Tortoise Shell Home Update

trailer 1

Bill Kastrinos from Tortoise Shell Home contacted me recently to let me know that they have officially moved to Southern California. So a loss for us here in Sonoma County, but a real plus for people in Southern California looking for a great tiny home builder. Their new location is in Cedarpines Park and you can get their contact information at the contact page of the Tortoise Shell Home website.

Bill wanted to let me know that they are now offering bare trailers for sale. Here are the details:

  1. 15,000# G.V.W.
  2. RV axles, 3
  3. 6 leveling jacks
  4. Removable tongue
  5. Emergency break away kit
  6. 8 inch channel
  7. Cross members on 4ft centers
  8. 8ft wide outrigger to outrigger, and the bed is 28ft long

Tortoise Shell Home is selling these for $3,900. I have put a couple of pictures below so you can get an idea what they are like.

If you are interested contact Bill either by phone at 707-206-7581 or by email Let Bill know you heard about them at the Tiny House Blog.

Thanks for the update Bill and good luck at your new location.

trailer 2

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trailer 6

trailer 7

trailer 8

trailer 9

trailer 10

naked trailer

Naked trailer Bill is building for a customer

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Victoria - October 25, 2012 Reply

What’s the size on these?

    Eric - October 25, 2012 Reply

    It says the cross members are 4ft on center, and I count 6 or 7, o 28ft or32ft long. Their Snapper Model 2 model is 28ft, so I would infer that it’s the same: 8ft x 28ft, pretty big at 228 sq. ft.

jipsi - October 25, 2012 Reply

Okay, I LOVE the “Snapper” home design/fp at your site (8X28): it has the bedroom area at one end, a full bath at the other, and a large central kitchen/living area, complete with cooktop, sink, efficient counter/prep area along one wall, and a set of nice sliding glass doors to light the ‘great room’ well…If I had my ‘druthers’, THAT would be my dream home, complete with your available (reverse osmosis!) water purification system, solar AND wind options… I’d be all set to live WHEREVER I wanted, and I’d have everything I needed, from water to power (for AC on those hot nights to a little wall heater for those chilly nights) AND a usable LOFT space for a friend to stay over in (or use as storage)… Thanks for sharing, again, your work. GREAT quality, REASONABLE prices… for what I’d have to pay another builder for just the basic ‘home’, yours offers all that, a ground floor bedroom area plus loft, AND the whole self-sufficiency thing with the water purification/treatment, solar AND wind power! Thanks for bringing some real progress to the table, in the area of making an ‘all options’ model that much more attainable for many of us!

    Mike - December 1, 2012 Reply

    Nice description and pretty close to my design idea. Come Jan 2013 you’ll get to see the finishing stages of the Snapper above. I have 2 lofts: 8×8′ over bedroom and 3×8′ over bathroom/kitchen area. The custom kicker is window dormers over the large loft to make it more roomy. Stay tuned in the coming months…Cheers mike

Dovie - October 26, 2012 Reply

The price for that trailer is fabulous for everything you get. O.O

Mike - October 26, 2012 Reply

Yes, I’m pretty sure that is my “naked snapper” being built! What I asked Bill to do is to modify it with a dormer so I can have a loft above the bedroom. I got that design idea from the ‘molecule’ house company. That is the coolest aspect of the tortoise shell company: Bill can customize the design to your specs! I will post the finishing pictures as soon as I get started, which should be mid November. Soo excited that I can’t wait. Mike

Bill Kastrinos - October 26, 2012 Reply

Thanks for the post Kent, and the kind words everyone. Yes Mike, this is your unit. The price does not include the steel floor shown, however. Hope that was not confusing. We will be offering a trailer with the floor professionally attached shortly. It is an 8×28 not including the tongue. So you can build an 8×28 home, or a smaller home with a porch, say 8×20 with an 8ft porch. We are hoping to make this trailer the standard model for us now. Thanks again! Bill Kastrinos Tortoise Shell Home

hassan - October 29, 2012 Reply

Thanks for the post Kent, and the kind words everyone.

paul lunemann - November 13, 2012 Reply

Can the trailers be used to haul hay bales?

Mark A Johnson - November 17, 2012 Reply

3, questions about the trailer 1)what is the height of the trailer frame from the ground, 2)what is the tire size, 3)what is the wheel hub size? Thanks

JoDee Stringham - January 19, 2013 Reply

This looks great! This might be a dumb question, do they have brakes?

Jenny - February 1, 2013 Reply

Hello, we would like to build 12′ x 32′ park models to replace several very old 8′ x 32′ travel trailers with pop-outs. Please visit and click on our park to see the models we would like to replace. Do you have frames that would carry this load or know where I can purchase them? Do you know of any restrictions that the motor vehicle department might impose?

    William Kastrinos - February 19, 2013 Reply

    Jenny, I believe Arizona DMV is similar in requirements. National RV laws are less than 8ft 6in wide and less than 40ft long. The trailers come with a VIN number. In california, when the home is finished, an independent inspector (approved by DMV) inspects changes to the trailer, and rewrites the original vin paperwork to reflect the additions to the trailer. We do not modify trailers, but build them to your specs. The trailers would be similar in appearance, but axles added to fit your needs. Thanks Jenny. Bill

Einar Mikkelsen - February 18, 2013 Reply

I’ve been calling and emailing these guys for the past week, with no response. Phone goes straight to voice mail. Does anyone know if they are still in business?

    William Kastrinos - February 19, 2013 Reply

    Searched my inbox, no emails from you. Behind on phone calls, I am on the road in NJ, my mom is in rehab. My personal email is Thanks. Bill

      Einar Mikkelsen - February 19, 2013 Reply

      Thank you very much. I’ll send you an email in a second. I didn’t email you directly, but used the “Contact Us” form on your website. Thanks again for getting in touch.

      Joyce - March 12, 2014 Reply

      Many emails tend to get ‘lost in SPAM’. I have often wondered why my mail sent to others never received a response.

      I reviewed the article and saw $3900 price in Southern California. Are there other prices and sizes on the website? What would shipping be to central Kansas? Do you know other competing trailer frame maker closer to me for comparison?

Chris - February 27, 2013 Reply

Can these trailers be kept on your property the same as a travel trailer. What is the largest size available and legal to park on your property. Thanks. Chris

Dean - March 15, 2013 Reply

I’m looking for a flatbed trailer in the 25 foot range. What are the standard lengths for trailers near this length? Also, do you know the name of the companies that sell them? I couldn’t find the length(s) that I was looking for on the websites listed in the article above.

Thanks in advance.

Rowena - April 29, 2013 Reply

I’m looking for a trailer that is 8 or 10 feet by 36 feet. Don’t want to exceed the 40 feet mark and have to pay taxes. Anyone know how I can get one at a really good price? I think the legal measurements for travel is 8 feet wide max 40 feet as a trailer.

Please share more updates, photos of you finished project.

Steve Allen Shard, AIBD - May 27, 2013 Reply

I like this frame. Looks great for a tiny castle. How much do they sell for? Thanx.

Brittany - August 10, 2013 Reply

I’m a military spouse & we are currently spending way too much on rent. We have to move every 4 years too so I thought to myself how nice it would be to own a portable house & save $. The concern I have is with getting started & the expense. I have seen folks build what they want for less than $5000 & I’d like to do it too_ All that said I would need space for my spouse, 2 cats, a small dog, a bird cage & a rabbit hutch. Not to mention we’d want a full bath, washer/ dryer, fridge & stove. The way it’s looking is like my hopes are too far fetched & we will be renters forever… :{ Anyone have any suggestions?

Ms. Waters - December 10, 2013 Reply

Have you heard about the fold away house?

If you only move ever four years, this might do the trick. God bless and thank you for your service.

Tracie - December 23, 2013 Reply

My thoughts exactly,what are the laws on parking a mobile on property and living in it?? If its your own property then what can they tell you , you can’t live there in a mobile trailer? I think that is obserd. and what is this water making system??? I thought well you have to have property with a well then and as far as I’m concerned once you hook up to land then your stuck with permits and such, there goes your freedom,and what about sewage, grey water and black water ? What do you do with that, it has to go somewhere. and wondering too why isn’t anyone building them with pop outs?? Mobile homes have pop outs RV’s have pop outs why not a tiny house??? IS it the weight I don’t get it. I was told anything under 400sq’ feet didn’t need a permit,a nd I spoke with a man who said he spoke with the building dept, and she said a portapotty couldn’t even be installed in a garage, but the guy who walked in knew her and she was honey just come get me whenyou ready and I’ll push the paper work thru for you when he asked about making a mother in law quarters out of a garage. Then came back and told my aquaintance friend no you can’t put even a protapotty in. What gives here. I see wonderful pictures of people living in glowing little tiny houses and want and need one so badly but it seems so un-attainable and I’m hearing people asking about where to put them and that they hide them in backyards etc. Any info would be much appreciated. contact me at p.s once I’m ready to roll I need it built in about 3 months too.It’s a bit complicatd, I’m willing to help as much as I can as well.

nodout - February 2, 2015 Reply

Hay, wanted to see these in person where can I do that? It would be a real help I’m near Pomona ca.

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