Not all tiny houses are built on wheels—but most tiny houses can be moved around when necessary. If you plan on moving around with your tiny house a few times, then building it on wheels is a very good idea.
You do not have to worry about the wheels being an ugly addition to your carefully designed tiny house. After all, with a bit of extra work, you can build something to hide the wheels behind, and with a very good design, people might not even notice that your house is built on wheels!
The stages of building a tiny house on wheels
You will find that you have to go through the following stages when you plan on building a tiny house on wheels:
- Researching (and dreaming, too!)—Before you begin spending money on anything, you need to do a lot of research, e.g., about where you can put your tiny house on wheels, what kind of floor plan you would like to use, and what you would the interior to look like.
- Design the tiny house—The next step would be to design the tiny house or buy a plan from a tiny house company (often these plans can also be customized).
- Make plans—Once you have your plan, you need to make other plans, e.g., about electricity, plumbing, where to get materials from, how much the whole project will cost, and what the individual tasks for completing the project will be.
- Get materials—Once everything is planned, it is time to buy all the materials you will need.
- Build—Build the tiny house, and move it to the final location unless you are already building it where it is supposed to be.
Finding the right trailer
Once you have done all the research (it is very important to know about the laws surrounding the question of where you can actually put your tiny home), you will have to start with looking for the right trailer and the right wheels (which are usually included in the trailer, and once you have the right trailer, the wheels will be appropriate for your purpose).
The wheels are the foundation of your house, and it is important that you make the right decisions here. After all, you do not want everything to fall apart while you are on the road with your house.
Four different types of trailers
There are four different types of trailers you can choose from:
- The deck-between trailer has a flatbed between the two wheels, so the bed can never be any wider than the space between the two wheels. This is generally seen as one of the best choices for building a tiny house, especially if you would like to build a tall one.
- The deck-over trailer has the bed of the trailer on top of the wheels which gives you some more space to play with. However, these kind of trailers are not suitable if you would like to have a tiny house with a loft or second floor.
- Dovetail trailers are generally not a good choice for mobile tiny homes. They can be deck-between or deck-over, and have a rear that angles towards the ground like a ramp (hence the name dovetail).
- Gooseneck trailers are suitable for mobile, tiny homes, but you need a proper pickup truck to be able to haul these kind of trailers.
Things to consider when choosing a trailer
- Weight—the trailer needs to be able to carry the weight you want to put on it—and tiny houses can weigh a lot!
- Hitch—the hitch needs to be suitable for towing the weight of the tiny house. The hitch of a trailer has its own weight limitations, so the weight limit of the trailer and the hitch might not be the same.
- Size—There are certain rules in most countries about how wide a trailer can be if you legally want to move it around on the roads. Always look up the laws before you make a purchase decision—as you do not want to end up with a tiny home you can’t move because you either do not have the right license to move it, or it is too wide to be allowed on the roads.
- Cost—The cost for a new trailer is a big chunk of the total cost of a tiny house on wheels. Make sure that this does not make you go for cheap options. It is very important that you have a solid, reliable base for your house.
- Towing vehicle—Make sure that you have a vehicle that is able to tow the trailer with the weight of the tiny house on it!
Building a tiny house on wheels—what kind of plan to choose
Once you have an idea about what kind of trailer you are going to use, you can become serious about designing and planning your tiny house on wheels.
Tiny house companies sell floor plans, and the prices for these plans can range from $30 to multiple hundreds of dollars, depending on what is included in the plan and how complex the tiny house is. If you are experienced or are confident that you can teach yourself everything you need to learn, you can also design your own tiny house on wheels plan.
The process of building—how long does it take?
While a tiny house is naturally smaller than a big house, this does not mean that you can build it in one day or even one week. Professional builders need a couple of months to build a tiny house from scratch and DIY builders with little experience will need at least double the time a professional would need.
This is one of the reasons why it is important to make a to-do list and plan each step along the way. If you don’t have much time, and only weekends available for the project, you might be better off paying a professional to do the job.
(Photo Credits: ubitech.co, www.countryliving.com, www.thrillist.com)