Deciding on a tiny house trailer is arguably one of the most important steps of your tiny home journey.
The trailer is not only the foundation of your tiny home but also your means of transporting the tiny home from one destination to the next, so strength, reliability, and the use of high-quality materials are all critical factors.
We’ve compiled an extensive guide to help answer many of your tiny home trailer questions and help you find the best tiny house trailer in Australia.
Tiny house trailer in Australia – Everything you need to know
Most tiny home builders also design and manufacture custom-made trailers.
Buying a trailer that’s specifically designed for your tiny house is the best way to save money and ensure that it has all the correct specifications for your home.
The last thing you want to do is build your house on a trailer that is either undersized or does not allow for the house to be securely attached to it. While it may be called a tiny home trailer, it is essentially a road vehicle. Ensuring solid connections and a sturdy base will ease the overall pressure on the home during transportation.
What do you need to know to choose the right trailer for your tiny home in Australia?
Flat top or protruding wheel model – which is best?
The two main styles of trailers are relatively self-explanatory, known as flat tops or protruding wheel trailers.
Both styles have the same safety features, but each model has distinct advantages.
The flat-top trailer allows for a more flexible floor plan as you don’t need to build around the wheel arches, usually come with underfloor storage space, and allows for a more simplified building process.
The protruding wheel trailer allows for a lower floor creating additional internal heigh in the tiny home, usually having a tandem axle. They tend to be cheaper to manufacture, therefore, more affordable to purchase.
In the end, it comes down to personal preference and the build plans for your tiny home.
Discussing the trailer with your builder is an integral part of the process that should be done upfront.
Tiny home trailer size
Tiny homes range from 5 metres to a maximum of 12.5 metres in length and 2.5 metres wide.
When designing your tiny home, a key consideration is the overall weight; obviously, the larger the home, the heavier it will be, which places more of a burden on the towing vehicle when transporting the home.
The overall size of the home will directly correlate with the size of the tiny home trailer.
In Australia, most large 4-wheel drives have 3.5 tonne towing capacities .
If you aren’t planning on moving the home very often or at all, then you can build to the maximum allowed size specifications. However, if you plan to move frequently, then this should be a consideration.
Aluminium or steel?
Aluminium is lightweight, and has to be thickened to achieve the same weight-bearing capacities as steel; it’s also brittle, and the flexing that occurs when driving may cause stress fractures. The advantage of aluminium is that it’s rust-resistant and can withstand the elements well.
Steel is very strong and relatively flexible, making it a great option for larger houses. However, it does need to be galvanised to protect it from rust.
Commercial grade tyres are essential on a tiny home trailer as they can handle approximately 900kg per tyre. Using ordinary car tyres won’t work on this type of trailer.
Tandem or Tri-Axle – which is best?
Tandem axles are generally more cost-efficient to manufacture and easier to maneuver but may not handle as well a tri-axle trailer.
A tri-axle trailer is an ideal option if you’re towing a larger tiny home with a weight of over 3.5 tonnes, as it helps to take some of the pressure and weight off the towing vehicle.
Three things to do before buying your tiny home trailer
Design your tiny home
Designing the plans for your tiny house before purchasing the trailer is essential, and going one step further, having a custom-made trailer that’s specific for your tiny home build is even better.
The chassis is designed to receive the flat bottom plate on which the walls are mounted, therefore maximising the usable space and providing secure connections.
Decide if you’ll be going off-grid
Deciding whether your new tiny kit home is entirely off-grid or connected to a power source is a vital decision for several reasons.
Apart from the fact that going off-grid is a significant lifestyle change for most, another consideration is the hefty weight of the panels.
As we explore below, the overall weight of the home and contents really matter when deciding on the right trailer.
Do a weight estimate of house and contents?
During the planning stages, it’s essential to estimate the weight of your new tiny home and contents as it will determine the aggregate trailer mass (ATM).
The ATM defines the total trailer load capacity, including the tiny home, contents, the trailer itself (tyres, suspension, couplings, etc), and factors into the ATM imposed on the jack when uncoupled from a vehicle .
Defining the ATM with the manufacturer will be one of the first steps in the construction of your tiny home and trailer.
Best trailer for tiny houses
All Tiny House trailers are 2.4 metres in width, allowing extra space for external cladding and ensuring the tiny home remains under 2.5 metres wide to adhere to road rules.
They’ve got a wide range of sizes for every build and weight capacity. If you’re aiming at the higher end of the scale, it’s essential to consider your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity to ensure it’s suitable for the trailer.
Prices start from $7,500:
|11M||10 Tonne||Truck Axle||$34,990|
This Australian owned business has a background in tiny home construction, giving them a unique advantage when it comes to manufacturing trailers.
All of their tiny home trailers are made with highly durable Duragal Galvanised steel, feature high capacity rated dual axles, radial tires and alloy wheels, electric brakes, and an easy to use levelling jack.
Additional add ons include hot-dipped galvanised trailer chassis, offroad 15-inch alloy wheels and independent suspension.
Every trailer manufactured by Luxe Tiny Homes Victoria features a heavy-duty rating; each wheel is electrically braked with a safety breakaway feature.
The trailers are made from galvanised steel, with heavy-duty jockey wheels, drop down legs at the front and back, plus four tie-down hooks.
Each trailer comes pre-registered and includes a spare wheel.
Generally, a tiny home that exceeds 6.5 metres is best suited to a tri-axle trailer. They provide a more stable foundation for the home during transportation and ease the overall load on the towing vehicle.
The best way to determine what kind of trailer you need is to speak with the tiny home manufacturer, as most also build custom trailers to suit your requirements.