Hi, my name is Amy and I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mold Allergies, and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. My husband, Jesse, our seven children, and I all moved to Arizona from Missouri in 2014. (You can read about that transition here: From the Dairy to the Desert Since then, we have been hoping to build both homes and trailers for chemically sensitive people, giving them a chance to rest and heal and enjoy life again.
This is our first trailer, a completely non-toxic and non-smelly space for sleeping or working. When we started, Jesse (my husband) shopped for trailer beds, but couldn’t find anything that hadn’t been painted (and the paint smelled really strong). So he bought a simple axle and started from there. Thankfully he’s a man of many talents! Every step of the way, this trailer has been created to accommodate the most sensitive person. I have severe sensitivities (can’t tolerate vehicles or go to town), but I cannot smell anything in this trailer. It’s great–and I know it’s going to make a huge difference for anyone needing a safe space. Plus, it’s super cute! Here are some photos of how it all came together:
So, as you can see from the pictures above, this project has involved lots of welding and bolting and plenty of brainstorming! Here is a basic synopsis of what we did, including all materials used:
- First we welded and bolted the entire frame together using non-painted angle-iron. We chose to start small, with a tiny trailer made just for sleeping, without kitchen or bath facilities. The interior dimensions of this trailer are 7’8″ long by 6’3″ wide. The ceiling is 6’6″ tall.
Then we installed the insulation, which is called Insulfoam. It’s a polystyrene insulation (like a Styrofoam cup). This is mold resistant and insect resistant. It is non-toxic, with no formaldehyde, CFCs, or HCFCs.Update!! We are now insulating with an even better product: polyisocyanurate foam board insulation, which has no smell. Scroll down to read more (click on the canaries at the bottom of the page.)
- We covered the exterior walls with powder-coated aluminum and installed 2×2 aluminum windows in each side of the trailer. The top panel of powder-coated aluminum overlaps the lower panel by 3 inches and is sealed with butyl tape (which is so non-smelly that I could even help with it!) There is no place for moisture to enter the exterior walls.
- We finished the exterior corners with angle-aluminum.
- Then we started on the floor of the interior. First, we lined the entire span with mylar and then laid in the pattern-punched aluminum flooring. There is no place where any fumes/fragrances/toxins can enter through the floor.
- We did the same mylar covering on the walls and ceiling of the interior. Other than butyl tape, there was no tape used. Corners and seams were sealed with butyl tape and some silicone. Then the walls of powder-coated aluminum were installed, with angle-aluminum trim on the seams and around the windows.
- Next, we wired the trailer and installed brake lights and accessory lights. We installed a port that includes both an electric outlet and an ethernet hookup, so that the person in the trailer can plug in a lamp or computer.
- Then we started on the aluminum roof. At this point, Jesse had to stop and build a custom brake-table to bend the aluminum, because we wanted it to lap over the sides for maximum coverage–like the top of a shoe box. Our son, Elijah, came up with a fold that they were able to do on the brake-table. It ended up looking very neat and, when we tested it, held water with no drips or moisture coming through! I don’t know how other trailer manufacturers do their roofs, but once we had this thing together and set it down as a lid, on top of the trailer, and it worked (!)–well, let’s just say, we felt pretty proud!
- The door for this trailer was custom-made by Challenger Door in Indiana. Jesse actually drove to their factory and picked this one up, because he wanted to see the whole operation. (Subsequent doors will be shipped to us.) The door is completely metal (powder-coated aluminum), with all metal workings. It locks, and it fits perfectly!
- Now Jesse is busy building and installing the metal frame for the bed and the side table. He’s also building some really cool fenders for it! I’ll get pics of that on as soon as possible. Once those things are done, and we get a title for it and a temporary license, it will be ready to go. We will be including a spare tire and four jacks to put on the corners to stabilize it once it’s parked.
- The final weight of the trailer is around 1500 lbs. Light enough to be easily towed behind most vehicles.
- Our goal with this trailer was to keep the cost below $10,000. This trailer will go for $9799.00.
- Because we are building these one by one, we are open to customizing based on the needs of each client.
- We are able to deliver this anywhere in the continental U.S. for a flat per-mile rate.