Preparing the Trailer and Me

Preparing the trailer, although difficult, was far easier than preparing myself. When constructing something out in the open there are so many uncontrollable issues with weather, possible tool theft, distractions, critters, insects, water damage, etc. But hey, it was my idea to do it in the natural world.

The learning curve with tools I’ve never used before like compound mitre saws, circular and Skilsaws, drills, building principles, etc. took several weeks of research and will certainly involve lots of trial and error. One builder friend, helping me overcome my lifelong fear of construction accidents gave me a wonderful lesson on construction safety and encouraged me to get in there and just start. (Kind of like the Nike ad, “Just do it!”)

Once I started, it was fun, I couldn’t stop. Now I know what Deek meant; its like a fever, this building, reclaiming, creative process. I’ve reclaimed resources for making art and now, a tiny house.

The tiny house build has been slow as this has been the wettest summer in New England in 30 years. This weather plus the heat-waves of 100 degrees between storms has limited me to a few 3-hour sessions of building, but I am up and at ’em whenever I can.

Trailer Preparation:

1. Remove all the boards, shorten for enclosed rear deck.


2. Reinstall only half of them to conserve weight. (Note I numbered and marked their position so I could match up the threaded screw holes when reinstalling to the struts)


3.  Install jacks and balance trailer, add 2×8 support framing


3. Remove front corner lights and electrical box to accommodate additional bolted bolsters and front structure.


4. Bolt flashed 2×8’s to trailer base


Choosing a Tiny House Trailer


Choosing a trailer for your tiny house can be daunting. My 4 requisites were:

1. Substantially built with two 5″ channels, strong struts or ribs

2. Local dealer who is friendly, courteous, and professional

3. Will deliver on time

4. Uses the most environmentally harmless wood with the least off-gasing

I have seen several tiny houses come apart or become structurally compromised by starting without a strong base. And yet other builders have been successful in refurbishing, repairing and making their older trailers structurally sound.

So I spent several months talking to tiny house owners and trailer distributors trying to find a local dealer that represented a sustainable and substantial trailer manufacturer. I interviewed six distributors until I found the group who would service my needs and would help their customers before and after their trailer purchase! It’s surprising how many have trouble selling to women.

Ross and Brad  Peterson at REP, in New Hampshire, were professional, courteous and excited about my project. They were thorough in answering all my questions, providing measurements, information, tours, and options.

I bought a LoadTrail 8’x 18′ trailer. It has double hung 5″ channel and the struts are very strong. The copper preserved wood in my trailer is called LifeWood, it is EPP rated (SCS’s Environmentally Preferred Product).