5 things you need to know about towing your tiny house
In theory it seems easy, right? You tow it the same way you tow a caravan or any other type of trailer. Here is a list of 5 things to consider before you start building your tiny house (European edition).
No 1: The house
The house must comply to the European road regulations. This means that it must not exceed 2,55m width and 4m height (in some countries 4.05m). Buying a dedicated tiny house trailer will help you stay within this measurements. Dedicated tiny house trailer will also have an overrun break which is a legal necessity. Depending on the trailer the maximal weight of the tiny house may vary, in most cases it should not exceed 3,5T. This might seem obvious but you have to build your construction lighter in order to be able to transport your tiny with the furniture and other belongings. As your construction will most probably be made out of wood you should leave a small weight-buffer as wood might slightly change it’s weight depending on the absorbed moisture.
We strongly advice to consult your build with and architect and building constructor on the go to make sure the construction is safe to transport.
Of course there are ways to transport your tiny if it’s higher or heavier, but it might mean transporting it as a Convoi exceptionnel.
No 2: The driving licence
In order to tow a trailer above 600kg you will need B+E driving licence. In our case obtaining it in Austria took about 2 weeks and cost less that 500 EUR. First we joined a theoretical seminar (couple of hours) after which we attended a theoretical exam. After passing it, we were allowed to take 4 hours of practical lessons . The only thing left to do was passing a practical exam and voila we got our temporary driving licence allowing us to tow the tiny house trailer immediately.
No 3: The car
Finding a car that can tow a tiny house is not as easy at it seems. The car must weight more than the trailer it pulls and the whole set should not weight more that 7T. It does not apply to special vehicles such as off-road cars or tractors that are allowed to pull more than their own weight. Not all off-road cars are strong enough to pull 3,5T though. Not all tractors have the right type of connection to attach the tiny house trailer. After doing some research we found out that the cars you can use are e.g.
– Volkswagen Touareg
– Porsche Cayenne
– Mitsubishi Pajero
– Toyota Landcruiser
– Land Rover Discovery
– Range Rover
– Audi Q7
– Cheep Grand Cherokee
No 4: The setup
The first time we towed our tiny house we lost a wheel. I know what you think: NOOBS 🤦
Before you hit the road check:
– Air pressure in the tires — it’s usually pretty high (6 Bar and above), if you want to check it, see the type number written on the tyre
– All screws are secured tightly — after your trailer has acquired some extra weight the screws might have loosen a bit. Secure them using tyre wrench with a long handle. Remember that the screws are usually different than the “normal” car tyre screws, in our case they have the dimension of 19mm
– You have a spare tyre — the best option is ordering a trailer with a spare directly from the producer
– You have at least 2 wheel chocks — at least in Austria driving without them with the tiny house trailer is illegal. Also, you don’t want your tiny to roll during a break
– All stuff inside is secured safely — you do not want anything to be rolling around while you transport the house
– Trailer lights plug is compatible with your car’s — we needed a special adapter for VW Tuareg
– Trailer and the car have correct weight balance — they will usually teach you about it during your B+E licence course. In most cases you want the weight to be distributed equally on the trailer or in some cases heavier in the front. Do not put heavy things on your loft.
No 5: The road
Remember that your car with the tiny house trailer attached will most probably exceed the length of 10m. You will not be able to use very narrow turns unless you are a professional truck driver with years of experience. Some roads are not suited for vehicles above 3,5 T and/or above certain height. Check your route before the transport. It might be problematic to tow the house in the areas where tree branches are hanging low — be really careful not to break a window!
Surprisingly driving on local roads towing your tiny is not a good idea at all. There might be a lot of bums and unpredictable adventures. Use the slowest lane on the highway, you’ll be able to drive 80km/h which is just fine.
Towing a tiny of road might be a great challenge. Prepare thick wooden boards to support you while driving on uneven terrain. We were lucky enough that our friend, who is a tractor-owner helped us!
Follow this guide and prepare, prepare, prepare! If you don’t feel you can handle it — hire a professional to do it for you. You will be shaking and nervously turning around every 10 seconds during your first transport as we did — but in the end you will arrive at your destination just fine. All in all, you have a house on wheels — use it’s potential and travel with it!