The FOUNDATION of the tiny home! There are a lot of questions around this topic. I’ll try to help answer a few of them here!
What size trailer do you want? Do you have a truck and feel comfortable towing the house yourself? Do you plan to just get it towed to your “spot” and never move it or hire a mover? We purchased a diesel Ford F250 to tug it around and it does the trick. Grant has experience driving large trailers with heavy loads. I can’t say the same. Make sure you consider this when sizing your home. It can be expensive to have someone else haul your house across the country for you. It just depends what your plans are.
Do you buy new or used? Can you use an RV trailer, tear it down and rebuild? If you are an experienced welder, the answer is yes you can find a cheaper RV trailer and build up the frame to ensure it will handle the weight of the tiny house. Most tiny houses are heavier than the manufactured RV’s so you need to consider this when shopping around. If you are not a welder the better bet is to BUY a new reliable trailer from one of the best tiny home manufacturers, Tiny Home Builders. These trailers are ready to go, no work required. Just hook up, take it home, and start building!
We went a different route…
We purchased a used 20 foot car hauler and reinforced the frame for $3,500 and a lot more TIME! We were then able to reuse all of the metal flashing from the car hauler to flash the trailer before building the floor. What was left over we ended up putting on our ceiling! We still need to do crown molding and I plan to paint the ceiling white as well. That day will come, right?
Another really important thing to think about is insurance. If you want your tiny home insured you will need to buy a manufactured trailer. Since ours was a “home-built” trailer it can not be insured. It is insured by our auto plan while being towed, which is what we cared about, but it is un-insurable when parked and unhitched from the truck. Looking back, we would have been able to start building three weeks sooner had we not had to deconstruct and weld the existing trailer into a “tiny house worthy” frame. At the time we thought we were saving money, but it ended up being about the same price to buy the 20 foot trailer from Tiny Home Builders (here).
Learn from our mistake! It will be better if you just do it the right way the first time! In the end we still have a safe, sturdy trailer, but it would have been a heck of a lot less work and you can get straight to the REAL fun stuff… building the HOME!