For those that don't know, a Barn Raiser is product offered by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. This company is centered around all things tiny house and sells everything from a bare trailer all the way up to a fully finished house on wheels. The barn raiser is sort of a middle ground. They provide a trailer along with the house framing, sheathing, roof deck and exterior waterproofing materials. You can add options such as finished roofs, siding, windows, doors, etc. all pre-installed allowing you really focus on the part of the build that is convenient or comfortable for you. This product was a huge advantage for us because of our timing, schedule and our lack of building experience. We knew we wanted to do a lot of the work ourselves and customize our build, but also wanted to be ready to travel by Spring. This also offered us the peace of mind of knowing that the frame was designed with proper engineering practices and analyzed for structural integrity as well as built using current construction methods by qualified builders. Our barn raiser was essentially as basic as they come but has provided us with a great head start.
When we pulled up and saw the house for the first time we were actually surprised how enormous it felt! The 13'-6" height doesn't sound nearly as tall as it looks. We've never really towed anything before but didn't think a tiny house would be so intimidating. On our drive back to Kansas City we became very aware of overpass clearance signs. I'll admit I cringed with a bit of fear every time we went under one. Some of those overpasses were marked as low as 14'3" on the highways and in Denver itself, certain lanes were marked with 13'3" as the overpass arched down toward the outsides. Knowing your house is clearing a concrete structure at 60 miles per hour by mere inches is a bit nerve-racking! That coupled with the added width and wider turn radius really made the first towing experience interesting.
It was also a much longer and less efficient drive back home. Pulling nearly 7000 pounds and dragging a flat wall behind is taxing on even our big truck. We couldn't get going much faster than 65 mph and when we did it dropped our average gas mileage to about 6 mpg. So we averaged about 60 mph which turned a normal 9 hour drive into something more like 12. Because of this, we are planning our future travels to minimize each leg of the trip. Driving during daylight makes the whole ordeal a lot easier especially if we have to do some interesting backup maneuvering once we reach our destination.
But after all that we are home and just excited to get to work!