bath vent when the toilet is incinerating.  It reverses the draw from the vent, pulling the smoke back into the bathroom.  Yuck!!!

The bed was also great, just like home.  My husband thought this was a bit “over the top”, at least until he slept in it the first night.  He said he had the best sleep in years, even better than at home!  He didn’t give me much ribbing about the built in bed after that.

Waking up to the sunrise coming through the gigantic glass door was great, until we realized that we didn’t have any privacy, and if someone decided to “come for a visit” early in the morning, we would be pretty exposed.  We got window coverings...

Heating the cabin was fine.  Cooling the cabin didn’t work so well at first.  We started with a portable A/C unit, and it just couldn’t do the job well enough.  So I went back to the drawing board on that one.  We got an RV ductless AC unit installed on the roof, which blows into the bathroom and the main living space.  It took a bit of planning to do it, but once it was in, WOW it works great.

We found that, other than a few issues, the first year was really fun, and the cabin suits our needs well.

Tags: Shipping Container, Container Uses, San Antonio Texas, Austin Texas