We hear this a lot: “I need it as wide as we can go.” But do you really? What is your motivation behind that? Are you even aware of the legal road limits? Here are some considerations when choosing your tiny house trailer width.
Believe it or not, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not set the rules for over-sized loads on the roads. It is up to each individual state, and although you will find variances in length, the width stays pretty much the same throughout the USA. Most manufacturers go with the max width of 8’6” on their vehicles because this is the most common width in the country. There are places that narrow down a little more, like some of the undesignated parts of NY and NJ, but you are going to be plenty safe driving your tiny home with a width of 8’6 or 102”.
So you have decided to “go as wide as I can on this thing.” You have to remember that everything on your home is included in that tiny house trailer width. Your outside sheathing, outside siding, door and window trim, drip edge and roof overhang all have to be included in that 102”. We get asked a lot about why our trailers have a standard width of 90” when the legal limit is 102”. The answer is that if we built our trailers to 102", you would surely be wider than that by the time you were done with your house. Now, if you are using metal siding which is only an 1/8th inch thick and a shed style roof which normally has a reduced overhang of only 1”, you can go a little further out, which is why we offer the extended width option for our trailers. The extended width option lets you specify the exact width of the trailer up to 102".
There is a whole section dedicated to size in the article, “Five Signs You Aren’t Ready to Go Tiny,” but let’s take a look at larger tiny house trailer width dimensions for a moment. As you start to go wider, longer and higher, there are certain permits and requirements you are going to have to do in order to legally move your home. Proper signage, chase vehicles and restricted travel hours and locations are just some of the rules you will come up against. Not to mention the permitting fees that you are going to have to pay. And finding a driver that will be able to transport your load is going to cost more, too.
There are always other options for going a little bigger. Go longer instead of wider. Look at collapsible and convertible furniture that fold away when not in use. This can free up space for movement and activities. But at the end of the day you need to really ask yourself why, because you may find that you are just assuming what you will need. What did you go with for your tiny house trailer width? What are your plans? Let me know in the comments below.
Published on 2/26/2020. Published in Tiny House Trailers & Towing.