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Northern Climate Tiny Home On Wheels 1 Year Later  RSS feed

 
Travis Schultz
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Location: South East Michigan Zone 6
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I have gone back and forth for awhile about posting a thread here, detailing my own plots of mass destructions, but starting with this thread I am going to start sharing my wife and I’s experience with permaculture and tiny home life.
Thank you to Paul for urging, on his podcasts, to share our experiences so others can learn and grow. We have lived in our 200 sq ft tiny home for 14 months now, and are in our second Michigan winter. We have had our ups and downs, but we have learned so much and are now better trained to live within our means than we were 2 years ago.

Tiny home specs
1. 200 sq ft.
2. wood stove as primary heat source. Scroll down to learn how safe this can really be.
3. Built on a mobile home frame which has been shortened in width and length.
4. 2 – 10,000 pound axles.
5. 22’x10’ total length and width including overhangs on all sides. 12’ from ground.
6. Has a bathroom with shower and compost toilet with pee diverter.
7. Tank-less water heater that runs on propane. 20 lb tank lasts 30 days.
8. Loftless. Raised kitchen and bed slides under. Not fun getting up off the floor to get out of bed.
9. Cathedral Ceiling which is amazing for making the house look bigger when you sleep on the floor.

It took 6 months to make it move-in ready, I am still slowly working on various finished woodwork as I have time. The house remains unfinished as of now, and may remain under 100% for many years as we are happy and comfortable. For our needs, it’s more important to save a grubstake to buy our dream farm in Northern Michigan.



Woodstove detail-
To avoid having to have 2 ft on all sides to safely heat the space, I had to re-think the structure. Had many ideas, none clicked until this. With having solved this problem I began construction of the house.

I framed that side of the house as if a door-wall were going in the middle, 6 ft wide. I used steel studs in this framed out section, and filled in between with rock-wool insulation. On top of that I put half inch cement board and then galvanized corrugated barn steel over the cement board. I used the same steel as the siding on that same location on the exterior of the house. The real benefit to this is that a current forms in the channels of the steel and rises. I left a gap at top and bottom and it creates a little air flow.

The chimney is standard code with a cathedral box and insulated pipe 2’ above ridgeline on roof.

Overall I am extremely pleased with this setup, it has saved so much money and I only use about 4 logs a day. We used less than a cord of wood to heat in a hard Michigan winter (2015). And this year is very mild and we are using much less.




Problems and troubleshooting-
We have had several issues arise; the compost toilet, condensation issues with 2”x4” construction, condensation under the bed, tankless water heater trouble, maggots in the compost toilet if it was not changed soon enough in summer months, settling and throwing door out of level, cold floor in winter, and of course space issues.

We have solved all of these except the space issues. We have a camper and enclosed trailer for storage, and they are packed with homesteading stuff. Clothes storage has always been a bit of a mess, need to come up with something a little better.

We are normal people, who live normal lives, and others are always really surprised to hear we are doing what we are doing. This tiny home is not the fancy $40k luxury tiny palaces. But a functional, cheap, durable, and structurally sound tiny HOME. We are not neat freaks and we did not make the house look as good as it could for the pictures. There is dirt from the logs on the floor, dishes in the sink, and a dog on her bed. Sometimes it gets hard, but we pull through. We know it will pay off. We do not see this as a permanent solution, and would not raise children here in fear of CPS thinking we were horrible parents. But it will make a great house for interns or woofers down the road, or guests around the holidays, possibly to rent out to hunters and tourists during the right time of year, and B and B, the possibilities to continue to make this investment pay back are endless.

Total cost= under $9k so far.



History and experience-
I (27 yrs old) was born and raised in a general contracting company, which I am still an employee today. My wife Maranda 25 is a manager at a sporting goods outlet, and we are both lunatic farmers on the side. We are leasing a 2 acre area of an old homestead for $200 a month with utilities usage included (very minimal water and electric), I will make that post soon and put a link at the bottom. Better detailing the Perma-Dynamic style farming I am doing.
Which includes: 37 double dug beds equaling 3700 sq ft of growing space. Korean natural farming techniques, lactic acid bacteria growing, fermented plant extracts, compost tea, homemade and self caught liquid fish fertilizer, polyculture of 65+ crops on under 4000 sq ft, sheet mulching, living mulch, chickens, etc.


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Travis Schultz
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Posts: 303
Location: South East Michigan Zone 6
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More pics.
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Travis Schultz
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Travis Schultz
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Travis Schultz
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Location: South East Michigan Zone 6
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Travis Schultz
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Travis Schultz
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R Scott
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Nice solution for the stove. I did something similar in my "big" house, tearing out a portion of the interior wall and rebuilding it with steel studs and cement board. It let me get the stove close enough to the wall to not impede the walkway hallway in front of the stove.

For an outside wall I would have used offset studs to reduce thermal bridging. Shoot, next house I build will use offset studs for all the walls. Basically 2x4 studs 12" centers sitting on a 2x6 or 2x8. Each stud is offset to alternating sides so each side gets a two foot center for nailing the siding or wallboard. Each side gets 23" batts. Wires run in between and get stapled to the outer studs (no drilling!). Only corners and door or window frames have any bridging.
 
Travis Schultz
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R Scott wrote:Nice solution for the stove. I did something similar in my "big" house, tearing out a portion of the interior wall and rebuilding it with steel studs and cement board. It let me get the stove close enough to the wall to not impede the walkway hallway in front of the stove.

For an outside wall I would have used offset studs to reduce thermal bridging. Shoot, next house I build will use offset studs for all the walls. Basically 2x4 studs 12" centers sitting on a 2x6 or 2x8. Each stud is offset to alternating sides so each side gets a two foot center for nailing the siding or wallboard. Each side gets 23" batts. Wires run in between and get stapled to the outer studs (no drilling!). Only corners and door or window frames have any bridging.


Yeah I have done that in the past on a couple jobs. Though for my needs, I would just put foam board over the interior or exterior studs after insulation to bridge everything.

But honestly I could get away with zero insulation in this house with that wood stove. Though if I did it over again one of the main things I would change would be to insulate the floor much better, I skimped and I have been paying for it with cold feet and condensation under anything warm on the floor.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Thanks for sharing Travis ! Awesome stuff !!
 
R Scott
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What type of flooring do you have? A friend had a similar problem with a concrete pad floor, but didn't want to add height and have to recut all the doors, etc. So he used cork flooring. It was just enough to not feel cold and not have condensation issues.
 
Travis Schultz
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I have t and g hardwood over a foam underlayment. Im thinking carpet but the wife says too hard to clean with all the mud around the farm.
 
R Scott
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A skirt would help a LOT. lots of temporary skirt ideas floating around full time RVer forums.

My favorite was the guy that scrounged barn siding scraps--18-24 inch pieces were just right for his tiny house. He used a spade to cut a groove in the sod and stuck them in 6-12 inches (whatever was needed to line up the top edges). Clean, dry, and kept most of the bigger critters out.
 
Travis Schultz
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Lol yeah been putting off the skirting job.. I know it will help a lot but i want people to see the tires so they dont call the building dept.im in a very wealthy area, the neighbor has a mansion. No joke. Ill post a pic of his house later. Its funny living in a tin y home in one of the wealthiest parts of the country.
 
Alice Tagloff
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It's not a green fix, but an temporary one would be to insulate the floor with those foam pad's for the floor.
I can get a pack of four puzzle locking kid squares at my dollar store for 3$ cdn that covers about 2-3' square, or an 'anti-fatique mat' for $2 that covers 2x1', I think. You can get bigger packs with larger squares at big box stores for more tho. It's the same kind of foam that they use for those garden kneeling pads, and they thermal break like -crazy-. They'll even stop a draft.
A family friend built a workshed in cabin country and complained about it being so drafty all the time. He bought a bunch of them and used them as wall insulation and it made an insane amount of difference.
 
Travis Schultz
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Thanks, Alice. I will keep my eye out for something that cheap. I have considered carpet, foam board under the house, and tearing up wood floor and redoing it with multiple layers of foam underlayment.

Below is my smart permacultured minded neighbor. Hes actually pretty nice. But the irony. He started building 2 weeks or so after i started building my tiny home.
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this is less than 50 yards from my chicken coop... hope they are early risers. they are moving in soon.
 
Christina Migda
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Location: Denver, United States
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Hey Travis! This is great stuff! Thanks for sharing. I'm from Northern Mi and trying to return. Hope by end of summer. Saving my money and maybe getting a homestead. Prices are very cheap up north. So nice to read of your journey and I'm sure you guys end up there soon. Maybe neighbors someday Cheboygan area for me. Great job!
 
A Walton
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Why did you choose to use a urine diverter for your compost toilet? Do you have any photos or additional details on how that works?
 
Travis Schultz
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A. Walton

I chose to make a urine diverter about 6 months after moving in. Because itt would get really stinky really quick.

I will make a post today with pictures detailing how i did it on the cheap.
 
Travis Schultz
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Paul Miller
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Travis, Thanks for posting the details on your tiny house . Lots of useful info.

I love your use of steel sheet and concrete board to protect against the wood stove. I know from hard experience the value of stove safety. Your solution is very sound.

In addition to solving the clearance problem you get the benefit of thermal mass, natural convection and radiation.

One thing that intrigues me is the further possibility that one could use an enclosed stove area as a Kuznetsov bell that could provide some heat storage and generate a cross flow through the house with low ventilation air intake at one end, higher outlet at the other end. I would consider putting a water heater in the 'stove room'. Prevailing wind direction in cold season is important too.

I am lucky to have the space to store materials and have found most of the material needed for free in my area. I found a dozen free 4x8 concrete boards on Craigslist. Now I have a good use for them. In addition a local custom steel building fabricator often has usable cutoffs or usable pieces from dismantled buildings I get either free or at scrap price.

I'll have to buy steel studs but they are about the same price as wood studs.

I have a free source of rice husk to use for insulation.

Thanks again for some useful ideas.

 
Travis Schultz
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Paul Miller wrote:Travis, Thanks for posting the details on your tiny house . Lots of useful info.

I love your use of steel sheet and concrete board to protect against the wood stove. I know from hard experience the value of stove safety. Your solution is very sound.

In addition to solving the clearance problem you get the benefit of thermal mass, natural convection and radiation.

One thing that intrigues me is the further possibility that one could use an enclosed stove area as a Kuznetsov bell that could provide some heat storage and generate a cross flow through the house with low ventilation air intake at one end, higher outlet at the other end. I would consider putting a water heater in the 'stove room'. Prevailing wind direction in cold season is important too.

I am lucky to have the space to store materials and have found most of the material needed for free in my area. I found a dozen free 4x8 concrete boards on Craigslist. Now I have a good use for them. In addition a local custom steel building fabricator often has usable cutoffs or usable pieces from dismantled buildings I get either free or at scrap price.

I'll have to buy steel studs but they are about the same price as wood studs.

I have a free source of rice husk to use for insulation.

Thanks again for some useful ideas.



Good stuff there Paul, do you have a link to where I can learn more about the Kuznetsov bell? That would be awesome.
 
Paul Miller
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Travis,
Kuznetsov is a Russian stove designer using the principal of 'free gas movement', a gravity concept used successfully in very cold climates. Kuznetsov stoves are used mostly in Russia and Northern Europe partly because boilers are highly restricted in North America. The 'bell' is an essential component of that system. The bell as developed by Kuznetsov is to extract heat from 'ballast gases' such as Steam, Nitrogen and CO2 to heat exchangers thereby increasing stove efficiency even from wet wood.

Bells have become popular with rocket mass heater developers. Here is a discussion about how to determine the internal surface area of a bell for a rocket mass heater.

http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/1878/calculate-isa-bell-system

This does not apply to the concept I suggested because your heat source has its own chimney so heat from ballast gasses won't be restored. However in my opinion extracting as much heat as you can from the stove into the surrounding materials makes it possible to store more of it which evens out the heating. The bell also feeds a natural (gravity) draft which distributes heated air.

Hope I haven't confused anyone with my opinion.
 
Travis Schultz
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I agree with capturing and storing as much heat as possible. I usually keep a 16 liter stock pot full of water on the stove for thermal mass as well as to add moisture to the dry winter air. If the stock pot is not just filled with water, I at any given time have squirrel or deer broths boiling or simmering on the wood stove. If it wasn't for all the cooking I do on the stove, which saves propane, I would add fire bricks or cast iron farm equipment, whatever thermal mass I have lying around to the top of the stove. But I would be removing the bricks every time I wanted to cook something, and there is no room anywhere in the tiny home for excess crap lol. I suppose I could put another shelf on the wall to store more stuff, but honestly the more shit you put on the walls the uglier and more cramped the house becomes.

As it stands I want to minimize the wall clutter we already have, clutter is a big problem when you are running a homestead and have little storing space for the many things that make the homestead operate.

I did however bookmark your link as i plan on installing a RMH as soon as we buy our own land and a slightly bigger house in a couple years.

 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Travis Schulert wrote:I agree with capturing and storing as much heat as possible. I usually keep a 16 liter stock pot full of water on the stove for thermal mass as well as to add moisture to the dry winter air. If the stock pot is not just filled with water, I at any given time have squirrel or deer broths boiling or simmering on the wood stove. If it wasn't for all the cooking I do on the stove, which saves propane, I would add fire bricks or cast iron farm equipment, whatever thermal mass I have lying around to the top of the stove. But I would be removing the bricks every time I wanted to cook something, and there is no room anywhere in the tiny home for excess crap lol. I suppose I could put another shelf on the wall to store more stuff, but honestly the more shit you put on the walls the uglier and more cramped the house becomes.

As it stands I want to minimize the wall clutter we already have, clutter is a big problem when you are running a homestead and have little storing space for the many things that make the homestead operate.

I did however bookmark your link as i plan on installing a RMH as soon as we buy our own land and a slightly bigger house in a couple years.



Hi Travis,

That's really impressive work so far!

I agree that controlling your wall clutter will help the space out functionally and aesthetically. Now that you have lived there a while, you can sit down with your wife and see what needs to be where, and plan it so that it looks more consistent. In my allotment cottage (about the same size, but I don't live there fulltime), I have open shelving, but it's all the same style (Ikea steel shelves) and cut to fully fit the space which helps keep the visual chaos down.

I think your home would look great with:
--a full set of cabinets to the ceiling in the kitchen
--a single continuous shelf running above the windows
--the wire kitchen supplies shelves enclosed in a cabinet the same depth
--replacing part of the closet with a bureau for folded clothes

For the last part, I really recommend Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up". It's all the rage in the blogging world right now and she couldn't be farther from the homesteading lifestyle - BUT she's got a great section on how to organize clothes (once you've purged them). In a more general sense she's a great check on my hoarding tendencies, which I think is an ongoing tendency in homesteading in general.

Final thing, you mentioned condensation issues, so you might consider any cabinets having mesh doors for airflow.

Overall, your place is really well-thought-out.
 
Travis Schultz
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Thanks for your input, Morfydd. You have some good ideas there.

My wife and I have discussed on countless occasions how we could change things to make it a bit more functional and aesthetically pleasing. We also do not plan on living here beyond another 2 years. And we are living like paupers as rob roy says so that we can buy 10 acres or so and a real house down the road for cash in the location we want, and not be in debt, ever.

Most things you mention that would make the house look better I agree with, but we are not spending anymore money when we are both happy and content. Also, I am just not a fan of wire shelving in any part of my home, and the reason I have not put any shelves above the windows is that I have not yet done the casing, that is being done in red mahogany when I find the free lumber, after that if I have free wood for shelves I will do it.

Are main driving force right now is to save save save save. And that means sacrificing what I could do in the tiny home to make it a little easier on the eye. I know its not like what your used to seeing on reality tv tiny home shows, or all over the internet, but thats because the people like myself are embarrased to post their own tiny homes because most videos of them out there are of a $40,000 tiny home. As I stated, I have been looking at 10 acres and a house for under 40k in Michigan. So why invest that same amount into something that could have cost less than $10k? I will tell you why, because for most the tiny home movement is about being hip, and cool. Its about competing with your neighbor for bragging rights about whose house costs more, or who is "greener" than the other. Personally I am sick and tired of the cultural and societal divide I am seeing all over the country. I feel a lot of the people in my area who join CSA's are doing it for similar reasons. Because its cool, and all their friends are doing it. Then they turn around and throw 90% of each box away, or dont even pick up their basket because they are too lazy to learn to cook new food. RANT OVER LOLOL.

The condensation issues were on the interior side of the exterior sheeting (say that 10 times fast). Actually for real, all of you say "toy Boat" 10 times fast, please try.. Anyway, besides that condensation the other place is between the floor and the bed.

The problem with the condensation on the interior of the exterior sheeting was that I had no moisture barrier on the interior of the house, so once the warm moist air from inside hit the outside wall it would condensate then freeze, and when it warmed up the ice melted. It all dried out no problem in spring. But this summer while it was dry I sealed all the cracks and seams of the paneling and it is now working fine.

As for the bed, I used 3/4 inch foam board under the bed and that too has resolved the issue. The foam board also helps slide the bed in and out.

Besides those two spots, and a little on the windows, my condensation issues are as of now resolved. Though it took a year of troubleshooting to zero in on a fix.

Thanks for the post, and thanks for telling me its well thought out. Living in it for a year I see all the major screw ups in design that have either cost me comfort or money, or both. But thats life for ya.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Travis Schulert wrote:Thanks for your input, Morfydd. You have some good ideas there.

My wife and I have discussed on countless occasions how we could change things to make it a bit more functional and aesthetically pleasing. We also do not plan on living here beyond another 2 years. And we are living like paupers as Rob Roy says so that we can buy 10 acres or so and a real house down the road for cash in the location we want, and not be in debt, ever.

Most things you mention that would make the house look better I agree with, but we are not spending anymore money when we are both happy and content. Also, I am just not a fan of wire shelving in any part of my home, and the reason I have not put any shelves above the windows is that I have not yet done the casing, that is being done in red mahogany when I find the free lumber, after that if I have free wood for shelves I will do it.


Oh, totally, I understand. You've done an amazing amount on a tiny budget. And, wow, the homestead as a whole is remarkable!

For me, I find now that visual clutter makes me really tired. (Or maybe it's getting middle-aged that makes me tired. ) So I'd keep it in mind as a quality-of-life thing.

Travis Schulert wrote:The condensation issues were on the interior side of the exterior sheeting (say that 10 times fast). Actually for real, all of you say "toy Boat" 10 times fast, please try..


Pfft. Former drama club geek here. How fast can you say the "slitted sheet" tonguetwister?

I actually popped in to add that the earlier floor covering ideas were good. My house had just the concrete pad as a floor for a year while I thought about what to put in. I knew the floor was cold and hard but didn't realize how bad it was until I finally put in cork flooring.

Pure heaven. If you ever decide to drop cash on it (obvs not in this house), it was click-together flooring with a 1-mm foam underlay. Beautiful, warm in winter/cool in summer, great to walk on. However, it buckled in front of the kitchen sink, and the cats decided it was a great scratching material (sigh). I suspect it would be trashed by your dog's claws.

In my cottage I have sheep skins on the floor. Even nicer than the cork. I just shake them out when they get dirty, or I can toss them in a corner when I know I'll be in and out a lot. Mine were free, but in the absence of free, the foam pieces would serve the same purpose and you can hose them down!
 
Glenn Herbert
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I agree that a masonry bell enclosing your stove would be too bulky as well as eliminate cooking on it, but it would help moderate the temperature if you simply dry-stack bricks or concrete blocks under and behind the stove, and a foot or more up the wall. It's hard to tell exactly what the wall clearance is, but it looks like there might be enough clearance to stack bricks on edge where the stove is.

Also, the bell does not so much extract heat from ballast gases as allow the ballast gases (which were never part of the combustion reactions and are therefore cooler) to sink to the bottom of the bell and escape up the chimney while the hottest combustion products rise to the top and linger to give off their heat. That's the idea anyway; I'm not sure that the ballast gas molecules do not get heated equally as they are intimately mixed with the reacting gases, but the principle of the coolest gases being what goes to the chimney is sound.
 
Travis Schultz
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When I have a big boys house one day, and I am not restricted with space, weight, and the eventual deconstruction of any concrete, brick or bell before I can move the house, I am going to incorporate as many energy saving and distributing theories and ideas as possible. Whatever I do now, if anything, needs to be cheap, quick, and lightweight. Because of the way the structure is built, any serious weight needs to be at least 18" from the wall, because of the overhang of floor joists over the I-beam trailer frame. So the woodstove, its weight, and the weight of the durarock board is already pushing it. Then I always have a big thing of water there cooking. If I go too heavy, the floor will end up sagging in that location, if it does, it will pull down on the wall, the wall will pull down on the roof, and then I have a real problem on my hands, much greater than occasionally having to turn both dampers all the way down, or just crack the window above the bed.

If I were in a loft I would be screwed. Thankfully I sleep on the floor, so a cracked window over the bed really helps cool ya down if the fire is putting out too much heat.

Thanks for your post though, I am going to be referring back to this in a couple years when I buy my big boys house lol
 
Ann Torrence
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I'd like to see a photo of the slide-out bed. How'd you work the kitchen plumbing around that? Can you get a snack from the frig from bed? That would be awesome.
 
Travis Schultz
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Ann Torrence wrote:I'd like to see a photo of the slide-out bed. How'd you work the kitchen plumbing around that? Can you get a snack from the frig from bed? That would be awesome.



Lol luckily I have to get out of bed to get to the food in the fridge! If I could reach from bed I would be putting a few pounds on.

I will post another picture of the bed how it slides under. It was not a problem running the plumbing down the wall adjacent to the bed though, would have ran the plumbing there regardless of the bed sliding under the kitchen.

Now what I really need to do is figure out how to build a frame on casters so the bed just easily slides in and out. The problem though is it would have to be able to lock the wheels, and lock them easily. Because the bed would end up sliding all around because I am married... and you know.. The frame for under the bed would have to be under 2 inches tall, including casters, so it would have to be built out of steel square stock and welded together. This would also put an end to condensation under the bed.

 
Alice Tagloff
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There's what's called side mount casters, where the plate is to the side and not on the top, so that should reduce your height profile.

But the main issue is going to be the weight clearance. Casters have a weight limit to what they can support, even if your locking them into place, just the weight of a person sitting on the bed would basically break/crush the caster, even a metal & poly one. So the small 2" clearance casters only generally have a weight limit of around 75lbs, give or take 25.
So that's the height issue.

Is there a width clearance that you can work with? Because with side-mounting casters, that could be a possible work around to give you bigger wheels with more weight support.
Also consider a low-profile box frame instead of a metal frame, just to avoid welding. I don't know exactly where'd you'd find one to buy, but I was once given a mattress set that had a box frame that was made out of 1x3" wood boards mortised together, laid flat like a picture frame or a door, with a canvas like frame stretched over it. It was just thick enough to sit inside the metal bedrails and didn't actually come over the top of the bedrail. Making one should be easy, and can be bulked up with steel plates to protect and hold the joints. That was for a twin/double mattress, so I'm not sure what extra framing for a large mattress that would require.

Have you considered an aluminum or steel appliance caster set? They're generally around $15-20 per a set of two, and have a weight clearance of 1200-2000lbs with the way they're configured, which has 16 wheels per caster. But they don't have a lock on them. With the steel set, you could possible hack them apart and just weld them into a metal frame as long as you have a top plate welded into place to carry the load. They don't list the height clearance,
http://shop.servicecaster.com/9601-Steel-Appliance-Rollers-p/scc-9601.htm
http://shop.servicecaster.com/9603-Aluminum-Appliance-Rollers-p/scc-9603.htm

To get around the lock issue(other than a block wedge), if you make your mattress frame into a box that your mattress would sit in, there's Floor Locks, they're meant to combine with something on a caster, and basically it's a leg that drops down on a lever, to hold something like an industrial tote in place. I'm sure if you look around, you'd be able to find one that would fit. But they can be expensive and prices vary wildly between sellers, by as much as 50$ and more, so googling it a worth the time. You can get bottom mount and side mounts, the smallest bottom mount I've found tho is just over 3 inchs tall. And once engaged, you can gain about 2 inchs of height. So if you can get a set in the front, and in the back, that would make certainly lock your bed into place.
http://www.globalindustrial.com/searchResult?searchBox=&q=attr_casterindex%3DFloor+Locks
 
Travis Schultz
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Alice Tagloff wrote:There's what's called side mount casters, where the plate is to the side and not on the top, so that should reduce your height profile.

But the main issue is going to be the weight clearance. Casters have a weight limit to what they can support, even if your locking them into place, just the weight of a person sitting on the bed would basically break/crush the caster, even a metal & poly one. So the small 2" clearance casters only generally have a weight limit of around 75lbs, give or take 25.
So that's the height issue.

Is there a width clearance that you can work with? Because with side-mounting casters, that could be a possible work around to give you bigger wheels with more weight support.
Also consider a low-profile box frame instead of a metal frame, just to avoid welding. I don't know exactly where'd you'd find one to buy, but I was once given a mattress set that had a box frame that was made out of 1x3" wood boards mortised together, laid flat like a picture frame or a door, with a canvas like frame stretched over it. It was just thick enough to sit inside the metal bedrails and didn't actually come over the top of the bedrail. Making one should be easy, and can be bulked up with steel plates to protect and hold the joints. That was for a twin/double mattress, so I'm not sure what extra framing for a large mattress that would require.

Have you considered an aluminum or steel appliance caster set? They're generally around $15-20 per a set of two, and have a weight clearance of 1200-2000lbs with the way they're configured, which has 16 wheels per caster. But they don't have a lock on them. With the steel set, you could possible hack them apart and just weld them into a metal frame as long as you have a top plate welded into place to carry the load. They don't list the height clearance,
http://shop.servicecaster.com/9601-Steel-Appliance-Rollers-p/scc-9601.htm
http://shop.servicecaster.com/9603-Aluminum-Appliance-Rollers-p/scc-9603.htm

To get around the lock issue(other than a block wedge), if you make your mattress frame into a box that your mattress would sit in, there's Floor Locks, they're meant to combine with something on a caster, and basically it's a leg that drops down on a lever, to hold something like an industrial tote in place. I'm sure if you look around, you'd be able to find one that would fit. But they can be expensive and prices vary wildly between sellers, by as much as 50$ and more, so googling it a worth the time. You can get bottom mount and side mounts, the smallest bottom mount I've found tho is just over 3 inchs tall. And once engaged, you can gain about 2 inchs of height. So if you can get a set in the front, and in the back, that would make certainly lock your bed into place.
http://www.globalindustrial.com/searchResult?searchBox=&q=attr_casterindex%3DFloor+Locks


Maybe I have the terminology wrong for "casters". I should just say wheels. The whole thing is this needs to be quick, cheap, simple, and not consume a bunch of my time. My brother is a welder, and I have some steel stock and would be able to put it together mostly from what I have right now. The problem I see though, is being able to have a little foot operated lever that by hitting it the wheel recesses and goes up above the steel frame. This at least works in my head, and in my head I could see this as being one really easy way of not only being able to slide it in and out with ease, but also quickly lock it with the flip of my foot.

The bed itself is not that hard to slide around on its own as it is, and that alone is enough to just leave the bed out all the time. So whatever I end up building (if anything lol) it will need to make it super simple and easy. And it needs to last a very long time. I would think messing with plastic casters for a bed holding my fat ass would only end in something breaking.

On a side note, when I was a kid, my parents kept a roll out bed under my bed, its a twin size so it wouldnt fit in my house. But, the roll out bed is on a wheeled frame that holds the mattress a couple inches off the floor. When you pull it out you can hit a switch which causes these big springs to spring up and it puts the bed up about 2 feet off the ground. HOW AWESOME! Now my problem is I have not been able to find one of these for a full size mattress, furthermore I doubt it will have enough strength to hold two adults. If I could find that contraption, built solid for a full size bed, I would be in heaven. Because as I said before, it is mighty hard getting up off the floor every night when you need to use the bathroom or when you are sore from spring garden work.

Thanks for doing some research for me Alice, I appreciate it. Now what is the name of that funny roll out bed contraption I mentioned? lol
 
Alice Tagloff
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Do you mean the Popup Trundle? There's different sizes and a lot of them come with the built in bed etc, so you have to google around a bit.
http://www.sears.com/fbg-bed-supports-pop-up-trundle-unit/p-SPM1696166801?prdNo=23&blockNo=23&blockType=G23

A regular trundle doesn't rise, just slides in and out.

Or maybe the Quad Fold bed frame?
http://www.sears.com/pragma-bed-153-quad-fold-bed-frame-size-full/p-SPM10821887115?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2
 
Travis Schultz
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Alice Tagloff wrote:Do you mean the Popup Trundle? There's different sizes and a lot of them come with the built in bed etc, so you have to google around a bit.
http://www.sears.com/fbg-bed-supports-pop-up-trundle-unit/p-SPM1696166801?prdNo=23&blockNo=23&blockType=G23

A regular trundle doesn't rise, just slides in and out.

Or maybe the Quad Fold bed frame?
http://www.sears.com/pragma-bed-153-quad-fold-bed-frame-size-full/p-SPM10821887115?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2


LOL yes Alice! The Trundle! I had no idea thats what it was called. But if I could find one in the full size mattress, I would just have to switch the wheels around so it slides out from the foot of the bed rather than the long side of the bed, as that is how my bed pulls out in the tiny home.

Looking around I do not see any that are wider than a twin, which makes since because I cant imagine the weight rating is too high being a couple angle iron supports holding the bed up.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Nice place.
 
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