Putting The "Modular" Back In Modular Homes

Larry Cooner on Monday, March 31, 2003

from the recycling-the-redneck-way dept.

TOADSUCK TOWNSHIP, NECKRED COUNTY -- Bo Ray Yertugger may very well own the world's only quintuple-wide mobile home. Built from a motley collection of beat-up railroad boxcars and tractor-trailers, his 2,500 square feet "mansion" only cost around $5,000 to build.

"This could easily become the hottest trend in home design," Yertugger said while giving a tour of his 17-unit modular home. He plans to write a book, "How to build a mansion on only $50 a day", the proceeds of which will go towards building his real dream: a 50-unit estate sprawled across 80 acres.

Yertugger got the idea for his mansion after his wife kept complaining about their former home, a tar-paper shack held together literally with duct tape and bailing wire.

"I wanted something fancy to impress the wife and our 15 kids, but I couldn't afford anything nice on my meager wages as an Assistant Vat Mixer at Bob's Lard & Miscellaneous Hog Parts Plant in Redton," he explained. "But while roaming around a junkyard it occured to me that I could buy a bunch of old boxcars and trucks and convert them into modules to assemble into a modular home..."

[Drawing of the home's floorplan] This drawing shows the floorplan for the Yertugger Mansion. "I didn't want everything to come together at right angles, which is why some of the units are off-kilter," Yertugger explained. "Believe me, there's method to my madness."

The main portion of Yertugger's house features five boxcars positioned side-by-side, with large openings carved out with a blowtorch between each unit. "Over here is the kitchen," he said as he pointed to a recycled oversized shipping crate. "And since my wife was sick of using an outhouse," he added, "I tacked on an extra boxcar here for a bathroom, using some old PVC pipe I found at the dump for the indoor plumbing."

Last week a crew from Better Hovels & Trailers Magazine visited the site for a feature on "Extreme Do-It-Yourself Projects". Yertugger hopes that the media attention will enable him to sell his upcoming book and hopefully "get a chance to appear on TV."

"You don't need a million dollars to build a mansion," he boasted. "You just need the ability to hold your nose -- one of the bedrooms was built from a boxcar that once carried limburger cheese. It kinda smells in there, but that's the price you pay for saving money."