Of all the raved-about benefits of a tiny house, its mobility features at the top of the list. The ability to take your micro dwelling wherever you go means you can enjoy life on the road without having to sacrifice the comforts of home. If that’s your plan, the last thing you’d want is to run into a mismatch between your tiny house and the vehicle to haul it.
To help you take advantage of this, here are some towing tips to know before you hit the road with your tiny home on wheels.
Getting ready to tow
To determine whether a vehicle is right for your tiny house, you need to understand two critical towing basics. The trailer’s weight and the towing capacity of your vehicle.
When shopping around for a trailer, make sure that it’s heavy enough to safely accommodate your tiny house, plus the cargo and people inside. Remember, the commercial travel trailer is built to be lightweight and agile. But for a home on wheels, the building materials add to the weight the trailer must carry. It’s best to choose a trailer with a carrying capacity of a couple of thousand pounds more than your home for good measure.
Another important factor here is the ‘tongue weight.’ It’s the amount of the trailer’s weight that exerts downward on the hitch (the connecting point of the trailer and the tow vehicle).
Typically, the tongue weight should be not too less or more than 10-15% of the total weight of the trailer.
Too much tongue weight and you run the risk of having your front wheels lifted. It may dangerously affect the traction, steering response, and braking of the trailer. Less than the ideal tongue weight will cause the rear to be lifted.
Therefore, before purchasing a trailer, you must consult with someone who knows about tiny house trailers. Or, you could get one custom built to your specifications.
Vehicle towing capacity
To decide the right tow vehicle, knowing your home’s weight is a must. You can calculate the weight in two ways — with and without full water tanks. Depending on whether you’d want to travel will filled tanks or drain off the water before each trip, look for towing vehicle with the appropriate weight. Also, keep in mind any customizations you may have made to your house that could alter its weight.
The weight of a vehicle determines its towing capacity, and the info about how much it can safely tow is available with manufacturers. Let’s talk about the different categories of towing vehicles based on the weights they can pull. But bear in mind that these are not exact
numbers. To be sure, check your tiny house and trailer specifications.
This category includes vehicles such as light trucks, smaller SUVs, sedans, and minivans that have a towing capacity of up to approx. 3,500 lbs. These vehicles can pull the double duty of towing your trailer as well as being used for normal driving. But these aren’t heavy enough to meet the requirement for most sizes of tiny homes.
Trucks and SUVs that can handle up to 5,000 lbs fall under this category. Factors like engine, transmission, etc. also determine the hauling capacity of these vehicles.
In this category, we have commercial vehicles, including larger SUVs and heavy-duty trucks with a towing capacity of approx. 5,000-10,000 lbs. They can easily haul some of the largest trailers.
This class of vehicles is meant for trailers weighing more than 10,000 lbs, which includes most dwellings on wheels. As such, these are perfect for hauling massive trailers.
Some of the best SUVs and trucks
Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Expedition, and Range Rover are some of the most feature-packed and powerful SUVs, great for towing an average-sized tiny house.
When it comes to trucks, Ford F-250, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chrysler Pacifica, and Subaru Outback are the most popular ones used for hauling larger homes on wheels.
In a nutshell
As you’ve seen, choosing the right tow vehicle for your tiny house involves a lot of planning and research. There’s a lot to consider before zeroing in on a vehicle that will suit your tiny home. Therefore, we recommend you take the time to understand your requirements, know
the weights, and do some number crunching. Remember, it’s ultimately about your safety and well-being on the road while you enjoy moving around with your tiny house.