This Tiny Home Sure is Unique!


Sporting a streamlined and decidedly masculine exterior, the 8-and-1/2-foot-by-20-foot tiny home features all the expected spaces: a living area, a full kitchen, one sleeping loft, and a compact bathroom. As is de rigueur with any tiny home, this 170-square-foot interior employs some of the usual space-saving tactics: A sectional sofa fits into the corner of the living room, keeping the path through the home clear, and doubles as a bed for guests. The kitchen relies on tried-and-true hanging storage for cutting boards, knives, and utensils with a petite table tucked against the wall, its two stools stored underneath.

But what we like most about this place is the understated style — its clean detailing, simple-but-sophisticated cabinetry, butcherblock countertops, and simple stairs are just plain sleek. And let's take a minute to really enjoy the built-ins. A collection of seemingly haphazard boxes separate the sleeping loft from the rest of the main space. Complementary shelves also flank the loft's back wall to hold clothes or any items homeowners don't want on full display.

Your tiny house design should take into consideration how much weight is forward (toward the tongue of the trailer) and how much is on the back of the trailer (which might be the front of the house). Generally, tiny houses on wheels should be no more than 13'6" high and 8'6" wide, in order to tow them without special permits or licenses. However, some states are more restrictive; some are less. Here's a handy but unofficial summary of size limitations. Please check with your local DMV for the laws in your state.

The tongue weight is the static force the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch ball. An improper load condition can make for a dangerous trailering situation. If you don't have enough weight on the trailer tongue (less than 10 percent of the total loaded trailer weight) the trailer can end up swaying from side to side, making it difficult to control. If you have too much weight on the trailer tongue (more than 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight) it can overload the rear tires and push the rear of the vehicle around. You might not be able to go around corners and curves properly, and your vehicle might not stop fast enough when you press the brake pedal.

According to the 2013 GMC Trailering Guide, to get the proper trailer tongue weight, you should put about 60 percent of the load centered evenly over the front half of the trailer. You can calculate the proper trailer tongue weight by figuring 10 to 15% of the total loaded trailer weight. For example, a 3,000 pound trailer has a proper tongue weight of 300 to 450 pounds.

If you buy a used trailer, know that a lot of welding may be needed to tailor the trailer to your design. If you're not a welder, you might save money in the long run by buying a new trailer, customized to your design specifications. Here's a helpful video on trailers from Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders. If you will be staying in RV park, be aware that it's customary to have the front door or main entrance on the passenger side as opposed to driver's side. Typically the hookups for the water and waste are on the driver's side.


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