Based on what he learned at the workshop we decided to buy the Cypress 18 building plans from Tumbleweed. We liked that it was one of the smallest versions because we do hope to drive ours on the road with as little hassle as driving your home on the road may involve...
Once we purchased the plans we had to decide what kind of trailer to buy. We had heard of people getting really cheap used trailers and modifying them for the build. While this sounded like the best option for our wallets, it didn't seem like it would be the most time efficient thing to do. While I am sure there are many success stories out there, we had heard many horror stories of people struggling with older trailers and having things go terribly wrong or take a lot longer than anticipated.
Since we were busting at the seams to get our project underway we decided to shell out for a new trailer. Since this will be the foundation of our home it seemed like it would be worth the price tag.
We searched for a Canadian company that could do custom trailers for us but we were not successful finding what we needed. We narrowed it down to two trailers from companies in the US; Tumbleweed and Iron Eagle. These two seem to have the market cornered on tiny house trailers at the moment.
Both of these trailer options enables you to build the floor frame right into the trailer so you essentially gain 3.5” of headspace than when using a generic trailer. (That doesn't sound like very much but when your whole house is going to be 130 sq ft that makes a difference!)
Tumbleweed trailer Pros:
-They build them to fit the plans that they sell (the ones we purchased) so we wouldn't need to adapt our plans to fit the trailer (this was tempting because we already have so much to learn that having to also adjust the plans we already bought was a whole other step in the process. Meaning more calculations and... eeeewww, more math.)
-The trailer doesn't need framing built. You just make the “floor sandwich” and screw the subfloor right into the frame of the trailer. This would save a lot of time.
Iron Eagle trailer Pros:
-You can build a deeper floor so you can have more insulation. We live in Calgary... for those of you who have never been here in the winter, lucky you! The temperature can get down to -40 degrees. Considering this the extra insulation is not just a luxury, it may save us from freezing to death!
-With the deeper floor we can also build our plumbing right into the floor. Many tiny houses have the plumbing underneath the house or on the outside so the pipes risk freezing. Having our plumbing in the insulated floor will hopefully avoid this!
-It's cheaper. After doing our research we realized the Iron eagle would be a cheaper option for us.
Considering the pros of each we decided to go with the Iron Eagle. We figured it would be preferable to do a bit of extra math than to freeze to death (I guess...), and we even get to save some money in the mean time. What a win win!