If you're always looking for a way to do something profitable and maybe make a quick buck, an RV chassis can give you a variety of options. With a little creativity, guidance from your fellow DIY enthusiasts, and of course our tips, you can make just about anything.
In this article, we're going to take a look at some of the creative and frugal things you can do with an VR chassis.
How to remove a VR frame
First, let's eliminate the most poignant question: Can you remove the frame of an RV from a house and leave it intact? The answer to this question is a clear no. In most cases, the frame of the house is the only structure that holds the rest of the house together.
Even if you can somehow separate the floor and walls from the frame without significantly damaging both, you'll still need to replace the frame with another engineered support. We are not even going to delve into the difficulties of raising the house to carry out this very delicate procedure.
Just take our word for it. This is a can of worms best left unopened.
This leaves you with two options:
- Take the entire house off the frame and dispose/recycle.
- Or reuse the parts of the house that are still attached to the frame to match.
We will talk about the second option later when we talk about building a new structure on top of the existing frame.
The frame is not the only valuable part of a manufactured home. There are many other materials that can be sold for scrap after the house is dismantled. Since we will be focusing on the board itself, we will only give a brief overview of demolition of a complete manufactured home. You basically have three options:
get rid of
You can dispose of a mobile home yourself. In most cases, you'll only get about $500 to $1,000 for all the junk in a manufactured home. However, you will have to subtract a hundred or two if you keep the framework.
It's still a lot of money. However, nothing is free in this life, and taking apart a manufactured home is no walk in the park. It can take anywhere from a few days to a week if you are meticulous and want to get the most value out of each piece.
You need a lot of heavy tools, time, and a bit of know-how. The basic process is like this:
- Remove/remove anything that is not nailed down (furniture, appliances, etc.).
- Remove the rest of the interior (cabinets, sinks, closets, doors, windows, etc.).
- Dismantle the roof.
- Remove wall and ceiling panels.
- Paint the exterior walls.
- Remove all wiring and electrical parts and keep them together.
- The wooden frames of the walls must be removed as carefully as possible to keep the boards in one piece.
- Remove the floor and then the bottom.
- All frame fasteners and screws must be removed.
- Separate all materials by type, discard items that cannot be recycled.
- For an even better rate, cut all metal materials into pieces.
- Sell usable devices and take the residual scrap to a recycling/scrapyard/etc.
For a more detailed, easy-to-follow guide, Hunker covers the steps ofHow to recycle a trailer.
Have it demolished/removed by a professional
If you want to keep the framework, this might not be an option. In most cases, these contractors work only on an all or nothing basis. However, you may be lucky. It's unlikely you'll get much of it once the scavengers take your cut. In fact, you may still owe them some money for their work. However, this is the fastest and most painless way to achieve it.
0 recovery sum
Another popular method of disposing of pre-mades is what is known as zero-sum recycling. So you're trying to find someone to tear down your house for free, on the condition that you keep the ransom proceeds.
However, finding someone willing to stay on the board can be a problem as it is one of the biggest money makers. There's also the risk that you'll run into someone unreliable who can't finish the job or leaves you a mess to clean up.
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Frugal Things to Do with an RV Rack
Now that you're left with a clean mobile home structure, we can finally come up with some of the incredibly cost-effective recycling, repurposing, or repurposing options available to you.
Recycle the structure of your mobile home
As we already mentioned, the mobile home frame is one of the most valuable parts of the house to dispose of. RV frames are made of steel and weigh a significant amount.
How much does the frame of a camper weigh?
Depending on the size of the home, a mobile home frame should weigh between 3,000 and 10,000 pounds. The largest houses can exceed 20,000.
Steel currently costs between 10 and 40 cents a pound, depending on scrap and quality. The price obtained also depends a lot on the quality of the steel. If there is rust damage, for example, you can expect much less, if any.
Therefore, you must pay special attention during this process. It might seem that the best thing to do would be to send it to the junkyard in one piece. However, this is not the case. If a junkyard gets a chunky, solid piece of material like a frame, they will pay less because it takes time and labor to cut it to size, cast it, and reshape it. The general rule of thumb is to cut it into one cubic foot pieces with an angle grinder, torch, or saw.
Another thing to consider, especially if you want to keep a trailer frame, is whether or not you want to keep the wheel axles. If you decide to install some heavy axles, you can remove them for disposal.
Sell your camper frame as is
One big problem you may run into is how to get the frame to the dump in the first place. It will be a large rectangular object, about 20 feet wide and 30 to 60 feet long, weighing a few thousand tons. The hassle and expense of hiring suitable transportation may affect your results.
Fortunately, you can be sure that other people may need it for some of the projects we'll cover later, or to throw away if you just want to get rid of the framework. A great place to promote something like this isCraiglistewhere you can find almost anything. You may not get full scrap value for this, but that's the price you pay for convenience.
Reuse your trailer frame
build a trailer
An amazing and popular reuse of VR frames is to turn them into a tabletop trailer. You just have to do a quick Google search to find a lot of people asking or sharing how to do it, especially on VR forums.
However, it shouldn't be as surprising as it is. After all, a VR frame really does look like the bottom of a trailer when shot alone. It also basically performs the same function that is used to tow an object that weighs several thousand pounds.
A word of caution: It's probably best not to do this if you plan to use the trailer on the open road. VR frames, as much as they look like it, are not trailers. The steel used is slightly lighter, the axles are not workable, and the drawbar is slightly shorter.
For these and some other reasons, they cannot be considered legal on public roads. However, it can be a fantastic trailer to use on your property or private roads.
The basics …
It goes without saying that you'll need all the right power tools and skills for welding and cutting metal. In most cases you will need to cut the material, weld it, and adjust it a bit here and there. Here is a basic list of things you need to do to achieve this:
- Cut to size:Manufactured homes are much longer than they are wide, especially older ones. You may need to trim it down a bit to make it useful.
- Add more support beams:As mentioned, steel is lighter than normal. If you want to carry heavy loads or just want it to last longer, consider adding a few more support beams. If there is no center beam running the length of the pendant, add one.
- Install new axles and wheels:The wheels and tires on an RV frame are not the same as those on other trailers. If you want it to function more like a roadworthy trailer, you may need to remove the old ones and replace them with a real axle. This will also strengthen the frame. Depending on whether you changed the size of the trailer, you may even need to change the position of the axles.
- Add floor: You need to add some sort of finish to the pendant. You can use anything from sheet metal to corrugated iron to scratched metal.
- Add pages: This is optional. If you are transporting hay or the like, you can also simply tie it down with ropes or cables.
Build a new house/workshop/workshop
If you want to further increase your creativity, DIY skills and ambition, you can go all the way and build a whole new structure on top of the board. After all, that's exactly what it was designed for in the first place. Assuming that a house has been battered, the walls, ceiling, and floor may be in such a condition that it is easier to tear it down and start over. Instead of trying to restore it.
Hopefully, the structure of wooden beams and supports can be preserved within the walls. If not, they have their work cut out for you!
Whether you're working with an older VR frame or a single width, the size should be perfect for anything from a studio to a workshop to a shed. You can even build a new house if you feel safe enough. However, adding things like plumbing and complex electrical systems can exponentially increase the difficulty of the project.
you only have the frame
Starting with just the framework, you need:
- Build the frame for the walls:The best way is to build wooden H-frames. Use 2/3" or 2/4" wooden studs. They should be wide enough to add some insulation (if you want).
- Cover the walls: You need an exterior and interior wall. You can start with a base layer and add panels on top.
- Install a floor: It's a good idea to have an underlayment that protects the floor, then an insulation layer, then an underlayment layer, and finally the actual flooring.
- Mount the roof: You can buy a complete roof kit that you simply attach to the top, or build your own.
- electrical installations: You should probably start with this when you build the walls.
If you plan to open your new structure to the public, for example in the case of a shop, you must obtain the appropriate authorization from the local authorities. No matter what DIY project you're doing, you might want to tackle this as well.Pros and cons of an RV. Check out our helpful guidehow to build a prefab house on a chassis.
Here are two amazing projects someone managed to turn an old house structure into a store. Both people were kind enough to share almost the entire project. These DIY projects will give you an incredibly insightful look at how to remodel a dilapidated manufactured home:
What else can you build?
We've seen plenty of other ideas for what to do with a floating mobile home frame online. We do not know how many of these projects were actually completed. However, we know of at least two: oneshort span bridgeand a game stage.
Homeowners are known to be an endlessly creative bunch who take on just about any home improvement challenge. Sneaking around in relevant forums should give you a few more ideas, or at least hours of entertainment.
What can you think of for the structure of your trailer?
We hope some of these ideas have inspired you. At the very least, you can make some money on that space-consuming piece of metal. If you have your own ideas or projects, we'd love to hear them and share them with your fellow readers!