TORn chats with Hobbit Hole Trailer Designer
Our staff were totally blown away after seeing images of the Hobbit Hole Trailer, so we just had to catch up with Sam, the owner and designer of this amazing trailer and discover what inspired him to create such a unique and impressive creation.
TORn: What first inspired this amazing creation? Was it “THE HOBBIT: An Unexpected Journey” or something you saw on HGTV?
The trailer actually started as a normal teardrop. While deciding on a profile and door shape, I thought of hobbit holes being curved on top, and ran with it! If you’ve seen the build album, the hobbit-ness didn’t happen until after the plywood bed was already finished!
TORn: How many total man-hours did this project take?
It’s hard to say how many hours it took, since I didn’t keep track and my wife helped a lot. If you don’t count trips to the hardware store (woah, there were a lot), probably about 150 hours.
TORn: Were you more interested in the functionality of the trailer or the overall creation of Hobbity sense and sensibilities? Form over function?
Like I said I was primarily concerned with making a trailer, but I have enough experience in woodworking and construction that I could allow myself plenty of room for creativity and small details. It also helped that I didn’t have a budget or deadline to meet! I still have a few touches to add for authenticity, but I’m trying not to live in the garage for a bit now that it’s done.
TORn: When Tolkien says of Bilbo’s home: “…. and that means *comfort*” you really took that to heart, didn’t you?
Absolutely! The biggest part for me (like hobbits!) is food. I love cooking and eating, and camp food presents unique challenges and opportunities. Having a traveling kitchen will make it easier to meet all the hobbit mealtimes!
TORn: Have you ever wanted to travel to Middle-earth? Have you been to New Zealand yet?
I would love to see a place like Middle-earth, especially the tunnels and caverns under the mountains. I haven’t been to New Zealand, but I think the trailer would look at home there! Too bad I can’t get a picture next to the real props.
TORn: Do you think you could re-produce these and sell them to private buyers who wanted one really badly?
I certainly could make another, and since you learn something every time you create something new, I’m sure a second one would be even better! They wouldn’t be as cheap to sell as to make though, due to all the man-hours involved. I’m guessing it would cost about $6,000 to buy one hand made and customized.
TORn: How old were you when you first read “The Hobbit”?
I was 11 or 12 when I first read the LotR series, and the Hobbit was my favorite! I had an uncle that passed away before I was born, and my family always tells me how alike we would be. My uncle loved the series, so when I started reading bigger books, Tolkien was recommended right away!
TORn: How many people helped you in this project?
My wife helped with whatever I could badger her into doing (especially the mattress and curtains), and my father in law lent me some tools and advice. Besides my 18 month old son handing me screwdrivers though, I mostly built it myself!
TORn: How much does the whole trailer weigh after completion?
The trailer officially weighs 880lbs (empty), and is licensed and registered in the great state of Texas. The trailer is rated to 55mph and has a tongue weight of about 60 lbs (before adding firewood).
TORn: Can a person find all of the parts easily at everyday hardware and auto stores to build such a thing on his/her own?
You can (and I did) buy nearly everything for the trailer at a big box hardware store. A couple notable but optional exceptions are the FanTastic Fan, deep cycle battery, and some of the electrical parts. Everything on my trailer came from either Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon.
TORn: Where can people find you online?
If you have any other questions about the trailer, how to build your own, or anything else, you can always shoot me a message on Reddit! reddit.com/u/samm1t
Here’s a little trivia for you!
The load capacity for the trailer is 1200lbs, so while the whole fellowship is invited, only about 4 of them could fit inside.
One of my favorite names in Middle-earth is Ioreth, one of the healers in Minas Tirith. If I need to name a female or healer avatar in a game, that’s my go-to!
“Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole”- One of the challenges of building a trailer is weatherproofing; since it has to travel down the highway, this smial is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and rain!
Click here to see a complete visual timeline of the making of this wonderful trailer.Posted in Creations, Fans, The Hobbit on August 19, 2013 by Justin Sewell