Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Trailer Foundation

I am grateful for my friend Genie. She has been a sounding board and has reduced my frustration and feeling of overwhelm substantially. For instance, we took the advise of several TH builders and taped out the floor plan on the floor of my driveway. We only part of it and discovered there the location of the wheel well is *functionally* not where I was told it was. Specifically, you really can't have your door placed within a 1/2" of where the wheel well intersects the top of the trailer frame! So many of the hours and hours of plan designing was worthless. Genie to the rescue...she calmly offered several alternatives for the location of the door. [For those of you with the door off the rear, this should not be a concern.]
So, with the revised floor plan in place -- what feels to be the 100th design -- I felt comfortable that everything was workable. More importantly, I took the neighbor's suggestion and committed to get the foundation and sub-floor completed so THEN the exact working floor plan could be drawn accurately. The trailer is five weeks old with not a single nail pounded or screw driven! Time is ticking. And as soon race to dry in before the moonsoon season, I'm racing to work while the temperature is under 80F. Florida is hot and humid and both in combination is freaking bad and actually dangerous.
So after MUCH angst, I finally finished reading Go House Go by Dee Williams. Her use of 3" angle iron is the closest to what I've fallen into with my design. I have yet to see any approach to building the foundation that I can or want to use. Therein lies the fear and the risk.
In the materials section of Go House Go, Dee details a cross section of the entire house, from roof to foundation. The section showing how the trailer frame and wall section joins as been my nemesis from the beginning. Since I was trying to optimize the width of the TH, the plan on how to extend beyond the frame was extremely important. Maybe this decision would have been easier had I tried to get 30 minutes with a Tumbleweed consultant since roughly December 17th. Holidays are not a good time, apparently. So, finally deciding on my own design of the foundation, I called my trailer manufacturer (now acting as a psychotherapist) to consult. The decision was to drive the trailer back to Gainesville to have them weld additional angle iron along both sides AND remove the protruding break lights. Local welders were going to charge about $400 for the modification while Shaun at Texas Trailers said he'd do the angle iron for a bit less. After it was all done, I had invested another $344. Having the manufacturer do it made me feel more confident. I had the same quality paint applied to all new welds and steel. More importantly, Shawn was able to literally squeeze me in on Friday so I wouldn't have to wait until January 10th. I really recommend Texas Trailers. However in hindsight, I'd probably gone with Dee William's custom trailer design if I have a trailer built.
Although there is still some questions about how to best accommodate the wheel well and the inside wall, here is the foundation design we are going with:
I'm going for it. I have asked myself countless times if I am really brave enough to do this project. I'm not sure the answer is 'yes' but I'm driven by a needing to realize a dream that now is about five years old. I feel like a Olympian who is driven to take home a medal. Regardless, my financial commitment to this project has now exceeded $9000 having purchased all my foundation supplies and ordered the windows. I'll leave the topics of Windows to another blog entry.

No comments:

Post a Comment