1. The house
The house must comply with European road regulations. It 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 these measurements. A dedicated trailer will also have an overrun break which is a legal necessity. Depending on the type, the maximal weight of the tiny house may vary. As a rule of thumb: it should not exceed 3,5T. It might seem obvious, but your construction must be lighter to transport your tiny with the furniture and other belongings. As the house will most probably have wooden framing, you should leave a small weight buffer as wood might slightly change its weight depending on the absorbed moisture.
We strongly advise consulting your build with an 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.
2. The driving licence
To tow a trailer above 600kg, you will need a B+E driving licence. To obtain it in Austria took about two weeks and cost less than 500 EUR. First, we joined a theoretical seminar which took a couple of hours). Afterwards, we attended a theory 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. Voila! We got our temporary driving licence allowing us to tow the tiny house trailer immediately.
3: The car
Finding a car that can tow a tiny house is not as easy as it seems. The vehicle must weigh more than the trailer it pulls, and the whole set should not weigh more than 7T. It does not apply to off-road cars and tractors that are allowed to tow more than their weight. Not all off-road vehicles are strong enough to pull 3,5T, though. Not all tractors have the correct type of connection to attach the tiny house trailer. 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
4. The setup
The first time we towed the tiny house, we lost a wheel. I know what you think.Here is a handy checklist. Control these before you hit the road:
- 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 — the screws might have loosened a bit after your trailer has acquired more weight. Secure them using a tyre wrench with a long handle. Remember that the screws are usually different from 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 two wheel chocks — transporting a tiny house without them is illegal, at least in Austria. 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 the 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 sometimes heavier in the front. Do not put heavy things on your loft.
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 a 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 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.
Towing a tiny can be a challenge. Prepare thick wooden boards to support you while driving on uneven terrain. We were lucky enough that our friend, who owns a tractor, 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 its potential and travel with it!