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Detachable trailer  RSS feed

 
Leonard Allen
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This is something ideal i would like to do but i know it wouldn't be that simple, just asking for opinions on how realistic or not this is.

i wouldn't move the house more than once or twice, and not too far so it would be perfect to be able to remove the trailer and reuse it for other things.

I thought of making the house wider, 10', and putting beams on each side, they would stand on metal columns and concrete pillars, this way the trailer could slide in and out as you can see on the images. 

In that example the house is 10'x22', makes sense for me to make it a little wider also because it won't be moved often, so i would get a permit to move it.




Thanks




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R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Completely feasible, not sure if it is practical. 

The house will need a full subframe instead of relying on the trailer, pushing your weight to probably more than a pickup can tow.  At that point, you might as well build it out of a container and move it with a semi truck.  It isn't hard to bump out the sides of the container to get your 10 foot width.
 
Leonard Allen
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R Scott wrote:Completely feasible, not sure if it is practical. 

The house will need a full subframe instead of relying on the trailer, pushing your weight to probably more than a pickup can tow.  At that point, you might as well build it out of a container and move it with a semi truck.  It isn't hard to bump out the sides of the container to get your 10 foot width.


thanks, so if i do it with the trailer i would have the subfloor made of 2x4s and 3/4 plywood, what would the subframe consist of if i build it on those beams?
 
Leonard Allen
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and if i made it with steel framing instead of timber ?
 
Daniel Schmidt
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
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solar tiny house woodworking
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I've had a similar idea for a while. The few places that seem to be moving towards being tiny house friendly want houses with foundations so they can be taxed and to make it less likely that people would pack up and leave on a whim. I think it's a shame that people get trailers and then park them in place, never to be used again. I keep thinking it over and it probably wouldn't work out (financially) for an individual to build their house to fit a specific trailer for only one or two uses uses. It would be great if a tiny house community popped up where a builder could have a trailer made for this use and build houses to work with it. I know some of the tiny house companies out there could possibly benefit from this since some of them deliver around the country. Having to skirt around building laws and build a house for travel when the only travel it does is to its final destination seems strange to me, but 'it is what it is' for now.

My first thought is to build in place versus trying to move it at all. Some of the major components of the house could be removed and taken to a different location. The overall cost can be quite conservative compared to most conventional houses and it might not be worth the time, money, and effort to get a trailer and build around it. A cheap lot with a tiny home as a starter house could be very affordable, and someone could use that as a launching point to finding their ideal property. As someone who has built many houses and seen others try to design their own home, I have never seen one that worked out 100% as planned. Every set of plans I have seen has some sort of discrepancy that the framers end up having to adjust for, and it would be magnified in a tiny house. Many things that seem great may not be so awesome once you actually have to live with it day after day. Having the starter home could help people figure out what works (or doesn't work) for them. Selling the starter house with smaller lot would still give a return on investment that could be put towards the future.

As far as weight is concerned, it is a gigantic 'it depends'. The way I see it, many tiny houses are moved around fully laden with water storage, solar panels (and accompanying batteries), tools, dishes, just hundreds and hundreds of pounds of stuff. Designed properly, the house could be moved empty and the extra weight of reinforcement would be no more than a completely loaded home. It would require an extra vehicle or trip or whatever to transport belongings to the new location, but if this is a once or twice in a lifetime event then it probably wouldn't be a huge logistical nightmare.

I think for an idea like this to take off it really needs a lot of backing, such as from a large tiny house company. Instead of having proprietary designs for each individual house, having an accepted standard that works with a majority of houses would be very beneficial to builders, movers, and tiny house owners.

If you look at most tiny houses on wheels, they have the wheel wells fit into the building. If you make the base of the house completely flat, the extra thickness of the stronger floor will raise the height of the house on the trailer. Compound this with the added height of a flatbed trailer (no wheel wells), and you now have something that can't get to as many places. This might not be an issue for a one off event, but certainly can cause issues trying to move it down the road, as well as making it more top heavy. The idea I have had in my mind for a while is to build the floor like normal, but on top of additional reinforcement needed for loading and unloading the house from the trailer. Having this slightly inset so the house cantilevers over each long side a bit would give a space where the wheel wells of a trailer could slot around and save on height versus a flatbed trailer.

Going with steel would allow you to make the reinforcement a bit thinner and possibly lighter. Personally, I would make the foundation with not just a perimeter, but with piers in the middle as well. This would allow you to build a floor that isn't as sturdy on its own (more deflection) which wouldn't matter when it isn't being occupied. Once in place with the extra support under the middle, the deflection would go away and have an even stronger floor.
 
Travis Johnson
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So far I have moved (5) different buildings and none have been on trailers. I bring this up because I am wondering if there is a need for a trailer at all, depending of course on how far you plan to move it? In my case, I just put together skids and moved the buildings that way. You would be shocked how big of a building you can move with small equipment when it is sliding on a pair of skids. (Even bigger buildings if you have frozen ground with snow)

Depending on where you live, a skid frame foundation could be considered temporary and non-taxable, or permanent and taxable. I cannot answer that question, nor can I answer whether putting the home on skids would work. It depends on how far you want to move the building, but skids eliminates the problem of a foundation on piers (just jack until level and then shore up), the cost and issue of a trailer, and the sub-frame since the skids are part of your sub-frame.

Just an idea.

By the way: I am in the midst of moving (2) more buildings this year. A 12 x 20 barn that will be used as a sheep shearing room, and a 24 x 48 barn.Both are about 500 away from their new spot. On my farm, moving buildings is far cheaper than building new buildings, and part of my overall farm plan.

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