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Very tiny house on trailer

 
pollinator
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This one isn't mine. It is being built buy a young woman who lives a few doors down for my daughter. It will be occupied on a part-time basis, by two women who go to music festivals and other events where it's nice to have a solid structure, rather than a tent. This will be a pretty simple structure, since it is not a full-time home.

She is a third-year carpenter apprentice so I expect it will be built to a reasonable standard. She has given me permission to document the process, whenever I see that something has changed. We exchanged names and I showed her all of my fancy cordless tools, but I have forgotten the name. In talking about the plan for lighting, I demonstrated my Makita and Milwaukee lights, that work just about forever on a charge. Some of these events involve walking around outdoor events at night, so they may mount some of these and forgo some of the lights that were planned. This will allow them to easily set up the lights outside or to carry them on excursions. She already has Makita tools and a number of batteries to go with them.

The trailer was formally loaded pretty heavily, and the Builder is keenly aware of keeping everything within safe and legal weight limits.

I have stumbled upon at least six small house builds, in my travels around the Victoria area. About the same number of people have come to my demolition projects in search of materials for something that is in the works. We have a shortage of rental units at the bottom of the market, and I'm sure that this is a contributing factor to interest in small houses.

Yesterday morning, I met at a different young woman who lives in a high top van with her dog. She has a very  simple set up that is partially based on a few  built-ins , and the rest is in Rubbermaid tubs. There was no clutter. She informed me that the city changed the bylaw a couple months ago, to make street camping legal. I didn't know this. I have done it on and off for years, without regard for what the suits want me to do. She is a mobile yoga instructor, who didn't like the expense of maintaining a permanent home, and work took her away from home often, so an expensive apartment sat idle. Now her housing cost is about $50 per month. The cost of keeping the van insured.
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Dale Hodgins
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A little more work was done this weekend. I will ask if she plans on any sort of gusset for these joints. Thin strips of steel, bent to shape, could give the joints strength without impeding the attachment of plywood sheathing.

The camper in the background, was built by the same woman. It proved impractical to take it on and off, so it is being dismantled. Some portions are being incorporated into the new trailer.
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Dale Hodgins
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There was not much progress for a few weeks, but now it is moving along again. The frame is complete and it's being covered. The wheels are being replaced with heavier ones, but the axle is strong enough to carry the additional weight.

I just finished a job where I tore down lots of shelving made from plywood. There were many metal connectors, that have been donated to this project. I was in the car with my daughter, and stopped off to deliver the bucket of connectors. When I got back into the car, there was a message from Habitat for Humanity on the radio, imploring us to donate so that others could create their own housing. My daughter commented that we had just done that, but bypassed the middleman.
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pollinator
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Nice!
 
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Looks a great job. One possible problem could be gravel stones flipped up into front window. A shutter to protect on the road might be worth the trouble.  Enjoy!
 
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not sure how much or how that loft s supported but the project looks pretty cool.    
 
gardener
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I'm glad she's a carpenter,otherwise I'd suspect the frame of being too fragile.
Shows how much I know!
Those angles you brought her are really robust, with a proper anchor they can support me(250lbs) on a concrete wall.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I also thought the framing was quite light. I think this unit will be supported as much by the sheeting, as by the frame. I'm going to suggest that a couple temporary jack posts be placed when not in use during the winter. The biggest risk is snow load, when it's just sitting.
 
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Very inspiring but I'm curious what states this setup can be used in. Given it's on wheels it may bypass some laws about tiny homes. I'm looking to buy some cheap land for sale and do this.
 
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Steven Jablonski wrote:Very inspiring but I'm curious what states this setup can be used in. Given it's on wheels it may bypass some laws about tiny homes. I'm looking to buy some cheap land for sale and do this.



I don’t know if any states that make this kind of living illegal.  
Most of your more restrictive codes are from local authorities.

Their main course is not of safety but of tax revenue. (More square footage more taxes)

That and people with big houses crying to local gov’t because these more economical houses somehow lower their property value.
 
Travis Johnson
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Jay Grace wrote:

I don’t know if any states that make this kind of living illegal.  
Most of your more restrictive codes are from local authorities.

Their main course is not of safety but of tax revenue. (More square footage more taxes)

That and people with big houses crying to local gov’t because these more economical houses somehow lower their property value.



This is very true, but you know, the same thing happened when people started living in RV's.

I do not see it as a huge problem because the amount of people gravitating towards this lifestyle is not a whole lot in the big scheme of things. But I admit I am kind of biased. I am a huge fan of landowner rights. I know people that live in an RV and do nothing but drink beer, and while that is not my lifestyle, if they want to live that way, they can. It is a free country.

I feel the same about Tiny Houses. If people want to live in them...good for them for devising a way around the building code laws and taxation.
 
Travis Johnson
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I know one thing: a person never wants to build a Tiny House on an RV Trailer Frame!

Wow!

I made a barter-deal with a friend of a friend, to do some welding on a Gooseneck Trailer in exchange for a homemade trailer. The man wanted to use the Gooseneck Trailer to haul around heavy equipment, but did not know the used trailer he bought was from an old RV until he registered it. He did note it was far too weak to haul around equipment, so he wanted me to beef it up. Yesterday I started on it.

I am putting 4 X 4 x 3/8 angle iron in the Gooseneck to stiffen it up, but there is nothing to work with. The tubing the trailer is made out of is just tin, and the welds are all down-beaded, and just tacked together. There is no full welds on anything. What I am doing will help, and it has taken a lot of the twist out of the frame, but I am going to suggest to the guy that he sells the trailer as soon as he can, and buy one that better fits his needs. There is just nothing in which to work with. I can make it better, but it will never be right.
 
Travis Johnson
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Not to take this in a new direction, but to be perfectly honest, this is not really a Tiny House Build, but rather a camper build, which is perfectly fine! Oh...I can roll with that

And I have thought about this a lot. My family goes camping, and we saw some nice A-Frame trailers. We like to get up to Northern Mine where the land is all privately owned, and the roads are privately owned as well, so think VERY rough roads. My thoughts were, instead of buying a new trailer frame and building off from that, I could use my existing Wallenstein Log Trailer. It can hold up to 5000 pounds, but more importantly it has a walking beam suspension. That makes it very easy to pull over rough roads. It also would allow me to to just drop the camper box onto the trailer frame, getting another use out of the same trailer. (One trailer registration).

My further thoughts were, we would make something like what is pictured, but with dual axles obviously. That would allow us to have some sleeping space for Katie and I, with the kids (4 daughters) sleeping in a tent. The back of the unit would open up to an outdoor kitchen. We have a space of about 6 feet wide in which to work, and 10 feet long. Not a lot of space, but it is a camper and not for every day life. We also have the pull truck, a Ford Explorer for extra storage.

Of course I say all this. The last time Katie and I went camping, the inevitable happened, and 9 months later we were somehow blessed with another child. I could explain the "somehow", but I am sure most people can figure out the details.




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pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:I know one thing: a person never wants to build a Tiny House on an RV Trailer Frame!

Wow!

I made a barter-deal with a friend of a friend, to do some welding on a Gooseneck Trailer in exchange for a homemade trailer. The man wanted to use the Gooseneck Trailer to haul around heavy equipment, but did not know the used trailer he bought was from an old RV until he registered it. He did note it was far too weak to haul around equipment, so he wanted me to beef it up. Yesterday I started on it.

I am putting 4 X 4 x 3/8 angle iron in the Gooseneck to stiffen it up, but there is nothing to work with. The tubing the trailer is made out of is just tin, and the welds are all down-beaded, and just tacked together. There is no full welds on anything. What I am doing will help, and it has taken a lot of the twist out of the frame, but I am going to suggest to the guy that he sells the trailer as soon as he can, and buy one that better fits his needs. There is just nothing in which to work with. I can make it better, but it will never be right.




This has always been my opinion, though I have less technical expertise on which to base it... as you say, there is just nothing there! But, I have heard some folks who do tinyhouse workshops instruct people to use RV trailers so that they can claim their tinyhouse is an RV for insurance reasons. The process of legally certifying an RV from scratch is apparently ridiculous, and since nobody looks at the thing when you insure it... I'd rather have an intact uninsured house than an insured pile of wreckage... and I am not too optimistic about the insurers reaction when a claim is made for 50K value on a 30 year old trailer...

I have also seen backyard builders cranking out tinyhomes for sale, on old RV frames... one told me, 'It will probably only move a few times', when I asked about the weight capacity of the trailer...

Mine is on a 14K equipment trailer, and if I did it again I'd use a 21K tridem, or tandem dually.
 
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