A retired farming couple are turning grain bins into rentable cabins
By Diego Flammini
A farming couple from Moose Jaw, Sask. is finding a unique way to make use of farm equipment they no longer need.
Dennis and Julie Hilling have turned six steel grain bins into two-bedroom cabins available for rent at Bin There Campground, located on their farm. Each cabin is insulated, has heat, air conditioning and a skylight. Each cabin costs $90 + GST per night.
“The bins are 19 ft. (5.7 m) across and 17 ft. (5.18 m) high,” Julie told Farms.com. “So that gave us enough height to put in two floors. You come in and there’s one bedroom, a flight of stairs and then another bedroom.”
The idea to transform the bins into cabins came after the containers didn’t sell during the couple’s 2016 farm auction.
Because of the bins’ round shape, making sure they were structurally sound proved difficult, Julie said.
“It was quite a challenge,” she said. “Luckily my husband has an engineering background and our carpenter has an architectural background. Usually, you’re building on the square but now you’re building a round room. The first one we did was mostly trial and error and the other five followed what worked from the first one.”
It turns out the grain bin cabins were just the beginning.
The Hillings looked around at their 11-acre farmyard and decided to repurpose more unused equipment to turn their property into a fully functional campground with multiple amenities.
The couple’s 1,000 square-foot (92 square-metre) seed-cleaning plant is now an event centre for campers.
“On one side, we have an outdoor cooking area with gas barbecues and six picnic tables,” she said. “On the other side, we built a facility with five washrooms. Each one has a shower and is wheelchair accessible. We also built a complete kitchen with a stove, fridge, deep freezer, sink, washer and dryer.”
And the area where the farm’s hopper bins stood have been converted to accommodate 13 RVs. Each RV spot costs campers $30 + GST per night. And three tent spots are available for $15 + GST per night.
Bin There Campground opens to the public at the beginning of July.
While some availabilities remain for the 2019 season, bookings for the summers of 2020 and 2021 are filling up, Julie said.
Bin There Campground/Facebook photo