And a Trailer we Have

April 20, 2012 – We picked up our trailer today from D & K Trailers in Christmas, Michigan today.  We were driving downstate a few weeks ago and stopped in to ask some questions and check out prices.  Dean and Connie were super helpful in finding the right trailer for our needs; they were also very excited about our project and wanted to know all the details. We were planning on stopping at one other trailer place downstate to compare prices; however, we appreciated the knowledge that Dean and Connie had in helping us figure things out and we wanted to support a local business, so we ordered our trailer that day from them.

We decided on an 18′ double-axle equipment hauler style trailer from Big Tex with a 10,000 lb rating. The plans call for a 7,000 lb rating, but we decided to go a little beefier in our trailer so that we had the option of using heavier materials if need be.

Our trailer was not custom-made so some materials needed to be removed in order to get it ready for the tiny house.  Dean removed the front metal bar making our trailer a true flat-bed in addition to the spare tire mount. He also lowered the price a little bit and kept the ramps that came with the trailer as we have no need for those.

When the trailer was weighed by the manufacturer prior to shipping it came just over 2,500 lbs, which means having to purchase a title. Connie was able to take the trailer to the weigh station after the excess metal and ramps were removed and re-weighed the trailer.  This saved us some money at the Secretary of State as we only had to purchase a trailer plate and did not need a title; we only had to register it.

There was some discussion at the Secretary of State whether or not we needed to register the trailer in the first place, as we’ll have to go back when the trailer is finished and re-register it as a camper. However, we will be using the trailer to haul materials and we might be changing building locations a few times before the tiny house is finished, so we decided to make sure we were legal all along. It might end up costing us an additional $75 for a whole new plate when it comes time to register it as a camper.

When it does come time to register the tiny house as a camper, we have to have the state police inspect it and make sure it is road legal. They will fill out a form and if the trailer does not have one already, they will issue us a VIN number. We will then be able to take the form back to the Secretary of State and get a new plate.

Categories: Trailer | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “And a Trailer we Have

  1. Kristie

    Oh my God! I am so excited!

  2. Ashley Rohde

    Hey Pete and Erin! Congrats on your purchase of a tiny house! I tried to call you recently, but skype told me no… please give me a call if you get a chance, I would love to catch up! Good luck with the house!!

  3. Tari Thompson

    I am so thrilled to be following your journey! I LOVE your story and I’m excited to see progress. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kirk & Tami Hammel

    You are going for it! Yeah! Not many people have the courage to follow their dreams or even try their ideas. We are so happy for you! Kirk & Tami

  5. Hey guys! I’m in the early stages of building (… Looking forward to seeing your little house as it comes up! Are you building a Tumbleweed or something of your own design? Best wishes in your journey.

    • We are building a Tumbleweed; however, we are coming up with our own design for the floor plan. We both love to cook and want a very functional kitchen space.

      • My husband and I also love to cook. Can you give us some details about your idea of a functional kitchen? I can’t wait to see the house come together, guys!

      • Hi Robyn!

        Pete and I lived in an 18′ camper for a few months and found that we never cooked in it, we always ate out. The majority of RV’s/campers we’ve been in never seem to have any counter top space; just room for a sink and an oven/range with small sections of counter top on either side. We are designing our tiny house around the kitchen. I’ve been working with Google SketchUp to create a 3D drawing of our interior. The learning curve on the program is a little high and so my skill is not quite there, but I have a basic sketch that I will share soon. However, we are designing our kitchen to not only have a lot of open counter top space for food preperation, but also so that Pete and I can hopefully be in the kitchen together. I’ll do a post on our future kitchen set up soon. Thanks for the great question!

  6. Awesome news about your trailer! My wife and I got our trailer last week, and we went with the big bad boy – two 7k lb axles. I started construction yesterday and just about finished the floor today.

    You’re going to have a ton of fun doing this!

  7. Any ideas on how to obtain insurance, in the USA, on a self built tiny house? Thanks, WesD

  8. how much did the trailer end up costing?

  9. So happy to find someone building a Fencl – I’ve been debating building one too, so I will love seeing your progress! 😀

  10. Pingback: Big Lake, Tiny House | Tumbleweed Tiny House Blog

  11. Lori Kraft

    How much did you pay for your trailer? Any advise on buying a trailer? Would you have bought the same trailer now that you are finished?

    • Lori Kraft

      iPods sorry I didn’t read previous posts. I see how much you paid for your trailer.

      • Hi Lori, If we were starting over I think I would buy our trailer from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. They are making trailers specifically for tiny houses and it would have saved us a little work. And I think their prices are comparable to what we spent. The one thing I’ve read over and over from other tiny houses builders is NOT to buy a used trailer. They usually end up being more work than they’re worth.

  12. I have been working with Kaufman trailers in N.C.; they have done a few custom trailers for tiny houses and they are very helpful. They have a delivery driver they work with that will deliver to my area for $700, that makes it much cheaper than Tumbleweed.

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