In the world of tiny houses the trailer acts as a foundation.
Although in the tiny house world the trailer acts as a foundation of the house, it is often be neglected while its role is of high importance. Its durability, strength and connection to the actual house are crucial for the overall longevity of the tiny.
In the internet space you could often meet the terms Park trailer and Mobile trailer to be used. But what is the difference and which one is better for your specific case? Read on to find out.
A mobile trailer is the one that you could actually drag behind your car on public roads.
Park trailers are meant to be used only for local positioning only and as a rule it saves the expense of crane lifting a modular unit and/or allows for repositioning it in different areas of the plot if it makes more sense.
A park trailer is typically not meant to go on the roads.
It has all the road permits and has gone through a few types of checks before being sold to you.
...and, surprisingly, there is one bonus type of trailer, which is the detachable trailer.
The detachable trailer is a type of trailer that you could disengage from the tiny house.
It's generally used for other purposes too or in case you want to operate several houses with one trailer.
These descriptions below give some more clarity on the topic. In order to understand trailers in more depth it is important to know the basic pros and cons of each type so that you know which one would be best for you to use and when.
Park trailer pros & cons.
+ park trailers typically have a lower price when compared to the mobile ones
+ the width could be up to 3m /in relation to 2.55 for the mobile trailer/ or in exceptional cases even 3,5m
+ usually, they are built by the tiny houses supplier and designed by their engineering team, which gives the freedom to design them so that they correspond best to the exact tiny house that is to be built on them. Often metal beams are positioned so that they correspond to walls in the house in order to support them better
+ park trailers could support bigger and/or heavier houses
+ no yearly taxes or yearly technical checkups for these trailers are necessary
+removable triangular hook allows for cleaner look when parked and makes the house less prone to theft
+ typically, it's quicker to manufacture a park trailer as it's done as part of the building process in-house
- They lack some of the extras of the mobile trailers like lighting system, their own breaks system, torsion axles.
- The tiny houses built on such trailers should be transported via specialized trucks for oversized loads when they need to hit the public roads
- The heigh of the house should be about 50cm less so it still fits the 4.2m restriction when it is loaded on a truck.
Mobile trailer pros & cons.
+ could be towed after an SUV or pickup truck on the public roads
+ is certified for safety by local automotive authorities
+ is galvanized which makes it rust-proof
- Limits the house+trailer weight to 3.5tons together. Fines are applied if the weight is exceeded
- Usually comes with the highest price tag
- Takes about a month to be produced and then go through the registration process
- Requires tax payments and regular technical checkups.
Detachable trailer pros & cons.
+ Allows to use one trailer for multiple houses which decreases the price per unit
+ could use the trailer for different other purposes
+ Minimizes the chance of theft, as the house is not so easily movable anymore
- The weight of the trailer is increased as there is additional steel frame to hold the house when the lower trailer part is removed
- Only a few companies offer it as an option available
Some additional considerations.
Height of trailer related to height of house.
The typical height of a trailer varies between 62 and 70cm for the flatbed ones /the mudguards are not visible inside/. The European height allowance for a house with the trailer together is 4.2m, which leaves about 350 for the actual house. If the house is to be loaded on a truck the house could only be about 3m high as the truck platform should also be deducted from the overall size of 4.2m.
Steep roads or ramps.
Longer tiny houses, respectively longer trailers require that you study the road a bit in advance and check for some situations like shown in the image. This often happens if you have to use ramps or if your house is positioned somewhere on the wild and it should go onto some dirt road. In these cases preparation is the key. If possible lay some gravel in order to avoid getting the trailer stuck.
Maximum sizes of house and trailer together.
The allowance on European roads is 2.55m width by 4.2m height max /in some countries these may differ slightly/ ,due to many bridges and tunnels limited to this height, and length 12m /as long as the biggest truck trailer/. Everything that exceeds these sizes will turn the Tiny house into and oversized object and if that happens, it needs to be loaded on a truck for oversized loads and granted special road permissions. Sometimes there will be a pilot car in front of the truck to warn the rest of the drivers and prevent accidents.
The importance of an experienced driver.
Touring a tiny house on public roads is no joke.
Make sure you have a driver with experience and all the licenses necessary to move the house. In Europe to tour a tiny house the driving license of the driver should have categories B, C and E together.
In conclusion, the best choice for heavier, larger houses is the Park trailer, which could be produced to hold the weight well. A Mobile trailer would be a good option if your house is more compact and you plan to move it fairly often, while the detachable trailer is a good option if you have a few units in one place and operate them with one trailer only.
For more information and further technical details please visit our Trailer Types section on the Koleliba Specification page.