Laying the foundation (so to speak)

I got the trailer back on April 22nd after having it towed back to the dealership and fixed. Arv at Trailer Boss was a real gem. Fixed things up good as new and even brought the trailer back to me himself on his day off. We still don’t know what went wrong on the first trip. So after a unfavorable start to the adventure we’re back on track. I was out of town last weekend so tiny home building is about a month behind “schedule”.

This was the first weekend of quality trailer time. The concrete pad where I am building my tiny home is at a bit of angle so I thought maybe I should level my “foundation” before doing anything else. My internet searches for examples of how to do this were a bit frustrating. Is this one of those things that people are just expected to know how to do? This post from the amazing and inspiring 2cycle2gether.com was probably the most helpful. I also looked at how RV’s and travel trailers are typically leveled and stabilized. 

Saturday morning I bought 4 scissor-jacks. The instructions call for welding the jacks to the frame but my frame seems too narrow to to do this so I just looked for places in the corners where it seemed like I would have the most contact. Got pretty close to level on Saturday but needed a little more height for the downhill side so went back Sunday afternoon with some concrete blocks. A little more side-to-side then front-to-back tweaking and the trailer is now level and stable.

Leveling Scissor Jack
Scissor jack and some grippy padding

Other tools of the trade
More tools of the trade

Mothra
Every project needs an assistant as photogenic as Mothra!

Level side-to-side
Level side-to-side

Level front-to-back
and front-to-back

Oh hell yeah.
Does it matter which side is up on a level? I see now that in all of my pictures the level is what could be considered upside-down. Hmmm…

I’m gonna skip out of work for a little bit this afternoon so Matt the Mechanic can meet me to grind off the bar that sticks up on the front of the trailer. In one of Jay Shafer’s videos they take off the brackets on the side too but it doesn’t seem like those are going to be in the way so I think I’ll just leave em.

I’ll probably have to adjust the leveling again after I’ve got the floor framing on so if anyone has advice or is thinking OH MY GOD SHE’S DOING IT WRONG please feel free to speak up :) I’ll figure out how to enable comments shortly.

It could have been a lot worse.

We had an almost disastrous start to the tiny house adventure. Just before our exit off of the interstate, the trailer’s coupler popped off the hitch. Thankfully, the safety chains did their job. We made it to the shoulder safely where we could assess the situation.

The tongue jack was actually under the tow vehicle. Anthony had to lift his SUV while I yanked on the trailer to get it out from under. At first look the damage seems to be as follows:

  • The bottom of the tongue jack is worn and bent from the contact and probable dragging on the asphalt.
  • The crank on the jack is totally bent from the contact with the vehicle. 
  • Something may have happened to the electrical as well because only the main driver’s side light works.
  • The box that the cable connects to for the runaway brake is messed up as well - looks like it got pulled up off of the tongue.
  • A superficial ding on the fender where we may have hit the guardrail while pulling over.
trailer damage

There was also a burning rubber smell which I hope was just the emergency electrical brakes engaging. Though given that the tongue ended up under the SUV I’m not even sure the brakes worked. I hope that is the extent of the damage, but I don’t know. We’ll have to get everything checked out to be sure. Not to mention getting Anthony’s SUV checked for damage. Argh.

The lesson I’ve learned is to double (triple even!) check all of the connections yourself before you start moving. Don’t assume that the guy at the dealership knows what he is doing when he hooks the trailer up to your vehicle. You know, Anthony had a feeling when we started driving that something wasn’t right, that it was bouncing too much. Turns out he was right. 

Such a scary experience. I’m still kind of coming down from it.

It drives me nuts that so many of the images on tumblr are not attributed to their source. Google image search to the rescue yet again.

It drives me nuts that so many of the images on tumblr are not attributed to their source. Google image search to the rescue yet again.

Today I bought the trailer that will serve as the foundation for my tiny home. It’s an 18’, double-axle, 10k GVWR, flatbed by  Fabform. Won’t be able to pick it up or have a place to put it until next weekend, but it feels good to finally get the ball rolling.

Today I bought the trailer that will serve as the foundation for my tiny home. It’s an 18’, double-axle, 10k GVWR, flatbed by Fabform. Won’t be able to pick it up or have a place to put it until next weekend, but it feels good to finally get the ball rolling.

Wish I knew what the original source of this was… if you do, let me know! Found it!

Wish I knew what the original source of this was… if you do, let me know! Found it!

I see the light.  (Taken with instagram)

I see the light. (Taken with instagram)

How to Tie a Celtic Heart KnotLearn to tie this awesome knot, and many other ornamental knots, from Fusion Knots.

How to Tie a Celtic Heart Knot

Learn to tie this awesome knot, and many other ornamental knots, from Fusion Knots.

Fuschia (718) and grey (318) flat braid done with DMC Pearl Cotton size 8. This braid is much smaller and a little stiffer than the previous braid done with the embroidery floss.

Flat braid in citrusy colors. Done with your run-of-the-mill DMC cotton embroidery floss. I’ll try to make a point of noting the actual colors used in the future. This was done with scrap floss I had leftover from some other mystery unfinished project.

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram