Planning, part 1: The trailer

For those of you who haven’t yet heard about the disaster that was me trying to find a tiny house trailer fabricator in Texas, I’ll sum it up: It was frustrating. I tried emailing, calling, and visiting local trailer fabricators, and either they never called me back, stopped calling, told me I was crazy for putting a tiny house on a trailer, or told me their trailers couldn’t handle tiny houses. As disheartening as it was to be rejected over and over again, I am now thankful because all that rejection eventually led me to talk to Damon at Trailer Made Custom Trailers.

I’d seen a few of Trailer Made’s tiny house trailers on Facebook here and there, so I messaged a couple of the trailer owners to talk about their experience with Damon and his crew. They all spoke of how friendly and easy to work with the company is, and raved about the incredible quality of the work itself. So I sent Damon an email, and in return, I received a warm welcome, and a detailed response to my inquiry. I was thrilled to finally find a fabricator that seemed to understand the tiny house movement and its needs.

Damon and I communicated via email back and forth for a few months, and then at last weekend’s Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, I finally had the honor of meeting Damon, his wife and business partner Natalie, and some of the rest of the crew from Trailer Made Custom Trailers.

THJ-DamonJet

Damon and Jet debating the finer points of tiny house trailers at the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, CO.

Even though I can’t order my trailer just yet (anyone want to buy my marimba? hint, hint), they were excited to meet me (I even got hugs!) and talk about my trailer needs.

What I appreciate about Trailer Made’s approach is that they aren’t modifying a utility trailer to meet the tiny house needs… They are taking a skid foundation and turning it into a tiny house foundation on wheels. The concept is similar, but is rock-solid for the tiny house itself than a typical utility trailer conversion.

Some of the features that come with the Trailer Made tiny house foundation on wheels include:

  • 7k GVWR straight beam axles (no bottoming out on slight inclines!)
  • pre-installed galvanized steel flashing (unsealed)
  • trailer ribs and frame double as subfloor framing
  • welded L-angle edges (for ease of bolting the framing to the trailer)
  • jeep fenders (easy to frame around)
  • fully-enclosed ribs (air-insulated at r-10 to prevent thermal bridging)

You guys, these trailers are PRETTY. I almost hate to cover it with a tiny house, ha! As a bonus, they deliver to Austin often enough that delivery costs will be fairly inexpensive, and it’ll be a much shorter drive time to pick it up (Dallas-to-Austin vs Dallas-to-Denver).

Trailer Made Booth at THJ

Trailer Made Booth at THJ – Look at that gorgeous trailer. LOOK AT IT! 🙂

After emailing with and interacting in person with Damon, Natalie, and their crew, I am confident that they “get” the tiny house movement and are on our side. Can’t wait to place my order!

Once the trailer is ordered, I’ll need the following materials:

As I work through each of the sections of my build, I will start to create my budget in a Google Doc for me and others to track. Links to the budget tracking sheet and planning manual will be found on my About page.

3 thoughts on “Planning, part 1: The trailer

  1. Jet I wouldn’t use the concrete blocks for bases as they tend to ( especially with those kinds of Jack stands ) to crack and disintegrate. I’ve tried using the same setup for a lot smaller loads such as a small car and they break up. And as for the type of Jack stands yes they are better than a scissor jack that will bend but use ones with a pin and hole instead of one’s with the ratchet design as they can come loose and then the load can fall

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Eric! That’s exactly why I’m sharing my plans and brainstorming!

      What do you suggest using if the ground is somewhat soft and you want to spread the load of the jack stand across something more rigid? Stacked scrap lumber?

      Also, I’d wondered about pin vs hydraulic, so thanks for that suggestion. I figured the hydraulic ones were more fine-tune-able (height-wise) than the ones with pins, and figured they couldn’t sell the hydraulic ones unless they were heavily tested and without fault. Is that not necessarily the case?

      Like

  2. Jet, I recommend you use the screw jack style like are used in mobile home landing if you think you need jack stands in addition to the 4 on the trailer. Example of this would be to jack the axles and remove the wheels, but it is about the only time you need to use additional jacks than come with the foundation. If you are not moving the home for some time, I would recommend post holes in the ground and filled with ready mix concrete. Cheap, easy, and won’t break from the sharp edges of a jack stand or stabilizer jacks on the corners of the trailer.
    Damon

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s