Tiny? It’s HUGGGEEE!!
Amazing news – my trailer is finally ready and picked up and arrived and ready and WEEEEEEEEEEE it’s all happening and oh my god what have I done.
This is pretty much how the voice in my head goes on a daily basis at the moment.
My custom trailer was fabricated in Melbourne. It’s 6.5 metres long, 2.8 metres wide, rated to 4.5 tonnes, galvanised with electric brakes and cost me an arm and a leg. I’ve been keeping an eye on the tiny house interwebs, there are definitely still some places out there making these things for a steal but I opted for someone who’s been doing it for a while and was probably at the higher end of the price range. I’ll do an update on where I’m at with the budget next, so stay tuned if you’re interested.
Things I learnt about buying trailers:
- The joist beams that run across the trailer can be put at different intervals, depending on how you plan to build on it. My trailer was done at 700mm intervals centre to centre, pretty sure the plan at this stage is to screw timber joists on top for the flooring to be nailed into.
- Factor your wheel wells into the design but don’t get too caught up in them. I shifted my axle back from centre slightly to make sure I had enough room for my double doors to sit flush on the trailer but this may cause some headaches later on around weight distribution and directing too much weight to the draw bar. Currently this is relegated to the ‘future Sarah’s problems’ basket. I was also trying to arrange my design around having my stove flat on the floor – before someone suggested the simple solution of lifting up and building a box for it to sit on that encompasses the wheel well rise. Genius.
- Anything over 2.5m wide but under 3.5 metres is an oversize vehicle or ‘Class O Vehicle’ according to to VicRoads. You don’t need any special permits to drive on the road so long as the trailer is under that 3.5m limit, over which you need a light vehicle over dimension permit. One small complication with a Class O trailer (2.5m><3.5m) is that the manufacturer can’t register it for you. I purchased a temporary registration permit for my trailer, easy and cheap enough online, just organise it when you’re ready to move the trailer. I had read lots about this before I chose to go over the 2.5m limit, it seemed a lot more complicated than it actually was. For the extra 300mm width I’ll have, so far it seems worth the decision!
- The other transport issue was finding a vehicle with electric brakes to tow it. And knowing what electric brakes even are to find a vehicle with them. So, FYI: all electric brakes systems use a 7 pin connector and have a controller installed in the vehicle. It’s not a matter of making sure someone has the right type of electric brakes, it seems like they’re all the same. (Obvious maybe once someone spells it out, but that would’ve been helpful for me to understand a little quicker!)
It’s kind of hard to remember exactly what I didn’t know when I started. Anything, everything? All of this would’ve been gibberish a year ago. That’s progress, right?! I also realise that this probably isn’t very interesting to anyone who doesn’t plan on buying a trailer in the near future. But that in itself is just one more learning curve for me in this tiny house project – there’s a lot more to this project than the romantic idea of knocking up a little house in a few weeks and blogging about it. It’s not just a commitment to a different lifestyle in the future, but a commitment right now to getting my head around this and bearing through the gritty details.
Hopefully now that the trailer has arrived there will be more tangible updates soon!