How To Safely And Legally Tow Your Tiny House
How do you tow a tiny house? It's a good question to ask if you're considering joining the tiny house movement. The movement is becoming a more popular one, as tiny houses appear in the news and even get their own TV shows on cable networks. As the tiny house movement gets more exposure, more people want to join it and live more simply while reducing their carbon footprint. While some people choose to have a tiny house in a fixed location, part of the allure of the movement for some people is the ability to own a portable home they can take anywhere. This is an especially attractive option for people who love to travel constantly, and it provides a cozier home with more amenities than an RV.
When you own a tiny portable home, the question becomes one of how to tow it safely and legally. Here are some things you should consider when building a portable tiny house that you intend to tow from one location to another on a regular basis.
1. Check the Towing Laws In States Where You Will Be Traveling
When you own a portable tiny house, you need to become an expert on state towing laws. Each state has its own, and you want to make sure your house is compliant before crossing the border into a new state, even if you're just passing through it.
According to TinyRevolution.us, nearly every state requires rear lights on your tow trailer. Having a chain attaching the trailer to the tow vehicle is also an almost universal state requirement. Beyond that, laws vary considerably. Depending on the state you're in, laws on things such as towing speeds, trailer width, and even the lane in which you can travel with your tiny house in tow may change.
Be prepared with knowledge on the laws before entering a new state so you don't get a ticket. Getting pulled over with a tiny house in tow is really awkward, and something you want to avoid; being knowledgeable of the laws is the key.
2. Build Your Tiny House to Be Travel-Safe
It's easier to build a tiny house that's meant to travel rather than to try to equip it for travel afterward. Start it out as a safely constructed travel house by doing the following things:
Include lots of wind-bracing in your house's frame. This will cut down on wind shear damage to your siding when you're towing it.
Install windows made of safety glass. This will ensure they do not break during travel.
Build with flexible materials that are made to bend and sway in the wind. There will be less chance of important parts of the house breaking during towing this way.
Construct the house so that weight is evenly distributed. As long as one part of the house weighs about as much as any other, the house will be able to be towed safely without the chance of it toppling over or bending and becoming misshapen during travel.
3. Get Proper Insurance Coverage
Most auto insurance does not cover tiny houses that you're towing. This means if your house gets damaged in an accident during towing, you have no coverage to repair it. You can get around this by having your tiny house classified as a modular home and having your towing vehicle categorized as a commercial towing company vehicle.
You also may not own the home during the tow in order for it to be covered, so you may have to temporarily "sell" it to a friend or relative until you reach your destination. A good auto insurance agent can help you work out the details.
You can, of course, get a professional towing company to tow your tiny house and any issues with laws and insurance will be taken care of for you. This is an excellent option if you are only moving the house once, or only do it rarely.
If you move your tiny house frequently, however, you need to keep all of the above things in mind before you move it. When everything is set up correctly, you can easily tow a tiny house safely and legally to anywhere.