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What You Need To Know Before Purchasing A Trailer For Your Tiny House

TRAILERS: 101

 

Trailer Anatomy

Types of Trailers (Flat-Bed)

Deck-Between   DECK-BETWEEN:
A deck-between trailer is a flat bed trailer where the bed of the trailer is between the wheel wells. The width of the bed is restricted by how far apart the wheel wells can be. The advantage of a deck-between trailer is that the bed of the trailer is low to the ground, allowing for a taller house to be built on it.
Deck-Over Trailer   DECK-OVER
A deck over trailer is a flat bed trailer where the bed of the trailer is over the top of the wheels. The bed can be up to 8′ wide. A deck over trailer is higher off the ground, and is suitable for one-story houses without lofts.
Dovetail Trailer   DOVETAIL
A dovetail trailer can be either a deck-between or deck-over trailer, but it has a section at the rear of the trailer that angles to the ground. Generally this is found on trailers that are made to haul cars or other vehicles. The angled portion allows a vehicle to be loaded on the trailer more easily. This is not a good trailer to use to build a house upon. The dovetail creates an awkward platform to build on and requires additional welding and modification before it will be ready for a house.
Gooseneck Trailer   GOOSENECK
A gooseneck trailer can be either a deck-between or deck-over trailer, but it has a special hitch connection. The trailer hitches to the bed of a truck that is fitted with a ball hitch in the bed of the truck. This connection allows for pulling larger trailers, and is generally a more stable way to pull a heavily loaded trailer. Building a house on a gooseneck is fine.

When choosing a trailer to build your house upon, there are several considerations to be mindful of. A trailer is built with axles connecting the wheels that are rated for certain load capacities. The axles will be able to carry a certain amount of weight each. This is referred to as the GWVR, or Gross Weight Vehicle Rating. A double axle trailer with two axles each rated for 3,500 pounds will mean that your trailer can hold 7,000 pounds total. Keep in mind that the GVWR includes the weight of the trailer. So if the trailer is rated for 7,000 lbs and the trailer weighs 1,500 lbs, you can put 5,500 lbs on it. On our website, we list the weight of our houses including the weight of the trailer.

Trailers usually include brake lights, a license plate, and a breaking mechanism. The lights and brakes attach to your towing vehicle, and when you use the brakes, it will also apply the brakes to the trailer to signal to the person behind you.

The hitch connection of the trailer attaches to the hitch ball on the rear bumper of your towing vehicle. There are many sizes for hitch balls, but almost all are either 2″ or 2 5/16″ (2 5/16″ are recommended). The hitch ball on your towing vehicle is easily changable. Parts for the hitch of your towing vehicle can be purchased at Auto supply stores and are generally not too expensive if you need to swap out a hitch ball.

Your towing vehicle should also have a maximum GWVR for towing. This can be found online for your year, make and model, or in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Confirm that the weight rating for your towing vehicle is appropriate for the weight of your tiny house before towing it.

Tumbleweed has made it easy for you to find the right trailer, by designing…

The Tumbleweed Trailer

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Learn more about what makes the Tumbleweed Trailer different than any other trailer

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  • Laura Piccolo

    how much for this one?

  • Involved

    Please – Please – Please I feel like I am begging, I have posted on Facebook and email. Can someone please post an idea for a fifth-wheel (goose-neck) set-up. I am looking for a model that would work.

    • Tumbleweed_Tiny_House_Company

      All of our models can fit on a goose-neck trailer with a few modifications. Contact joe@tumbleweedhouses to find the right design for you.

  • bka0721 .

    “Your towing vehicle should also have a maximum GWVR for towing. This can be found online for your year, make and model, or in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Confirm that the weight rating for your towing vehicle is appropriate for the weight of your tiny house before towing it.”

    Huh?! Why point someone into a direction of so much work? The door post (driver’s side) of your vehicle has this information of what your towing capacity will be. The web site will not have individual information for that specific vehicle, options like 4X4, tire size, ect. Just check the door post and do the math of what you can tow. Equally important is what CLASS of hitch you have and whether it will tow the weight of your trailer. Just because you have a trailer ball or hitch attached to the back of your truck does not equal whether it will/can safely tow your trailer.

  • Pamela Bockman

    Are you planning on selling a 24 foot Tumbleweed Trailer in the future?

    • steve_tumbleweed

      Yes, We will be adding 24 foot trailers this month and they will begin to ship in about 8 weeks.

  • Evelyn Gorfram

    Is there more detailed information available for your trailers? I would love to use a Tumbleweed trailer for my self-designed tiny home. Is there somewhere I could find the approximate size and placement of features like the wheel wells and the porch option? Thanks.

    • David C. Burdick

      Tumbleweed Tiny House Company yuou need to provide the specs. on your trailer(s) to Evelyn.

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  • Eric Boberg

    Is it possible for you to build a trailer that extends the metal supports around the fenders, so the bed is a full 8 ft wide?

    • David C. Burdick

      I’m not affiliated w/ Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Yes, it’s easy to extend the width over the wheel wells to the DOT’s max. of 8′-6″ before needing a permit. Weld/install what I call outriggers off the main frame to ‘extend’ the flooring over the wheel wells; of course this will increase the interior floor area quite considerably. (;>}

  • Lynne Harvell

    Just wondering why Tumbleweed charges such a high price for their plans when some of the other companies ask half or less the price for theirs.

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