When Aaron and I settled on this plan, to build a tiny house, I took on the task of finding a proper trailer. For months I shopped around, read the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of trailer buying, tiny house trailer building, on and on. This is sort of important stuff, after all, the trailer is the very foundation of your home, your investment, so the pressure was on to get it right.
Some people build on used car hauler trailers, utility trailers, and some have even stripped down an RV in order to salvage the trailer. I checked Craigslist daily, I called all sorts of trailer manufacturers, I even talked with Tumbleweed Tiny Homes about a custom trailer but they only go to a max length of 26′. Then I found the place: Great Northern Trailer Works in Sutherlin, Oregon. They custom made our trailer for us, and not only was the price fantastic, the crew there did an absolutely amazing job!
Aaron and our good friend Jeff went to pick up our trailer over the weekend. Now I saw photos of it after it had been completed, but without a size reference, like a human being in the photo, it was kind of difficult to tell how big the trailer was – in fact when I saw the photos, I was a bit disappointed, it just looked so small. Like really small. With little toy tires. But then Aaron called me on the phone when he and Jeff saw it in person. He said it was a monster, a beast of a trailer. That not only was it huge, it was heavy duty, as in this thing could probably make it through a nuclear blast, or two. After they got it to the shed where we are going to build it, I came over to take some photos….
These are NOT little toy tires by any means!!!!….
It is 32′ long (not including the tongue/hitch) deck is at 8′ 1″, and the wheel wells out at the road max of 8’6″. Made of tube steal, it alone weighs 3200 lbs. which is of course factored into our total house weight. It has triple axles, 7k lbs each – so the ability to haul 21k lbs.. We went with an upgraded tongue jack; and four special side jacks that are built to hold 7k lbs each, that’s 28k pounds! – we didn’t want wimpy scissor jacks because they are only for cutting down movement/sway/bounce, they cannot handle weight. With the custom jacks, we could raise the entire house up and take the axles off if we wanted to. Some will feel that we went a bit overboard with the trailer, especially because so many tiny house builders use smaller, lighter, thinner trailers. But first and foremost, we wanted a solid foundation, secondly we wanted it to be able to handle the weight with ease – not be at it’s max. We knew going in that it would require probably a 1 ton dually to pull it once it’s all completed, and that’s fine, we don’t plan on moving it all that much.
So there it is. In the words of Sinbad the comedian ‘It’s start’n to get real, Jack!’…………Update: see the first day of our tiny house build here: Day 1