How to Care for Your Teacup Chassis

chassis maintenance Sep 21, 2022
The exterior of a tiny home showing siding, tires, jacks and chassis.

How to Care for Your Teacup Chassis

 

Here at Teacup, we don't want to just sell you a tiny home or cottage and be on our way- we want to set you up for long-term success! And to us, that means putting in the upfront work to make sure you're prepared. We want to give you the tools to make educated decisions throughout your journey and feel confident long after we hand you the keys. And that last part brings us to today's topic: How to Care for Your Teacup Chassis. 

If you don't know, a chassis is another word for "trailer." However, tiny living advocates have been transitioning away from using the word 'trailer' in favor of 'chassis' in an effort to define tiny houses and cottages as unique structures- that is to say, different from mobile homes or RVs. 

 

The chassis is the foundation of your tiny, so you'll want to take good care of it! Of course, we've done our part to ensure you start off with a good one, but there are still things you'll want to do to keep it in tip-top shape for the long haul. (See what I did there) So let's break them down.

 

Inspect your Teacup chassis regularly.

 

It's a good idea to walk around your chassis a few times a year to look for anything that might become a problem. For example, if there is a wasp nest forming, a nick that's starting to rust, or a levelling issue that needs to be corrected, you'll want to know about it sooner rather than later so you can fix it! And speaking of inspections...

Keep your chassis clean and clear of debris.

 

Doing your inspections will be so much easier (and you will find fewer problems!) if you make an effort to keep your chassis clean. We're not suggesting you clean it weekly with a toothbrush, but a quick, seasonal powerwash can go a long way! 

 

This is because (for better or for worse!) everyone wants to get in on the Teacup craze, and that includes pests! But if you keep your chassis reasonably clean, you will discourage uninvited critters from trying to join the party. Again, you don't need to go overboard and sterilize anything, but hosing it down and keeping the immediate area clear of weeds and overgrowth will go a long way.



Add support structures and keep your chassis level.

 

Unlike the foundation in a traditional home, your chassis is unlikely to crack. That being said, a tiny cottage could get wonky over time if it remains unlevel for an extended period.  Your systems may start to fail, and god forbid, the plumbing starts draining the wrong way! 

 

The best way to keep your chassis level is to park it on a solid surface. A concrete pad is ideal, but if that's not possible, the harder and flatter, the better. And once your Teacup is parked, you'll want to add supports.

 

Supports could be anything, but we recommend using some thick wood blocks. Some people like to use cinder blocks, but we find that those crack a bit too easily for our taste. 

 

Levelling your home with supports isn't nearly as hard as it sounds, especially because each Teacup tiny home comes with it's own set of levelling jacks, one for each corner.  You will want to set aside an afternoon and if you didn't go with Teacup, invest in a couple of bottle jacks to get the job done correctly. Just place your supports evenly along the chassis and use the jacks to adjust until everything is level. Doing this will create stability while walking in your Teacup, keep the house in good condition, and keep your chassis from being unnecessarily stressed.

 

Protect the tires.

 

We know tires are kind of their own category, but they are still an essential piece of your Teacup's foundation, so we wanted to be sure to mention them! If left unattended, tires can develop flat spots, tire rot, or cracking due to weather exposure. Don't worry, though; we're going to tell you how to mitigate all of that!

 

The simplest things you can do to protect your tiny tires are to cover them and take the weight off. You can purchase tire covers at many automotive or RV stores, and taking weight off is as simple as adding the supports we mentioned above. See? Easy.



Fix rust spots. 

 

Our team at Teacup has picked one of the best trailers out there- but no matter what trailer you choose nicks and rust still happen.  This can be a factor of the environment, road conditions when travelling, and of course maintenance.  

 

We know rust can sound super scary, but don't worry, it's easily correctable. If the nick is small, just clean the area and seal it with rust-inhibiting spray paint. If the spot is larger than a baseball, it might be helpful to sand it down a bit before applying the spray paint to ensure it sticks. 



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Before we go, we want to encourage you to share this blog with yourself. That way, you'll have it as a handy reference! And if you'd like more handy references, you can subscribe to our blog here. 

 

If you haven't gone tiny yet, you should know that our new Florence model has officially made her debut! So if you were looking for a Teacup with a dreamy downstairs bedroom, she's a stunning option. Don't believe us? Just check out the pics on Instagram! 

 

Have you been dreaming about going tiny for a while but are struggling with financing roadblocks? No worries; we've got you there too! You can take our financing quiz here. And while you're at it, we recommend reading our post: How to Get Into a Better Position to Borrow. Above all, just remember to breathe; going tiny is a process, so just take one step at a time.

 

And speaking of steps, your final step will be to book a Discovery Call! How do you know when you're ready? If you've figured out financing and feel like you're going around in circles without making progress, then it's time. We're here to get you through that home stretch. And don't worry, we promise we're not aggressive, spammy salespeople! That wouldn't be in our tiny cottage nature!

 

Alright, well, that's all for now. Thanks for joining us, we'll be back next week, and we hope to meet you soon!

 

Until then,

 

-Jen