After removing the boards for the deck of my house, I then flashed the whole surface of the trailer with galvanized metal flashing. This will prevent moisture from getting into the insulation and floor framing and prevent mice or road debris from entering into the undercarriage. I made sure to overlap the seams and then used flashing adhesive to seal it all up. The sheets then were secured using staples and the vapor barrier was placed on top of that.
It’s worth noting my approach to moisture when it comes to my Tiny House. I have several layers of redundancy to prevent moisture from becoming and issue. First is the fact that the trailer is inherently off the ground, this means that there is a good air flow to dry out any moisture that does make its way under the house. I plan to have a gravel pad to facilitate better drainage under where the house is parked. From there I have the trailer decking which is pressure treated. I think it is very unlikely that much water will be able to get up underneath the trailer other than if I were to drive it down a road after/during a rain shower. From there I have a sealed layer of galvanized metal flashing. This will prevent any water from entering an because its galvanized, it is well adapt at handling it if it does. On top of that is a sheet of 6mil vapor barrier. On top of that is my floor framing and insulation. The floor framing is also treated and the foam is closed cell so it will not absorb any moisture. All in all I think moisture isn’t going to be a huge issue because of the air flow, but if it does get in, there are multiple layers to handle it.
First step was to cut a hole for the tiny house deck. The decking of the actual trailer is treated lumber, to cut the hole I used a sawzall to make the cuts.
Then I attached galvanized flashing to the deck, being sure to overlap the seams and seal them with flashing adhesive.
Then I added a 6mil vapor barrier.
Finally all my floor framing (covered in depth in another post) is all treated lumber.
Picking up my trailer was a very surreal moment for me. I think when I saw the trailer for the first time it finally hit me that I was committing to this project. It was a weird mix of emotions… excitement mixed with a touch of oh s%!$ I have to build a whole house! Even though I have been inside a Tumbleweed Fencl before, when I saw the trailer it seemed small. The interesting thing is now that I am building on it, it’s size seems to get bigger feeling. Even though it seemed small for a house, it was huge on the road! I had to go down this little side road to get home; at one point I looked in my side mirrors and my right tire was on the pavement’s edge and the left side was a foot into the other lane!
So now the nitty gritty details for those who want them.
The trailer is a 18′ utility trailer, its a 8,000 GWVR made by Kaufman trailers. Between the fenders it is 82.5 inches which is really important for to make sure your house is as wide as possible. Basically if you have you maximum trailer width, minus the tires, clearance from the axle/wheel wells you get about 82″. The decking is treated lumber and I opted to get a heavier duty trailer so I could just leave all the decking on instead of fooling with removing some of it like many houses do. This also means that I have a (almost) solid chunk of wood underneath my insulation which adds to the R value of my house. According to a web search this will add about R-3 to my already R-13, add the almost inch of flooring and then a 1/2 finished flooring we are looking a total of R 18.8 for the floor.
I took my trailer to a welder to add the tie downs and remove a bunch of parts. I had him cut off the rear light arms that you can see in the above photo, also the spare tire bracket and one part of the front “I” beam to make it flush with the front of the trailer. The tie downs are 4 bolts in the front, 6 threaded rods on the sides and two plates on the back. Check out the video below for more.
Here (below) is the front “I” beam that the top right arm of the “I” was cut off, you can see them cutting it off in the above photo.
In the above photo notice that I made the tie downs go in line with the cross members of the trailer. I will have to tweak the wall framing to accommodate, but it is much strong at this point.
Since the house extends about 6″ off the back of the trailer I needed more tie down spots and support. Above and below are photos of the rear tie down plates. I left them without holes because I wanted to be sure to place the hole exactly where I needed it to tie into the framing once it is built. Because of this I made the plates out of 6″ C channel and then had gussets welded onto them. These plates ended up being slightly too long, but I will just sheath this section of the house twice: the first layer will extend the surface beyond the plate’s edge and the second will hand down to attach the siding and hide the trailer from sight.
This apartment is 325 square feet and can sleep four cozily. The video shows an apartment that is loaded with salvaged furniture and despite its small size, it has all the comforts of home. The house is currently lived in by a couple, but they often have friends visit so the convertible furniture serves as 2 more beds.
Today I have a quick video that I wanted to get up before I start working on my Tiny House today. It was pretty cold out this morning at 7am so I took advantage of needing to get a post up on the blog while it warms up a bit. Many people have asked how do you anchor a Tiny House to the trailer so that it doesn’t come off while moving down the road or get lifted off during a storm. This video will show my approach to this. I actually upped the number of attachment points from what the plans called for after talking with my weld who has spent 30 years in construction trailer frames for mobile homes, RV’s, and trailers. The important thing to note that I didn’t in the video is that the anchor points are aligned with the cross members of trailer which make it a lot stronger.
Macy Miller from Minimotives.com and I have teamed up in an effort to provide a venue for monthly live discussions about tiny houses, all are encouraged to log in! Please join us!
The first chat will be:
Monday, November 12th, 2012
8pm-9pm Eastern Time (5pm-6pm West Coast)
Mark your calendar!
Tiny House Chat is a space for Tiny House enthusiasts to come together and share ideas and stories. The concept of this is to be for the Tiny House community and facilitated by the community. We hope that this platform will achieve the following:
Develop lasting connections among the Tiny House community.
Strengthen and expand the community.
Foster the sharing of ideas.
Provide a resource for the various stages of a tiny house, from the ideas stage to the ‘is-this-working-right’ stage.
Have a lot of fun and get to know each other better!!
This will be an open forum, all questions and comments are encouraged. For our first chat we have guest bloggers Laura LaVoie from 120SquareFeet.com, Christopher and Malissa Tack from ChrisAndMalissa.com, Ryan Mitchell of TheTinyLife.com and Macy Miller of MiniMotives.com on video and voice. Anyone who is interested will be able to log in and chat via text! More information for how to log in will come as we approach our Chat Day, for the basics on how to log in please view THIS document.
Here is a list of what may come up to get conversations started, where we take it from there is up to whoever joins us!
What was your introduction to the Tiny House movement?
What inspired your house design?
Do you have any building or construction background?
Is there anything you know now that you wish you’d known before you started?
Would you change anything?
In what ways have you try to cut cost?
How do you find sponsors?
Have you had to deal with City Codes and Zoning Laws?
What’s your favorite feature of your tiny house?
and on, and on, and on!
If you have questions please feel free to let us know in the comments!