Written by Isabelle Nagel-Brice of A Tiny Good Thing
There may be a misconception out there that moving a tiny house is basically as easy as hooking up a truck and moving it. There are a select few tiny house dwellers who choose to move frequently with their tiny houses and designed the home to pack up quickly, however most people who move often live in more mobile tiny homes like converted vans or buses.
How do the rest of tiny house enthusiasts get their tiny homes ready to be on the road?
The first step is consolidating belongings that have settled outside of the home. Depending on your lifestyle, minimalist tendencies, and tiny house storage, there may not be much, however for many it’s often quite a lot of items that must be packed inside the house or tow vehicle. Storage underneath the tiny house trailer is a great spot to store large items out of the elements. The “tiny house basement” is often filled with tools, spare building materials, seasonal items etc.
Solar panels on stands separate from the tiny home are common to optimize solar gain throughout the seasons. These must be broken down and prepared for transport, along with modular decks, outside potted plants or garden beds, and anything else that has expanded outside of the home. Depending on the parking spot, items that have added value to the property may be able to stay for another mobile dwelling.
Packing up the inside of a tiny house is usually pretty fast. Dishes and bulk jar storage are wrapped for protection, house plants are packed well or put in the tow vehicle, picture frames and decorative items are tucked away, and everything must be taken down or secured. Cabinets and drawers must be tied or secured closed. It’s important to be aware that it’s like the tiny home is going through a major earthquake on the road.
Depending on the design, the trailer, and the distribution of belongings inside, it’s extremely important that heavy items be moved to correctly distribute the weight on the trailer. Sixty percent of the house’s weight should be in front of the axles and towards the tongue, with forty percent behind them.
Detach from all hook-ups and make sure that grey and black water lines are secure. Pump up the tires before taking the home off the jacks. Additionally, stove chimneys are often too tall to move and need a portion taken off to make it shorter.
As a safety measure, windows and doors towards the tongue of the house should be covered to prevent getting cracked during the drive. Sway bars can be added to the hitch to help with swaying and potential fish-tailing with a bumper pull style trailer as well.
Once the windows and doors are closed, the trailer can be taken off its jacks and is ready to move. Hopefully the move is smooth, safe, and not too stressful!