Trailer Sizes for Modern Tiny Houses
For many, the idea of living in a modern tiny house, is an enormously exciting prospect. Everyone’s requirements and expectations are different however, and with that, comes choices as to just how “tiny”, there tiny house will be. The size of the trailer upon which the tiny house on wheels (THOW) is based, is obviously the most important factor in determining how much space and square footage will be available. The larger the platform length, the higher the cost when purchasing – in most cases, new trailers are available, but you may be able to find platforms in various used markets as well.
Most “bumper pull” trailers will max out around 32′ feet, as most manufacturers are focused on “tiny” houses, and the design challenges of creating unique use of space. Larger footprints and sizes normally fall to Park Model, or Mobile Home manufacturers, which may still be considered “tiny”, the interpretation of the term varies depending on the person or company you speak to.
Size & Weight Limitations
While a modern tiny house does not exclusively mean it must be on wheels, the benefits of having it on wheels are highlighted by it’s ease of mobility, and it being less susceptible to issues related to municipal zoning and other by-laws. That said, there are limitations to what is legally permitted to pull on most national highways, without special hauling permits or vehicles.
The size limits in the US are the same for most areas, and are stated as follows:
13.5-feet tall, 8.5-feet wide, and 40-feet long – 65-feet maximum including the towing vehicle.
Anything longer than this will require special permits for hauling, and likely a licensed mobile home hauler, or similar. This is an additional cost to you each time you will move your home, but if your intentions are to keep the home in one place for a long period of time, it may be worth the investment – plus you end up with a larger footprint, which while still qualifying as a small or “tiny” house, may provide some additional living space and comfort.
An important point to note in trailer size selection, is not only the length of the trailer, but the weight of the trailer, and it’s capacity to hold the weight of the house that will be built on it. For each additional foot of trailer you choose, will come additional weight from the dwelling that sits on it. This can add up quickly! A 40 foot trailer, for example, could end up with a 16000+ pound weight, which requires a very strong vehicle to pull it. This is, of course possible, but should be something considered when selecting your trailer size, and the weight of the home built on it. Different trailer systems will have capacity limits, so when selecting your trailer, this must be confirmed in advance if you will be building on it, as opposed to purchasing one that is pre-build to match the trailer’s load limits.
We have outlined the various trailer sized and estimated costs (new), as well as providing some quality sources to suit your needs. Custom sizes, ‘deck-over’, goose-neck and other variations of any of these are possible. ‘Deck-over’ basically means that the platform sits above the wheels, so there are no wheel-well/troughs obstructing the structure above.
It should be noted, that these are raw trailers, without any structure built on them, and the prices are estimates only – delivery charges, registration fees and other costs may be added to these once they are purchased:
|Trailer Length||Est. Price Range|
|34-40 Feet||Custom Order - Price Varies|
Both Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. and Tiny House Builders have excellent selections and data on various models – it is a great idea to review their stock and get a quote. Tinyhomebuilders.com has an excellent real-time quote tool which can be very helpful, and their service has great reviews. Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. also has an excellent selection, and their long-time reputation for building quality tiny homes certainly gives them an excellent reputation in the marketplace.
To make a more clear comparison of the options, we have a great overview with images and videos of some various fantastic modern tiny houses built on each of the trailer platform sizes that are available. You can read our article here.
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