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Tiny House Trailers – What You Need To Know!

The trailer for your Tiny House forms the foundation of the home, much like a concrete slab is the foundation of a typical Australian home, so it is very important to give this part of the build the attention that it deserves. In this article I want to cover the key considerations when designing your own trailer and some helpful guidelines to make the process of getting started on this exciting journey, a little easier.

First of all lets look at the three different types of trailers that are suitable for building a Tiny House on and then we can work from there. The choice of which trailer to go with is purely a matter of personal opinion. No one is better than the others, they are just slightly different. Here are a couple of my thoughts on each to help you make an informed decision. The three main types of trailers that are suitable for building a Tiny House on include:

Flat Deck

Flat Deck trailer are a great option if your main concern is keeping cost down whilst maximising floor area within your Tiny House. As you can see in the picture below, the deck is completely flat and sits above the wheels which means you have no wheels protruding through into your future living areas. The only downside to this type of trailer is that you will lose a small amount of total available height for your completed house as the maximum height the trailer and its load can be, is 4.3 metres. So, if your trailers deck is 20 centimetres higher because you opted for a flat deck trailer you will lose that 20cm (8 – 12 inches) from your internal roof height if you are building your tiny house with a loft. If you are building your Tiny House without a loft bedroom then this option could be perfect for you.

Get a free quote for Australia’s best quality tiny house trailer here!

Flat Deck With Wheel Arches

The flat deck with wheel arches is very similar to the Flat Deck above but with the key difference of having a lower deck height due to the wheels protruding through the deck and into the house space. This type of trailer design also has it advantages and disadvantages. It is great if you are looking at incorporating a loft area into your Tiny House because by having a lower trailer deck height you will gain that extra 20 – 30cm in head room in the loft. The biggest down side to this is the fact that you lose a little bit of floor area where the wheels arches protrude through the deck. For some people as in my case this is not a big deal as I have designed cupboards to go in these locations anyway so you will not see them. I will just lose a little bit of storage space inside the bottoms of my cupboards. I have decided that this is a small price to pay for added head room when I get out of bed in the middle of the night! Especially since i’m a tall guy at 6’2″.

Our Flat Deck with wheel arches model is pictured below.

Get a free quote for Australia’s best quality tiny house trailer here!

Utility Trailer

The third option would be to use a utility trailer. A utility trailer is essentially a trailer that may have been built to carry all sorts of machinery or equipment that you then adapt to suit a Tiny House. This is not the ideal scenario as these trailers typically have the wheels on the outside of the deck area. Whilst this isn’t a problem at all and can definitely be done it just means you will lose around 600mm, 60cm or 24 inches in total width. If you come across one of these trailers at a great price then it may be worth the sacrifice.

Once you have decided on the type of trailer you wish to build with the next step is deciding on size, weight and features you wish to incorporate into your Tiny House Trailer.

Trailer Size

Tiny Houses are typically anywhere from about 5 metres in length up to 12.5 metres. Based on the Australian Design Rules they can be anywhere up to 12.5 metres in length and a maximum width of 2.5 metres. The only issue is the larger you go the harder it is to tow as it adds more weight! Adding length to your Tiny House will also add significantly to the overall cost to so keep that in mind. My wife and I initially thought we would build a 6m x 2.4m Tiny House but after a bit more research, drawing the house up on Google Sketchup (I did a blog post about this! I Want To Build A Tiny House! Where Do I Start?) and measuring out the space we decided to increase the size to 7.2 metres to give us a little more room and comfort. This is definitely at the limits for towing using a standard 4×4. We are projecting that it will weigh in at about 4 tonne when complete so to tow it legally we will have to hire a light truck as most large 4 wheel drives in Australia have 3.5 tonne towing capacities. In saying that though there are plenty of people around with 4 tonne plus boats that they tow regularly so it’s no major stress unless you plan on driving around Australia in it. In which case I would definitely recommend going for a 6 metre long design and building as light weight as possible.

Trailer Features

As for Tiny House trailer features we kept things as simple as possible to keep costs down and weight at a minimum. Some of the key features of our trailer include:

  • 7.2 metres x 2.4 metres overall
  • 4.5 tonne maximum weight (GVM)
  • Dual axles
  • 4 wheel Electric brakes with electric breakaway
  • 4 x caravan leveling jacks in each corner
  • jockey wheel
  • low deck height to enable maximum building height
  • 8 x M12 mounting studs welded to the frame to bolt down the walls
  • 1.2 mm galvanized sheeting to underside of trailer to seal it and enable easy installation of insulation

Mounting Points

Another area of consideration when designing your Tiny House trailer is where the house will mount to. As you are building on a trailer and at some point the house will be towed and subject to the forces of wind and bumps whilst driving so the house needs to be securely fastened to the trailer. There are many ways in which this can be achieved. Here are a couple to think about:

  • Bolts through the bottoms of the walls and into the trailer frame (can be tricky to do and time consuming but still a good option)
  • Threaded studs that are welded to the trailer that stick through the bottoms of the walls and are then fitted with large washers and nuts and tightened
  • Metal strapping that is fixed to the trailer frame using self tapping screws

When designing our tiny house we considered these different areas of fixing and after much consideration and consultation with structural Engineers we decided to go with M16 studs that are welded to the frame of the trailer in 8 locations around the trailer. In my opinion this gives you the strongest mounting to the trailer and is also relatively easy to work with as you only have to drill your wall frames and slide them into position. All of our custom tiny house trailers now come with this as standard!

Trailer Finishes

There are two main options for finishes on your Tiny House trailer. These are:

  • hot dip galvanizing, or
  • paint

“Hotdip galvanization is a form of galvanization. It is the process of coating iron and steel with a layer of zinc by immersing the metal in a bath of molten zinc at a temperature of around 840 Β°F (449 Β°C).”(Source: Wikipedia). For a list of benefits of hot dip galvanizing check out the Galvanizers Association of Australia.

We are all familiar with paint and in the case of finishing a Tiny House trailer it would be sprayed from a paint gun onto the metal and left to dry. Paint is generally a cheaper option than  hot dip galvanizing but does not generally last as long as the protection is not as good. One of the up sides to paint however is the ability to choose whatever colour you may like.

Cost

In my experience Tiny House trailers can vary a lot in cost depending on where you live, the size of the trailer and the features you wish to incorporate into the trailer.

I have seen many examples of trailers in America that have been built for less than $5,000 but unfortunately that is just not the case in Australia. Everything in Australia is a lot more expensive including Tiny House trailers. Materials cost manufacturers more, labour costs are higher and as a result we just have to pay more for the end product.

I have had quotes anywhere from around $13,000 all the way up to $18,000 for a 7.2 x 2.4 metre hot dip galvanized trailer rated to 4.5 tonne. After lots of research, much frustration and dealing with people who didn’t understand our vision we now offer Australia’s highest quality Tiny House trailers that are delivered to your door, Australia wide. They are designed by our team of designers in conjunction with our structural engineer for a result which is by far the best quality product on the market. If you are in search of a trailer and want to avoid the headaches we went through and also receive a trailer specifically designed for a Tiny House then get in contact for a free quote. Get your free Tiny House Trailer Quote here!

Designing and deciding on the different aspects of your Tiny House trailer is an exciting part of the process. It is where it all begins and it enables you to imagine exactly what you would like your new home to look and feel like. With some careful planning and some help from the right people it is a much simpler process than what most people make it out to be. Don’t be afraid and don’t delay. Get started today by brainstorming and writing down what you want and be sure to get in contact with us if you need any help! 

To find out more about our custom tiny house trailers check out our Trailers page! What this article helpful? What has been your experience with tiny house trailers? Let us know in the comments section below!

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(68) Comments

  1. Great article. Thank you. Just starting to really start the search and planning and this article was very helpful as a newbie with no idea of where or how to even start.
    Also, the section relating to Australian costing is also a very on par, a point that I think needs to be mentioned in more Australian articles relating to tiny houses. Not as cheap as we may think here in Australia.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Thanks so much Missy! I’m glad you found it helpful. Yes the cost of Tiny Houses in Australia of a high standard are definitely a lot more than there oversea counterparts. Still a hell of a lot more affordable than a $500,000 mortgage though!

      Reply
  2. Chantille

    on   said 

    I know this is potentially a dumb question but can you travel in this style of home
    (ie caravaning) or are they designed more for stationary use?

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Chantille, there’s no such thing as a dumb question. It’s actually a very good question! Yes you can definitely travel in a Tiny House. In order to do so you would want to make it as lightweight as possible. So maybe a 6 metre long by 2.4 metre wide model or smaller with a 3.5 tonne rated trailer. That way you can tow it using a regular four wheel drive no problem. This has been done many times before especially in the US. You could travel with a larger one, say 7.2 metres or 8 metres but it would just be more of an effort and strain on the towing vehicle to. Thanks for the question!

      Reply
  3. Casey McBride

    on   said 

    Hiya! This is really helpful information!
    Just one question, how high off the ground is the floor of the the flat deck trailers? If the ground of the flat deck trailer is 1m, then i would have 3.3m to work with above that right?

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Casey, good question. They average about 650mm from the ground to the deck where the floor of your tiny house will be. It varies from trailer to trailer but that is the average. You are correct with the calculation. So you would have about 3650mm left to spare. We always recommend building under the legal height limit by at least 50mm just to be safe. Thanks for the question!

      Reply
  4. Colleen Fitzgerald

    on   said 

    Have you got any tips on how to get around state legislation that in some cases prohibits living in these houses permanently as they are designated as ‘temporary dwellings’? Thanks

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Colleen, that’s a great question but I don’t have anything revolutionary to share unfortunately. Having your tiny house on wheels is one of the first steps you can take to avoid a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy as building a tiny house on wheels avoids the need for planning approval, a building permit and any other paperwork for that matter. The next step is to choose a council that is more open to the idea of tiny houses and sustainable living. There are a few around Australia. The third and final piece of the puzzle is to park somewhere private. As the old saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. I really hope that in time we will begin to see some amazing changes in legislation from councils who are supporting the movement and are willing to say so by changing the local laws to allow them as a full time residence. In the meantime we simply need to follow our dreams, inspire others and continue to challenge the status quo of housing in Australia. Thanks for the question!

      Reply
  5. Ang

    on   said 

    Hi, just wondering does it need to get a road worthy cert or meet other safety standards since it’s on wheels?

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Ang, great question! There are two options that different people take depending on their situation.

      Option 1: If you want to be able to tow the tiny house yourself then yes the trailer will need to comply with all Australian Design Rules. All of our tiny house trailers that we sell are compliant with the law. They come with everything that a trailer must have such as lights, the correct brakes and are supplied with registration so they are ready to tow on the road. Once you have built your tiny house you will then need to have it inspected and apply to have it registered as a caravan if you want to be able to tow the completed tiny house legally on the road.

      Option 2: A lot of people decide to have their tiny houses towed by a towing company when they move as it means you do not have to worry about anything going wrong, the towing company has insurance which protects any unforeseen accidents and many of them also have permits to tow unregistered vehicles and over size loads which means you can do away with keeping your tiny house trailer registered and wasting money on rego. Both options can work well it’s just a matter of what suits your situation better. I hope that helps.

      Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Carmen, we came in at a little under 4.3 metres which is the maximum legal height on Australian roads. We also suggest to keep your height to about 4250mm as a maximum to give yourself a little breathing room as the worst thing that could happen is to finish building your tiny house to find out that it is actually over 4300mm. So allow yourself a little bit of breathing space!

      Reply
  6. Serina

    on   said 

    Hey. I know this may sounds bit weird, but I’m turning 16 this year. I want to have a future career in Architecture and so I thought having/designing a tiny house for myself when I move out or finish uni would be great. I had a bit of trouble finding dimensions of what is allowed on the road without having to get it professionally moved (in Australia) and this article helped a lot with that. So thank you.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Serina, That is very exciting that you want a career in Architecture and are looking into designing a tiny house to get the experience. What a great way to get the experience and have some fun in the process! That is great to hear that you found the article helpful. Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  7. Julie

    on   said 

    Hi,

    Can you please tell me the maximum height, width and length that is legal for a tiny house on wheels in Australia.

    The information seems harder to come by than one would think…

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Julie,

      Sure thing. The maximum dimensions that are allowed on Australian roads are as follows:
      Length = 12.5 metres
      Width = 2.5 metres
      Height = 4.3 metres (from the ground)

      I hope that helps!

      Reply
  8. G’day How much is just the trailer alone I’m a chippy and would like to build on it myself … also for shower tolilet (bathroom) what is recommended and electricity what’s the go ..for electricity could you run solar panals ..

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Los, the trailer alone can range in price a lot depending on the size and the coating that is used. Prices start at around $8,000 for a small model and go up from there. For a detailed and accurate quote please request a quote here.
      As for the bathroom plumbing and the electrical you have many options and both are huge topics. Standard household plumbing is very common and composting toilets are generally used as they prevent the need to cut through the floor and connect to mains. With electricity it is also very similar to a standard house but all switches and power points should be 2 pole for safety reasons. You have the option to take a feed from mains via an extension cord and a plug on the outside just like most caravans or you can also opt to be completely off the grid by having solar, wind or other means of power generation and then batteries to store the energy.
      I hope that helps. If you have any more questions feel free to send us an email here.

      Reply
  9. Shar

    on   said 

    Not only is your post informative but great questions and corresponding answers, can I please have the height of your flat deck with wheel arches & does the total trailer length include the drawback length when talking “trailers” please, next the 2.5m width would have to include the exterior cladding would it not so the trailer would be made smaller to allow for this?

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Shar, Thanks very much for the positive feedback! Our flat deck with wheel arch trailers come standard with a deck of 650mm. We have found this to be the perfect mix of low but not too low. It gives you maximum building height without being so low that you end up with clearance issues when driving over bumps or up and down steep slopes.

      The length of trailers does not include the drawbar. So a 7.2 metre tiny house trailer is actually about 8.5 metres in length overall. The building area is 7.2 metres. The width of our trailers is 2.4 metres. This is for a very specific reason. The legal maximum width of a vehicle on Australian roads is 2.5 metres. We have found that once you add your cladding to your framing the width of your tiny house will increase anywhere up to 100mm overall which will bring you in at just under the legal maximum of 2.5 metres. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  10. Hi,
    Your website is just amazing and you are so generous with your help.
    I am new to tiny house designing and am interested in getting a trailer that I can build on myself. As I want to tow it with a regular 4WD it sounds like 6ft would be advisable.
    In terms of windows, what are the requirements? safety glass?
    Also what is the best framing and cladding to keep the weight down but be legal.
    Thanks for any advice you can offer,
    Kindly,
    Lizzy

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Lizzy,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! It’s great to hear that you have found it so helpful. Yes I would not go any bigger than a 6 metre if you want to be able to easily tow it with a 4wd that has the capacity to tow 3,500kg. Standard household windows are generally fine as Australian Standards stipulate that all windows need to meet minimum safety standards in regards to their strength. Look for “Grade A Toughened Safety Glass” for added peace of mind!

      As for framing there are so many options but if weight is your main concern then SIPS or metal framing could be a great option as both are strong and very light. For cladding you could look at using colorbond or cedar as both are quite lightweight. Even a combination of the two.

      If you need any more help with your design and in creating some beautiful plans our design team would love to help! Send us an email to help@tinyrealestate.com.au

      All the best Lizzy!

      Reply
  11. Gary Tucker

    on   said 

    If I wanted to go down the unlicensed route could I build to 3.0 metres wide and get an “oversize” permit when transporting to site ? TIA .
    CHEERS 🍻😬Gary.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Gary, Yes that is definitely an option with your tiny house. We offer tiny house trailers that are up to 3 metres wide so if you would like a quote on one please send us an email to help@tinyrealestate.com.au. To move it it is as simple as getting a permit for it which is straight forward and also quite cheap. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  12. Shelley

    on   said 

    Great site, great info and useful responses to all questions and comments, thank you. I am considering a THOW and am having difficulty in finding out if they are permitted, legal for permanent sites in Queensland caravan parks. Can you or anyone head me in the right direction please.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Shelley, Thanks so much for your kind words. That is a great question! It does depend on the caravan park from my understanding. Some will allow them and others not. They are considered a caravan once completed and registered so any caravan park that accepts permanent stays for caravans should have no issue with your tiny house as it is essentially the same thing. Just a little more luxurious!! Your best bet is to just call a range of potential caravan parks and ask them if they accept long term stays. A lot of people are still unfamiliar with tiny houses so using the word tiny house can sometimes intimidate people. Your other option is to get in contact with private land owners if the caravan park option doesn’t work out. Airbnb or Youcamp is a great way to contact these land owners who may be open to someone with a tiny house parking on their land! Good luck! Let me know how you go. I love hearing of peoples stories. Cheers, Adam

      Reply
  13. Shelley

    on   said 

    Thanks Adam
    I am bursting at the seams (excited) as i went and visited a park today at Bribie Island and he said if it is on an axle yes i can put it on a permanent site in their caravan park. Plus i heard back from tinyhouse realestate and they said they are completing a TH for a guy in Brisbane who is putting it on a perm site in a park in Brisbane. Now for the exciting part, get my THOW!!!

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      No problem Shelley. That is very exciting and good to know that this is an option for some people. If you need any help getting your plans or trailer underway please send us an email to help@tinyrealestate.com.au as our team would love to help bring your dream to life!

      Reply
  14. Hi. Enjoying this awesome thread. One funky question: what if I don’t want to tow it on roads at all but want to have an option of moving it on my land. Have you heard of joining 2 trailers together ( so width goes to 4.8m or more) and registering it as an agricultural vehicle or something like that ( so if the council gets grumpy you can always prove it’s a vehicle).

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the great question and the kind words!

      Yes you can definitely join two together and we have done some work on this in the past.

      As far as registration goes in my experience you do not even need to go down that path if it is staying on private property. From what I have seen in this scenario it will be classified as an unregistered caravan which simply places it under your local councils laws which govern caravan use. Most councils have a time limit that they can be used for as a full time dwelling which I am sure you are aware of. It’s always best to call the council and check on this to be sure.

      If you need any help with the design to join your two tiny houses together or in getting two tiny house trailers to get your project started send me an email and I can definitely help. My email is: adam@tinyrealestate.com.au

      Reply
  15. Hi Adam,

    I’ve been looking into a 7.2m flat deck and was wondering what your thoughts were in relation to the pros and con of a dual axle vs a tri axle?

    Dual seems to allow for manoeuvrability yet I’m leaning towards a tri for better flexibility with weight distribution when it comes to the interior fit out. It will be 4.5T rated.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Rene,

      That is a great question! They both have pros and cons as i’m sure you have already gathered. The tandem axle design will give you more internal flexibility with your design as the wheel arches are 600mm shorter than the tri-axle design on our models. It also means two less tyres that you need to replace when it comes time for a tyre change.

      On the other hand a tri-axle tiny house trailer has greater stability due to its ability to distribute the load more evenly to the ground but this is seldom a problem especially if using one of our trailers as we ensure that our axle placements are optimal for maximum stability when towing and also when parked.

      We do offer both 3.5 tonne and 4.5 tonne on all models so weight rating can be decided upon based on your intended tiny house design. We can help you choose the right trailer weight rating if you need the help. Send me an email if you need any help: adam@tinyrealestate.com.au.

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  16. I’m right at the start of my journey in planning a tinny house. The thing I’m most worried about is coucil, I don’t want to have to go and get plans passed to have a tiny house or two put on my property.
    I’m part of woolongong coucil my propert is zoned e3 environmental management. There is a house exsists on the property already. Can you help?
    Thanks Vanessa.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Vanessa, thanks for the comment. It’s a great question. I would suggest calling the Wollongong City Council and ask to speak to the planning department. Ask them the following in hypothetical terms: “If I was to have a caravan on my property and wanted to live in it for an extended period of time, would this be ok?” You may also want to follow on with some other questions depending on what they say but its worth calling and asking before getting started.

      Once you have done this, if you would like any help with plans or a tiny house trailer send our team an email and we would love to help you to get started. You can reach us at: help@tinyrealestate.com.au. Good luck with the call and be sure to come back here and let us know how you went. I’m sure everyone would love to hear your story.

      Reply
  17. Hello Adam,
    I’m a bit late to the conversation but here goes.
    I am aware of the measurement specs., my question is about towing an over width tiny home as a member of the general public. I know a towing contractor is able to tow up to 3.5m during day light hours or is this the case for all people that are licensed to drive.
    Is the trailer allowed to be built to 3.5m carrying over width signs, or just the load being carried.
    Thanks and regards David

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi again David,

      As mentioned previously it’s probably best to call your local transport department and a local towing company to ask them as they will have the latest information on what can and can’t be done. Please comment back here when you find out as I would love to know how you went as i’m sure many others would to.

      Cheers, Adam

      Reply
  18. hi I’ve recently been thinking about building my own tiny house but because i’m 15 i don’t have a job. so I was wondering about how much it would cost overall to build a 6 meter tiny house

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Zoe, that is amazing that you are only 15 but already thinking about building a tiny house! Go for it!! If you did most of the work yourself you could do it for as little as about $30,000. Getting started is a lot cheaper than this though. You can get started with a set of plans for a few hundred dollars and then begin planning the build whilst you save or organise a loan to do the rest.

      You can find a range of plans to get started on our website here: https://shop.tinyrealestate.com.au/

      If you would prefer to design something special from scratch our design team can also help you with this. Send us an email at: help@tinyrealestate.com.au if you would like some information on this.

      Good luck and let me know if we can help with anything else!

      Reply
  19. Chrystal

    on   said 

    Hi Guys.
    I’ve been researching Tiny Houses for over 10 months now and have found your TH plans, website, videos and blogs to be very beneficial.
    I’ve drawn up countless floor-plans and played around with different trailer lengths however no matter what I do with a flatbed trailer I keep going back to a 5th wheel trailer.
    My question is why are there no design options for a 5th wheeler in Australia? I understand that the 4.5T weight restriction is a major problem here in Australia but I’m just confused why smaller length 5th wheelers aren’t even an option?
    Any help, advise and/or discussion you have about this would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers, Chrystal

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Chrystal,

      That’s awesome to hear that you are planning your own tiny house build!

      5th wheelers are an option in Australia. The reason you don’t see more of them is because they cost soo much more. The complexity in their design makes them around twice as expensive to manufacture and then you have to have a specific setup on the towing vehicle to tow it which also costs to have setup. If cost is not a problem for you then by all means it is an option but expect to pay somewhere north of $20,000 for this style of trailer in my experience.

      It is just much more affordable and an easier process to go with a standard tiny house trailer design as you can then tow it using a range of vehicles.

      It’s also worth mentioning that 4.5 tonne is not the limit for weight ratings as well. You can go well beyond this. It just becomes a lot more expensive and you will be into the same scenario as the 5th wheeler trailer where it will cost in excess of $20,000.

      Thanks for the question! I hope that helps answer your questions.

      Reply
  20. Dean Fitzgerald

    on   said 

    Do you offer interstate delivery options. 12.5 m long be to Sunny Coast Qld ?
    Also, a 12.5m trailer would be 13.8m overall correct.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Dean,

      We recently stopped supplying tiny house trailers so that we can focus on others areas of the business. What we now offer instead is access to our awesome trailer plans which you can then take to any manufacturer of your choice and have the same great trailer built for you. You can grab the plans for a trailer here: https://tinyrealestate.co/

      In regards to the sizes, our largest plan is for a 9.6 metre trailer which is actually 11.1 metres overall when you include the draw bar. You cannot go over 12.5 metres in overall length in Australia if you want to be able to register the trailer or the tiny house when completed. We opted for a slightly smaller length of 11.1 metres to save on weight and to match building material sizes. 9.6 metres is a multiple of most building material sizes. Eg. 600mm, 1200mm etc.

      Reply
  21. Britt

    on   said 

    Hi Adam,
    Thanks so much for the useful information! I am wondering if a trailer still has to comply with the 4.5 tonne weight limit even if its unregistered? We are choosing to build our trailer 3m wide for the extra internal space and we’ll be getting it towed by a professional company to move it. In which case, do you know if 4.5 tonne is an absolute firm limit for both registered and unregistered trailer, or can we just install a stronger tow hitch attachment and/or heavy rated axles and tyres?

    We don’t have any abnormal fancy features that weigh a lot but just curious if we should be worried about this.

    Cheers πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Britt,

      That’s a great question. In my experience you can go beyond the 4.5 tonne limit for both registered and unregistered trailers as long as the trailer is built to comply with the Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB1) and all of the Australian Design Rules(ADR’s). I would recommend calculating the completed weight of your tiny house as accurately as possible so you can be sure that the trailer you do end up with is more than sufficient to get the job done. I believe 3 metres wide is also possible if you are happy to keep it unregistered but check with your local trailer manufacturer or transport department before going ahead to make sure you can move it on the road.

      I hope that helps. Please let me know how you go as I would love to hear about your experience. I’m sure it would be something that others would find helpful to. Update me via email: adam at tinyrealestate.com.au

      Good luck!

      Reply
  22. Jarryd

    on   said 

    Hi Adam

    reading through this, great write up and very informative.

    trying to wrap my head around the towing and weight ratings.restrictions, my question in my mind being

    throwing around the idea of either 6, 6.5 or 7.2M Tiny home, im esitmating the weight to be anywhere from 3-4T from what you have detialed in your write up. with this in mind im wondering, is the weight you have listed including complete fitout internally or would the weight of all my belongings going into it and appliances etc be ontop of this?

    just trying to weight up options of towing and potentially what vechicles would be possible, with a Series 1 Discovery having a towing capactiy of 4T this is the best ive been able to identify at this point that would have the potential of towing a trialer at arund the 7m mark

    Thanks again for all the info very informative and helpful

    Cheers

    Jarryd

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Jarryd,

      Thanks so much for the kind words about the post. Much appreciated!

      Weight is a tricky one as every tiny house varies soo much based on the specific materials used. Our design team calculates the weight of every custom tiny house that we design so that our clients can be 100% certain that they get the correct trailer and do not have troubles down the track.

      You are on the money with your guesses though. Our 7.2 metre Freedom model weighs in at around 4.5 tonne and our 6 metre Minimalist model weighs in at about 3.8 tonne. You can check both of these plans out here if you’re interested: https://tinyrealestate.co/

      If you need help with calculating weights our design team would be happy to help. Just send me an email to: adam at tinyrealestate.com.au and I can give you some more information.

      Cheers

      Reply
  23. Bridget Gray

    on   said 

    Hi Adam

    I appreciate the advice. Can I please check my understanding. If I’m happy to stick with a 7.2m trailer but don’t want to be limited in weight (ie I want a heavy tiny home) then this is possible provided I have a strong enough vehicle to tow it.
    Like a small truck. Is this correct? In which case I will need a truck licence. But it’s OK to take it on normal roads. have I got all this correct?

    Thanks Adam
    Kind Regards
    Bridget

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Bridget,

      Yes that is correct. The trailer would also need to be engineered and built to hold the anticipated weight as well as having a large enough vehicle to tow it. For example, If you have a trailer engineered, built and registered with a Gross Vehicle Mass of 6 tonne and assuming your house actually ends up weighing 6 tonne as well then the vehicle would also need to be able to tow a load of 6 tonne.

      This is ok to take on public roads as long as both the trailer and the towing vehicle are both registered and the dimensions and weight of your completed tiny house come within the legal limits as specified in the Vehicle Standards Bulletin VSB1. That being no more than 12.5 metres long by 2.5 metres wide by 4.3 metres in height. It cannot be bigger than this if you want to be able to register it.

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  24. Hi great article and great replies to questions. Thank you.

    One question from me is if your trailers are hot dipped or electro galvanised and if you have any opinions on both methods. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Lach,

      Thanks for the kind words. In the past we offered hot dip galvanised and also painted finishes on our trailers. Hot dip galvanised is definitely the better option if budget allows as it will generally last about twice as long as a painted trailer. It can cost a couple of grand to go with hot dip galvanising over paint but if you intend on owning your tiny house for 10 years or more then I think it’s a great investment in ensuring your home stands the test of time with no need for major painting or touch ups.

      I hope that helps πŸ™‚

      Reply
  25. Kirsty Parini

    on   said 

    Hi is the home permanently fixed to the trailer?
    I’m thinking i want to one day drop it on a site permanently and add to it down the track.
    Thankyou.

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Kirsty, my tiny home is fixed to the trailer but it can be removed if need be so you would be able to remove it from the trailer but it would be fairly involved to do so.

      Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Kirsty, Our tiny home and trailer came to around $55,000 all up. This was without any labour component because we did 99% of the work ourselves. If we would have paid a builder to build it for us we would have easily spent another $30,000+.

      Reply
  26. Taz

    on   said 

    Hi Guys!

    Incredibly helpful article and even more informative Q&A.

    Can you tell me, is it reasonable or possible to try planning a tiny home to weigh under 3.5 tonne? I think you mention yours coming to about 4 tonne, but can it realistically be put together to weigh less?

    Thanks!

    Taz

    Reply
    • Taz

      on   said 

      And if possible, do you know if Australian ceiling height regulations apply to tiny homes? In an ordinary house a ceiling must be a minimum of 2.4m in a living space, am I allowed to go under that because it’s not a “permanent” house?

      Thanks again,

      Taz

      Reply
      • Adam Simmonds

        on   said 

        Hi Taz, from my understanding if your tiny house is on wheels then it does not come under the Building Code of Australia and therefore does not need to comply with laws such as minimum ceiling heights. A lot of tiny houses have ceiling heights of less than 2.4 metres, especially underneath the loft!

        Cheers, Adam

        Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Taz, thanks so much for the kind words. I appreciate it.

      It is possible for a tiny home to weigh under 3.5 tonne but it would need to be a very tiny, tiny home. Our 4.8 metre ‘Tiny Cabin’ model(which you can view here) on our website which we sell the plans for weighs in at approximately 3,300kg when completed. So it would need to be around this sort of size.

      If you need help with calculating weights to make sure that you can stay below 3,500kg our team can do this for you as part of our custom design service. If you would like some more information please send us an email to: support@tinyrealestate.co and we will send you through some more information. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  27. Alex Fogarty

    on   said 

    Hi Adam
    At the risk of repetition, you are terrific – it is such a relief to find a non-US site. Not sure if this has already been asked, but the what was the height on your low flat deck trailer if you were building up to a total height of 4.25M? Also, have you found any suppliers in Australia for mini bath/shower combos or any other ‘tiny’ appliances, including composting toilets and gas or elec hot water systems that you would recommend (if it doesn’t get you in trouble for promoting…)? Cheers Alex

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks very much mate. Our flat deck trailers have a deck height of 650mm from the ground. You can view the range here if you need some plans to ensure your trailer is built to not only a very high standard, but also with all of the necessary inclusions which make building a tiny much easier.

      For baths, showers, toilets and appliances we used all standard household items. You can learn more about all of this on our Youtube channel. Cheers πŸ™‚

      Reply
  28. Wendy Green

    on   said 

    Hi Adam, great information and much appreciated.

    Can I ask if you have any recommendations for trailer manufacturers in the Melbourne area?
    I’m planning on having a THOW build at 12.5m x 2.5m (so maximum standard size) and need to check pricing. I’ve had one quote of $30k from one company of Tiny house builders.

    I also realise I won’t be able to move it myself – I have a place for it to live near Ballarat, and just need it moved there – can you either recommend a mover or give me an idea of cost of moving?

    many thanks
    Wendy

    Reply
    • Adam Simmonds

      on   said 

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for the kind words! I don’t have any recommendations for trailer manufacturers in Melbourne sorry. What I can say though from experience is that quality and inclusions do vary a lot so it pays to shop around. It can also help to have a set of plans for the trailer that you want as then you are comparing apples with apples with each quote you receive. We do sell our awesome trailer plans if you are interested. You can view them here!

      $30k sounds very cheap for that size tiny house. Be sure to check what’s included and if that is suitable for your needs.

      I don’t have a moving company I can recommend but any towing company that tows vehicles over 3.5 tonne should be able to help. Look for companies that offer truck towing services!

      Good luck! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  29. Jake

    on   said 

    Really great read, thank you for going out of your way to post. Such an awesome movement, and yes definitely agree with you when you say it is much more enticing than a $500,000 + more mortgage.

    Keep up the amazing work.

    Reply

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