Part of the initial allure for building or buying a tiny house on wheels is the mobility factor. No matter what circumstances come about in life, you don’t have to enter the real estate market time and time again. You simply hitch up and take your house with you. It is all the adventure and even practicality of RVing with the stability and personal style of a sticks ‘n bricks home. Before you hitch up and head out though there are a few tips that may help make the trip a more enjoyable one.
WEIGH YOUR TINY HOUSE. Any certified CAT scale or state patrol scale will allow you to weight your tiny home. The best way to do it is to weigh your entire rig (truck and trailer), then detach your tiny house on wheels, weigh your truck alone, and then do some basic math to subtract the weight of the truck from the whole rig. What you are left with is a pretty accurate weight of your tiny house. It is crucial to know the weight of your house for a couple of reasons.
- You want to be sure the foundation (concrete, gravel, grass, etc) you are headed to can support the weight of your house without you sinking 4″ the first time it rains.
- You want to make sure your tow vehicle is adequate to tow the weight of your tiny house
- You want to make sure weight distribution is right so you maintain complete control over your tow vehicle while you drive.
MAKE ARRANGEMENTS AHEAD OF TIME. If your trip is not that long and you won’t be stopping overnight, you want to be sure to touch base with your Try It Tiny host where you’ll be living or whoever may be waiting to help you get parked elsewhere. A fresh set of eyes and even a second set of hands can be quite helpful. You also want to make sure the host knows what to expect when you come rolling in. If you are going to have to stop at some point and overnight at a campground, call ahead and let them know who you are, what you are towing, and whether or not they will allow you to stay.
BE READY TO LEVEL OUT. The easiest thing you can do is to attach bubble levels to your tiny house. It is preferable to put one on the back center of the house (for left/right leveling) and another on the side for the front/back leveling. To assist in left/right leveling it is recommended to use Anderson levelers as they are the easiest system on the market. Using these levelers allows you to just drive up and raise just one side of the house almost 4″. The tongue jack is for leveling front to back and if need be you can turn an Anderson leveler on its side and use the built-in tongue rests to add 4″ to your foot jack. NOTE: Never use the scissor jacks for leveling. They are not built to support the weight. Scissor jacks are for stabilization only.
INVEST IN AN RV GPS SYSTEM. Most drivers are used to just using their smartphone and Google Maps for driving directions. That is a great system when you are just trying to get from Point A to Point B. But when you are towing and may be in need of specific stops (diesel, propane, high awnings, etc) it makes more sense to invest in an RV GPS like the Garmin RV 770 LMT-S, an easy-to-see navigator with a 6.95” edge-to-edge touchscreen and RV-specific features, including road warnings and custom routing for the size and weight of your RV or trailer. The unit also includes a directory of RV Parks & Services with your preferred amenities. Coupled with the Smartphone app you can receive live traffic updates, basic weather forecasts for your route, and more!
SECURE YOUR INTERIOR. Small improvements to the interior of your home will aid tremendously in preparing to travel. On your bookshelves, you may want to consider adding a small lip to the shelves so books can’t just slide out. You may also want to install a few hook & eyes on shelves and use a bungee cord for security. The kitchen counter items should be stowed in baskets or the sink and chandelier style lights should be secured so they don’t sway back and forth for hundreds of miles.