In addition to being married & life partners, Deb Delman and Kol Peterson are the founders, owners and partners in running Caravan. Deb is the site manager for Caravan and has spent her adult life living in unusual small dwellings from a yurt in Colorado with no running water and wood heat to a barn in SE PDX, a garage that she remodeled into a cabin-like ADU and the ADU that she and her husband Kol helped design and build. Before opening Caravan, Deb worked with refugee youth, co-founded and served as the Executive Director of The Pangaea Project, a non-profit that engaged at-risk youth in local and global social justice projects, and was a high school teacher.
Kol and Deb live in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) that they finished building in September, 2010. Kol documented the whole ADU design build process in a blog and now regularly teaches Accessory Dwelling Unit classes about ADUs and co-manages accessorydwellings.org. Along with classes, he also offers on-site ADU consultations with people who are interested in building an ADU on their property. Learn more about Kol's ADU services, including ADU consulting, and ADU classes for homowners and ADU classes for realtors.
THE CARAVAN STORY
The idea of opening Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel, first began across the street from Caravan at the Radio Room restaurant in August of 2011. The lot where Caravan now sits had been used as a car lot for repossessed cars, a brick oven pizza food cart and an outdoor hookah bar. Caravan’s owners, Kol & Deb, mulled over the idea of opening a tiny house hotel for more than a year before they approached the lot owners and eventually, bought the lot.
In between that first conversation at Radio Room and officially opening Caravan, Kol & Deb spent many hours meeting with City officials to explain the concept and get the necessary approvals. It was not a straightforward process, as it had never been done before, but eventually, they figured it out and broke ground in the spring of 2013. They officially opened the gates in July of 2013.
Kol and Deb opened Caravan because they love Portland with all of their hearts and enjoy sharing their fun and fascinating city with visitors from around the world. Their backgrounds in and passion for education, urban planning and environmental and social justice prompted them to also utilize Caravan to showcase possibilities for small housing to the public.
The wonderful staff, the support and interest of the local community, the fantastic location in one of Portland’s most vibrant and creative neighborhoods, the relationships with the talented builders of the six beautiful tiny houses, and the growing national interest in tiny houses, are all a part of what has made Caravan work so well as a fun, alternative hotel for our guests and a public platform for educational and policy work around small housing.