Where do you start when you want start building a tiny house?
The trailer is the first thing that comes into the mind of anyone who wants to consider building a tiny house. But it is a controversial topic. Because most of those who want to start living a tiny life, and downsizing- are those who also want to spare on cash for other great things. Some of them might be traveling, a piece of land, helping others, sustainable living and off-gridity.
So we all have thought of building on a:
- used RV trailer
- used flat-bed car transporter
- customized trailer for a tiny house
In US you can find a used RV for 50-200 dollars. The situation in Europe is so much different and the prices are 4 times higher.
Used RV Trailer
Tempting, I know. O found a 8 m long, ’78 RV in Austria for 800 euros. I was thinking of buying it to Romania, taking the walls down and refurbish the chaise. But, the thought of not knowing in which condition the trailer was, made me change my mind. And also the work that I needed to do to demolish the RV structure, then prepare the trailer to withstand a 2,800 kg house- where too many hazards to count with.
Two videos on how to modify an RV trailer:
RV trailer #1
Used flat-bed car transporter
Again, tempting, because it would have saved some cash, but I gave the idea up. Why? Because when buying a car transporter you cannot know how many thousand kilometers it withstood already. This means the axles, the brakes, the structure are aged. So again too many hazards, not to mention that on the European market, the great majority of car transporters available are either too narrow (1,80 – 2,2 m) or too short. The price range for the right ones was 1800-3500 euros, which was too close to the price of a new tiny house custom trailer.
Sources of used car transporters in Germany:
Just like with your vehicle, though, you can stand to save a lot of money if you buy a used trailer and/or know how to modify one.
Custom made tiny house trailer
The trailer seemed to be the most expensive piece of the house. You can find countless comanies that build a trailer in US and I have spent hours daydreaming that I could pay just 2000-2500 euros for one, but as I said, Europe is more expensive. So first, this is how a tiny house trailer should look like:
Technical specs you need to know about trailers for tiny houses:
- Standard width should me 2,44 m to be allowed to travel on European public roads
- Length can vary from 4 – 10 m. Most popular lenghts for residencial tinies are 6.6m, 7.2m (especially in Holland) and 8 m.
- Maximum allowed weight is 3.500 kg – of the whole trailer +house structure. For trailers that exceed these figures, you need a special permit.
- It should have a place for your license plate and feature brake lights. Also the braking mechanism should connect the trailer to the towing vehicle, so when you brake, the lights go off for the driver behind you.
After checking the price for a new trailer in France, Germany, Poland which were 3800-4800 euros for a 6.6/2.44 m trailer, I came across Mindful Homes, from Holland which was cheaper than the rest and highly recommended in the tiny houses on wheels forums. I wrote to Bernhard, the owner of this company and told him about my project. He told me he would gladly provide me with a trailer for about 3500 euros (plus transport costs), but he recommends a provider, closer to me. And he mentioned Eco Tiny House a company from Romania, that builds tiny houses on wheels.
I was actually thinking that this guy, Bernhard, has given up his business and winnings for the idea of mindfulness which made me only think that ” wow, there are still people like this in the world”.
So here I am, contacting Eco Tiny House and ordering my 6.6 m trailer. It was a AHA moment, because the Tiny Dream was coming closer to reality. It would soon have a shape and would look like a trailer. Here are the links to the trailer sources I have found on my own:
Most large SUVs will have enough power under the hood as well. 2500 cm3 and +150 power horses will do the trick.
However, if you’re going with a gooseneck trailer, your towing vehicle must be a pickup truck.
Good luck in finding your trailer!