Did my title entice you?
I thought it might.
This is probably one of those posts that I shouldn’t bother with, but am including for those tiny housers out there who get as mind-boggled by the planning phase as moi!
Let’s get to the point: I’m extremely indecisive. No, wait, that’s not the point. The point is, I thought I was decided on ordering a trailer from Appalachian and now I’m also considering a PJ Trailer dealer in central PA, called Fayette Trailer. On its own this fact is not particularly interesting, and it is no doubt one in a very, very long string of indecisions you will, I’m sorry to say, painfully have to endure with me on this blog as the casita bella unfolds. But what is mildly interesting is what’s being brought up to the surface in viewing my proposed choices, and the choices I’ve already made in arriving at these two companies:
There are some super crafty, resourceful, think-outside-the-box or there-never-was-any-box-to-begin-with kinds of people out there. People who would love nothing more than the challenge of dumpster-diving a beat-up trailer and then completely renovating it. Or buying a $500 1971 RV, stripping it down to the trailer frame, and refinishing it. I love that those people are in the world – what would it be without them? They’re brilliant.
I am not one of those people.
I often get the feeling that because I wipe my hands on my clothes or because I have chronically messy, frizzy hair or because I used to make my own clothes and travel to obscure countries and eat lentil salad and drink out of mason jars and sit cross-legged that people automatically assume that I am one of those people. (Being habitually called a hippie and the like by others might have something to do with it, too…) But as it turns out, and as this trailer search is demonstrating, I actually prefer to take known, tested routes. Perhaps beneath the flamboyantly earthy/unconventional exterior, I am a closeted conservative. Here I found this small, local trailer manufacturer (Appalachian) who have fantastic customer service and a pretty solid product and are offering me the cheapest price in this area. ($3400 everything included – I’ve been finding local dealers quoting me from $3400 and up as a BASE price for a 10,000 lb GVW trailer and $3100 for a 7,000 lb!) And then I found Fayette, which sells a trailer that is made either in Texas of Mexico, thousands of miles away, charge $200 more, and I am leaning more and more towards their trailer. Why?
Because – the big company has been around longer, advertises brand name materials, and is a member of various organizations that bear fancy-looking emblems at the bottom of their webpage. Also the bottom line here is important… If I can pay $200 more and get a better trailer with more bells and whistles, even though it appears to be less in line with my ethics (possibly made a few thousand miles away instead of a couple hundred miles away, made by the big brand company, possibly utilizing cheap foreign labor) apparently I will go for it. Who knew that something like a trailer could sway my ethical ideals. And who knows if it’s actually a better trailer… the local company may turn out to be just as good or better in terms of craftsmanship… but I’m not sure I’m willing to take that chance.
As my mum kindly pointed out, it’s not just that the bigger company is more established… it’s also that they give a 3 year warranty on the trailer frame as opposed to one, powder coating instead of acrylic car paint, heat-shrunk wire harness instead of scotch locks, LED lights instead of incandescents, radial tires instead of bias, aluminum fenders instead of steel. It’s just a better trailer, features-wise. They have also offered impeccable customer service (something I am finding myself much more sensitive to since working in retail!) and their sales person has known the trailers inside and out and answered every single one of my neurotically-detailed questions meticulously.
To be continued. Because I suffer from prolonged indecision, I’ve given myself until tomorrow to make the leap.
UPDATE: I finished this post this morning, and by afternoon I had received an email from Ashley at Appalachian Trailers telling me that they cannot accommodate my trailer needs. As it turns out, I realized while looking at their car hauler the other day that the frame tapers towards the hitch in the front, while a tiny house obviously requires a rectangular shape. I asked Ashley if it would be possible to custom build a rectangular car hauler and she says not – so it looks like my decision has been made for me! (There is a little part of my mind that really likes it when I procrastinate so long, the decision just gets made by circumstance. ) I’m putting down a deposit on a PJ Trailer tomorrow!
On a lighter note – here’s a funny blog post by Jay Shafer, founder of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses that I just stumbled across.
We’ve been busy outside building a post and wire fence for the garden. The garden has come SUCH a long way since I arrived home last summer! Maybe I will post some before and after pictures soon….