What Vehicles Can Tow a Tiny House The Best?

What Vehicles Can Tow a Tiny House The Best?

All About Tiny Houses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Your mobile tiny house is never complete without the vehicle towing it. Fortunately, there is a vast selection of automobiles that can do the job.

Your best bets for a towing vehicle are those with 3,500-pounds and above pulling power. Pickup trucks are the most preferred towing vehicles because of their overall performance and versatility on and off the road. However, sedans and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) can also be used mainly for lighter small houses.

Your decision will mostly rely on the size and weight of the tiny home to be towed. The general rule is that for every foot of the tiny house, your vehicle needs to haul at least 450-pounds. Hence, a 16-feet long tiny home needs 7,200-lbs of pulling power. If you’re looking for a robust trailer hitch mount that can pull up to 7,500 lbs., CURT 45036 Trailer Hitch Mount is a great buy!

In the US, the average tiny house usually weighs 10,000-lbs, which also includes the occupants and furniture inside the house. For this reason, one of the most preferred towing vehicles to the super-heavy duty trucks class.

Some of the trucks in this category include the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD, GMC Sierra 3500, and the Ford F-Series.

tiny house being towed

In this post, we will explore other vehicles that perform best in towing your tiny home. We will also look into some of the most beloved family vehicles and see if they can pull your tiny house on your next great adventure.

Can a Jeep Tow a Tiny Home?

Yes, but it will depend on the car model and overall build.

Jeeps are one of the most beloved vehicles in the US, if not the world. The brand has gained a reputation as one of the best manufacturers of off-road vehicles. Today, they mostly offer SUVs and pickups.

But the big question for us is, can you tow a tiny home using a Jeep? The short answer is yes.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee- Diesel is equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that oozes with 237 horsepower and 550 Newton-meter of torque.

This off-roading SUV has a towing capacity of 7,400-lbs perfect for those 16-feet long small houses. When fitted with a towing package, it can still add a couple of thousand pounds of pulling power.

Jeep towing a tiny home

Meanwhile, the smaller Jeep Wrangler is quite limited in terms of towing capacity. But, some variants can pull small tiny homes that are below 8-feet long. It boils down to the axle ratio of the vehicle- the bigger, the better.

Overall, the Wrangler’s towing capacity ranges from 2,000 to 3,500-lbs.

Jeep’s newest offering, the compact SUV Compass, is also underpowered for towing purposes with a measly 2,000-lbs rating. Other Jeep models, such as the Renegade, are also not recommended for pulling a tiny home.

Can a Subaru Outback Tow a Tiny House?

Unfortunately, no.

The beloved Subaru Outback is another vehicle that you might be looking to pull your tiny home. However, the compact SUV’s 2.5-Liter and 3.6-Liter horizontal engines are underpowered for the job. Both have almost the same 2,700-lbs towing capacity.

You can still purchase a towing package from your car dealer to pump its pulling power. Yet, this equipment will set you back anywhere between $1,500 to $3,500.

The best piece of advice we can give for Subaru Outback owners is to rent a bigger vehicle that can tow their small home. There are plenty of commercial movers that this kind of service and you can find most of them online.

Furthermore, don’t sell your Outback just yet to accommodate your tiny home lifestyle. You can still use it as your daily drive car if you decided to settle in a particular place.

An SUV pulling a mobile home

Can an SUV Tow a Tiny House?

Definitely, yes.

Sports Utility Vehicles were first marketed during the late 1990s. These vehicles were designed to cater to the demand of car consumers to explore nature.

Among its distinguishable characteristics are off-roading capabilities, a larger interior space, and a taller interior space.

Car manufacturers also saw to it that they have plenty of towing power so they can pull trailers that contain heavy camping equipment. Depending on its size, weight, and engine, an SUV can pull 3,500-lbs of weight and above.

However, not all SUVs are made equal. The smaller SUVs, such as the compact utility vehicles (CUVs), aren’t known as a heavy hauler.

Your best candidates for SUVs that can pull your tiny house trailer are mid-size and full-size SUVs.

Some of our best recommendations and their towing capacities include:

  • Ford Expedition- 9,300-lbs
  • Lincoln Navigator- 9,000-lbs
  • Chevrolet Tahoe- 8,600-lbs
  • GMC Yukon- 8,500-lbs
  • Nissan Armada- 8,500-lbs
  • Toyota Land Cruiser- 8,100-lbs
  • Toyota Sequoia- 7,400-lbs
  • Dodge Durango- 7,400-lbs

If you own any of these vehicles and are looking for the best towing kit to use, check out CURT 45141 Trailer Hitch Mount.

Do take note that there are still several factors at play when it comes to towing capacity. The car’s powertrain, transmission, axle ratio, and overall configuration determines its pulling power.

If you are planning to buy an SUV to pull your tiny home, we suggest consulting your car dealer first. You can also research online several Information regarding the car model, including its specifications.

full size SUV towing a tiny house

Best Pickup Trucks for Towing a Small Home

While most SUVs are also good pullers, they are also quite expensive. According to Kelly Blue Book, the average full-size SUV goes around $60,000 on average.

Meanwhile, your typical full-size trucks only cost $46,500. Smaller compact trucks that can easily tow small homes sell for $32,000.

Hence, if you are a practical person, you might want to use a pickup truck instead of an SUV. Pickups are also more versatile and have a larger storage space because of its flatbed.

The only downside is that trucks can only seat up to five passengers, while SUVs can seat seven.

Below are some of the most reliable pickup trucks in terms of pulling capability:

  • Ford F150 – 13,2000-lbs
  • RAM 1500- 12,750-lbs
  • GMC Sierra 1500- 12,500-lbs
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500- 12,500-lbs
  • Toyota Tundra- 10,200-lbs
  • Nissan Titan- 9.600-lbs
  • GMC Canyon- 7,700-lbs
  • Chevrolet Colorado- 7,700-lbs
  • Toyota Tacoma- 6,800-lbs
  • Nissan Frontier- 6,720-lbs
  • Honda Ridgeline- 5,000-lbs

These data were taken from the 2019 releases of each model. Prior year-make have varying figures from the ones above. However, if you are looking into the most capable towing trucks for your tiny home, these are more than capable.

Ford F150 pulling a tiny home

Picking the Right Vehicle for Your Towing Needs

It’s not always a wise decision to buy a full-size truck or SUV if you are only towing a 3,000-lbs small home. After all, the bigger the vehicle and its engine, the more fuel it consumes.

Furthermore, they are also much more expensive compared to smaller compact trucks that can also tow below 10-feet small homes.

Hence, you want a vehicle that has the right amount of towing power to meet the weight of your tiny home. Below are the classifications of vehicles based on the amount of load they can pull:

1. Light-to-Medium Duty

These vehicles can tow up to 3,500-lbs and are perfect for tiny homes with a single axle. These are mostly your compact SUVs and pickups.

A Chrysler Pacifica falls into this category, uniquely when equipped with the proper towing kit.

2. Medium-to-Heavy Duty

A medium-to-heavy duty vehicle can tow up to 5,000-lbs of weight. They are great for tiny homes with large or double axles. The Honda Ridgeline pickup truck is an excellent example of this category. Here’s a robust and dependable trailer hitch designed for Honda Ridgeline: CURT CLASS III Trailer Hitch.

3. Extra Heavy Duty

Commercial vehicles meant for moving huge trailers dominate this category. However, there are also a few passenger vehicles that can pull up to 10,000-lbs of weight. The Toyota Tundra is one of the few pickups that belong to this group.

For Toyota Tundra, CURT 13184 Class 3 Trailer Hitch is the best towing package.

4. Super Heavy Duty

If your home has multiple floors and has a length of 20-feet or more, then you will need a super heavy-duty vehicle for the job.

These vehicles are mostly used by professional movers and can tow more than 10,000-lbs of weight. The Ford F-150 is one of the best cars in this class. For Ford F-150, the best tow package is the CURT 14355 Class 4 Trailer Hitch.

Commercial vehicles

If you prefer not to buy a vehicle specifically for towing your small house, you can always rent.

There are plenty of truck rental services that can tow your truck to your desired destination. Overall, their services are much cheaper than buying a vehicle specifically for this purpose.

How to Determine if a Vehicle can Tow Your Tiny Home?

Manually Estimating the Weight of Your Tiny House

Narrowing down a list of vehicles that can pull your small house requires a series of st. The first thing you should know is the total weight of your tiny home.

Aside from the overall structure, you also need to account for everything that goes inside the house.

Thus, when crunching the dry weight of your home should also take into account the following:

  • The weight of the furniture such as chairs, tables, and bed
  • An estimate of the total weight of all your appliances
  • The weight of all things installed in the house such as your heater
  • An evaluation of all the liquids inside including those in your septic tank
  • The combined weight of the occupants

After tallying all these numbers, you can then add it to the weight as advertised by the builder who sold the tiny home.

Meanwhile, if you are planning to build a small home yourself, make sure you are tracking the weight of the materials you have used.

Tiny home without towing vehicle

Using a CAT Truck Scales

There is also a more natural way to determine the weight of your tiny home, but it involves CAT truck scales. Here is what you do:

  1. Attach your trailer home into a towing vehicle. Then, go to a certified CAT truck scale near you.
  2. Drive towards the scale while making sure that the steer axle is on the first platform. Meanwhile, the drive axle should be on the next platform, and the trailer axles are last. If you have a weight distribution installed, disconnect it temporarily.
  3. Push the button on the intercom to inform the attendant that you are ready to take the measurements.
  4. After a few seconds, the attendant will tell you that the weighing is complete. You can now get the vehicle off the scale. Drive off and claim the CAT certificate, which usually costs between $8 to $15. A re-weigh fetches at $3 to $5.
  5. After this, detach your tiny home and park it safely in an open space.
  6. Finally, have your truck weighed using the same steps from no. 1 to 3.

The difference between your first weight results (with trailer and tiny home) and your second (vehicle only) is the weight of your small home.

The figure will tell you how much towing power you need in the car you are looking for.

After getting the data, you will now have a general idea of the type of vehicle you need to use.

Don’t forget to leave out an allowance of 500 to 700-lbs, just in case you will add furniture and other items inside your tiny home.

CAT scale

Renting a Commercial Vehicle to Tow Your Tiny Home

If you don’t plan to buy or currently own any vehicles that we mentioned so far, the next best option is to rent. Hauling companies usually have a fleet of commercial vehicles that has the towing capacity fits the bill.

Towing companies usually have different matrix when it comes to hauling tiny homes. Most tow companies charge $50 to $125 for a five to ten-mile haul.

On top of that, you also pay a $75 hook up fee and another $2 to $4 per mile. If you want to move your tiny home locally, then a towing company can do this kind of job.

Shipping companies also offer towing services. They, too, can get your tiny home from point A to point B. The price of their hauling service is almost in the same range as your local towing companies. If you are moving your tiny home from one state to another, then they are the ones you need to contact.

To give you an idea of the average cost of towing your tiny home, let’s say you want it pulled for 100 miles. Crunching the numbers above, that would amount to $325 to $450.

Factors that Determine Your Towing Fees

When you think about it, towing services aren’t cheap. The good news is that it’s much more practical than buying a vehicle for the sole purpose of towing your vehicle.

Several factors also come into play in determining the quote that hauling companies will give you, such as:

  • The weight of your tiny home
  • The type of vehicle they will use during the transport
  • If the company also insures your small home during the tow
  • The route that the vehicle would take

If you purchased your tiny home from a commercial builder, they also offer this service via their hauling partners. Sometimes they even offer discounts if you hire the companies that the builder recommended.

Tiny house near a lake

Is It Legal to Tow a Tiny House?

Unless you are using the service of professional haulers, it might be confusing if your towing setup is legal or not.

The general rule, however, is that your tiny home must be no bigger than 13.5 feet high by 8.5 feet wide to be called legal.

Aside from the specifications, the vehicle must also have a license, turn signals, and working tail light. The whole towing setup must also be road-worthy and safe so as not to endanger other vehicles.

Hence, it often is not a question if the vehicle can tow your tiny home. But, if the car can “safely” tow your small house over a great distance.

More importantly, can you bring the whole towing rig into a stop whenever you needed?

Conclusion

There are plenty of vehicles you can choose from if you want to tow your tiny house. Passenger vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks are also an excellent option for pulling your home.

The general rule, however, is the bigger your tiny home, the larger the vehicle you need to tow it.

Related Questions

What Else Do You Need to Tow Your Tiny Home?

Unless the vehicle you bought already has a towing package installed, you will need the following:

  • Hitch
  • Coupler
  • Ball Mount
  • Pin and Clip
  • Wiring Harness
  • Brake and Lights Connection

When connecting your vehicle to your trailer, always check the tongue weight. This measures the amount of weight that is exerted at the tongue of the container.

The safe estimate is around 10-12 percent of the trailer’s total weight. Hence, if you have a 10,000-lbs trailer, aim for about 1,000 lbs to 1,200 lbs tongue weight.

For the best wiring harness, try CURT 56333 Trailer Wiring Harness. And for brake light connections, we recommend CZC AUTO Towing Light Kit.

Do I Need a Special License to Tow a Small House?

In the US, most states regard tiny homes as recreational vehicles, especially if they sit on a trailer.

You don’t need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive an RV unless the combined weight of the vehicle and what its towing is 26,000-lbs and above.

However, if you ever get to Canada, they require a Class A driver’s license for any trailer that is more than 4,500 kilograms (9920 lbs).

All About Tiny Houses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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