All-Threaded Rods

When I ordered my trailer, I knew I was going to need all-threaded rods to attach the house to, but I didn’t have exact framing plans to go from. Tumbleweed’s trailers have an all-threaded rod on each corner (unless there’s a corner porch) and on both sides of the wheel wells, so I chose to have eight, 1 3/4″ from the edge so they’d land in the middle of the 2x4s at the bottom of my wall. I figured 6″ from each corner would be enough to keep the rods away from studs, but I wasn’t clear enough. They were welded 1 3/4″ from each edge, exactly in the way of all my corners. While I freaked out about all the money I’d spent, how I’d have to spend more on a welder, and how the trailer wasn’t ready to go when it arrived like I’d planned, my mum called a welder and asked about an onsite job.

She also did a bit of research on anchoring houses. Normal houses should be anchored no further than 6 feet apart, so 8 rods for my moveable house isn’t enough. Since I was going to have to get a welder anyway, I decided to get more rods too. I spent hours figuring out the locations of studs to figure out where to put the rods, and then Mum and I drew up a map of the trailer and carefully drew in where all the rods should go to avoid studs. The rods ended up 6″ from the corners and wheel wells, expect for one that interfered with a window and the end of the loft. That one is going to be tight. We also added more in between the corner ones so that the rods aren’t so far apart.

Then we drew the locations onto the trailer for the welder, who thankfully squeezed us into his busy day at the last minute so we could work on the floor over the weekend.

The welder said the pink suited us. Gee thanks.

The welder said the pink suited us. Gee thanks.

Mum says I have two strikes against me in the construction industry: I’m young, and I’m female. Society isn’t equal yet. If I’m ever in a hardware store with my mum, my dad, or my boyfriend, I’m never the one they look at and talk to. I’ve gone into the hardware store alone and been ignored. But as the build goes on, I’ll become more familiar with the people at the local hardware stores, I’ll know better what I’m talking about (hopefully), and I’ll become more assertive. Even already, I’ve learned. I told the insulator I’d be home all day, and what did he do? He took all day and made me wait. But with the welder, we pushed and got what we wanted.

All of the gas-powered welding equipment was at other jobs, but the welder found an electric one and came out. We had to move the plug several times because we only had 15amp plugs instead of 20amps. Despite tripping the breaker about 20 times, he got the job done in about 2 hours and I now have 16 shiny rods in all the right places (fingers crossed). He even ground off the old rods for me 🙂 It was funny; he got straight to work and started hammering the side of one of the old rods. Then he looked up and said, “You don’t need this right?”

My advice is to get the trailer company to do everything you need except the rods. Then, make sure you have your framing plans done and mark the rods where they won’t get in the way of any studs. Make sure to account for the studs around windows and doors. It’s worth it to get a welder after you have the trailer and know exactly where the wheel wells ended up and things like that. Trailer companies don’t think like construction workers.

Oh, and it’s easiest to get the washers and nuts from the welder rather than trying to find the right size at a store. That’s another reason to skip getting rods done by the trailer company.

All the hardware from the welder on top of all my screws.

All the hardware from the welder on top of all my screws.

The holes from the old ones will get filled with silicone or something later.

The holes from the old ones will get filled with silicone or something later.

We primed any bare metal on the trailer and spray-painted with black.

Then when it had dried, we covered the trailer in plastic and tape to try and get a tighter seal. I want to protect my expensive insulation from any water, and the tarp kept getting caught by the wind and letting water in.

Let's see how an $8 sheet of plastic handles the small amount of rain we're supposed to get.

Let’s see how an $8 sheet of plastic handles the small amount of rain we’re supposed to get.

I’ll find out on Monday how much I owe the welder, but at least now I can breathe easy and work on my floor!


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"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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