As promised, we’re continuing our sharing about building a camp trailer that can function as a durable structure in the alpine mountain environment. Here is an alternative to the yurt obsession.
Many options exist for framing this type of structure (google keywords such as “tiny house.”) If you’re not dealing with snow loads on your roof, you can do walls with 2×2 instead of 2×4 or 2×6 stud framing, and top with a flat roof raftered with nothing more than 2x4s. That’s how el-cheapo mobile homes are constructed.
In our case, we needed something with structural strength we could locate at altitude in Colorado and leave unattended if necessary. That meant some pant seat engineering. So what I did was find a few roof load engineering tables on the web, and ascertained that our “square” (45 degree) gable roof design would be plenty strong framed with 2×6 on 24 inch centers. But just to be sure, since I’m not an engineer, I doubled up every other rafter. Not taking any chances.
Overall, our construction methods are simple and could be scaled to any sort of wall framing. We insulated with blue foam, sheathed with 5/8 plywood oriented horizontally for trailer strength, and paneled the lower inside walls with 3/8 ply, thus making the walls into incredibly strong box trusses so the trailer can be transported without coming apart or sagging fore or aft of the axles which would be embarrassing, though the event might make a good joke for a Jeff Foxworthy standup. Something like, “you know you’re a redneck if you decide to move and your house blows off your trailer.”
Yep, Foxworthy won’t be able to accuse us of owning a home that has more miles on it than our car, but I did have to think for a moment to remember that the hot tub we’re planning isn’t a stolen bathtub.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.