Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Saturday, November 19th, 2011:

After catching an hour or two here and there to knock out those many “we’ll get to that” projects, we are ready to attempt the first Tiny House road test.

In the early planning stages, we made the decision use a car-hauler type trailer as opposed to the standard utility trailer suggested by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company plans. Knowing that the trailer is serving as the foundation of our home, we were interested in something more substantial and robust: the car-hauler offered heavier channel iron framing as well as a larger weight capacity.

While the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company estimates the dry-weight for a Tarleton at around 5,000 – 6,000lbs, we knew that our tiny house would likely exceed these numbers given the heavier alternative/natural materials utilized. (for example, we chose to forgo the lighter weight foam insulation and used heavier sheep’s wool; utilized metal electrical gang boxes in lieu of plastic; copper water lines instead of PVC; etc.)

Following the example set by Jay Shafer when moving his Tumbleweed Tiny House, we rented a One-Ton UHaul moving truck to take our tiny house about 20 miles down the road to weigh it at the local Southern FS. Last minute road-readying tasks: attach red reflectors on the back and rear quarters of the house, amber reflectors on the front quarters of the house and put on the RV license plate.

Words cannot describe the intense emotions experienced as the tiny house began rolling down the road for the first time. We were way too nervous for elation. Perhaps that day will come. In the mean time, every bump conjured images of the project we’ve spent the past year and a half constructing with our friends and loved ones disintegrating into a pile of splinters and wool. Nerves on high alert, knuckles shades of white on the UHaul steering wheel, we pulled the tiny house down the road and eventually (forget anything over 45 mph on any kind of up hill -55 mph max on flat, open road) pulled up onto the scales.

Grand Total dry weight: 7,800lbs.

Heavy, but well under the 10,000lb rating of the car-hauler trailer. We’ll take it.

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Comments on: "Maiden Voyage: a trip to the scales." (6)

  1. Congratulations Evan and Gabby on your maiden voyage with your tiny home. Now that you know that your tiny home is road worthy, how far will you plan to travel with it? Also, are the tires on your tiny home trailer wheels rated for the 7,800 pound weight? I would think that when you eventually get it fully loaded you may have up to 10,000 pounds of total trailer weight.

    • Hi Rod, thanks for the well-wishes!

      We will haul the trailer empty at its 7,800 lb weight when moving it. As we tow it with a UHaul, the rest of our belonging’s weight will travel separately.

      Evan & Gabby

  2. Hi Evan and Gabby,

    We are starting to call around and ask insurance agents about how to obtain coverage for our tiny house at least for the ‘on the road’ transport of it to its new home, pulled by a uhaul like y’all did, and had a few questions for you since you’ve been through this now, if you wouldn’t mind taking a moment when you have one, we sure would appreciate it (respond through our email below)!
    -how much approx. cost to insure, and did you go through uhaul or a separate agency (your vehicle’s)? Did you insure it just for the trip or is it insured now like a ‘homeowners’ policy?
    -what did your RV park require you had, i.e. greywater holding tank
    -although we haven’t talked to uhaul yet, it looks like they have weight limits that might not work with a tiny house being pulled, did y’all have to disclose what you were pulling when you rented from them?
    Thank you so much and best wishes!

  3. […] a U-Haul box truck as Jay Shafer has done before and as recently, Evan & Gabby have done with their 7,800 pound […]

  4. Is it unrealistic/cost prohibitive to consider moving a tiny house between southern Arizona in Winter and back to Idaho in Summer? Fuel estimates to go 20 miles with a tiny house like Jay’s or yours?

    • Hi there Tami,

      We did not take the time to estimate fuel costs. So variable given oil prices, head winds, even the differences in gas millage between the two UHauls we used (the one we took to weigh the tiny house was very poor compared to the one we actually moved with -older model vs. newer model).

      The major concern we would have in moving multiple times across country would be the wear on the house itself. We would be wary of moving any more than absolutely necessary as every bump and rattle can effect the structure. Now, Jay has moved a Fencl across the country multiple times for showing. It seems to have held up well?

      We are choosing not to risk it any more than we have to.

      Best to you!

      Evan & Gabby

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