‹ View all blog posts

How We Made a Pullout, Slideout, Pop Out in our Big Tiny House on Wheels

How We Made a Pullout, Slideout, Pop Out in our Big Tiny House on Wheels

2/17/17 (8 months ago)

How We Made a Pullout, Slideout, Pop Out in our Big Tiny House on Wheels

Many have asked us how we made a slideout or "pullout" or "pop out" in our tiny house. Here are a few of the challenges we faced.

How to seal out the weather and moisture

We decided to play it extra safe with protecting our home from the weather since we live in Washington state and we have hot summers and cold wet winters. We also needed to consider how much work it would take to set up or dismantle for a move. What we came up with is an interior "lip" seal that compresses a heavy duty weather strip against the main trailer walls when the slideout is extended making the trailer air tight. 

We also opted to add additional exterior metal siding trim around where the slideout meets the main trailer. This trim diverts water away from the interior lip seal. This trim  needs to be screwed down and adds an extra step if you are going to move the trailer, but at the same time prevents any water damage which was worth it to us.

How to have a flat floor 

One of the most challenging aspects to our slideout design was figuring out how to have a flat floor when the pop out is extended. Most often in RV slideouts you will have that awkward small step into the slideout area. We decided that our slideout would rise three inches above the main trailer floor when we brought the pop out in for transport. You can see this demonstrated below in the short Sketchup video. The other challenge was when we bring the slideout in, that the interior lip seal didn't hit our ceiling. We recommend installing the Sketchup animation option in order to make sure that any changes to our design doesn't hit anything when you move it.

We also wanted to hide the seam in the floor. To do this we opted for engineered wood flooring and instead of nailing or gluing the floor we kept it a floating floor since the wood snaps together. So when we need to move, we just take up the section over the slideout seam in the floor (with them all numbered so we can easily put them back).

How to make the pop out slideout as large as possible 

One large slideout is just as much work as having two smaller ones. So we decided on one mega slideout that extends the majority of the length of the main trailer (25'). In order to do this we designed three slideout booms that house our slideout mechanism. All three booms are connected by right angle gear boxes powered by either a hand crank (which we use and recommend since you can control the speed and you can sense if something is wrong without risking jamming the slideout mechanism). You also have the option of installing a small motor to power the slideout or using a high powered drill to turn it. We found the hand crank easy to use and it didn't require much strength to turn thanks to the three gear boxes.

How to hide the lip seal inside

When people tour our tiny house they often ask where the lip seal is because we used a few tricks to hide it. First of all we made the seal the same thickness as the interior trim on our upper windows by the ceiling. This fools the eye because it is on the same visual plain as the windows without an obvious break. The other trick was to paint the main  trailer wall on the side of the slideout as well as the slideout lip the same flat white. This, again, fools the eye to think that it is a seemless wall. We always have to point out the lip seal to people which makes it feel more like a real home rather than the the tiny house trailer it is.

In the next blog post we will list the steps for getting the Big Tiny House ready to move.

 

 

  • The interior lip seal is hidden by tricking the eye The interior lip seal is hidden by tricking the eye
  • One of the three boom slots cut into the flooring One of the three boom slots cut into the flooring
  • Removing the flooring above slideout seam Removing the flooring above slideout seam
  • Lip seal of the slideout as it is coming in Lip seal of the slideout as it is coming in