Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Moving My Tiny House

It finally came time to move my tiny house from the land where I built it, to the land where I planned to live on it.  Initially I had planned to build and live in it on the same property, but circumstances changed and it was time to move on.  Besides the land that I found to move to was much more suited to me and tiny living, plus it was a much bigger lot that I could tuck my house into out of sight.

photo 2The day arrived and step one was to get the house down from the blocks that I had jacked it up onto so that I could get it off the tires (prevent tire shock) and to get it level.  This was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be.  It was tricky to get it up on the blocks, but now I had added another 4,000 lbs of materials on top of it.  This process was slow and made me a little nervous honestly.  The thing I kept in my mind the entire time:  never let your hand come between the trailer and the blocks.  It’s easier said than done, but if the house were ever to fall, the only thing you can do is run.

Once we got it back on its wheels, I felt a lot better.  The trailer was holding the tiny house nicely even when fully loaded.  To move the house I opted for a Ford F150 which I rented from a local car rental place.  The rental was trickier than I had thought too because most car rental places don’t allow towing with their cars.  I could have gone with a Uhaul box truck which allows you to tow and can pull that weight.  I opted for the pickup truck because I had better viability and it was cheaper.  As a side note, I drive a Smart car which couldn’t ever tow the house, but the truck rental was about $65 for the day.

photo 1(1)Next time I rent to tow my house I think I’m going to opt for a “dually” which is a truck with double back tires.  This allows it to handle a lot more, the F150 did fine, but it’s suspension was put to the test even though it said it could handle it fine.  I should note that I have a dual axle trailer so less force was put on the trailer hitch than a single axle; then again if you have a single axle your house shouldn’t be more than 4,000 lbs total.

I had planned my route out to be the fewest number of turns, least traffic, slower speed roads and no bridges.  It did mean going through one of the more congested intersections, but we planned to go during the middle of a work day, so it wasn’t too bad.  The other thing that I did was in my truck I had my Father ride along to sit in the passenger seat to monitor things and check my blind spot, that was a huge help.  I also had Mother and Brother following behind me in another car.  Their job was to play interference for me; Basically keep cars from behind me and to block traffic when I change lanes.  We coordinated it all with cell phones and it went very well.

photo 3The only two things that had me worries was pot holes/bumps in the road and we saw two state troopers, which I knew were staring at me with curiosity.  I took my time, going just under the speed limit and it was very helpful to have my follow car who kept people from tailgating me.

photo 2(1)Once we got to my land I had my tail car go ahead and open the gate, take a look around to make everything looked good. I hung back about a mile away until I got the all clear.  I then was able to come in and duck into the property out of sight very quickly.  I also planned this for a day and time when I noticed most people were at work and not around, less people seeing the house the better in my mind.  I was able to zip down the road and into the property very quickly, unless someone happened to be already looking I don’t think anyone saw us.

 

Once we got to the property I had already planned out how I’d orient and place the house.  The turn into the pad area was too tight to make with the length so I drove past the parking pad, into the field, did a little off roading with my tiny house to circle back around.  After parking the trailer and chocking the wheels we could disconnect and I had installed a back exit to the pad to drive the truck out of easily.

All in all it was a good bit of work, quite nerve wracking and in the end, we landed safely in my new home.

I put together a tiny house towing checklist, download it by clicking the link below.

17 Comments
  1. I have hauled large heavy trailers with a variety of trucks while showing horses nationally over many years. An F150 is technically a half ton truck and your better off with a one ton, an F350 with a class 4 hitch (instead of the usual class 3). But the safety issue usually overlooked isn’t engine size, it’s wheelbase. That truck, with its dual cab and full bed, has a nice long wheel base and that made it safer if you had needed to stop in a hurry. Pulling is one thing, its not good for a truck to pull more than it is rated for though they can do it. But it’s really the stopping that gets you into trouble when hauling. One of the scariest feelings in the world is a panic stop in a truck pulling too much weight for its size and wheelbase length. I am assuming the trailer that your house is built on has its own electric brakes, that and the way you drove, the many thoughtful precautions you took, and that long wheel base on the truck, it all helped this go off without a hitch (pun intended!). Your there, it’s done, and your HOME! I feel bad for you and the other tiny home enthusiasts that you have to hide like this, but you planned well, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Enjoy!!

    • The truck I had was rated for towing of 9,000 lbs, my house is about 6,000. Yes, I did have breaks on the trailer. Next time I’m going for the 350 as you mentioned, the dually wheels will help on a lot of fronts.

  2. Congrats man, beautiful house. That’s great you got it all in!!

    I concur with Moxie about the truck size tho. I’d be surprised that an F-150 could safely haul a stick-built tiny house, it must weigh at least 7500-8000 lbs with nothing inside.

    I drive a Chevy Silverado 2500HD crew cab/long wheelbase that’s tow rated for 11,000 lbs, even though my trailer is only about 9000 full. The longer wheelbase DEFINITELY makes a huge difference in handling and stopping!

    Next time to be safe, please opt for a bigger truck, Chevy 2500/3500 or a Ford 250/350 at least. That’s your house behind you and automatic transmissions and brakes can easily fail if they’re overwhelmed!

    • Yeah next time I’m going to opt for a 350 dually, just feel better with it. Didn’t know that about a longer wheel base, good to know!

  3. So nerve wracking even to read. But kudos for your detailed planning and thorough preparations. Nice that you had solid support from family as well.

    Enjoy your new Tiny Home, Ryan.

  4. Great you have a new place more suited to your needs.
    I am with the group above a truck made to haul that load would have been much safer.

  5. Hope you don’t feel ‘picked on’ regarding the truck Ryan! My point in commenting was really directed at those who are thinking of towing their own tiny house in the future. You yourself have commented on what you might do different next time, so I wasn’t talking TO you, but rather thru you, to those yet to haul their home and who might be looking for tips. Your well thought out and carefully followed plan is THE biggest lesson I hope people take from your adventure. No matter how big your truck, if you whip around corners, zoom up to stop signs and throw on the brakes hard, your going to have trouble. The way you moved your tiny home is an example all should follow. And of course, never ever have people or animals in the house when you tow. Can’t wait to see how you get it all set up and hear how it is all going. Your living many peoples dreams here man, well done to YOU!

  6. I can tell that moving your home was a stressful endeavor. Congratulations on making it to your final resting place! Did you christen it before the drive? Any other celebrations?

  7. Just curious what you would tell a prospective landlord or land owner when wanting to rent land for a tiny house?

    Been wondering about this for awhile; since so many places don’t allow them.

    • Check out the videos on my youtube channel, link at the top right of the page. There is a video on finding land with that info.

  8. While actually constructing a tiny house shouldn’t be a huge deal on the land I am to close on this month, I am still perplexed as to what to build.

    This summer has been our wettest since the 30s. Wood rot is so common here in Florida. Any suggestions as to a termite/rot-resistant dwelling of similar design to yours?

    Steve in Palm Bay

  9. You say to ‘right click’ on the moving info, which implies a PC. Do you know if you can get info for a Mac? When I click on the book, a circle just keeps spinning around & around. Thanks.

    • I think for Mac you have to hold the open apple key. But I’m not sure. Best find someone who knows and can show you.

  10. I am surprised that the F-150 would/could pull a tiny house. Mine is 12,000 lbs, so it really needs nothing less than a one-ton, preferably a 1 1/2 ton truck.
    We are getting ready to move mine within the next week over 600 miles across two states and into a third. Someone wanted to step in and take charge and rent a box truck to move mine. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I discovered it is illegal to tow an RV or travel trailer behind a box truck, and the contracts expressly forbid it. If one were to attempt it, there is a good possibility that person would be pulled over and would face a hefty fine. I think it would be an extremely dangerous situation to have someone who has little or no experience driving a 30 or 40 foot long rig.

  11. I have often wondered about tiny houses and the shifting that takes place while being pulled… specifically, how this would impact the joints in the build… especially drywall. I would love to hear about that piece of things.

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