Even though the average person only moves their tiny house three times in their lifetime, moving always comes up in conversations. Do I need a gigantic truck? Can I pull my home with an SUV? Can I rent a truck? There are a lot of questions, but we’re here to help you figure it all out. Here are some great recommendations when choosing a tiny home tow vehicle.
Buy a Tiny House Tow Vehicle
One option is to buy a tow vehicle. However, if you don’t plan on moving your tiny house often this may be overkill. Larger tow vehicles are not inexpensive and they also consume a lot more gas than a typical vehicle. You may be wanting the biggest vehicle they make to tow your house, but this will also be the vehicle you use for quick trips to the grocery store.
Typically, if you have a 20 foot home or less, you are looking for a minimum half ton truck like a Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, or Toyota Tundra. But keep in mind here that not all half tons are created equal. There are differences in engine size, transmission gearing, fuel capacity, and towing packages. Not everyone who buys a half ton truck intends to tow something. Take a look at the table below.
|F-150||3.5L V6||5100 lbs.|
|F-150||3.5L V6 TC||11,700lbs.|
This is the same model truck with a similarly sized engine, but way different towing capacities due to the towing package of the vehicle.
If you have a house that is between 20 and 28 feet, you are going to need the next step up: a one ton pickup. This is going to be your GMC Sierra 3500, Dodge Ram 3500 or Ford F-350. These are designed specifically for towing and are capable of towing so much that they could require a commercial driver’s license if operated at their full capabilities. But if you are towing less than 26,000 pounds (which you will be), your normal driver’s license will suffice.
These larger trucks can also come as a dually, which has four wheels in the back and will handle a 32 foot home nicely. These have similar towing capacities but have the ability to handle a higher tongue weight.
Speaking of tongue weight, this is something else you will have to consider in addition to total weight. The tongue weight is the amount of weight that comes down specifically on the tongue of the trailer. Stay tuned because we are going to talk more about that in a future article.
Rent a Tiny House Tow Vehicle
So you don’t want to own a truck. There is nothing wrong with that. There is a way that you can rent a tow vehicle to get your tiny house mobile. Now we are not talking about U-Haul or Penske here, as they restrict their trucks to lighter loads like towing your vehicle. Even though their trucks could pull a tiny house, they have purposely set up their trucks to make sure that you can’t use them for that. They either disable the hitch or they permanently weld a 2” ball to the truck. Those are meant for the lighter loads as opposed to the 2 5/16” ball found on larger, heavy duty trailers.
If you go to a typical car rental place like Avis, Hertz or Enterprise can rental, you are going to come up with the exact same problem.
We use enterprisetrucks.com. They specifically rent trucks meant for towing. They come with all the tow packages and the hitches required. And the prices are reasonable in comparison to buying a new truck. There are other companies out there, but make sure you read the fine print in the insurance to see if they cover transmission problems due to towing. If you don’t see it, they more than likely do not want you towing anything.
Outsource the Towing Altogether
Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who will move your tiny house for you. There are a few websites to help you find them. One that we’ve used successfully is uShip, where they have a bid system and ratings where you can pick who you want. Think of it as the eBay of shipping. You just want to make sure that you hire someone who is licensed and bonded, as they let pretty much anyone bid on the site. If you would rather not roll the dice with a bidding system, there are companies out there that have a more fixed price model, but expect to pay more.
Before you move your house, it is super important to make sure to consider your vehicles capacities and check the weight of your home. It’s extremely important to keep yourself safe, as well as everyone around you.
So what is your plan to move your house? Are you towing it yourself? Are you in the market for a new truck? Let me know in the comments below.