Many have been asking the question of how to tow a tiny house and what the costs involved with insurance, permits and if it outweighs paying a specialized towing company.
Your questions and more will be answered in this article.
- Jump to Towing a Tiny House Checklist
The Tiny Homes market is in constant growth expanding at a CAGR of more than 4%.
The reports show that the market is expected to grow by USD 3.33 Billion between the 2021-2025 ranges.
Many reports throw light on the impact of the current Global health pandemic on the growth of this market.
The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is expected to be significant in the first quarter which will automatically play a key role in the growth of the Tiny Homes Market.
At a time when the global economy is trembling, people losing jobs, others losing businesses and companies paying a fraction of what they used to pay, tiny homes have proven to be a possible solution.
They are affordable by mass section of the population to drive growth.
They actually cost a fraction of the traditional apartments and can be customized depending on the customer’s requirements.
Another group of people doesn’t care about the cost of living but the cost of moving from one place to the other with their homes.
This is the main reason why most of them consider Tiny Homes on wheels and are greatly concerned about towing their homes.
This is the main reason why we’ve spared the time to talk about a supreme question ”How to tow a Tiny House”.
But before that, we have to talk about whether a tiny house is towable and how hard is it to tow a tiny house and the cost of towing a tiny house.
Is it hard to tow a tiny house?
Imagine towing a two-bedroomed Tiny House from one place to the other.
If it was hard, imagine the size of an apartment building being towed to a new location.
But this is not what we are talking about here.
The question is how easy or difficult will it be for you to tow your own tiny home from one place to the other.
Tiny homes are custom built and come in different shapes and sizes.
Some examples of tiny houses size can be up to 25ft which is a big size for a house but also very small for a motor vehicle.
You will need an extra high tow vehicle to carry out such a task.
Fitting the tiny house with wheels and a hitch is another task and will need an extra bit of equipment.
This will be needed to support the weight of the rear part which houses the wheels and everything else.
A vehicle that can bear high-capacity rear tires is required.
The question of how difficult or easy will it be to tow a tiny house depends on several factors.
The size of the Tiny House
The size of the tiny house will be substantial in determining how hard or easy it will be to tow a tiny house.
If the house is small, say less than 7 ½ feet long, then you most likely will need a special vehicle to tow it.
If you’re thinking of moving your tiny house with a standard car or 4X4 pickup truck that most people used for their homes and commercial activities, think again.
Most of these cars and pickup trucks are not fit for towing a house size bigger than an RV.
The weight of the tiny home
As earlier said, how much does it cost to have a tiny house towed and the ease of tiny house towing is dependent on its weight.
The more it weighs, the more you will have to pay in terms of fuel consumption and other vehicle parts which will be used up due to stress and pressure.
Even if you decide to use a bigger vehicle, the cost will also be higher than using a smaller vehicle for such tasks.
The weight of the towed tiny house is determined by several factors which include how it’s been built and its size among other things.
How it’s been built determines the weight.
If it’s been built sturdily, then its weight will be more than usual.
The type of road you’re towing on
If you are planning to tow your home across long-distance roads with one-way bridges and areas experiencing heavy traffic, then forget about doing so unless you have a big truck for such tasks or you’ll be wasting your time and resources.
You can however consider roads with two-way bridges and light to medium traffic like inner-city roads.
If you don’t want to risk damaging your tiny house, you should hire a professional tiny house towing company.
Make sure that they can handle transporting large objects such as trailers and RVs before hiring them.
You may also ask for recommendations from friends or people who have experience in transporting tiny houses.
Towing Capacity Matters
The Towing Capacity of the vehicle used matters for different reasons.
For instance, if you’re thinking of moving your tiny home from one place to the other without much consideration for how it will be towed, then you will soon run into trouble.
You can decide to tow it with a big vehicle but the cost will be exponential and not worth doing so.
Running out of fuel in the course of towing your tiny home could be fatal.
You can run out of fuel while trying to change a flat tire, or when you are still quite far from where you left the other vehicle that had enough fuel in it for the trip.
Tow Capacity should be determined by considering all factors important for towing your home.
This includes the size of your tiny house, the type of road it will be towed on and also the cost.
Everything should be in mind before doing so.
Think about all these factors while planning to tow a tiny home from one place to the other and you won’t get it wrong.
Towing a Tiny Vehicle on your own
Towing a tiny house Checklist
- Check the weight of your tiny house
- Hire a professional company
- Make sure you have all the required documents
- Consider different weather conditions when towing
- Check how strong is the car
- Towing vehicle maintenance
The cost of Towing a Tiny House:
The cost of towing a tiny house is different from one person to another depending on several factors.
The larger the vehicle you use, and the more fuel it consumes.
The cost can be high even if it’s used for short-distance trips.
Towing Tiny Houses using 4X4 Pickup Trucks
Most people opt to tow their tiny homes using 4X4 pickup trucks which are considered cheap among other options.
However, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own costs.
The more fuel your pickup truck consumes, the more you will have to spend on fuel costs.
This is where most people make the mistake of choosing one option without calculating its pros and cons.
People who tow tiny houses with pickup trucks are faced with one major challenge; the weight of the house they’re towing.
Things become worse when it comes to parking especially in inner-city areas where there are always street hawkers and other obstacles which make it difficult for you to maneuver your pickup truck.
- Easy to drive
- Easily fits on roads with less traffic
- Bad fuel consumption rate
- Hard to park
Rent a One-Time Tow Vehicle for your tiny House
Rent a tow vehicle that is one size bigger than what you need to tow, your tiny house.
For instance, if you have a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado and need to transport a 15-foot tiny house, rent a one-time use vehicle that is at least a 2006 model year or higher.
Renting a tow vehicle will equally save you a lot of time and money.
There are several other benefits of renting a tow vehicle for towing your tiny house.
Here are some of the pros and cons of renting a tow vehicle.
- Save money on fuel
- Saves time as you do not have to buy your own tow vehicle and pay for its maintenance yourself
- Comes insured
- Has a higher resale Value
- Fewer Regulations
- You will have to return the vehicle after transporting your tiny house, so you may lose some resale value
- You lose the flexibility of choosing your own tow vehicle
Cost comparison between buying a Tow Vehicle and Renting One
Renting a Tow Vehicle costs about 20% more than buying your own tow vehicle.
However, building equity in a big purchase like this is crucial.
Building equity against something you will eventually sell will increase its value.
This does not apply if you are planning to drive the tow vehicle permanently.
Compared to buying a tow vehicle that fits your tiny house, renting is more cost-effective.
You will save money on insurance, maintenance and registration.
The only cost that might be higher is if you bought your own tow vehicle would depreciate in value by 20% after one year.
To summarize, buying a tow vehicle and registering it is more costly than renting one.
It’s not really worth building equity on something you will eventually sell.
The Pros and Cons of having your own Tow Vehicle versus renting one:
Renting a tow vehicle for towing your tiny house has many benefits as compared to buying your own tow vehicle.
It’s cheaper, has high resale value and comes with insurance cover.
Though, the insurance cover will be dependent on how much do tiny house trailers cost in your area.
On the other hand, it can be limiting because you are not in charge of maintenance or fuel costs.
Owning your own tow vehicle means that you will have more flexibility, control of how frequently you go on road trips and lower registration costs.
You might think that owning a tow vehicle is expensive and draining, but having your own one allows you to freely move from one place to another.
The ability to go where ever you want whenever you want without constraints makes ownership a great thing.
The final decision on whether to buy a tow vehicle or rent one depends on what fits your budget best.
If you want to be very flexible with your tiny house, go for renting a tow vehicle.
If you are looking for control over the kind of fuel you use and maintenance, owning your own tow vehicle might just be the best choice for you.
If you need help finding tow vehicle rentals in your area, always get a good advisor on the same.
To find the right tow vehicle, you need to understand the small details of what you require so as to get it.
To prepare for your tiny house move, one needs a sufficient amount of time and physical energy.
It is extremely important to remember that there are certain specifics involved in moving a tiny house such as having the proper equipment, taking a day off from work and preparing a good packing plan.
Among the many steps involved in preparing for a tiny house move, renting a tow vehicle deserves special mention.
In order to begin with the process of considering the best way forward when it comes to incorporating rental services into your tiny house moving plans, you need to know that this is primarily considered to be the best option for those people who are looking for an easier way to transport their houses without having to go through the trouble of buying a tow vehicle.
What type of Truck do you need to tow your tiny house?
The weight of your tiny house matters.
Some pickup trucks should never be used to tow tiny houses especially if they are domestically made like the Chevrolet Colorado which is considered very cheap and affordable for many people who live in the United States.
This vehicle consumes more fuel than other foreign cars like Toyotas, Hondas and Mitsubishi models which have better fuel consumption rates.
Toyota Tacoma is considered great for towing tiny houses even though you have to spend more on its maintenance and spare parts than the other vehicles mentioned above.
The best pickup trucks used for such tasks include:
What You Need To Know When Towing A Tiny House:
Towing a tiny house requires you to follow some simple guidelines and rules which include: Having all your documents of car and home in order, having enough fuel in your vehicle and avoiding towing a tiny house on busy streets are some of the considerations.
Having your documents of car and home in order:
You should always have all your important documents in place because you never know where you will be stopped by law enforcement agents looking for such cases.
Ensure that you have valid home insurance which covers your towed vehicle as well as the one towing it.
Pre-determined Parking spots
This is a very critical factor that most people tend to ignore because they feel it’s not important.
In most cases, your tiny house vehicle will be towed if found parked in an illegal place.
It could also be towed if you have been involved in an accident with it.
If you are parking on private property ensure that they have enough room to accommodate your towed house.
Ensure that the place is secured with fences, gates, or other security measures which will prevent theft of important parts while you are away.
Avoiding towing a tiny house on busy streets:
You can get your vehicle towed if you are towing a tiny house on busy streets even if it’s parked legally.
This is because the road is not wide enough for two vehicles to pass at once, especially when there are many street hawkers who make it difficult for you to maneuver your vehicle.
Towing regulatory laws:
The law doesn’t allow you to tow a tiny house behind a pick-up truck and park it in inner cities which have no parking spaces because it can block traffic.
It is however legal to tow a tiny house if you find the owner of the land willing to give their consent and provide enough space for your vehicle to be parked.
Besides this, there are several other legal considerations that you should familiarize yourself with if you want to tow a tiny house.
Here are some Towing regulatory laws by state.
This part gives us a good idea of the legal situation, but it may vary from state to state.
Tow Hitches & Wiring:
Most U-Haul trucks come with tow hitches installed in them already, so you don’t need to worry about getting one.
Also if you are buying a small trailer instead of building a house on wheels, you need to get a hitch installed in your vehicle.
The wiring harness of the truck is connected to the trailer with this bolt structure.
The rules and Regulations of towing a Tiny House
The rules and regulations of towing a tiny house vary from one state to the other.
This means that you should always consult local authorities before you tow your tiny house.
After you know all the information about the towing capacity and the types of vehicles you can use to tow your tiny house, there are other safety precautions that you should familiarize yourself with.
Most states in the US require you to keep a fire extinguisher in a tow vehicle, so carry one for your safety.
Also, make sure that you have a working break before you start towing your tiny house.
You are also required to make sure that the license plates are visible on both the tow vehicle and the tiny house.
The length of the tow vehicle and your tiny house should not exceed 75 feet.
The length of your tiny house is measured from the rear of the hitch to the front but it doesn’t include any type of extensions such as a ladder or ramps, etc…
The weight distribution bars which you see on trucks come in different shapes and sizes according to how many pounds they can handle.
Make sure that you choose the correct bar for your tiny house and also make sure that you don’t exceed the weight limit of your tiny house since it can cause an accident if not handled properly.
You are also required to have strong safety chains.
These are the chains connecting the tow vehicle and the tiny house.
As we said earlier, towing laws vary from one state to another; it’s important to check with the local authorities before you tow.
Local Authorities do not have a very good reputation when it comes to tiny homes.
Before you start towing, make sure that local authorities don’t have a problem with your tiny house on wheels.
Some towns might object because of zoning laws or for some other reason, so make sure you do your homework before towing.
Towing a Tiny House in Different weather conditions:
Towing a tiny house in different weather conditions is not very difficult, but there are a few things that you have to be careful about.
First of all, make sure that your vehicle is structurally capable of carrying the load.
If there are any load shifting or instability issues, they can be very dangerous.
Always drive with caution and avoid towing during bad weather conditions unless it is an emergency.
Hire a Towing company
It can be easy to tow a tiny house if you have all the know-how.
However, if you don’t have the experience needed and the knowledge, it’s always advisable to hire a tow company.
The following are some of the services that you will be offered by professional tow companies:
- Towing– They can tow your tiny house to any place you want. The size of the tiny house doesn’t matter.
- Loading– They have specialized equipment for inspecting how cargo is placed on the trailer for safety. They will also load your tiny house on the trailer to ensure that it’s securely placed.
- Unloading– Once you reach your location, they will unload the tiny house and place it where you want. It can be at your destination or simply any safe location.
- Dismantling– If the tiny house was taken apart before towing, they can easily reassemble it once you reach your destination.
Hiring a professional towing company will not only save you time and money but it will also ensure that your tiny house is moved without any damage.
Considerations when hiring a company
You should hire a company that has professional drivers who are skilled in maneuvering large vehicles.
There are companies that offer transportation of many things, including boats, cars and even planes.
Some companies specialize in only one type of transport while others offer multiple services.
It all depends on your needs and what you want to achieve.
Make sure that the company is well-equipped
Since you will be transporting a tiny house, it’s important to choose a company that has all the latest equipment needed.
If possible, work with companies that have specialized equipment for this type of transport.
Some of the equipment they will need are flatbeds and hydraulic dollies.
Advice on how to tow a tiny house
Before hiring a company, make sure that you know all the requirements needed by the state.
Some states require special permits and licenses for transporting trailers on interstate highways.
You also need to know if there are any local laws that prohibit oversized vehicles from passing through certain streets.
The cost of towing a tiny house also varies from one company to another.
The factor that affects the price includes distance and equipment needed by the company for your project.
It is therefore wise to consider all these factors when making a decision.
Towing a tiny house Permits
Most states require the following to move a tiny house on wheels:
- A towing license– Almost every state requires special licensing for people who tow trailers weighing more than 3,000 lbs. However, if you don’t have any experience towing, you should consider hiring a company.
- Registration– Almost all states require a registration identification number in order to register a tiny house on wheels. The registration fee is very affordable and usually, it doesn’t cost more than $25 per year.
- Cargo insurance– You should have cargo insurance if you want your belongings to be transported by a company. It’s highly recommended to use a company that has cargo insurance if you don’t want to risk losing your belongings while transporting them.
- Load capacity sign– The load capacity sign is required in order for you to transport a tiny house. In most cases, the maximum weight that can be carried by a single axle must not exceed 10,000 lbs.
- Load capacity sticker– The load capacity sticker must be placed on your tiny house by the manufacturer. This helps tow truck drivers to determine the amount of weight that can be safely towed. It’s important to place this sticker whenever you are transporting or towing a tiny house.
Obtaining a permit
Before you start towing your tiny house, it’s important to know where the nearest inspection station is.
You can do this by contacting your local department of motor vehicles.
If possible, try to plan ahead so you won’t be rushing at the last minute.
Once you have all the necessary permits and licenses, contact the company that you are working with.
It will make the overall process easier.
You are not done yet.
There are still other things that you need to take care of when moving your tiny house.
Make sure that any loose items are secure inside or outside the house, including appliances and cabinets.
You should also remove the TV antennae before transporting it.
This will prevent it from getting broken.
It would also be easier if you take out the batteries and disconnect the electrical system while transporting your tiny house.
This will make things less complicated, especially if you are dealing with a company that is not experienced in transporting tiny houses.
What vehicles can tow a tiny house the best?
There is a wide range of vehicles that can tow tiny houses.
The best advice we can give you is to pick out a vehicle and take it for a test drive to see if there are any problems (like squealing) when you try and turn or stop.
Other vehicles that you can tow a tiny house with are: Present Ford F150, Dodge Ram series, Dodge Dakota/Durango Unlimited, Jeep Grand Cherokee (Depending on hitch type) and a few others.
How to tow a tiny house from California to Texas?
The process of towing a tiny house from one city/state to the other will greatly depend on the existing rules and regulations in the area.
In order to avoid any legal issues or fines, you have to follow the rules of that state.
How much does it cost to have a tiny house towed?
It depends on where you are and what time of year it is, but the short answer is around $1000 for a tow.
In some cases, it could be more or less.
If you get stuck in traffic or detour somewhere to avoid construction, etc., then that will add additional costs.
How hard is it to tow a tiny house?
How easy or hard it is to tow a tiny house will depend on where you are, skills, experience, cost, size of the tiny house and several other factors.
Towing a tiny house is not that difficult and if done properly, then it can be safe and convenient as well.
As long as you follow the guidelines and regulations set by local authorities, then you should have no problem while towing.
If possible take someone along who knows how to tow a tiny house since it is a new experience for most people.
Towing can be done at higher speeds if the tiny house on wheels has brakes and other necessary safety measures which you will learn more about later, but make sure that you don’t exceed the speed limit of your vehicle while towing or it could cause an accident.