- Tina and Paul Arthurs created a treehouse-like structure for their RV in New Brunswick, Canada.
- The creative idea came about as a way to avoid moving their travel trailer if it floods in the area.
- The couple can now enjoy their riverfront property year-round.
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In the winter, Tina and Paul Arthurs plan to jump on their snowmobiles and head to their treehouse RV on the St. John River in New Brunswick, Canada.
There, they’ll climb up a ladder, step into an RV that’s floating above the ground, and warm up in front of the RV’s fireplace. In the spring, the kitchen will be teeming with fresh vegetables picked from their garden.
The couple will have access to their RV year-round without the worry of flooding. It’s a confidence that they lacked just a few months ago, Tina told Insider, until they moved their RV onto a treehouse-like platform this summer.
In 2018, 2.5 feet (0.76m) of water flooded the couple’s main home, which is also located in New Brunswick. Since floods are a common worry in their area, they wanted to find a way to protect their RV from potential damage, Tina said.
So they got creative and built a treehouse RV.
Floods prompted the couple’s unusual solution
Tina described the monstrous process of preparing for floods every spring – snowmobiles, cars, lawnmowers, and their RV all must be moved to higher ground.
The couple wanted to find a way to save time and effort each year, so they brainstormed ways to avoid having to relocate their travel trailer, Tina said.
That’s when Paul recalled how his home state of New Jersey handled the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, she added.
Along the waterfront, some New Jersey homeowners moved their homes on platforms, as reported by NPR affiliate WHYY in 2017. Inspired by those designs, Paul spent last winter researching and planning how they could mimic the idea, Tina told Insider.
A crane lifted the RV onto its platform
Tina said the building process began in early July when the couple purchased 12 telephone poles to create the RV’s platform.
They dug the poles about 7 feet (2.13m) into the ground and used 2-feet (0.61m)-long bolts for the foundation. Then, they built a large deck about 8 feet (2.44m) above the ground that would support the 7,000-pound (3,175kg) trailer, Tina said.
“Then we hired a crane, lifted the trailer, put it up there,” she added. “And it’s been the talk of the town ever since.”
Tina said they’ve spent about $US7,000 ($AU9,537) on the structure so far, but it’s still a work in progress. They plan to add a staircase along with a railing and a roof.
The trailer still has its wheels and its tongue, which is the part that keeps a trailer in balance when towing. It technically qualifies as a recreational vehicle, so it can’t be taxed as a permanent structure, Tina said.
“It’s no different than if you go to Grand Lake and you see the travel trailers that are down there that have decks built around them,” Tina told Insider, referring to a lake in New Brunswick where RVs are popular.
Since erecting the platform, she estimates that 1,000 people stopped to ask questions and take pictures. She was even more surprised when their treehouse RV went viral on TikTok in July. The video, uploaded by user @mummatizzy, has nearly 2 million views at the time of writing.
Tina described their treehouse RV as an idyllic escape
The property is just a 10-minute drive from their house, but to Tina, it’s a peaceful getaway.
It has a view of the river, a vegetable garden, a dock for their boat, and plenty of space for their grandchildren and dog to frolic.
Since they never planned to travel in the RV, the treehouse is now a permanent structure for their trailer. Ultimately, their treehouse RV allows them to enjoy their land worry-free, Tina said.
“We have everything that we need right here,” she added.