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From FEMA Trailer to Solar Powered Studio and Home

Paul Villinski is an American artist who turned an ordinary FEMA trailer into a solar- and wind-powered studio.

He’s dubbed it the Emergency Response Studio. You’d be able to live and work in it.

They took a used FEMA trailer and completely re-did it with green materials and creative ideas.

With all of the solar panels and the wind turbine there’s enough to power everything.

One of my favorite features is the sun room, which you won’t find in any RV.

In addition, I’ve never seen a trailer with so much open space.

On one side there’s a pop out with clear finish (twin-wall polycarbonate) so light comes through easily.

The “sun dome” on the opposite side has a wall that folds out completely and and gives you instant outdoor space.

This can be used as a small stage for speaking, display area for merchandise or simply a deck.

So let’s check it out. Here’s Paul next to the finished product.

FEMA Trailer Turned Into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

The clear pop out helps it feel like a sun room inside but it also can work as passive solar heating when pointed in the right direction.

FEMA Trailer Turned Into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

They used twin-wall polycarbonate, which is clear, to replace the normal RV siding.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

Next is the geodesic dome, which I’ve never seen before on an RV.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

The dome opens up the space making it feel larger.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

That’s where the power from the solar panels are stored. Would be cool to put some colorful LED lighting down there.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

This wall, as you probably have already figured out, completely folds down.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

Plus you get to have a deck. 🙂

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

So come take a look at more of the inside starting with the kitchen below.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

Here’s a view from the little bedroom looking back at the kitchen.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

Looks cozy and there’s storage up top.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

Check out the shower… It can be a squeeze for some to get in but was necessary for design.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

By the way, here’s what the trailer looked like originally.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

And here it is today…

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

The photo below shows you some of the supporters who helped make this project possible.

FEMA Trailer turned into Solar Powered RV Dubbed Emergency Response Studio

List of supporters: Advanced Solar Power, Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Build It Green! NYC, Evergreen Solar, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Forbo Flooring Systems, Global Green USA, Green Depot, Greenhouse Capital Partners, GRK Fasteners, GroSolar, Adam Lewis, Robert Mason with Anthony Dalo Woodworking, Morgan LEhman Gallery, Out Back Power Systems, Smyth and Fong Plyboo, Socrates Sculpture Park and Gregg Wagner (architect).

What do you think about the Emergency Response Studio project? Speak your mind in the comments.

If you liked this post, help me spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credits: Paul Villinski

[+] Paul’s Website, Emergency Response Studio’s Website

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 7 comments… add one }
  • charlie hebert August 18, 2011, 12:54 am

    What a great idea! We’re seeing more and more of a move towards wheeled mobility living, created by necessity and economics. This was a great re-fit.. I was almost sure that if I kept scrolling I’d see a garden area! Good job!

  • Alex August 18, 2011, 3:00 pm

    I thought it was great too. Thanks for coming by Charlie!

  • Jamie April 21, 2013, 1:07 am

    I really love this. I’m having trouble finding any other RVs with fold down walls (not slides) that turn into decks. The only other I’ve seen is the Mini Cooper/Airstream prototype. I’m wondering about the reality of it, because I’d love to have some more information about it.

    Also, do you have an idea of how much (retail) this particular remodel would cost to a consumer, without donations?

    Thanks! Love the site! 🙂

    • kathy October 27, 2014, 3:56 pm

      Tennessee Tiny Homes offers a fold out deck on side or end, just the deck folds out, not the wall.

  • Kimberly October 27, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Loved the fold down deck, clear wall, and most of all the SOLAR aspect of the emergency response studio. I want solar off grid for our tiny house.

  • Andrea Hardy October 27, 2014, 6:16 pm

    cute!

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