Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It All Started With A Trailer.....

Every Tiny House build starts with a dream, and then hopefully turns into plans, and then eventually evolves into ACTION.   And while I had originally thought that My Empty Nest build would take 18 – 24 months, things are going along so well at this point that it should be done by Spring.
And it all started with a trailer….

 In order to earn money for my tiny house build I took on another project, a 1955 Cardinal camper trailer.  A friend gave her to me for some work I did, and my plan was to refurbish her basic shell (only) and re-sell her ASAP. I named her Dandy Lion.  Like most vintage trailers, she needed a LOT of work and that included replacing all of the existing brake light fixtures and wiring.
Just over a year ago I refurbished a 1964 Scotsman trailer for my own Glamping use, so I started Dandy Lion with labor resources already listed in my little black book. (my  iPhone)
So, with the goal of re-wiring Dandy Lion in mind I called “Trailer Guy” (because I didn’t have his name, only a moniker in my phone) and the conversation went like this…

“Hey.  This is Michelle.  You helped me with my vintage trailer a little over a year ago and I was wondering if you’re interested or available to help me with wiring up another vintage trailer.  Do you remember me?”


“Oh….well……(long awkward pause)…can you help?”

“I don’t really do trailer wiring.” He replied.

Confused, I asked, “What do you do?”  (Because, after all, he was “Trailer Guy” in my phone!?)

“I build Tiny House trailers.” 

“No way!?  Well, I need one of those too.  Do you have any?” I asked.

“That depends.  What size to you need?  I have a 24 footer that just came back that I need to sell right away.”

It was one of those moments in life when everything clicked, and even though I didn’t have the money at the time, I knew this was an opportunity I could not pass up.  (normal lead time in Portland Oregon for a tiny house trailer is 8 – 10 weeks)  And besides, I couldn’t really afford a new one and the one he had was damaged during shipment.  So, he told me that the price for this trailer would be much lower than a new one.
As it turns out, my floor plan requires a 24 foot long trailer.  His, however, was a triple axel trailer so I went about re-working my plan to accommodate the longer fenders.

New floor plan?  Check!

The trailer he had was also built for a floor plan that fit between the wheel wells.  Mine didn’t.

Outriggers added?  Check!

In the process of adding the outriggers he repaired the transit damage but also removed some of the thread rods that I would need to hold the house to the trailer.
Welder scheduled to add the thread rods back on?  Check!

I don’t know exactly how the Trailer Guy ended up on my phone.  I was probably doing some internet research at one point and put it there, with the intention of calling him later.  

What I do know is that there are times when the universe delivers what we “put out there”.
What I also know is that just taking one step, making one phone call, taking one small risk, is often well worth the effort and….sometimes……it all pays off even better than you ever imagined.


  1. Love how the Universe does that! Hoping to take a similar journey in the next few years.

  2. What brand of trailer is it? It looks like it was already modified to bear the weight of a tiny house.