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Old 01-03-2014, 08:01 PM
 
6 posts, read 20,532 times
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Does anyone have any info about building a home around my travel trailer. I want to build a structure to park my trailer in, but want to build it as a liveable space and use the trailer as the central core of the home. If anyone knows of any aritcles, please provide a link . Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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Yes, you absolutely can do this. If you wish the trailer to be permanent part of the new building, you will have to either remove the wheels or jack up the axle on cement blocks. The trailer should be absolutely level, and need no adjustments, as your access to the hitch and wheels will be very limited after the surrounding structure goes up. Have an accurate measurement of the height of the trailer floor from the ground, so that you can position the floor of the building to the same height (assuming you wish it to be the same).

I have no links, but we just finished building a 1120 sq ft ranch on some land in Maine. You can do the trailer-in-the-house project with most any type of building - a steel shop, a pole barn, a stick-frame, a cement-block, etc. The key is the foundation. You need to support that trailer, and you want to keep it on solid ground. I'd recommend either a poured slab, or if you wish to keep it very inexpensive, you can go with an on-grade foundation of 6" of leveled gravel with RR-tie "skids" under your floor joists. Or you can elevate it slightly with Dek-blocks.

I advise having drawn plans (you can do it yourself) so you know the measurements and what is to be placed where. If you need access to some of the trailer's systems, (waste removal, water tank, 12V power, propane hook-ups) you may wish to position the trailer within the building so that these can be reached easily. They do not have to face the outdoors, as long as you are willing to designate some of the indoor area to these maintenance tasks.

Just get your floor joists up to trailer-level, and nail down your sub-floor so that the access to the trailer is seamless. This will actaully be the only really tricky part of the project, as the walls, roof, etc can the be put up as you would do for any other structure. I'd strongly recommend skirting the building to prevent drafts from below, and insulating the floor from below with something as simple as lawn bags filled with leaves - anything to fill that cold, dead air space underneath.

This sounds like a nice idea, and a neat project. This way, you can have your kitchen and bath, heat and power right there in your new building, plus a lot of extra space. Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
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A metal carport is probably the first thing I plan to do, soon I'll be moving an old 34' camper trailer onto my land. If I can't find a cheap enough one I may just build something to separate the roof from the rain as it has a small leak. After that I'll probably get some 6' wire fencing around it to deter animals. Those are two cheap ways to start short of building an actual structure. Awnings are a pain in the butt as the high winds here are constantly pulling on them. I think I may eventually tear it off.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:03 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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I've never seen this done to a travel trailer but have seen it done with a single wide.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
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Make sure there is ventilation, esp if u plan to still use gas in the camper. My grandpa suggests a block studio structure to serve like a studio.. come to think of it u can build that and maybe back the camper into it and have a garage door.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
I've never seen this done to a travel trailer but have seen it done with a single wide.
I commonly see people do practically as much work as a single wide with the skirt and patio. Come to think of it, single wides are no more work than a camper, just one is easier to move with a truck if needed. Either way it needs to be on a perfectly flat foundation.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
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Also want to make sure the ground moisture is blocked off as best as possible, in a humid or wet area I can see that rotting the camper floor. Snakes, lizards, bugs etc will find any hole at all between the camper and structure.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:00 PM
 
11,555 posts, read 53,159,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingo9516 View Post
Does anyone have any info about building a home around my travel trailer. I want to build a structure to park my trailer in, but want to build it as a liveable space and use the trailer as the central core of the home. If anyone knows of any aritcles, please provide a link . Thanks in advance.
Be aware that building codes in some locales will have something to say about the structure and feasibility of doing this. You need to check with the code enforcement/zoning & planning folk in the area where you are planning to build before doing so.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:43 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,551 posts, read 81,103,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Be aware that building codes in some locales will have something to say about the structure and feasibility of doing this. You need to check with the code enforcement/zoning & planning folk in the area where you are planning to build before doing so.
Yes, you would be surprised about the city/county code requirements. Here in WA a relative did a covered deck on their double wide and it had to be self-supported, they were not allowed to attach it directly to the building. Their neighbor wanted to do a stick-built addition to theirs and had to do it as a separate building, with a short covered hallway in between, again, not attached to the trailer.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
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If u live in a rural area what they don't know won't hurt them.
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