Seth and I sent in a deposit for our trailer just after receiving the go from Grace Church, thereby guaranteeing that we will have a trailer by late June. We waited until we had a build site locked down before ordering because we wanted to be sure we bad a place to put it. No sense in getting a trailer and then watching it rust and taking up our neighbors’ parking spaces, you know?
A lot of tiny home builders salvage a trailer from an existing RV and beef it up to account for the added weight of a wood framed house. Seth and I decided not to go this route, despite our green thumbs, for a couple of reasons: For starters, salvaging a trailer takes time and money, almost as much money as it costs to buy a new trailer. We’re anxious to get going, so we figured we’ll buy a new trailer, one that is designed for our house’s load. That way we won’t have to worry about making sure it’s structurally capable of holding our house, nor will we delay our build any more than it would take to weld on reinforcements.
And second, one of the key flaws with tiny houses in cold climates has do with the trailer. You see, a standard deck-between trailer will make your house about 6.5′ on the inside. If you want a wider house, you have to build the trailer out. There are a few tiny house trailer companies that weld steel plates to each of the long sides of the trailer, which would give you enough space to widen your house. The problem is that in a place with cold winters, you don’t have any insulation under that portion of your wall and floor. It’s not such a big deal if your walls sit square on top of the trailer extensions because walls are insulated, but if there’s any floor over those extensions, that floor will feel cold. It is also likely to develop condensation where the metal touches the uninsulated wood, and lead to rot.
Seth and I need to avoid mold for health reasons, and want to avoid mold for structural reasons. So we picked a trailer company that creates a trailer extension that you can build into and insulate. Wright’s Trailers in Seekonk, MA is the first company we’ve seen that will do things this way (you can check out that link for pictures of trailer extensions). And coincidentally, they built a custom trailer for Chris Page, whose house we visited earlier this year.
Our trailer will be the foundation of our home, and I’m looking forward to getting this first step in our hands. We’re close, friends. Very close.