Many of the Tiny House designs that I have seen use a drop floor design where the flooring is above the axle but below the top of the wheels requiring a cutout in the wall and flooring for the wheel wells. I find this restriction to be limiting as this location is ideal for a wide doorway at the centre of the unit. For that reason, I am in favour of the floating floor design where the floor is above the wheels. Since we know the maximum height is 13’6” (162′), this gives us approximately the following overall dimensions for each section to work with:

Roof 24
Wall 96
Floor 12
Wheel 30

So it can be made to work. The roof does not really need to be a traditional peak roof as the unit is only 8 feet wide. To gain the necessary R40 insulation, 12 inches is adequate so we have a bit of room for experimentation here.

The principle design goal for the flooring is to have a very rigid structure. I think the rigidity and strength will come from all the elements combined. So 2×8 floor joists attached to doubled-up rim joists and fastened to the steel c-channel And if we weld steel sheet to the bottom, this skin layer provides extra rigidity to the c-channel.

The trailer axle assembly could be welded to the c-channel forming a trailer but we are likely to go with a separate trailer and add 8×8 PT lumber “skids” below the flooring so the whole structure can rest on the ground or piers and raised and lowered onto a trailer when moving.

Here is a diagram of the flooring details. Going from top to bottom:

  • SiP wall panel with exterior 2″ rigid foam insulation will give us R-
  • This is attached to floor plate with screw/nails
  • The wall sits on 3/4 plywood flooring
  • The wall is also supported by doubled 2×8 rim joists below the flooring
  • Floor joists are 12″ on centre with 7.5″ of rigid foam insulation in between
  • There is a 1″ rigid foam insulation below the joists to serve as a thermal break
  • 2×6 C-channel runs the whole perimeter and is bolted to floor rim joists
  • A bottom plate of steel is welded to c-channel forming a rigid structure
  • The c-channel could be filled with rigid foam insulation before exterior cladding is added
  • Two skids made with 8×8 PT lumber are bolted to the bottom of the flooring and run the full length


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