Some years ago my husband bought a small trailer and built on it an enclosed car trailer that turned out to be very beautiful and most practical for our travels. We loved it. As we found out and as do all tiny house builders, the choice of the trailer is very essential for whatever you want to build on it.
There are some details to know before purchasing the perfect trailer for your perfect future tiny house. Being the foundation of your tiny house you cannot put enough emphasis on the trailer.
First let’s take a look at the different types of trailers you can find.
- The Deck-between-Trailer has a flatbed between 2 wheel wells. Its advantage for a tiny house is that it sits nicely low to the ground making it possible to build a tall tiny house on it, meaning a tiny house with loft. The disadvantage is that you can’t build wider than the bed’s size that is given by the space between the wheel wells.
- The Deck-over-Trailer has a bed that sits above the wheel wells. Its advantage is that you can build your tiny house a little wider on the sides because the wheel wells aren’t getting in the way. The disadvantage on the other hand is that you cannot build a tall tiny house. So, no loft possible here.
- The Dovetail-Trailer comes as deck-between and deck-over model. The difference is that the rear section angles toward the ground. This type of trailer is used to haul around cars because you can load with it vehicles much easier. In other words: this trailer type is not really suited for building a tiny house on it. If you want to use this type anyway for your tiny house, you will need to modify the rear accordingly.
- The Gooseneck-Trailer comes also as deck-between and deck-over model. The difference here is that the trailer’s gooseneck reaches over your truck’s tailgate in order to be attached to a ball hitch in the bed of the pickup truck. This type of trailer works perfectly as trailer for a tiny house and is very often used.
After you found your perfect trailer you might need to consider getting some trailer components too in order to make the handling of your trailer as easy as possible.
Now let’s take a look at the details of a good trailer for your tiny house.
One important consideration is the GWVR (Gross Weight Vehicle Rating). You definitely need to know how much weight of the tiny house the trailer’s axles are supporting and how heavy the trailer itself is. I found this useful calculation: a trailer with two axles carrying each 3,000 lbs. and an own weight of 2,000 lbs. can support a tiny house of 4,000 lbs. And that’s with everything in it, not just the frame.
Knowing the GWVR of the trailer is also important when you just want to use it as a bed for your camper.
When you start building your own tiny house you might be tempted to build it with a footprint as big as possible. Well, there are some rules and laws you have to take into your considerations. A trailer can only be 8’6’’ wide supporting a tiny house that is 13’6 inches off the ground. Anyway, most trailers for a tiny house don’t need to be larger than 28’. While considering the length of your trailer always add the length of the hitch to the total length.
Having said all that, there are actually trailers available that are custom made for tiny houses. They come with heavy-duty steel axles and over-all construction. And very importantly they come with steel beams and not with an otherwise usual wood decking. The steel beams provide a very secure connection and are therefore perfect for attaching the tiny house to them.
I‘d like to add here some final thoughts. First something that you don‘t need to think about because it‘s included in every trailer, usually. These are the details every trailer comes with: a breaking mechanism, brake lights and a license plate.
But! What you need to make sure is the towing capacity of your truck, even more so when you want to build a movable tiny house. You can find your truck‘s maximum GWVR in the owner‘s manual. The weight rating for your towing vehicle must be appropriate for the weight of your future tiny house.
The following set of trailer parts and components are currently the best on the market and often bought additionally together as set.
CURT Jack Foot for Trailers
- Designed to fit CURT jacks and many competitive models
- Capacity: 2,000 lbs.
- Size: 6.5“ x 5“ x 2“
- Weight: 1.5 lbs.
This device does exactly what you’d expect it to do… it protects the bottom of the jack when it’s being used to support your trailer. It also helps protect your asphalt driveway.
Fit my OEM jack without any modifications. Pin fit existing hole and guide. If you don’t have a sled for the stock trailer jack it is a must have. Keeps dirt, rocks, and debris out of jack base and improves stability.
Finally had a chance to use the Jack Foot and it worked just great. I had been using the wheel when we parking the teardrop trailer. This provides a much more stable hold.
CURT Jack Caster Assembly for Trailers
- Designed to Fit Curt Jacks
- Fits 2-inch tubes
- Wheel: 6“ x 2“
- Inside diameter of tube: 2.125“
- Outside diameter of tube: 2,1875“
We’ll made, it does the job. I was able to maneuver my trailer heavily loaded in a flat driveway with no problems. The lock in the pin is a good feature. The finish is galvanized but is a good idea to coat it with a rust protector. The wheel it self looks very strong, made of plastic. Excellent value and fast shipping.
This Jack Caster Assembly fit perfectly without any modifications and makes moving the trailer much easier. We did measure the tube on the trailer carefully BEFORE ordering for a good fit.
Should have bought this along time ago. It makes hook ups so much easier.
CURT Side Wind A-Frame Jack for Trailers
- CURT Receiver Tubing will extend the reach of your receiver
- Comes with 0.5“ reinforced collars
- Raw finished
- Length: 6“, also available are: 9“, 10“, 12“, 18“, 24“, 36“ and 48“
- 3,000lbs lifting capacity with a 2,000 lbs holding capacity
It feels really solid and well made and is certainly a huge improvement over the rusty thing that was on the camper. For the price, you can’t go wrong.
When I put the new Curt jack on, the trailer went up and down like a dream. Nice and smooth and real easy when going up as well. I def would recommend this product to someone else.
Three bolts and it was changed. This jack goes up and down with ease, has a greater range that the OEM one that came with my trailer. It works so well I have the kids raising and lowering the trailer for me.