A Tiny House Can Have Slide Outs. Here’s How

A Tiny House Can Have Slide Outs. Here’s How

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.

There’s only so much space to go around in a tiny home. For this reason, some manufacturers thought of adding slide outs to a mobile tiny home. And it worked! 

When done right, slide outs can increase the floor space of a tiny home by a few dozen square feet. In some cases, it may double your tiny home real estate, depending on its design. This feature allows the tiny mobile home to have additional space when needed while keeping its street-legal size. 

The idea of adding slide outs is nothing new. The first ones to popularize this concept are, you guessed it, recreational vehicles (RVs). Although similar, the construction of slide outs for RVs and tiny homes also has a slight difference.

In this post, we will discuss more how a tiny home can have slide outs. Let’s get started.

Can a Tiny House Have Slide Outs?

You can integrate slide outs into a small home. However, it’s an arduous process that requires diverse skills in engineering design, carpentry, electrical installation, welding, and more. 

Because it’s a complex project, most people choose to hire professionals to do the work, instead of doing it themselves. However, the additional materials and amount of labor involved also make a slide out retrofitting or installation quite expensive. 

Slideouts can be installed in a variety of ways. 

It can be integrated on the sides of the tiny home, in the front and the back. Multi-floored tiny homes can also have it on any floors, provided that it doesn’t compromise its structural integrity. 

Initial Steps to Take When Adding a Slide Out

  1. Design a slide out rig that won’t structurally weaken your tiny home. You can consult a structural engineer to point you where to weld support beams. Choose a method to insulate the walls of your slide out. 
  2. After this, decide how to seal the “joints” so moisture won’t enter your home. Sealing the joints also prevent cooled or heated air from escaping. 
  3. Determine what the added space will be used for. Will it be used to accommodate furniture, a large appliance? Or will it be used for a particular part of the house such as a bedroom?
  4. Buy a motor and gearing mechanism with positive locks. Pick a drive system that is watertight sealed. Decide whether to use a manual rocker switch or drive electronics for your slide out panel.  
  5. Choose which one to use – a hydraulic drive assembly or a gearing or rack system. Plan where the actuation system will be mounted and if it needs to be welded into the chassis. 
  6. Pick the orientation of the glide system between a floor-mounted and a side-mounted. You may need a unique mechanism if you choose to install a ramp system. 
  7. If you have furniture currently inside your tiny home, take it out temporarily. Remove any components that sit underneath your vehicle, such as the fuel tank. 

Things You Need to Install a Slide Out

  • Awning
  • Carpentry toolkit
  • Composite wall panels
  • Drive and actuating assembly
  • Electrical toolbox
  • Metal tubing
  • Plumbing toolkit
  • Windows in frames

Best Examples of Tiny Homes with Slide Outs

Tiny home manufacturers recognized the value of slide outs to their customers. As such, several companies have offered tiny home on wheels (THOWs) that are equipped with a slide out features. 

Below are some of the best examples of THOWs with slide outs:

1. The Aurora

The Aurora is a 26-feet long mobile small house developed by Canadian design firm Zero Squared. At a push of a button, it transforms from an 8.5-feet wide mobile home to a 15-feet wide dwelling when parked. 

The Aurora’s floor space measures 374-square feet when its slide outs are expanded. The vast amount of space allowed the designers of the unit to incorporate an urban apartment layout. The floor space is enough to accommodate a queen Murphy bed on the main floor.

The house also features a full-size couch and a built-in entertainment center. It also has its own kitchen complete with a 30-inch stainless refrigerator and stainless steel range with exhaust hood.

To regulate the desired temperature, the manufacturers installed R-26 wall insulation using structural insulated panels. Meanwhile, they use R42 insulation in the tiny home’s roof. A 50-amp hookup powers the house, but it can also go off-grid by using solar panels.

2. The Sawtooth Toy Hauler

Tiny Idahomes built this 34-feet long tiny home with a 6-feet wide slide out in a bedroom located on the gooseneck of the trailer. The custom-built Sawtooth Toy Hauler is 8.5-feet wide and 13.5-feet tall. It seats on a 34-inch fifth-wheel trailer that can be pulled by a full-size SUV or pickup truck.

Because of its humongous floor space, it can accommodate a living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Its manufacturer also installed a 6-gallon propane tank for its water heater. 

The rear end of the tiny home also has a fold-down ramp door for extra storage space. It can fit an all-terrain vehicle or a buggy while still keeping plenty of livable space. Moreover, the gooseneck bedroom can easily fit a queen-size bed. 

Its manufacturer also offers a wide variety of additional features and customization. This includes making the unit completely off the grid. 

3. Double Slide Outs Tiny Home

This tiny home can transform into a spacious living area matched with a beautiful interior at the touch of a button. Created by Mint Tiny Homes, this 36-feet long stationary small house has two slide outs.

The house’s exterior is made of board-and-batten siding paired with a metal roof. It has two doors, one leading to the main floor bedroom and the other into the living room. 

The first slide out adds space into the downstairs bedroom. The extension brings in an extra room around the bed and places to put, say, a closet. Meanwhile, the second slide outstretches the living room space. 

Its manufacturer also loaded it with amenities such as a gas cooktop with oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and a breakfast bar. The bathroom has a tile shower wand has a solid surface counter. Above it is a small loft that you can access via a ladder. 

4. Jamboree

This 250-square-feet Jamboree tiny home is another offering from Tiny Idahomes. It was first introduced during the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree, which was held in Colorado Springs. The house features, among other things, three slide outs. 

It’s been certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and was deemed road-worthy. Among its many amenities is a living room that has a built-in sofa bed and a dining room for two persons. 

The main floor bedroom has built-in cabinets and storage shelves. It also has two large windows that provide excellent ventilation. Furthermore, its kitchen features Corian countertops, a refrigerator, mahogany cabinets, and a 22-inch gas range. 

Going into the exterior of the house, it is a mixture of the modern and country-style layout. Furthermore, it’s equipped with 55 gallons and 38-gallon holding tanks. It connects to the grid through a 30-Amp cord.  

5. Ray McCue’s Tiny Home

Ray McCue, a 57-year-old engineer, designed a tiny home for his retirement. The house features an innovative gable slide out, which has numerous purposes.

The largest slide outs serve as his entertainment center and office, while another turns into a dining room table. Meanwhile, the couch also turns into a full-sized bed using sliding mechanisms. Not to mention, a smaller slide out serves as storage for his barbecue and solar batteries. 

It took Ray, roughly two years to design and another year to build his tiny home. He also sold his house so he could afford a few extra luxuries into his tiny retirement home. But, according to him, everything was worth it.

His tiny modern home now has amenities such as a spa shower with jet system, two-basin kitchen sink, and a 4- burner stove and oven. The house also has a loft for storage and can be used as a sleeping area. 

Pros and Cons of Adding Slide Outs in a Tiny Home

Tiny homes don’t necessarily need to have slide outs. But having them added to your house solves a lot of problems related to living in a house. However, installing a slide out in a tiny home is an arduous process, especially if you do it yourself. 

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of adding slide outs in your small house:

Pros

  • Provides additional living space where you can add a lot of stuff or amenities
  • The added space can also transform into a functional room or walkway
  • Slide outs can also be used to store things such as solar batteries and even a bicycle
  • It also eases some pain points when your tiny home transitions from mobile to fixed and vice versa  

Cons

  • Requires a lot of funding, especially if you want it added to a complete tiny home unit
  • Insulating a slide out is very difficult. Filling the gap between the exterior wall and slide out requires the services of an expert builder.
  • Water can also penetrate the gaps of a slide out if not done properly
  • Some slide out mechanisms are prone from breaking and requires constant maintenance

Overall, slide outs offer a lot of opportunities to the homeowner, especially in terms of living space. However, it also poses some serious problems when not done right. Hence, you need to measure the pros and cons before you install them. 

Deciding on Which Part of the House Should Have Slide Out

You can install a slide out virtually on any part of the house that has walls. You can install a slide out on the front, rear, or sides of your unit. Deciding where to put it is usually tricky and there are several things you need to consider first.  

Planning where to put the slide outs also entail careful planning. It all starts with what part of the house do you feel need additional space. Is it the living room, the bedroom, or perhaps you want a storage space?

If you plan to build a slide out over an already completed tiny home unit, you first need to consult a structural engineer. They can tell you whether it is plausible to implement your idea or if the plan will compromise the unit’s structural integrity.

Slide outs are usually placed next to the walls of the tiny home. However, you need to add support beams and other building components to make it more stable. Be sure that the added materials and the total weight of the home won’t exceed the current limit of the trailer it’s on.

Hiring a Professional or Doing It Yourself

You can hire a professional to add a slide out, or you can treat it like a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project. However, there are pros and cons to each route. 

Hiring a professional slide out installer or retrofitter is more expensive than making it a DIY project. However, their craftsmanship and the end product is likely much better than what you could produce. 

Moreover, if you hire the right team for the job, it would only take a jiffy to finish the project. 

On the flip side, doing the project yourself can be quite cheaper, especially since you won’t have to pay for labor. However, some of the installations can be quite complex; it would take you longer to finish. 

Some projects also require specific knowledge which can’t be learned by merely watching tutorial videos online. If you DIY the installation, you need to pack a lot of patience during the trial and error phase.

Installing the Slide Out Before or After the Tiny Home is Built

Ideally, you want to install the slide outs before your tiny home is fully built. Doing so will allow you to carefully plan the floor design and where things will be placed ahead of time. This procedure will also ensure structural integrity and compliance with the building code. 

Slide outs can be quite tricky to add in a tiny home. Unlike RVs, most mobile small homes do not have a unibody chassis or frame. Instead, it follows the design perspective of a typical house—albeit with thinner walls and lighter materials.

However, if you already have the tiny home fully furnished, you can still add slide outs. Very few tiny home owners have tried this because of its labor-intensive. 

The challenging part about this procedure is removing most of what’s inside your tiny home. Furthermore, you might also need to disassemble several places in your small home, including its walls. 

Hence, if you want a tiny home integrated with slide outs, make sure you add them during the construction of the unit and not after. 

Conclusion

Limited space is one of the main challenges that persist in tiny homes. For people who want additional living space, adding a slide out is the optimal choice. It might be quite expensive, but the comfort it brings is rewarding. 

Related Questions

Is slide out legal to have in a Tiny Home?

Yes, they are. But you also have to abide by precise measurements prescribed by the building code and the road user’s law. For example, a tiny home on wheels must not exceed 8.5-feet in width for it to be road-worthy.

If your tiny home is going to be built on a foundation, it must comply with the jurisdiction’s building codes. 

Is it Expensive to Install Slide Outs?

Yes, it’s costly. Hiring a professional will cost you around $4,000 to $8,000 depending on the materials used and labor fees. If you plan to do it yourself, it will cost you anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500. 

If you want more bang for your buck, the best route is to buy a tiny home installed with slide out from a manufacturer. This move will save you tons of time and money compared to adding the slide out to a complete tiny home. 

How Long does it Take to Add a Slide Out?

It depends on the complexity of the project and the mechanisms to be used. A professional installer can finish it in a month or two. However, doing it by yourself may take several months to even a year, depending on your schedule. 

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *