Picking up my trailer was a very surreal moment for me. I think when I saw the trailer for the first time it finally hit me that I was committing to this project. It was a weird mix of emotions… excitement mixed with a touch of oh s%!$ I have to build a whole house! Even though I have been inside a Tumbleweed Fencl before, when I saw the trailer it seemed small. The interesting thing is now that I am building on it, it’s size seems to get bigger feeling. Even though it seemed small for a house, it was huge on the road! I had to go down this little side road to get home; at one point I looked in my side mirrors and my right tire was on the pavement’s edge and the left side was a foot into the other lane!
So now the nitty gritty details for those who want them.
The trailer is a 18′ utility trailer, its a 8,000 GWVR made by Kaufman trailers. Between the fenders it is 82.5 inches which is really important for to make sure your house is as wide as possible. Basically if you have you maximum trailer width, minus the tires, clearance from the axle/wheel wells you get about 82″. The decking is treated lumber and I opted to get a heavier duty trailer so I could just leave all the decking on instead of fooling with removing some of it like many houses do. This also means that I have a (almost) solid chunk of wood underneath my insulation which adds to the R value of my house. According to a web search this will add about R-3 to my already R-13, add the almost inch of flooring and then a 1/2 finished flooring we are looking a total of R 18.8 for the floor.
I took my trailer to a welder to add the tie downs and remove a bunch of parts. I had him cut off the rear light arms that you can see in the above photo, also the spare tire bracket and one part of the front “I” beam to make it flush with the front of the trailer. The tie downs are 4 bolts in the front, 6 threaded rods on the sides and two plates on the back. Check out the video below for more.
Here (below) is the front “I” beam that the top right arm of the “I” was cut off, you can see them cutting it off in the above photo.
In the above photo notice that I made the tie downs go in line with the cross members of the trailer. I will have to tweak the wall framing to accommodate, but it is much strong at this point.
Since the house extends about 6″ off the back of the trailer I needed more tie down spots and support. Above and below are photos of the rear tie down plates. I left them without holes because I wanted to be sure to place the hole exactly where I needed it to tie into the framing once it is built. Because of this I made the plates out of 6″ C channel and then had gussets welded onto them. These plates ended up being slightly too long, but I will just sheath this section of the house twice: the first layer will extend the surface beyond the plate’s edge and the second will hand down to attach the siding and hide the trailer from sight.