View Full Version : Any trailer haunters here?
01-22-2011, 05:29 PM
Hey all, i have run a small attraction that was locally focused for the last two years, the property where i did this has been sold so now im either looking to rent a warehouse (something around 5000-6000sq ft), but also considering the possibility of doing a trailer haunt with about 5 or 6 transport truck trailers.
I know there are disadvantages to the trailer setup, specifically lack of size/space, but the point is, its really just ME designing and building and I have another career so this is pretty much on the side, I dont have time to build and detail a 6000 sq ft space, but 5 trailers is certainly doable!
Ive been through a few of these haunts, and one of my main questions is how to easily build a passthrough from trailer to trailer, i've seen some that were FLAWLESS, dead on, no gaps and i wonder how this is possible, ive also seen ones that were like bridges that go outside, which I dont want, i want it as tight and secure as possible.
Furthermore, i know local fire codes vary, but what else do i need to consider as far as safety? Does it need to be sprinklered?
I was hoping on doing everything all 12V, to avoid any electrical inspection issues.
If anyone has diagrams, drawings or anything regarding trailer haunts, i would love to see them!
Thanks for your comments in advance.
01-22-2011, 09:24 PM
Yes, I have a trailer haunt for the main Haunted Manor. I have 4 trailers 8 X 45' They all lie in parallel. Trailer 1 and 2 are 4 ft apart, 2 and 3 are 14 ft apart, 3 and 4 are 16 ft apart. Each have a covered, on all 4 sides, 4 ft wide hallway that spans the distance mentioned. I have emergency exits at the back end of each trailer. I have exit doors in trailers 3 and 4 which bring the guests down in between the trailers and then back up into the trailers. The trailers themselves are metal of course, won't burn. The wood used inside as walls is fire treated. In fact all material inside is fire retardant treated including the curtains, couch, etc...Fire extinguishers within reach of each actor. No sprinklers. I also believe Larry has trailers used at Creepy World. I am pretty sure that Thrillvannia's main house consists of trailers stacked on top of each other, I believe anyway. When you walk through mine it's like walking through a house. I have trim and chair rail throughout. All doorways are trimmed out. It's my own design and I even get turned around at times. I have to stop and think which trailer I am in.....I know at one time Larry was going to open up Creepy World during TransWorld but that never did happen. Other things got in the way. I would have loved to have seen it. His trailer haunt is called Ravens Manor. Fee free to email me if you have questions.
01-22-2011, 09:46 PM
Hey sue, Thanks for the reply. Do you have a diagram of the layout or any photos you could send me of the door interfaces and general layout of everything?
01-23-2011, 05:04 AM
There is a similar thread on the Pro forum "Portable haunts with semi's " I posted there:
If you're going to Transworld there is a seminar on Friday:
This will especially be a valuable seminar for those unfamilar with the concept.
The Trailer Concept can be a perfect alternative for those having location problems, want a short set up time, need to add to an attraction, etc.
The Trailer Concept, while it does have it's limitations, offers the benefits of a permanet location without the year round cost. I am out working on my attractions right now. Just added a new effect to one and started some remodeling in another.
While we all want a year round indoor location sometimes we have to adapt. Think of it this way, Larry has one of the best indoor haunts in the country and he ALSO has a Trailer Haunt!!
Mad Wax Sculptor
01-23-2011, 01:23 PM
our entire property Terrorplex is built in old mobil homes this works good for us, We also use generators to avoid electrical insp
01-23-2011, 01:51 PM
A lot will depend on your local ordinances , but because you are on wheels and technically NOT a building, a majority of times there will not even be an electrical inspection. It's like you have a motorhome or travel trailer, not subject to an electrical inspection. I would of course suggest you design and build everyhing to code anyways. No electrical inspection most times really frustrates the Fire Dept. Our's got around it by requiring a power permit having to be pulled by a licenced contractor whether we have a direct electrical drop or a generator (even a little 8KW!)
I also am a "lone wolf", designing and doing almost all of the construction myself. The trailer haunt concept really lends itself to this as I am currently working on my haunt almost everyday. Also unlike any style of temporary haunt, any installs are permanet. You can spend time adding detail because it stays in your attraction. So you have the advantage of a brick and motar location with the advantage of mobility.
Sure there are definate disadvantages with space, but then again EVERY location has both. You have a great indoor warehouse space but because you have to leave the ceiling open for access to the sprinkler system every time your eye wanders above 8 feet the illustion is lost, you are not in a cool library, but a library set in a warehouse. The trailer height keeps the illusion of a "normal" space. The biggest comments we get is that people say "I never felt I was in a trailer!"
I wouldn't worry about being a "lone builder", it can be an advantage. I was hired as a consultant by a haunter from Georgia in the same perdicament. He flew to Vegas, spend a couple days going through my haunt, went home and then through emails and phone calls he designed and build his haunt totally alone. Another client in Canada had a few more people at his disposal but the concept worked the same, it can be done effectively depending on your personal skill of course!!! Tons of personal satisfaction.
It's like the old saying, "You can do anything with either a lot of time or a lot of money." If you don't have one you definately need the other.
Good luck, hope to see you at TW!
01-23-2011, 02:15 PM
The other thread was mine but this one seems to be getting more details. Now understand I am a female that just says "here is how I want it, you figure out how to do it" (so they tell me ...LOL) My question is how are you guys cutting in doors, what are you using to trim them so they are air tight when pulled in together? I figured I have to cut two doors minimum in each trailer. I to would appreciate a picture of your setup or layout. Then I can see a bit better on how they are leak tight, connected safely, etc. I am definately a see it person.
Hopefully the seminar will be helpful in St. Louis also.
01-23-2011, 04:44 PM
Rich: Thanks for the thorough info. By chance, you mentioned you had a couple clients in Canada, were they in Ontario? What haunts were they? Im just curious. I agree there are advantages and disadvantages, i like the idea of permanent space, 5 or 6 trailers might be just as effective and easier for one guy to build.
Rich and ANYONE else: Do you have any photos that show a layout of not just how trailers are laid out side by side, but perhaps the interiors of the trailers as well?
I have the same question/concern as spookhaven, regarding how to get from one trailer to another through a cut door, obviously there will have to be some sort of joining corridor, and i would like to know how best to construct and connect this, any photos or details from anyone would be great.
01-23-2011, 09:54 PM
Just butting in here, never did a trailer haunt, but always like learning about different ways of doing things.
I found a website that may be useful that I have no affiliation with, just from a simple Google search,
Best of luck with the trail haunt Heather and Shawn!
01-24-2011, 06:57 AM
I did come across that site as well, but it seems they build trailer haunts. I would do it myself, and i dont really see any helpful DIY info, its more promo "we can do this for you". Might get some ideas from it, but im really looking for more technical insight.
01-24-2011, 09:59 AM
OK here are a few of the connecting bridges I made.
01-24-2011, 10:01 AM
I can show you exactly how to build the walkways and attach them to the trailers. Just shoot me an email. Easier that way then trying to upload everything here.
01-24-2011, 10:26 AM
Few more pics. These are old. Everything is finished now.
01-24-2011, 10:33 AM
Thought I would include a few pics of the organ and my chalkboard.
01-24-2011, 10:44 AM
Hey sue, i sent you an email to that eastman address last night, please check that email, and send those photos of the bridge / walkway construction.
Also, it seems from your photos here, that the walkways are spanning 4, 6 or something feet, the design im trying to accomplish will be as close as possible, perhaps at most 2 ft apart, and its a fully enclosed passageway, here is a photo of a trailer haunt that i took a photo of, you can see the passageway, it might be like 16"!
01-24-2011, 01:04 PM
Giving a bump,this is a topic I'd like to hear more about as we are considering this as an alternative to setting up the bays in our fire station. We have to have it rezoned to allow for this and we also have an old barn on our property, so not sure which direction we are headed.
01-24-2011, 01:06 PM
...Sue, awesome setup you have!!!
01-24-2011, 01:49 PM
Im sure you could get the two trailors that close together and level. have a door frame type of box (2x14s) so its 7ft tall x 3ft wide and 14" deep. that goes inbetween the two trailors. On each side you have a sheet of 1/2" plywood that has the doorway cut out. each side screws onto the walk way box so it is held inplace by the two big plywood flanges. Then the plywood floor goes down and further shores everything together. That covers the interior walkway, for the exterior trim it all out in 1x4s and then add an angled 2x14 to a trailor over the walkway and spray foam it in as necessay.
I hope that makes sense.
It looks to me like whats happening in the picture and thats the way I joined two storage sheds together awhile back.
01-24-2011, 02:15 PM
AllenH, Thanks for the input, that mostly makes sense although is hard to visualize. Also it seems more "permanent" i want something that is easy to install when the trailers get lined up, then can be removed and reused, as the trailers will have to be moveable again.
01-24-2011, 03:11 PM
Connecting between two trailers you have the width if each outside wall plus the span distance. Depending on how good your driver is or if you utlize another method to "bump" them closer, you still have a slightly variable distance. One solution is to build a small ramp. Take a piece of diamond plate steel the width of your opening and enough length to span at least 6-8 inches into each trailer. Have the steel company or try yourself to create a slight bend in the middle crossways (basically in line with the seperaion between trailers.)
Now you drop these in place after your trailers are set. The bend in the middle allows for slight differences in height between the two trailers. instead of a flat plate that can wobble or be uneven the bend ramp only rests on the two outside edges. Make sure they are secure to the floor as most patrons tend to "shuffle along" instead of actually walking.
The Trailer style haunt is definately gaining interest. If you are new to the business or are wondering if the concept will work for you there is a seminar at Transworld. check it out:
01-24-2011, 03:38 PM
Rich, thanks again for your valuable input, however i dont really understand the point of the bend in the middle of the steel plate, what good will that do? how will that help? Perhaps a quick windows paint drawing could help demonstrate :-P
I plan on going to transworld and will definitely take your seminar, but i really do need to make a decision on if im doing trailers or permanent location BEFORE transworld, thus the rush.
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