Trailer Hunting, Day One

Macy M5164 views

This weekends trailer shopping was a bust.  After looking at the trailer I wanted and doing a few quick calcs I am a little leery using an old RV, especially one that doesn’t explicitly say the weight limits on it.  So, here are my rough calcs for weight for my trailer:

I will need approximately

  • (100) 8’ long 2×4 studs at ~1# per linear foot = 800#
  • (24) 4’x8’, 1/2” Oriented Strand Board (OSB) for sheathing @ ~53# ea.= 1,272#
  • (27) 4’x8’, 1/4” sheets of sheetrock @ ~38.4# ea. = 1036.8#
  • 528 s.f. of Cedar Plank (for exterior finish) @ ~1# p.s.f. = 528#
  • 240 s.f. metal roofing @ ~1.8# p.s.f. = 432#

These added up make up the majority of the shell of the building, there are no fasteners included or any of the interior fixtures, cabinets, furnishings etc… I put this together just as a rough estimate.  These items total 4,068.8#

If I can roughly double this for interior furnishing systems, water, fixtures etc. I can get roughly 8,200#.  I think, without yet knowing the exact numbers, these seem reasonable.  There will be windows and doors added of course too but for the windows and doors I will be adding but also taking away some of these materials; therefore I think if I can design to 8,200#, or more reasonable for trailer weights find a trailer that can carry 10,000# I should be golden.  I do not feel comfortable enough that the trailers I looked at can do that, so the search continues.

While I was out looking at trailers with my dad and my brother they brought up the idea of building my own, which of course completely overwhelmed me because I have no idea how to even begin that.  I am lucky though because I have two people right there who know how to weld, and seemed pretty comfortable with the idea.  So today I opened up to the idea of other trailers or parts of trailers that can be added to or made into something that will work for me.  We found quite a few trailers that I previously passed over because they didn’t meet my dimensional requirements, though they would certainly hold enough weight. 

This one for instance would easily hold upwards of 12,000# + but it is only 21’ long and the bed sits above the tires.  I have determined that I need to go with a 24’ trailer OR have the bed sit low enough to build a comfortable sized loft and be able to stay within my 13’-6” limit. 

This trailer however could easily be adjusted to be a few feel longer (since I have welders in my family) and the bed being so high wouldn’t matter because there would be no loft space to deal with (that is my ideal situation).

There were at least 3 other trailers we called on that may work but we haven’t heard back from anyone yet so we will have to see, hopefully this week.

I also looked at buying the pieces separate, turns out axles aren’t too spendy, so long as they meet my weight requirements (two 5,000# axles would probably be best, I found some for $350 for the pair), a hitch isn’t either (around $100) and then I could build the base out of some steel from a local manufacturer and I think it would all come to a total under $1,000, which has become my new cost limit goal for the trailer. 

So for now, the search continues.  I am starting to get a schedule together though, I want to have a trailer before the end of this month.  Since there is Thanksgiving to contend with I hope I find somethign soon!  Preliminary schedule to follow shortly.



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