Living Small – Trailer Build Begins

The trailer in essence is the foundation of your tiny home, it carries the full weight of your home and contents AND makes it portable rendering it NOT a house but a vehicle!

To immerse myself further into the design I have decided to design and build the trailer as part of the project. Tinka Design will complete the design engineering and the build will be done by a good friend of mine Craig Baker who has many years’ experience as a welder building large agricultural farming equipment. Together Craig and I will cut, weld and assemble the trailer using a farm shed down in Geraldine, a 2 hour drive south of Christchurch.

The trailer design has taken some time and has been a steep learning curve to understand all the necessary components, the brands, price points and benefits. I have chosen to purchase my trailer components from CM trailers based in Ashburton, New Zealand. They have a distributor close by the work office which has allowed viewing the components and discussing issues as they come up very easy without wasting valuable time.

Trailer engineering drawings have been completed by Tinka Design, a product design consultancy based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Parts and steel are ordered based on the drawings.

Trailer chassis being rotated

The trailer being rotated. We need to be able to rotate the chassis to allow for welding and painting. To do this we used a bit kiwi ingenuity and created a rear swivel stand and for the tow bar we used a small hand powered crane.

Trailer Chassis being cold welded.

Craig is busy cold welding the C-Channel onto the side joists. The C-channel forms the attachment points for the frame to fasten down to. The Mudguards stand around 200mm high above the floor level. These will be hidden by the kitchen cupboards.

Trailer ready for full welding.

Trailer chassis is near completion. The under slung truss is now attached along with steel plates to support the draw bar. All welds are tacked together ready for the hot welds to be completed.

The basic layout of the chassis consists of 2 125 x 75 RHS beams that run the length of the trailer. These are held apart by the joists (63 x 35 RHS) placed at 600mm centres to allow a ply floor to fasten down directly onto the steel. 100 x 50 Duragalv C-Channel runs the perimeter of the trailer so that the frame can be easily bolted to the trailer base.

The overall dimensions of the trailer are as follows:
Length: 7.2m
Width: 2.4m frame width, 2.5m overall width including the mud guards.
Wheels: 14 inch 8 ply – rated to 850Kg per wheel.
Weight: 720 – 800KG (a final weight will be confirmed once the trailer is fully assembled)

Being responsible for all aspects of the trailer, from design, part selection to ordering of steel has proven to be a great challenge allowing me to understand each design decision and know where the money is being spent.

If you would like to discuss the trailer design or would like help with the CAD/ engineering of your trailer please get in contact.

For any further information or general questions don’t be afraid to get in touch.