Part of the reason we decided to move Tiny, was to allow us to have a “Home” that we could take where we want. Unsatisfied where we are currently living, but unsure as to where we want to move to, we want the ability to take our home with us. A tiny house on wheels (THOW) was a great choice. Plus, it allows us to build tiny and take advantage of some potential zoning loopholes.
Everyone knows the foundation of anything is the most important step. Whether you are building a traditional house, starting a business, or baking a cake, the foundation is key. If you don’t start right, you can have some real issues. We tossed the idea of building on a used trailer, however, in the northeast, rust is a major issue. We would rather spend the money on a new trailer, that is in top-notch shape and have a house that will last us significantly long than take the more affordable route of finding a used trailer.
When we first started looking into trailers, we were a bit overwhelmed with the possibilities and the price tag that came along with a trailer. Equipment trailers, deck-over trailers, gooseneck trailers were some of the options that we saw. At the time of our first serious inquiry into the trailer, we had already purchased the plans from the Morrison’s for their hOMe design, and their original specifications called for a custom designed trailer. No dealers in our area could even come close to the specifications, and their suggested option, a standard equipment trailer, came with a lofty $10,500 price tag.
Knowing this wasn’t what we really wanted, from both product and price perspectives, we put the foundation on the back burner. We continued making design modifications to the house plans we purchased and figured we could continue looking around for a trailer in the mean time.
Last August, at the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, CO, we had the pleasure of meeting countless enthusiasts and many different vendors. Knowing our dilemma with the trailer hunt, we luckily found Damon and his team from TrailerMade Trailers. Simply looking at the demo unit they had on display, I was sold. The quality of the construction was far superior to any other trailers we had looked at. Damon was a speaker slated for Sunday of the Jamboree. During his talk, he kept referring to the foundation. “We make and sell tiny house foundations.” He mentioned the word trailers but mainly focused on the foundation. Looking at the trailer, you knew there was some significant thought that went into the design. The structural layout was significantly different than a standard equipment trailer. There was actually room for insulation!
Efficiency was a high priority for us and our build. We don’t want to have a tiny house that we can’t stay warm in, and the TrailerMade design allowed for a whopping 6 inches of insulation in the floor, totaling R30 using the rigid foam we have specified in our plans. In addition to the insulation space, Damon worked thermal bridging into their design considerations. Instead of having tubular steel go straight from outside to inside, they utilized a center beam to support the floor joists which allowed for insulation space beside and below the joists. This design significantly reduces the overall thermal bridging in the floor.
In addition to the thermal bridging and efficiency, the TrailerMade trailer has many other great features, including:
- Angle iron along the sides for simple securing of the walls: You can place the framing over the angle iron, and bolt it right down. This provides an extremely secure place to fasten the wall, plus allows you to continue your exterior sheathing down, to encapsulate the trailer within your building envelope.
- Built-in stabilizing jacks: All four corners have stabilizing jacks, so there is one less thing to worry about. When you have your house where you want it, level it out and support it with the jacks.
- Belly pan flashing: The TrailerMade Trailers come with your belly pan flashing already secured. All you need to do is start with the insulation and subfloor. No laying on your back drilling up to screw in your flashing. This is a HUGE time and labor saver!