I'm making an upgrade.
After living a semi-intentional mobile lifestyle in my Sprinter van for several months, I am ready to semi-settle down, and for me that means an upgrade on my square footage.
The Sprinter boasts something like 50 whole square feet. I bought an enclosed 18x8.5 cargo trailer that offers something like 150 square feet. It's big enough, I think, for my very own mobile writer's cottage. One thing that really helps conserve space is the fact that it has no shower or toilet. I built a separate outhouse for the composting toilet and a shower stall in the redwoods. I am based in Northern California and so the winters are mild enough to make this feasible/extremely enjoyable. The toilet and shower are easily disassembled and transported elsewhere when it comes time to move.
I wanted to build a larger home, and I wanted that home to be on wheels.
I saw basically two options: a flat bed trailer or an enclosed cargo trailer.
I chose the enclosed trailer rather than a flat bed trailer because, thing is, it's already enclosed. I love how a flat bed trailer gives me freedom to build a custom house, but I just wasn't feeling eager to actually build or even to design that custom house. I just wanted something basic. I was also leery of how, since a custom flatbed build has more variables, it could more easily go over budget and take longer than anticipated.
The main cons about the cargo trailer:
- aesthetically unappealing
- ceiling height is only 7 feet
- not as stout as a wood-frame house I could build myself
- I'm paying for the materials and labor that make what it is: an enclosed cargo trailer
The main pros about the cargo trailer:
- its cost ($6k) was not substantially higher than a bare-bones flatbed deck trailer of the same size ($3k?). Cost of building walls and roof so that they achieve what the walls and roof of the enclosed trailer do, which is keep out the elements, might make cost roughly equal. I don't know. I eyeballed my estimate and shot from the hip here.
- it's already enclosed. Once I finish the interior, I'm done. I can sit in the middle of the room and spin in my swivel chair and feel happy that I have a house big enough to do that.
- it is probably going to be lighter weight than a comparable wooden-frame tiny house built on a flat bed. That makes towing easier, and it means the trailer can have 3500-lb axles, which are cheap.
- it is 'stealth;' it doesn't look like a dwelling from the outside. It just looks like maybe Stephen has some motorcycles in that big white box next to that shower stall and that outhouse.