Saturday, December 25, 2010

A New Custom Built Trailer

Mike Schultz over at M.S. Metal Works did his magic and I have a new trailer. It was around $600 less then the trailers you would buy on the lot and it was built to my specs. The measurements are 8 feet 2 inch wide by 24 feet. It is the width that is critical because your build out width has to be 8 feet 6 inch's to be legal (no permits) to travel. This allows for me to have 2 inch's of overhang on each side and still get maximum width in the living space.

The trailer has full LED lights and is wired so that I can actually hook it up to a vehicle and allow it to charge the house batteries. I specified (2) 5K axles. These are the high end variety and notice they are bolted on and have a square cross member. This allow for two options. First is being able to unbolt the axles if I choose to when I get the Mobile Cottage to a place I don't want to have it be mobile any more. They are spot welded so you have to bang on them a bit but they will come off. Secondly the axle is square which is nice if you want to block it up, much better then a round bar.

I was pleased with the attention to detail on the unit. It rode like a champ although it really could have used some more weight on it. I am going to add some cross support treated lumber bolted to the frame so that I can attach my base insulated frame to it. The core of the trailer is 5 inch I-Frame and then I had him extend out to the full width with 2x2 cross members. I have seen where other builders just run the wood frame out over the trailer to the width they want. I am hopeful this will be better.
This is the goal. This picture is courtesy of an article on the Tiny House Blog about Todd Miller and the Oregon Cottage Company. This is Todd's design where he used 3/4 T&G Plywood sandwich around a 2x4 insulated frame. I like this design much better then what Tumbleweed is doing for my purpose. It looks bullet proof and really sturdy. The trade off is weight which is why I went with the 10K capacity rather then 7.5K that most folks uses for this type of build. I am still planning on the weekend of January 15th to get started. Yikes that is getting close!


  1. Hey there! I'm curious if you'd be willing to share what you paid for your trailer? I'm working with a local company on a custom built 22' trailer, and they quoted me a price of $4000. This includes a PT deck. Thanks!

  2. That is about right with the PT deck, since I did not have my guy do that he charged me $3200. If I had it to do over again, I would have had him beef up the trailer by adding a center beam. The other factor to this is I had him put 2x5000 lb axels, so I am rated to 10K lb. That added 400 to the cost of the trailer. I would bet my current weight is around 9200 lbs. When I weighed it without the floor, loft and misc stuff it was 8140. Great Questions!

  3. Thanks! Mine is 10k as well.

  4. Mobile home owners sometimes forget to take a look at their axles to see if these are ripe for maintenance. I used to not care about this but it's a good thing that my brother pointed this out to me and told me that this, too is subject to wear and tear. For more insight and information, do check out this resource site: