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Hello Alasdair,This hut weight around 1300kg. I did tow it briefly on the road at low speed. However, I did not design it as a tourer. The wheeled chassis is mainly to get it into place on site and to allow me to build off-site.
It might be better to find a used flatbed trailer (e.g. Ifor Williams) maybe one with twin axles. Would be more robust and have a higher load rating for all your stuff. The caravan chassis generally have a load rating of around 1300kg - 1500kg so it is hard to keep within that limit unless you find lightweight ways to build. Note that the floor on a caravan chassis is an essential structural member. They are quite flimsy until the floor is bolted down. You could use thin ply ( painted) as the exterior surface to save weight as the timber cladding is heavy stuff.I'd have no qualms about the robustness of my build on the road, all joints were glued and screwed and windows are toughened glass.
No, I deliberately kept it quite low. Slightly higher could be good too though. Height to top of wall plate was 1650mm, then a 150mm x 50mm fixed on top of wall plate, giving a total of 1800mm wall height inside the hut. Internal wall sheets were cut at around 1780mm to make them easy to slide in, gap at bottom covered by skirting board. (the way I did it may not have been the best, but it provides a simple way to seat the central arch below the finished wall height, and angle the top of the wall plate for the curved ceiling)
That's great. Thank you. It makes it worthwhile to get comments like this. Good luck with your build.
Hi Nadia, I estimated the finished weight at about 1,200kg. The chassis was rated for 1350kg I think. Different chassis have different ratings, typically 900kg to 1500kg. Basically, the bigger the caravan, the stronger the chassis. Twin axle chassis are used for heavier caravans but you can het single axle ones up to 1500kg. The heavier duty chassis often have 5-stud wheels and bigger tyres compared to lower ratings with 4-stud wheels (stud = wheel nut). There will be a plate on every chassis (often on the axle underneath) showing the maximum load for the chassis. May also be a plate near the tow hitch giving ratings for max nose weight and other info. The use of caravan chassis is a bit limiting weigh wise, you have to use lightweight materials and always be thinking about weight (assumi…
Hi Nadia, I estimated the finished weight at about 1,200kg. The chassis was rated for 1350kg I think. Different chassis have different ratings, typically 900kg to 1500kg. Basically, the bigger the caravan, the stronger the chassis. Twin axle chassis are used for heavier caravans but you can het single axle ones up to 1500kg. The heavier duty chassis often have 5-stud wheels and bigger tyres compared to lower ratings with 4-stud wheels (stud = wheel nut). There will be a plate on every chassis (often on the axle underneath) showing the maximum load for the chassis. May also be a plate near the tow hitch giving ratings for max nose weight and other info. The use of caravan chassis is a bit limiting weigh wise, you have to use lightweight materials and always be thinking about weight (assuming you need to tow it on a public road, if you're just parking it on private property its not a big deal assuming the chassis isn't dangerously overloaded leading to collapse). Maybe a heavy duty hauling chassis with a load capacity of 2 - 3.5 Tonnes would be easier, but they tend to cost about £1000 - £2,500 even second hand. ( PS: You can buy a proprietary device for weighing your "caravan", a load sensor that you drive the wheels over, cost about £180) Good luck with you build.
Hi Gary, I did think a lot about weight. I tried to find a trailer with a 1350 or 1500kg axle. ( they tend to have larger 5-hole wheels which is a clue, but not always. Weight wise I used a rough number of 500kg per cubic meter for dry timber. Using this you can estimate the weight of each piece of timber; e.g. a 2m long 3" x 2" ( 75mm x 50mm) would be; 2m x 0.075 x 0.05 = 0.0075 x 500kg = 3.75 kg. Then just add up all the timber you plan to use. I also bought a caravan weighing device, a simple drive-over scale. My finished hut was 1200kg, so very close to limit. Using 3.5mm veneered ply inside kept the weight down but added to cost. It might be cheaper just to get a used road-going trailer with a capacity of say 2.5 T upward and then just use whatever materials you like.
This is an excellent instructible. Thank you for all the lavish photographs and pictures of the hut in use. You are a skilled craftsman & craftswoman.
Hello Tanti, The walls are 1780mm high before the arch.
Hi Marcus, I used a company in Rutherglen, Glasgow called Cladco. They are very good at curving the sheets. I used the 0.7mm, Plastisol coated, non- condensation type.https://cladco.uk.com/roofs/profiles/Good luck with your build. Wul
Hello Kimmy, The height of the walls, from floor to the start of the ceiling curve, is 70 inches (1780mm).The height of the ceiling, at it's highest point is 83.5 inches (2120mm), (although the ceiling purlin protrudes downwards about 65mm below this height).Thanks for your comment and the very best of luck with your build.
Hi John,It's hard to comment without more detail. 19mm cladding is generally viewed as a good thickness for sheds so it should do the job. There's no information on the frame work sizes. It would be a good way to get the basic structure in place if you don't have the time/skills to do it yourself. Beware though that all the paint, varnish, insulation, internal finishings, stove etc required to finish the hut adds a lot of time or cost. That's why theirs is so cheap, compared to others.
Hi,The link seems to be broken. Can you re-post it? I've not seen the kits, sounds interesting.
Hi Eckyg,I just took along a light-bar, fixed it to the chassis with screws, plugged it into the tow bar socket and towed it home behind my car. I had to use an extension cable on the light bar because the chassis was so long.It was towable, the moving parts on these chassis, especially ALKO (German made) ones, seem to last a long time.
Hi,I would think that 3mm on the inside is fine but the outer skin would need to be thicker, in my opinion. I am not an engineer though, so I may be wrong. I used 9mm OSB (oriented strand board) on the outside.It is a strong way to build, making a sandwich of stud wall with ply skin. I was surprised just how rigid it ends up, so a thinner skin may well be OK. Ply would be stronger than OSB I reckon. Weight is a key issue, its easy to end up heavier than you planned. A building engineer could do calculations for you to work out optimal sizes. You could make up a test panel to try out your design.
Hi Hazel,If you take measurements from a touring caravan that will let you see what is "allowed". I think 8ft wide seems to be the maximum for towing with a car. I'm sure DVLA or VOSA could advise.
Thank you for your encouraging comment.
Hi,I'm in Scotland (UK) The chassis is the base of an old touring caravan. They can be bought here for £50 - £150 for a twin axle model. I'm talking about something that might be 20 years old or more, so basically scrap/salvage material. The wheel bearings and brakes are often fine though, caravans tend to be very under-used as road vehicles.
Hi, This is covered in the description and also in the comments below. The cost was around £4,500 GBP. You could build it a lot cheaper by using recycled windows & door and milling your own timber. Price is very variable, if you want to build cheaper you can do it. I went for strength & quality and paid a bit more.