Northwest Rolling Retreats

Trailers aren't just for RV parks anymore. Whether stationed in a snow-blanketed valley or delivered, fully stocked, to your favorite riverfront campsite, these four-wheeled wonders offer getaways unlike any other.

By Marty Patail November 1, 2013 Published in the November 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Rolling Huts 

Winthrop, WA
18381 Hwy 20; 509-996-4442; 6 huts; from $135/night

Designed by Olson Kundig (the same firm behind the sleek Haub Wing of the Tacoma Art Museum), these ultramodern cabins in the middle of the Methow Valley offer brilliant views of the North Cascades from wraparound decks and ceiling-high windows. Inside, strong angles, clean surfaces, and unadorned comfort reign supreme: an elongated rectangular floor plan includes a versatile bed that doubles as a sofa, a ring of skylights, and a kitchenette. The bathroom sits at the rear of the deck—yes, it’s outside—but the wood-burning stove will warm you back up when you return. And did we mention the free wi-fi?

If You Go: Bring your Nordic skis and explore the 200 miles of cross-country trails that loop around the Methow Valley.  

Sou’wester Lodge

Seaview, WA
3728 J Place; 360-642-2542; 12 vintage trailers; from $58/night

A scant half-mile walk from the waves on the Long Beach Peninsula, this fleet of primarily 1950s-era trailers hides in plain sight along one of the least crowded (and most unblemished) stretches of the Pacific coastline. The 12 trailers come in four sizes, ranging from the perfect-for-couples “Potato Bug” to the three-story “African Queen,” complete with a full dining area, TV, and queen bed, with room for six. It’s an easy walk into Seaview, but the Sou’wester’s main lodge is a community hub of its own, hosting a constantly rotating calendar of live music, art shows, and lectures.

If You Go: Book between Dec 15 and Jan 15 to get 25% off a five-night stay.  


5009 NE 11th Ave; 503-288-5225; 3 houses; $125/night (2-night minimum on weekends)

Opened this July in the Alberta Arts District, Caravan is an outgrowth of the “small house” movement—a protest against the swelling of American homes and energy bills. Each house offers everything you and one to four friends need to take part in the rebellion: a main floor with a dining area and bathroom, and an upstairs loft, all packed into less than 200 square feet. “The Rosebud” boasts farmhouse-style décor with light woods and bright colors, while the “Pearl” offers modern stainless steel counters and dark finishes.

If You Go: Caravan is adding two new tiny houses to the original three (sleeping a total of 17) this month. Rent out the lot for your next party.  

Cowgirl Cabins

541-408-3390; 6 trailers; from $75/night plus delivery fee

The 1960s trailers have been reincarnated as the ultimate throwback camping getaway. Just reserve your favorite central Oregon camping spot (highly recommended: Metolius River sites), and for a fee the company’s jovial owner, Pamela, will deliver your abode by the time you arrive, stocked with linens and a welcome basket. The interiors ooze Old West kitsch, but the trailers’ names, after real-life cowgirls and madames (“Rose of Cimarron,” “Miss Kitty,” and “Cattle Kate”), are apt: each one is equipped with a full kitchen (no external power needed), meaning you’ll be entirely independent.

If You Go: Delivery is weather-contingent. Plan your April trip for when the snows thaw—but be flexible. 

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