A Barn Out Of Old Trailers?????

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by reneeearle, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. reneeearle

    reneeearle Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Has anyone ever built a barn out of an old house trailer???? I thought about using 4, putting each one, end-to-end to make a square, with the middle left open. I would like to put a roof over the middle, to use as an indoor riding arena. Then each of the trailers would be used for each different animal. What does everyone think???? Am I crazy???? They (the trailers) are always in the paper for free. So, why not???? I could recycle the cupboards and put them into my basement. The hardware, endless uses. The toilets, etc, if in good working condition, sell them, otherwise, scrap them out. Same with the appliances.
    Please let me know!!!
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2003
    i don't think you are crazy at all, it's a good resourceful idea. but i have to admit, my first thought was the trailers will never stand up to that kind of use. the old free ones aren't even fit for humans anymore. it wouldn't take a week for goats to destroy a brand new one. horse probably wouldn't fit. pigs? naw. what kind of animals were you thinking of housing?

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    People use semi trls. why not old moble homes, I know 1 person who used 1 for a dairy parlor.
  4. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Oct 14, 2004
    I don't see how the particle board subfloor would last any time at all.

    I have seen old railroad boxcars turned into a barn.
  5. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

    Dec 7, 2002
    Dysfunction Junction
    My stepdaughter kept poultry in one, but had a difficult time cleaning it ... she ended up with a lung disease from breathing the dust of poultry dung. :(

    I agree that the floor would not stand up to the weight of horses; also, what are you going to use to support the roof? Trusses laid across the tops of sagging, flimsy trailers are not going to span a very considerable distance.

    Finally, check with your county ... there may be restrictions on the age/size of trailers moved in. Often when you see trailers being given away for free, it's because local restrictions make it illegal to move them onto a new lot in the immediate area, and their condition makes it unwise to move them very far. Hence they have no value ...
  6. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    South Carolina
    We have an old trailer that was left on our property when we bought it. I agree that it wouldn't work for most animals. However, what does work great are packing containers! I don't know if they are readily available in your area but we have them everywhere. They are the big boxes you see on the back of 18 wheelers. We live right outside of a port city and they are also used to carry things on the big barges. Unfortunately they aren't free but if you can find one that is damaged or a fridge container that no longer cools you can get a great deal. We made ours into a building for breeding chinchillas. My husband works for a billboard company..and brings home billboard tarps after they come down. These get thrown away by truck loads! They come in 30 and 40 foot sheets and are practically indestructible! Wonderful for making roofs over cages/pens. We put down plywood in the floor of our container to cover the uneven floors (they come with raised metal slats) and then put down a billboard tarp. Now it can be opened up and hosed down when needed as the whole thing is steel.
    Around here a refrigerated container goes for about 3000. Alittle much, but you have to consider it is already insulated like crazy and will last forever!

    Here is a picture of our building. Alittle more finished out than what you would need. We added lights and a/cs because the chinchilla required this sort of thing. (sorry for all of the labels. This picture came from my website as a virtual tour of our herd room)

  7. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I dont think house trailers would last long. You would have to re-enforce the sides or many animals would kick or eat there way out. You need to strip out all the insides of the trailer and once you do that the walls are paper thin.
    You might get buy with a semi trailer bed, but those are not that strong either.
    You might consider shipping containers. Thse are very strong and also would provide stoage as well.
  8. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    My first reaction was - very resourceful idea! However it sounds like a lot of work gutting the insides. And like the others, I have no idea how the floors would hold up. I know when we first bought our 8 x 10 shed (you build it), we lined it with a metal sheeting to help keep the floor in tact longer and keep rats from chewing thru the flooring up into the building which we were using for a chicken coop. But in 5-6 years, it already started rusting through.

    We cut holes in the walls for additional venting - and installed cheap vents that can be opened or closed. I suppose you'd have adequate ventilation with the windows in the units, as long as you can open and close them.

    Let us know what you decide.
  9. Thumbbuddy

    Thumbbuddy Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    I first used a house trailer for a chicken coop, floors gave out and not enough ventulation, now I got bus free, removed the seats and made a wall for half use for chickens and half for storage of feed, plenty of sunshine and plenty of ventulation with the windows open.
  10. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

    Sep 18, 2003
    I like Chinclubs idea.
    I'd planned to bury an 'intermodal container' for use as a root cellar once.
    Now my future housing plans are to bury four of the buggers!
    As of a couple of years ago these folks offered them NEW for $3G. Used ones have seen the world and have seen lots of pesticides & herbicides, to keep out illegal immigrants (the bug/disease variety). Some may be quite toxic...
  11. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Old school buses work great and can many times be had for the price of a tow home. Seats are easy to strip out and they'll take a lot of abuse, after all, they were designed to hold up to kids. :haha: