Living in a tiny house is both a growing trend as well as a novelty to hundreds of thousands binge watching episodes on HGTV of how to build a tiny home. There are certainly freedoms and unexplainable excitement that accompany living in a home that allows you to pack up and hit the road at a moment’s notice. However, many tiny house dwellers actually remain parked for the long haul, even if their tiny is on wheels.
If you are planning to travel with your THOW (Tiny House On Wheels), there are a few things that you need to be sure you master before hitting the highway. Here are some must-knows for roadworthy tiny house travel.
Ready Your Route
A rookie mistake that many tiny housers make is failing to check their travel plans before hitting the road. Many older roads are not equipped to handle the weight of a THOW. Additionally, several (especially on the east coast) have old bridges which cannot handle the weight nor the height of a standard THOW.
You will also want to ensure you have checked for fueling stations for your tow vehicle along your route. Do you need diesel fuel? Will you need a filling station without a roof to ensure you have enough height clearance? Will you be able to maneuver the length of your tow vehicle and THOW in the gas station parking lot?
It always pays off to plan ahead.
Secure Your Load
Since many tiny housers remain parked, packing up a THOW to move can be an extensive process. You want to ensure you have locked down any drawers or cabinets, packed up any open shelving, secured wall hangings, and properly packaged any breakables for the move.
Moving a house on wheels is a lot more work than just hauling some boxes in a pickup. Be prepared to secure windows and doors and ensure that all valuables are prepped and ready for the jostling that can come with 18,000 pounds running at 60 miles per hour.
Your tires are like your shoes. You wouldn’t go for a run or a hike in old worn out shoes so the same rules apply to your tires. You want to be sure you have proper tire pressure, appropriate tread thickness, and a safe spare tire (or two).
When tiny house goers who travel with their homes are asked, few could say they haven’t had a tire blow while driving. You should always be prepared.
Chock It Up
Be sure you have proper wheel chocks for your THOW. Remember that pulling a house is much different than a trailer or even an RV in that your home will likely weigh 12,000-20,000 pounds. It is imperative that you park in a safe space and you chock your wheels each time.
Lock It Up
Unfortunately, along with the rise in tine house popularity comes with the rise in THOW theft. Fortunately, many companies can equip their trailers with GPS trackers or even sell upgrades like bumper pull locks to ensure the safety of your THOW while it is parked.
Hitting the road with your tiny house is one of the incredible freedoms of owning a house on wheels, but it is always important to properly prep and be ready for anything the road can throw at you.