House Tour: ESCAPE Cabin-on-Wheels

Entrepreneur and hotelier Dan Dobrowolski has brought to market a tiny, movable cabin that feels as spacious as its natural habitat, the wide-open outdoors. The structure's dimensions (not counting a porch or deck) are a mere 400 square feet, the maximum allowable for a standard park model recreational vehicle, but it feels much bigger. That seeming airiness comes from a cathedral ceiling and an interior that focuses on the basics without sacrificing scale, style, or quality of materials. Beautiful, efficiently designed, and carefully crafted, the ESCAPE could make your dream of a cabin in the woods an affordable reality.

  1. Cottage on Wheels

    1/10
    01e2dd00a5e1fd7d5e05f28fac08b55b

    Canoe Bay

    ESCAPE is a cabin-on-wheels designed by SALA Architects in conjunction with Dan Dobrowolski, proprietor of the luxurious Canoe Bay resort in Wisconsin. It's constructed in the same manner as a traditional stick-built home, with a balloon frame and standard windows, trusses, roofing, siding, and floors. It just happens to sit on top of a steel frame on wheels.

  2. Cedar-Clad, From the Side

    2/10
    3a941d41b9755d6c4d60bd13c2ddd09e

    Canoe Bay

    The tiny 400-square-foot structure, informed and inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie style, is clad in weather- and insect-resistant cedar. It's also highly energy efficient. The prototype, now on-site at Canoe Bay, uses perhaps 120 watts total, even with every LED in the house lit. In fact, the entire home could be solar-powered.

  3. An Airy Living Space

    3/10
    6c4c5a9f05c11bf409050b4bd579560c

    Canoe Bay

    Although it's the same size as the standard park model recreational vehicle (RV), ESCAPE doesn’t suffer from the claustrophobic interiors of the standard RV, thanks to an open plan and vaulted ceilings. The warm interior is finished in yellow pine throughout, with oak flooring. 

  4. Kitchen: Contained and Complete

    4/10
    619afe438cdc5a392a92a0c0bd921209

    Canoe Bay

    "Everything is normal-sized, with high-quality elements,” says Dobrowolski. “It’s built for real people." The single-wall kitchen includes plenty of cabinets and drawer space along with a 30-inch range and standard-size refrigerator.

  5. Bedroom: Luxury with a Light Touch

    5/10
    E4d342db4d39779ad47895010510c499

    Canoe Bay

    Built-ins help to keep the compact space uncluttered and efficient. The bedroom, outfitted with a huge armoire, adjoins the bathroom, which has pocket doors for privacy. The bathroom's double vanity is flanked by a walk-in shower on one end and a separate toilet enclosure on the other. 

  6. Bathroom: Practical Pampering

    6/10
    5e23a881194b80ca2885a800036fc851

    Canoe Bay

    ESCAPE is a tiny structure that’s been deliberately built to feel spacious. The bath area features a generous-size walk-in tiled shower that defies the room's compact footprint. Recessed lighting, mirrors, and a glass partition separating the shower from the vanity make the space feel larger and more open.

  7. Filled with Light

    7/10
    C1f497e4ec53097efc2ae3f2d2b519d9

     Canoe Bay

    Large windows flood the space with abundant natural daylight and open the structure to exquisite woodland views. A glass-paned transom above the entrance to the screened porch—and the porch itself—add to the light and airy sense.

  8. Screened Porch

    8/10
    39f1b7647b8f32f455eef3de05bc176f

    Canoe Bay

    A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the furnishings, and ESCAPE can top out at $124,000, window coverings included.

  9. Front Exterior: Stylish Seclusion

    9/10
    Daedfa7df84fccad6c77ebe6d65154b7

    Canoe Bay

    Like a mobile home, ESCAPE requires the power of an over-the-road tractor to get it where it’s going. But once it's on-site, setup is essentially a “plug and play” process for plumbing, wiring, and the like.

  10. For More...

    10/10
    52fd5c7b00f8b3d486decde1b9600852

    David Shatzman

    If you would like to take more house tours, consider:


    House Tour: Mountain Re-Shack


    New Look (and Life) for a 1950s Cape


    A Green Dream Townhouse

  11. See the House of the Week

    Hotw600x450

    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!