Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Foundation

We have a foundation. Our foundation is a $3124.70, Iron Eagle, 7000 Series trailer. It's gross (trailer and load) vehicle weight is 7000 lbs. It has a tubular frame, electric brakes and a longer tongue than many others in its class. The longer tongue gives the trailer a bit more stability on the road and means that we could distribute the weight a bit more evenly. Normally, you'd want around 15% of the trailer weight on the tongue. With ours we can go as low as 10%, but we don't need to.

We ordered the trailer about two weeks ago, and yesterday Rick and I picked it up with my Jeep Wrangler. It is important to note that we will NOT be towing the fully built cottage with the Jeep. My Jeep has a class three hitch, and ideally we'd want a class four to tow more than 5000lbs - and our cottage, even after being extremely conscientious about weight - will be up there.

So why not put a class 4 hitch on the Jeep? The Wrangler isn't built for towing. This kind of load would ruin the clutch, and the frame isn't built for it. Still, I may be able to use the Jeep for backing the finished cottage into tight spots, or other fine maneuvering - like pulling our trailer out of the build space when the time comes (the parking lot isn't long enough for a big truck).

Now, I haven't done a lot of towing before. I was actually a bit nervous. That's why I brought Rick along (well, and he's fun to hang out with). So after picking up the trailer we went to DMV and got a permanent trailer registration for 38 bucks (so once I put the plates on, the trailer is street legal). Then we found an empty parking lot and I practiced backing up with Rick's patient guidance. It turns out that it's easier to do gradual, arc-like, maneuvers than sharp, kink-like turns - you can get stuck quickly that way. Also, when pulling forward to straighten out, I found that if I cut the wheel hard in the opposite direction over just the last few feet, it sets the trailer and Jeep up in a nice arc for backing up.

Much to my surprise, I only had to pull forward and back about 3 or 4 times to get the trailer right into the build space. I expected it to take a lot longer and be a lot more frustrating.

Anyway, the trailer is 18 feet long - not including the tongue - and 7 feet wide between the wheel wells. This is our foundation. Before we begin building, we'll need to bring some tools in and make a few modifications to the trailer.

Also, Arlene's birthday is coming up. She likes tools. Maybe I'll get her something useful for the project.


  1. I love the picture. You look so proud - and well you should be. Keep up the good work!!!

    Love ya both

    Aunt Lovely Lois alias Lulu

  2. Thank you! I think we're pretty excited about it!


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