Free Mobile Home Trailer Frames: USES???

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by copperkid3, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2005
    Dwelling in the state of Confusion -
    Our local Craigslist had a listing several months ago, in which the lister had available a large number of 12' x 70' mobile homes which he was willing to drop off for free.....but a nominal delivery fee would be charged. It sounded intriguing, but at the time, I didn't have the "nominal fee", or the time, nor the inclination.
    Fast forward to the present. New ad states that he'll now bring them out to you FOR FREE period!!! No delivery fee either!!! So, still don't have the money, (which is now, no longer a problem), and the time.....well, there is never enough of that either, and the inclination.....well, that just became a bit stronger as he finally phoned me yesterday morning and let me know that he has one coming out today!!!
    The main reason I'm interested is that the house that we've been building for the past 12 yrs., is needing a combination covered carport/balcony porch that comes off the east side of the house and goes down an inclined graveled pathway to the road. A friend who has helped work on this house and knows it well and my financial situation, has suggested that the best/cheapest way to help accomplish this task, would be to get an old trailer frame and use it to form the basic support structure for the decking. So that is where that idea sprang from. There is an 8" steel I-beam that extends across the 24' width of the house and is flush and visible to the outside. Above it, rests a 2" x 12" plank that forms the box ends for the joists. And above that extends a full two story house. My question is: Is this a good idea? Will it provide the necessary support for a porch/covered deck? If so, then what suggestions/equipment would I need to get it up and fastened to the house? There are two glass sliders that look out from this side of the house and would be used for entrance/egress to this deck. What other modifications/bracing should be done to prevent structural collaspe or failure should a large party of merrymakers be assembled upon it, sometime in the future? The width of the house, as already mentioned is 24', but swings around to a covered porch area of the house that would be another 12' in the same plane; in other words from point A to point B, the total distance would be 36'. Since the trailer is 70' long, cutting it down to length shouldn't be a problem, but will the 12' width be enough to make a carport/deck or should I get another trailer and attach it alongside the first? Any ideas would be appreciated. The supply of trailers at this point, appears inexhaustible and I'm currently also pondering if they could be used as possible bridges to get across portions of my wet/marshy land. Again, suggestions/ideas? There is one place that would be very helpful to have a bridge to, but I'm at a loss as to how to even get it into that location short of taking a dozer to cut a path with and then dragging it there with it!
    Almost forgot to mention, that these are complete mobile homes that the owners have either walked away from and the trailer park owners want them out, or are simply older than the park allows on its grounds. The sides/roof, ect. have to be removed and disposed of by the "new" owners. No problem there, but anyone with previous experience that can give me some valuable pointers or time savers in this area; it would certainly be appreciated.
    Also, we may not be able to get the intact trailer up this driveway, as the entrance is rather narrow and the roadway does not very wide shoulders and if he did somehow manage to get it in the drive, he might not be able to get it unhooked and have enough room to get back out. The edges on the main roadway, extend just enough on either side, before going into a swamp or creek. Therefore, we may have to park the trailer elsewhere on my property or a neighbors and work without power tools as there is no nearby electricity. After it is stripped down and cut to size, we should then be able to get it back up the main driveway.
  2. WayneR

    WayneR Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Have herd of people using the axles for building trailers.

    It is VERY strange that the owner has not sold them for scrap. There may be leins or other legal challenges concerning ownership of the trailers.

    There is a saying, "if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is"

  3. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    That may have been true a couple years ago when scrap prices were sky-high, but not so much in more recent times.
  4. tallpaul

    tallpaul Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2004
    scraping a trailer isn't worth the time- by the time ya take all the debris off of them and pay to get rid of the debris its not worth it...

    they make great chicken houses if ya can seal em enough or stand to look at em...

    I have thought of making a mobile chicken house/run out of one... I likely would if I had the land...
  5. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 4, 2006
    Northern Michigan (U.P.)
    Paul's right. Some stugg you can burn, but a lot that is useless and would have to be hauled away.
    The frame, by itself, isn't as strong as a normal trailer. They rely on the structure of the trailer to help stiffen up the trailer. Romeve the walls and they are a bit floppy.
    The tires on a trailer are likely old and weather checked if not rotten. Even newer mobile home tires are useless around here. The Dept of Transportation can ticket you for using them for other uses. I guess the moble home tires are made to different specs and not safe for the kinds of uses like hauling equiipment.
    The axles are useful . But if the axles are old, you may not be able to get parts to repair the brakes and any tires you find would have to come off the rims to fit your older style rims.

    But for using the frame for a bridge, too floppy. To attach it to your house for an enclosed porch might work. Carport, no. Unsightly, yes. Save you money, maybe. No idea your weather and insulation needs.

    Maybe you could tell your neighbors of your plan and they'd kick in the couple hundred that you'd be saving, just to keep the blight out of their neighborhood.
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    I have seen the main skeleton wall structure of a metal building made from frames. Posts were erected as for a pole building. The frames were secured horizontally on the outside of metal posts and used as purlins. Trusses were used on the roof. Once completed it was difficult to differentiate from other metal buildings. You had to look on the inside of the building to see it was not a conventional building. I would guess the building was a full trailer length end to end and a half trailer length front to back, ~ 1800 sq. feet.

    A side note......With just a hub change, trailer axles can be converted from the 14 1/2 inch wheels to standard wheels that are 15 inch and fitted with highway tires.
  7. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2005
    Dwelling in the state of Confusion -
    After reading over the advice presented here, I began to have some serious doubts as to whether
    this venture was indeed; worthwhile. Not to worry.
    The man who "finds"
    new homes for these mobile homes, didn't call me as he claimed he would, on the day that we'd
    planned on him delivering ONE (1) mobile home.....and I had to leave a couple of messages for him
    to get back in touch. When he finally called back, he made some lame excuses that there
    were some "problems".......and when pressed to elaborate, he finally confessed that his
    brother had lost his home in a fire and that the mobile home that he'd promised to me,
    was in far better condition than expected and that consequently, he'd be giving it to him instead.
    Which was fine by comes first. That was understandable.
    No problem.

    On the bright side, he stated that there was at least one and possibly two other trailers that were
    coming the following week that were 14 feet wide; instead of 12 and that he would get one of those for me instead.
    And that's where we left it....until I got some frantic phone messages the following week; left by his next door neighbor,
    who claimed that the man was now in the hospital for chest pains/possible heart problems and that
    she was taking care of his business while he was incapacitated. Okay......but the information
    that she had didn't jibe with what I'd been told......:duel: she was under the impression that I was going
    to take TWO (2) mobile homes and they were coming in the following day and she needed to reconfirm
    my address for the permit pull. Then there was some slip-of-the-tongue stuff about how much money
    that they'd be needing and also, did I have any "spare" trailer tires/axles that they could have???
    Apparently she was under the impression that I'd taken these before and that there was some
    under-the-table deal to provide "kickbacks". When she wouldn't elaborate further,but told me to
    "Just nevermind; it doesn't matter anyway".......I told her the same thing.....
    there were TOO MANY
    unanswered questions and that the "facts" weren't jibing together like they
    should be and to just
    never mind and that if and when Phil got out of the hospital, he could give me a call to straighten
    this mess out, but since he'd changed his mind on delivery of the first trailer,
    then I guessed that
    that perogative was also available to me on this next trailer(s) and that was the end of it.

    I guess when something looks too good to be true.......there's a reason for it.

    So back to the drawing board on how to make a combination carport/walk-out deck for the east side of the house.
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns
    LOL,sounds like some of the Craigslist folks Ive dealt with.
  9. denaliguide

    denaliguide Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    Space Zone 1
    would be the trailer mounted sauna we had in the foothills south of Fairbanks, AK.

    We had no running water so we used the sauna for personal hygiene and recreation [ that was when we'd get a nice cold 6 pack of beer, to drink in our red hot sauna].

    I think it'd be a stretch to turn a big one into a sauna, but fur shure would I get a small one, say under 20', I'd make a sauna out of it. Next idea would be a rabbit barn,maybe with the flooring replaced by steel catwalk so's to leave all the good rabbit stuff to go to the bottom. Move it every summer off one area and garden it. ! !

    Sounds lame I know but its late and thats what comes to mind.