Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Archive for the ‘Trailer’ Category

Maiden Voyage: a trip to the scales.

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.

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A Registered RV.

Friday, October 14th, 2011:

It’s official.

Now that we have the required systems in place to ‘count’ as a custom built RV, we were able to take the car-hauler trailer title down to the local Secretary of State’s office and register our tiny house as a recreational vehicle in the State of Illinois. We had to prove that we had a water supply, an electrical supply, a stove, and toilet. No problems there.

Now, as a road legal R.V., we can move it on the highway and use it in a camp ground and beyond!

Stabilizing Jacks.

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011:

Made a trip into Kamper’s Supply today to pick up two sets of scissor jacks for the tiny house. Should have done this long, long ago, but it simply kept slipping our minds! And, at $65.00 for a set of two, kept feeling like something that could wait for the next paycheck, then the next, then the next…

Putting them in place made a hugely noticeable difference. The tiny house feels sturdy, no bounce from the trailer’s leaf springs when you walk around inside. A great investment, for sure.

Friday, September 10th: Picking up the trailer!

Gabby and I picked up the trailer in Sikeston, MO from Heartland Trailer Manufacturing on the evening of Friday, September 10th, 2010.

We ordered a 20′ car-hauler type flat bed trailer, custom built to meet the tiny house construction needs. Jay Shafer’s plans called for an 18′ Utility Trailer with 7,000lb axles. We followed the suggestion of a user who posted on Jay’s website, Tumbleweed Houses, and opted for the more sturdy design that a car hauler offers. We also decided to go with a 10,000lb rated trailer. This trailer is, after all, the foundation of our soon to be tiny house, so we’re starting with the most solid foundation we can!

Since we ordered straight from the manufacturer, we not only saved some money, but were able to have them build it exactly as we would need it to begin framing our tiny house. The plans for a Tumbleweed Home call for the builder to remove most of the wood trailer decking to shave weight, as well as to cut off all metal that rises above the decking. We asked Jarod at Heartland Trailer Manufacturing to just build it as we’d need it. Why waste the extra materials by putting them on, only to be removed and discarded? We are, after all, trying to simplify here…

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