Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Tiny Solar Car House

The Tiny House movement has grown into a full-on bubble, with folks paying upwards of $60k for an 8' wide by 16' to 24' long cottage built onto a utility trailer frame.  Made mostly from conventional homebuilding materials, I fear that most of these trailer homes are downright dangerous for amateur towing, and if towed very many miles, may come apart in new and exciting ways, as their materials and fixtures were not designed for the continuous earthquakes of a highway trip and the homes are rarely well-balanced side-to side and for optimal tongue weight.

Nevertheless, I am in need of storage for car parts and an off-season vehicle, but my 1983 Pro-Trac car hauling trailer's leaky roof and re-repaired skin is long past any usefulness for dry storage, and the rot in the plywood floor and walls was too far gone to be a trustworthy structure for road tripping.  So, why buy something new and spendy, when the old trailer has very good bones, and can become a relocatable storage building for far less than the cost of a backyard shed made of OSB that's guaranteed to eventually disintegrate back into a pile of wood chips?  Plus, this trailer needs an upgrade to match them shiny rims that came courtesy of an upgrade to dad's Airstream trailer!

So begins the tale of Jay's tiny warehouse, which will not only serve for storage and occasional hauling, but also be a grid-tied solar power station capable of offgrid operation, complete with a backup battery pack and off-grid 3 kW 120VAC inverter.   After Demolition Day, nothing but the sturdy steel frames remain, but no cancerous rust or major sins were discovered.
The conceptual sketch follows

Here's the original framing plan, courtesy of master draftsman Tim Ritchey, but it looks like we'll be able to reuse all the steel and restrict the wood to the second story.  Also, the roof peak will be on the opposite side, as there tends to be more clearance at the road's center line rather than the fog line, where tree limbs and bridge arches lurk...

No comments: