Thursday, April 7, 2022

Tiny House Planning: Trailer Considerations


The start. March 16th 2022.

A tired but proud face of a Tiny House builder.

The start of the Sub-floor frame. 

Essentials for any project.

To all Tiny House Dreamers and Planners:
This is a blogpost I wish I'd read before I ordered my trailer.
I'm happy to report I found solutions for all the problems I came across, and they came with a boost of self-esteem and trust in my problem solving abilities, but I figured that doesn't mean I shouldn't try save you some headaches. :)

A good house needs a solid foundation.
That's why I decided not to skimp on the trailer of my house. Or so I thought.

Based on the recommendations of another Tiny House builder I contacted a Swedish company called Tuna Trailer and ordered a custom made trailer: 8,4m long & 2,6m wide.

I was planning on building the frame for the floor with planks that are 120x45.

This plan had to be reviewed when the trailer arrived to the island and I discovered that there was no support for the sub-floor frame all across the length of the trailer. Both at the font and the back ot it, the frame has to span just under 2,6m.
I could have contacted a local blacksmith to weld extra support in place but I didn't want to delay my build, so instead I changed my order for 45x120s to 45x145s (class 24) - which to my sadness had to be transported here from the mainland, instead of the original plan to build with 100% gotlandic wood.
It also meant I lost 2 cm of ceiling height and that I had to make the house wider so that the transverse planks are supported by the outer frame and not just “hang by the screws”.
This of course, could have been avoided had I been a little more prepared, (maybe stumbled across a blogpost on the issue?) and had decided on how the trailer had to be for my drawing to work.

I guess I just assumed a Tiny House trailer builder would build a perfect trailer, which of course was a little naive, but part of me still thinks the company in question could have asked a few more questions. After all, this wasn’t the first time they built a tiny house trailer, and they knew I was a first time builder ...

Anyhow, it did teach me a few helpful lessons:

- Do not expect others to take responsibility for your project.
- Do not expect others’ advice to take into account all the variables only you know about.
- This is your project. Don’t leave anything to chance.

So before you order your trailer (or wood, in my case):

1. Check what dimensions the planks need to be in relation to the distance they need to span without support from underneath.

2. Decide how you want to attach your house to the trailer. If you get a custom made trailer, holes can be drilled beforehand and extra mounts can be welded onto it there and then, saving you a whole lot of time (and probably money) later on. 

My trailer is built to be able to carry 7,7 ton.
It’ll be pulled by a tractor at 30km/h according to Swedish traffic regulations.

If you’re planning a tractor trailer as well, do consider that not all tractors have their towbar at the same height, so the height the trailer constructor chooses might not be the right height for you.

My trailer got 6 tires in total which means it stands level when the weight on top is evenly divided.

However, I once came across a Tiny House builder whose trailer started “drooping” at the back end because of the weight of the house. I bought jack stands to prevent this, but I wish I thought to ask for my trailer to come with foldable “legs” of some sort.


My brain is strong but it can't prevent all mistakes or take into account all necessary considerations at all times.
Luckily there are solutions to most issues. 

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have upon reading this blogpost. Just drop me a comment, or find me on Instagram (@ainadventures)