Iowa, Discovering, Hotels + Resorts

The Coolest AirBnB in Decorah, Iowa

This is our first time using Airbnb and it will not be our last. We have the opportunity to travel fairly frequently and typically stay at hotels using credit card points. After this awesome Caboose AirBnB experience in Decorah, IA we’ve decided to search for unique AirBnB experiences in the future first and hotels second.

The Coolest AirBnB in Decorah, Iowa

Our entire AirBnB experience was 100% top notch. It started with an immediate message from Danielle who is the daughter of the owner, Jim. Danielle was welcoming and asked if she could make any recommendations for us for our stay in Decorah, Iowa.

Our visit took place mid-September and it was unseasonably HOT. 89 degrees in September in the Midwest= ewww.  We were pleased to find that Jim had turned the air conditioner on for our arrival. Truth be told, we weren’t even sure there’d be air conditioning. It was a huge relief to notice the AC unit right when we pulled up. There is also an electric fireplace as well as a heater for the cooler nights.

The Coolest AirBnB in Decorah, Iowa

The Caboose sits on Jim’s horse farm and there is a second Airbnb property in a converted silo! The horses are very friendly.


Jim came out to greet us and said if we take one crabapple to eat or feed the horses, we’d better take 20 and to please take as many fresh raspberries from the bushes as we wanted!

The Caboose had everything we could need in our short stay, a refrigerator, microwave, sink, a double hot plate with dishes and silverware. There is a bathroom and shower with a 2-minute warning for hot water.

The Coolest AirBnB in Decorah, Iowa



Bunk beds and a queen size bed means this caboose could comfortably sleep 4. A small love seat and two original caboose chairs offer a nice sitting room with views of the deck and horses.

The Caboose faces West so the sunsets are stunning. We had the pleasure of watching a storm roll in and then it proceeded to rain all night. It was reminiscent of camping as a child waking up to the sound of rain. We slept like babies. The beds were very comfortable.

The deck had comfortable wrought-iron furniture and a large, expansive deck. Unfortunate for us, the rain kept us inside. We had dreams of drinking some coffee and watching the horses. The rain and thunder did not stop the horses from grazing right outside our windows. Look at the views we had of the horses in the morning!

The Coolest AirBnB in Decorah, Iowa

How’d Jim acquire a Caboose?

Great question – we wondered the same! Jim bought the land that the caboose sits on 5 years ago. Jim and his daughter knew that there were a lot of AirBnB’s in the area so if they were to introduce another option, it would have to be unique. 

A local junkyard had a caboose sitting right on the track. Jim arranged for 2 big excavators to load it onto a semi and had it brought back to his farm. Jim used a crane he had on his property and set it on the track that he had also previously acquired. That was nearly 3 years ago.

With the help of his daughter, Danielle, they decorated and remodeled the caboose. Jim cut the bathroom tile and Danielle tiled the shower. Danielle did just an amazing job of decorating.

A few details about the Caboose in Decorah, Iowa

The Caboose is open year round and is pretty well booked June-August so you’ll want to plan your trip early if you’d like to experience sleeping in a Caboose on a horse farm!

Here is a link to the Caboose AirBnB. Tell Jim & Danielle that Kelly & Dusty from Dining Duster sent you!

Use THIS link you’ll receive $40 off your first stay that is $75 or more. We’ll receive a credit of $20.

We will absolutely seek out unique Airbnb experiences such as this in the future!

If you know of a unique in the Minnesota-Iowa-Wisconsin area, we’d love to hear about it!


  1. Couple's Getaway in Marshalltown

    July 11, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    […] For another unique stay in Iowa, check out the Caboose AirBnB in Decorah […]

  2. shreyasaha1987

    October 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Staying in a Caboose will be a super cool experience. Glad that there was aircon turned on for you in such hot summers. The place seems to be very interesting. Airbnb really has great properties.

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 12, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      It was so cool and we couldn’t agree more about needing the air conditioner. This was our first Airbnb and it won’t be our last!

  3. Lisa

    October 9, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    This is definitely the most unique Airbnb I’ve ever seen! I had no idea what a caboose was until now. Looks like you had a great experience!

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 12, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      It was really fun and we can’t wait to find a new airbnb experinece!

  4. orangewayfarer

    October 9, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I love this one, honestly! We had a few restaurants in Bangalore that looked like a rail coach. i also found a heritage railway coach in Zambia that serves as a fine dine place. But a whole airbnb is so cool! Gotta try this place out someday 🙂 (never seen a caboose before in my country 🙂 )

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      The rail coach restaurants sound really neat!

  5. Travel Optician

    October 9, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I like your experience and it looks so fun and definitely something new that I didn’t see so far, it’s fun to learn some new things every day 🙂

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      We totally agree about learning something new every day!

  6. Suman Doogar

    October 9, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Woohoo staying in a caboose, so exciting. There is nothing more important than hospitality that makes your stay comfortable plus if you get such a pretty looking place then you are in luck. Love your simple and realistic narration of the whole experience.

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 12, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you, Suman. Good hospitality is so important!

  7. Medha

    October 8, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    That really does look like an amazing experience. They’ve done up the caboose so beautifully from the inside, it looks comfortable and cozy! And the beautiful horse farm that it’s on, such a lovely experience to watch the horses from the porch. Also, the fact that the hosts are so nice and warm makes this the perfect airbnb choice!

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 12, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      It was so adorable, both inside and out! The horses were so beautiful to watch. Thank you, Medha!

  8. Priya Florence Shah

    October 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    What a lovely, unique experience! I enjoy reading about stays that are very different from the typical hotel stays.

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      October 7, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you, Priya! It’s so fun to have an atypical lodging experience. We look forward to more!

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