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Father and daughter renovate 1973 train caboose into an Airbnb

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Jim Dotzenrod bought a train caboose in 2016. 

The 12 months before, Jim, 65, from Decorah, Iowa, had completely renovated a silo on his property and turned it into an Airbnb. In keeping with his daughter Danielle Dotzenrod, 42, the silo rental was “really successful out of the gate.”

“It got a bunch of press and it won a bunch of awards,” Danielle told Fox News. 

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So in 2016, when Jim noticed a group of train cabooses along the road in a town about 30 miles north of Decorah, he told Fox News he was inspired to open one other Airbnb. 

Jim Dotzenrod, from Decorah, Iowa, bought a train caboose in 2016 and renovated it into an Airbnb the identical 12 months. 
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

“He knew it needed to be something really extraordinary,” Danielle said.

Despite the fact that the owner of the primary collection he saw wouldn’t sell to Jim, he was capable of find one other train caboose 30 miles away in the wrong way, on a recycling yard. 

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Jim bought the 52,000-pound train caboose from 1973 for $8,000 within the spring of 2016. He paid about $2,500 to move the caboose to his property, he told Fox. He even had the caboose placed on real railroad tracks, based on Insider.

Then, Jim got to renovating. 

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

Jim paid about $2,500 to move the 52,000-pound caboose to his property, he told Fox. He even had the caboose placed on real railroad tracks.
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

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

Overall, Jim told Fox that he spent about $4,000 and 300 hours – on nights and weekends, when he wasn’t working – renovating the train caboose.
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

Jim has been a carpenter for his whole skilled life, but because the inside of the train caboose was all iron, he had quite a lot of work to do – and quite a lot of heavy lifting. 

“You simply start cutting out iron and getting that thrown out of there and also you replace it with wood,” Jim told Fox about his work. 

He also had to scrub out the very strong smell of oil with a great powerwash. 

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

Danielle told Fox that folks have come from everywhere in the country to remain within the caboose, including so far as Maryland and Recent York. 
(Courtesy of Danielle Dotzenrod)

Jim built the beds within the train caboose, including bunk beds on the primary floor and a queen-size bed within the cupola. He also built the steps leading as much as the cupola and a porch that goes along your entire back of the caboose, overlooking the pasture.

Meanwhile, Danielle chipped in with ending touches, like tiling the shower and inspiring her dad throughout the method, she said. 

“Because he was a carpenter his entire profession, he can just about construct or do anything that he sets his mind to,” Danielle said “I set his mind to unique projects.’

“He really did the entire real exertions,” she added. “I help more on ending touches.”

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

He told Fox that though he enjoyed the renovations, “I began uninterested in it at the top.”

“I began getting burned out on the top once I did the silo, too,” he added. 

By November 2016, the train caboose was ready for renters. 

Though the caboose has limited space, the Dotzenrods have the beds, in addition to a refrigerator, microwave, double burner hot plate, dishes for cooking, barware for cocktails and the train’s original conductor chairs, which may be swapped to look contained in the train caboose, or out over the pasture. 

In keeping with the Airbnb listing, the train caboose does have WiFi, a TV and air con, in addition to a six-gallon hot water heater.

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Danielle told Fox that folks have come from everywhere in the country to remain within the caboose, including so far as Maryland and Recent York. 

“Dad’s been a superhost from the start, in order that helps us quite a bit,” Danielle said. “He’s welcoming and charming… He really goes above and beyond for whatever [guests] need.”

Jim even offers carriage rides into Decorah.

Though it was a protracted renovation process for each the silo and the train caboose, Jim told Fox News that he’s considering of expanding and opening one more Airbnb. 

“After it got all done, it was very gratifying,” Jim said.

To search out out more information in regards to the train caboose, here’s the Airbnb listing: CR Station Train Caboose.

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