Spruced-up caboose a hit on Airbnb

Father-daughter team let guests feel like their riding the rails

National Weekend Edition /
Dec.December 31, 2021 01:46 PM

The spruced caboose (Airbnb)

All aboard!

A father-daughter team has spruced up an old caboose so Airbnbers can get a taste of living a night on the rails — from a farm in Iowa.

The New York Post is reporting train buff Jim Dotzenrod salvaged the 52,000 pound, 1973 train car from a scrapyard and moved it to his property, where he and his 42-year-old daughter, Danielle, got to work turning it into an Airbnb sensation.

First, he gutted it and power washed it to “get that diesel fuel smell out,” before cutting windows into its sides, adding an outdoor deck, and constructing a staircase that heads up to a second-floor bedroom with a queen-sized bed.

His daughter then focused on the smaller details, choosing the interior colors, turning rakeheads into wine-glass holders, picking out the furniture and designing the oak wood and black tile floor.

They even installed a bathroom and shower with — you guessed it — subway tile. But renters need to know that the hot water heater only has a 6-gallon tank, so keep those showers short.

The newspaper reports it took the team six months to finish the job, and folks have been happily hopping aboard for $124 a night.

An additional bedroom with a bunk bed and two sleeping areas in the living room allow for up to six guests, and there’s a refrigerator, microwave, and hot plate for meal preparation. There’s also Wi-Fi, a television, air conditioning, plus free parking on the premises.

Original equipment saved by the salvage team includes the conductor’s chairs and overhead handrails — which are ornamental, as there’s no locomotive to pull the car along.

When not spending time on the train, guests are invited to help themselves to the fruits from the nearby raspberry bushes and an apple tree, and hang out with the friendly horses that live on the other side of a nearby fence. (The horses like the apples, too!)

All told, it’s just the latest reason to vacation near beautiful Decorah, Iowa!

[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli





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