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  #1  
Old 05/07/09, 03:54 AM
 
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Semi trailer ?s

Has anyone ever converted a semi (tractor trailer, trailer) trailer into a home. Actually finished the inside, mechanicals etc. Made it into a real house? Added windows, real walk in door. Not a container but a complete trailer.
Tom

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  #2  
Old 05/07/09, 10:08 AM
White Mtns of AZ
 
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An acquaintance finished off a referigerator trailer unit as an on-site office. Already insulated. Never seen one transformed into a home although people here have talked about using a shipping container.

My problem with the shipping containers was the steel needs to be very well insulated as it readily transmits cold. I think you could google shipping containers to find pictures of some that have been converted for ideas.

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  #3  
Old 05/07/09, 10:10 AM
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Location: Warsaw, NY
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I have not, but I come from a family of truck drivers and OA's and there is now way I would do it. Trailers are not built well at all. The walls would move, even braced. The floors rot out very ez. We have had wood floors and metal floors. They leak water like crazy. Bee's find any little whole they can. I would say the only way you can is to build a frame system in the inside of the trailer to hold the windows and door. You would have to frame a floor up from the trailers floor. You would be much better off just building a small home the same size. Or buy an RV. What is your reason for wanting to do this?

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  #4  
Old 05/07/09, 10:47 AM
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Check you this site: http://shippingcontainerhousedesign.com/

Click on the links on the left side. They have plans available.

In Holly Deyo's book Dare to Prepare, she has plans for underground houses built from shipping containers. She says the outside walls must be reinforced, so the walls don't cave in. Shipping containers aren't strong enough to hold back the earth. http://www.amazon.com/Dare-Prepare-H.../dp/0908477066

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  #5  
Old 05/07/09, 11:45 AM
 
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Old moving vans have been used for shop offices/parts storage by truckers forever. Farmerjon has if correct, they all leak and eventually have structural problems and rotten floors.

Site office trailers are marginally better but don't age well, especially if they have been moved alot.

Either one would make a good temp place that could be prepared and then taken to a remote site but don't expect longevity.

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  #6  
Old 05/07/09, 11:49 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Ive helped make a hunting cabin out of a shipping container. Insulation was by far one of the hardest jobs to deal with. You have to stud out the interior to give room for it. Also its a pain to install windows and so forth due to the way the metal is corrugated (If it was smooth it wouldn't have been so bad). They can actually make decent little cabins but expect a lot of work to be done to make it comfortable and just not livable.

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  #7  
Old 05/07/09, 03:28 PM
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I saw an episode of HGTV where a woman did exactly that. It turned out quite nice. Sorry I can't think of the name of the program

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  #8  
Old 05/07/09, 03:42 PM
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Look up "Shipping container Houses" on You Tube. There are a number of videos there that show the possibilities.

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  #9  
Old 05/08/09, 02:59 AM
 
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Hmmm

Wow!!! I did not expect this to be a complain a thon...
I do deal with box trucks and trailers on a daily basis. I see them as storage and offices. Most do not leak and still have great floors.
What I want is to convert a drop deck van (potato chip trailer) to livng quarters by adding a floor with an area to store my gardening equipment under the living area. The problem I can see with the roof is heat buildup. This could be fixed by adding a tarp type roof with airspace above the original one.
There are different types of insulation to use (spray foam, p2000, etc...) so I dont think thats a problem.
Framing the inside will make it much stronger.
I can get the trailer and convert it for less than an rv and have something much larger and more practical for my app.
This is not something I plan to move around like a camper but have mainly sit in one spot maybe move once and a while.
I have land 35 miles from my house that I garden farm and need cheap storage for me and machinery (small equip) that is secure from weather...
Just thought I had seen old posts on here about people having similar ideas.
Tom

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  #10  
Old 05/08/09, 12:21 PM
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Tom,

Why not look into a garage kit and build some sleeping quarters into it (maybe the loft above the storage area)? Then if you ever build a house on the land, the garage is already built.

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  #11  
Old 05/08/09, 12:36 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: WV
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I would second the garage idea. It has been such a pain building my house without some place to just store stuff. I just didn't have the money to build the garage I wanted along with the house just yet.

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  #12  
Old 05/08/09, 03:32 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomstractormag View Post
Wow!!! I did not expect this to be a complain a thon...
I do deal with box trucks and trailers on a daily basis. I see them as storage and offices. Most do not leak and still have great floors.
What I want is to convert a drop deck van (potato chip trailer) to livng quarters by adding a floor with an area to store my gardening equipment under the living area. The problem I can see with the roof is heat buildup. This could be fixed by adding a tarp type roof with airspace above the original one.
There are different types of insulation to use (spray foam, p2000, etc...) so I dont think thats a problem.
Framing the inside will make it much stronger.
I can get the trailer and convert it for less than an rv and have something much larger and more practical for my app.
This is not something I plan to move around like a camper but have mainly sit in one spot maybe move once and a while.
I have land 35 miles from my house that I garden farm and need cheap storage for me and machinery (small equip) that is secure from weather...
Just thought I had seen old posts on here about people having similar ideas.
Tom
Sounds like you answered your own question. I used to work at a terminal w/ an old moving van that had been converted to a mobile training classroom and then retired as a shop office & parts room. No provisions had been made to preserve the roof. It had an air conditioner and electric heat. It dated from the 50's and by the early 90's was rusted enough to have issues w/ floor rot primarily by the doorway. It had been panneled and there was water damage. This old trailer was built from steel. Sounds like you have an exterior post aluminum trailer or possibly an FRP one depending on the vintage and it will do what you want. Your second post adds a lot of clarification. The first post makes it sound like you want to make one into a primary residence. Sounds like you have a good plan.
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  #13  
Old 05/09/09, 11:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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I have read post from a lady in north Ark or southern Mo who lived off grid in a semi trailer. I beleive her name was something like "MountianArkWoman" or something like that. I remember she cut wood and had a few post about that and camping in northern Arkansas.

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  #14  
Old 05/09/09, 11:17 AM
Brenda Groth
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
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there are tons of online sites with pictures of beautiful homes made out of semi trailer bodies..esp in Japan and england..and east coast of US

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  #15  
Old 05/09/09, 12:37 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbre View Post
there are tons of online sites with pictures of beautiful homes made out of semi trailer bodies..esp in Japan and england..and east coast of US
Do you have any links?
Thanks. Tom
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Owner Toms Tractors, Buy, Sell, Trade Garden Tractors and Implements. Custom Built machinery by order.


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