I read somewhere that the most important purchase a Tiny House Builder will make is the trailer. Considering that it’s the foundation on top of which we’re going to cobble together a house, I tend to agree.
After a couple of months of scouring Craigslist for deals, we finally gave in and ordered a brand new, 20′ Trailerman Heavy Duty Car Hauler. I’d always been a bit leery of buying a used trailer, so giving in wasn’t horribly difficult, just $3700 worth of expensive.
I found a trailer dealer relatively nearby – Big O’s Trailers in Portage, WI. After emailing with a friendly sales guy (who, as it turns out, wants to build a tiny house for Badger football tailgating), we stopped in on Saturday morning to look at what they had in stock and placed an order for our very own trailer. We put down a deposit, and I’m excited to announce that we’ll have our trailer within 2-3 weeks!
As I mentioned before, the trailer is 20 feet long, 83 inches wide, and has a deck height of 24″. Truth be told, I’m slightly concerned about the deck height – I think it may be a few inches taller than some other car haulers I’ve seen. The legal road height for a vehicle is 13′ 6″, so the taller the trailer is, the less headroom we’ll have. I’m only 5’5″, but Rosie is a couple of inches taller than that. Still, I’m not too worried, because the loft height is close to 7 feet. We could decrease that by a few inches and still have a little bit of room to dance in the kitchen.
Since our trailer is going to be coming directly from the factory, we asked them to remove the front bumper that’s intended to keep people from driving their cars over the edge of the trailer. We’re not going to be driving anything on ours and would rather not have to build around the bumper. We also received a discount for excluding ramps, toolboxes, and the dovetail.
I’ve been harboring this deep-seated fear that a used trailer would be more likely to break, thus cascading our towed abode into an immobile pile of firewood. As much fun as that bonfire would be, it’s a party we wanted to avoid throwing at all costs. Pretty much every used trailer we found either had a dove/beavertail, wasn’t long enough to meet our needs, only had 3500# axles, or appeared to be in some state of disrepair.
Our trailer (which clearly needs a name, as I’m sick of typing “our trailer”) has 5200# axles and will be able to hold 10,000 pounds of stuff. We estimate that our house will tip the scales at around 6000-7000 pounds when completed, which leaves us some wiggle room for possessions, water weight, etc.
I’m fairly sure that’s all one could reasonably want to know about our trailer, but feel free to leave comments and we’ll be happy to answer any lingering questions. We have some more exciting news on the tiny house front, but we’ll save that for another blog post either later tonight or tomorrow. Eeeeee!!!
ETA: For better or for worse, the trailer has been named. Traylor Swift.