Saturday, November 19th, 2011:
After catching an hour or two here and there to knock out those many “we’ll get to that” projects, we are ready to attempt the first Tiny House road test.
In the early planning stages, we made the decision use a car-hauler type trailer as opposed to the standard utility trailer suggested by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company plans. Knowing that the trailer is serving as the foundation of our home, we were interested in something more substantial and robust: the car-hauler offered heavier channel iron framing as well as a larger weight capacity.
While the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company estimates the dry-weight for a Tarleton at around 5,000 – 6,000lbs, we knew that our tiny house would likely exceed these numbers given the heavier alternative/natural materials utilized. (for example, we chose to forgo the lighter weight foam insulation and used heavier sheep’s wool; utilized metal electrical gang boxes in lieu of plastic; copper water lines instead of PVC; etc.)
Following the example set by Jay Shafer when moving his Tumbleweed Tiny House, we rented a One-Ton UHaul moving truck to take our tiny house about 20 miles down the road to weigh it at the local Southern FS. Last minute road-readying tasks: attach red reflectors on the back and rear quarters of the house, amber reflectors on the front quarters of the house and put on the RV license plate.
Words cannot describe the intense emotions experienced as the tiny house began rolling down the road for the first time. We were way too nervous for elation. Perhaps that day will come. In the mean time, every bump conjured images of the project we’ve spent the past year and a half constructing with our friends and loved ones disintegrating into a pile of splinters and wool. Nerves on high alert, knuckles shades of white on the UHaul steering wheel, we pulled the tiny house down the road and eventually (forget anything over 45 mph on any kind of up hill -55 mph max on flat, open road) pulled up onto the scales.
Grand Total dry weight: 7,800lbs.
Heavy, but well under the 10,000lb rating of the car-hauler trailer. We’ll take it.