Trailers, the Tiny Home Foundation

Marc Bilodeau/ Planning, Tiny House

The trailer is here and construction can commence. Even though it seems simple to “buy a trailer”, such a decision should not be taken lightly. After all, trailers are the foundation of a tiny house on wheels (THOW).

Types of Trailers

The first type is a standard equipment trailer. These trailers haul larger loads such as vehicles or construction materials. Although this works and may cost less, this type of trailer is not designed specifically for tiny houses.

The other two types are more suited for tiny houses. The major difference between the two is whether the subfloor is between or on top of the frame beams. Selecting a trailer where the subfloor is within the frame beams provides extra head room inside the tiny house. However, there are some trailers that lower the axles to compensate.

TinyHome.io uses the type of trailer where the subfloor is between the frame beams. This provides an few additional inches inside the tiny house, and the subfloor is bolted to the trailer through the frame beams.

Trailers are the foundation of a tiny house on wheels
subfloor fits on the cross members (left) | how the subfloor bolts into the trailer frame beam (right)

Size and Weight

The total weight of the tiny house will affect how big a trailer is needed. It’s a highly recommended to sketch out a tiny house prior to purchasing a trailer. If there are plans to move or travel across the country, then check the local laws for size, weight, or licensing restrictions.

Trailers have a designation known as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum operating weight. The overall weight includes the tiny house, appliances, furniture, perishables, and all possessions.

Accessories

A set of Scissor Jacks is a must have to level a tiny house on uneven terrain. However, scissor jacks come in a variety of weight capacities. Therefore, choose a set based on the size and weight of the tiny house on wheels.

Two common accessories that help keep a tiny house in place are Stabilizer Jack Pads and Wheel Chock. Stabilizer Jack Pads help prevent the scissor jacks from sinking into soft terrain. A set of Wheel Chocks help keep a tiny house from rolling while stationary.

Securing the trailer is extremely important. The trailer is a big investments, and becomes significantly more valuable once the tiny house is complete. The most effective way to secure a trailer is to use a Universal Trailer Coupler Lock.

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In conclusion, choosing a trailer requires careful consideration. The choices available vary depending on the size, weight, and usage of the tiny house. A current list of TinyHome.io’s trailer and trailer accessories is located here.

[Google Photo Album of the Trailer]