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20-ft Shipping Containers Turned into Epic Off-Grid Cabin


This is the story of how three used 20-foot shipping containers were turned into an epic waterfront off-grid tiny cabin in Portugal.

David from T-Rex Eco Container is an IT person with a passion for surfing.

He wanted to create the perfect surf getaway for himself…

So he built this incredible off-grid cabin in Portugal using three used 20-foot shipping containers.

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The result is this incredible waterfront tiny house made from recycled shipping containers!

Balcony and View – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

He decided to use shipping containers because they’re built and designed to withstand a harsh marine environment.

Exterior – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

He captures rainwater with gutters on a separate shed roof and pipes the water into an underground holding tank.

Then he uses a 12-volt pump to fill a smaller water tank on the roof of his shipping container shed, and that water is gravity fed into the cabin.

For hot water, he has a coiled black hose on the roof, and the water running through the hose is heated by the sun.

Interior – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The cabin has a large living room area with two couches and a drop leaf dining room table.

One of the couches doubles as a guest bed.

The shipping container doors can be opened from the outside to let light in through the large floor-to-ceiling windows.

Living Room – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The kitchen has a solar-powered fridge, a propane cooktop, and gravity-fed water in the sink.

Kitchen – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

There are windows and doors on all sides of the cabin to let in lots of natural light and to provide great air circulation since Portugal gets very hot in the summer.

Interior – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

A sideboard on the left and a shallow closet on the right provides additional storage for candles, books, and board games.

Hallway – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The single bedroom is pretty spacious and has a double bed, a wardrobe, and a window for light and fresh air.

Bedroom – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Bathroom – T-Rex Shipping Container – Exploring Alternatives Photo

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The bathroom looks and “feels” as though it’s on the grid, but the water is gravity-fed solar heated rainwater.

For a full tour of the shipping container cabin, watch the Exploring Alternatives video below!

VIDEO: Used 20ft Shipping Containers Turned Into Epic Off-Grid Cabin

Additional Resources

Our big thanks to Exploring Alternatives for sharing!🙏

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Danielle Chabassol
Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.

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