Owning a tiny house can be a budget-friendly housing option. It provides an added advantage of spending less on maintenance and upkeep, reduced utility bills, and ultimately escaping a mortgage payment. Since we have to pay a mortgage if our home has a foundation on land, we can easily avoid it by placing our house on a trailer. How wise and clever, right?
But this option is only going to serve its purpose if the foundation of the home is solid. In a tiny house, the main part of the foundation is the trailer, and the strength and durability of the house are dependent on the quality of the trailer. Other necessary features include the deck’s width and height, the lengths available, the type of braking system, suspension systems, lighting, load capacity, and a lot more.
The Best Trailer to Build a Tiny House On
In this section, I am going to be comparing and analyzing the best trailer to build a tiny house on. This selection is not just based on sentiment, but based on the strength, quality, durability, and cost-effectiveness of each option.
The PJ Trailers 5″ Channel Carhauler (C5) is a very economical and affordable trailer compared to its counterparts. It goes for as low as $3500 or $79.34 per month. Quite pocket friendly, right? Although it is not extravagantly expensive, it still does not compromise the quality it should offer. It provides all the requirements expected from a standard tiny house trailer.
A very important feature of this type of trailer is that it comes in different lengths, ranging from 16’ to 22’.
- Lengths: 16’, 18’, 20’ and 22’
- Deck width: 83”
- Deck height: 22”
- GVWR: 7,000 lbs.
- GAWR: 3,500 lb. x (2) G.A.W.R
- Colors: Black, desert tan, grey, red, tractor orange, white
- Finish type: Powder coat
- Load capacity: 4,650 to 5,000 lbs
- Tails: Straight deck and dovetail
- Couplers: Bumper pull, gooseneck, and pintle
- Safety system: Safety chains, breakaway system, and reflective tapes.
- Axle count: Double axle
- Brake type: Electric brake
- Warranty: Axle warranty ( 5-year Dexter) and trailer warranty (3-year frame/1-year limited)
- The safety chains and breakaway systems make it easier to connect the trailer to a tow vehicle.
- The gooseneck coupler pulls larger trailers efficiently. It can also pull heavy loaded trailers, which means it is very suitable to build a tiny house.
- The dovetail makes loading and unloading goods easier and more effective.
- The double axle system permits it to hold a large number of pounds (weight of the building).
- It comes in different lengths to allow you to build a house size of your choice.
- The lengths are of reasonable size, so you will not have to pay extra permits to build your home.
- The double or tandem axle trailer is more suitable for towing over long distances.
- It is less prone to swaying and bouncing due to the double axle type, which uses four tires.
- It is suitable for highway speeds.
- It has an excellent suspension system.
- It bears a larger payload capacity and facilities.
- The dovetail may disrupt it from being a good option to build a house. This is because it will require additional modification before it will be ready for you to build your tiny home.
- It is difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
- Maintenance costs may be high.
- Some states and localities may require their own fees and permits.
- Trailers are hard on tires.
When it comes to affordability and budget-friendliness, the PJ Trailers 83″ Single Axle Utility is a solid option. It is the most affordable trailer on our list. It can be bought for as low as $50 per month. Compared to other trailers made available by the PJ Trailers manufacturing firm, it is a very economical trailer but it doesn’t have the same length options as the previous option. It comes in lengths between 8’ and 14’ which may mean a smaller, cozier home, as well as a smaller load capacity.
- Lengths: 8’, 10’, 12’ and 14’
- Deck width: 83”
- Deck height: 21”
- GVWR: 2,990 – 4,995 lbs.
- GAWR: 3,500lb. x (1) G.A.W.R.
- Colors: Black, desert tan, grey, red, tractor orange, white
- Finish type: Powder coat
- Load capacity: 1,940 – 3,515 lbs
- Tails: Straight deck and dovetail.
- Couplers: Bumper pull and pintle
- Safety system: Safety chains and breakaway system.
- Axle Count: Single axle
- Break Type: Idler
- It is one of the most affordable trailers on the market.
- Maintenance costs are lesser due to simplicity in design.
- It is quite easy to maneuver (park) in tight spaces compared to the double axle option.
- The smaller size is also more economical.
- Requires fewer tires and brakes because it has an axle count of one (single axle).
- It is relatively light and will not require a heavy-duty truck to tow.
- It does not require a large space to park and is relatively eco-friendly.
- It has a smaller weight capacity.
- It is prone to swaying because of the decreased stability that a single axle provides.
- There is no suspension system.
- It may have a limited lifetime (that will be lengthened with proper maintenance, however).
This trailer type is known for its excellent flexibility and durability in regards to providing a “foundation” for tiny houses. It has incredible features that have been time tested by many consumers, such as a wider trailer frame and solid construction. Generally, the PAD series is not as budget-friendly as the other options, but it is a great option if you have the financial capabilities.
Every single feature of this type of trailer is best designed to fit a tiny house, starting from its length, width, load capacity, axle system, and lighting.
- Lengths: 10’, 12’, 14’, 16’ 18’, 20’, 22’, 24’, 26’, 28’ and 30’
- Deck width: 100”
- GVWR: 5,000- 20,000 lbs
- Lighting: LED lighting system
- Axle: Single and double and triple axles
- Tail: Straight deck
- It has an incredible deck width which means more space for your tiny house.
- It is manufactured with perimeter flanges that are engineered to support the walls of a standard tiny house.
- It makes use of LED lighting that requires less power and is generally much brighter than traditional lighting systems.
- Excellent for towing over long distances.
- The length and width are large enough to be comfortable but short enough to avoid most extra fees and permits.
- Crossmember supports are recessed strategically to accommodate floor insulation. This feature of recessed crossmembers also reduces the contact of the framework to the subfloor and this allows for greater thermal efficiency.
- It is quite expensive compared to other types of trailers made available by the firm.
- It might require a permit to be legally towed due to its wide girth in some states.
- Maintenance costs may be higher due to higher complexity of the design.
- It is not known for being fuel-efficient.
This brand of tiny house trailers is popularly known for being a very economical option for tiny house foundations. It starts with a very solid base that is intended for tiny house construction — as in, there is no need to modify the trailer itself before building your home.
- Deck height: 16”
- Brake type: Electric
- Axle: Single, double, and triple
- Lighting: LED
- Tail: Straight deck or beam
- It can easily be towed.
- It guarantees correct axle placements.
- Buyers can expect years and years of use out of this trailer.
- It consists of galvanized flashing for insulation purposes.
- Despite the double axle nature of this trailer, it is still easy to move it into tight spaces because of the axles proximity to one another. Yet, it still benefits from the added flexibility that a double axle offers.
- The electric brake system allows the trailer to be easily slowed down without jerking unnecessarily.
- It does not sway or bounce and is very stable due to the double axles.
- It can also be made to travel long distances.
- The trailer sits low to the ground because of the axle design.
- It will require an extra permit to be towed legally because it is generally large.
- Due to the fact that it uses multiple axles, it will require additional tires, which is a dent on the advantage of being budget-friendly.
- Due to its weight, it will require a heavy duty towing vehicle.
All of these tiny house trailers have been tested and reviewed by consumers and are sure to bring you the satisfaction that you need. But, if it still seems to be a bit difficult for you to make your decision, we have provided some additional tips below that may help you make the most informed decision.
The most affordable trailer in this product review is the PJ Trailers 83” Single Axle Utility. As said earlier, it is very affordable and pocket friendly. This is because it is a single axis trailer and does not require many tires and is therefore easy to maintain. However, some buyers may need to modify this trailer to accommodate living arrangements.
The Iron Eagles Trailer PAD series is the best when it comes to efficiency. This trailer is designed and constructed specifically for the foundation of a tiny house. It is a solid and standard trailer that is very durable.
Size of the Trailer
The size of the trailer is a very important thing to look out for. If you want a smaller sized tiny house, then the PJ Trailers 83” Single Axle Utility is the right option. But if you want a larger and more spacious tiny home, then the Iron Eagles Trailer PAD series is the one for you. Just keep in mind that many states and countries have size limits on tiny houses, and the bigger your “tiny” house, the more likely you will exceed these limits.
Towing Vehicle Available
The type of towing vehicle you are planning on using to tow your tiny house trailer is absolutely going to affect your choice. Be sure that your vehicle can move the trailer and house that you are thinking of buying and/or building. Otherwise, you risk damaging your vehicle, the trailer, and house.
In this regard, the Iron Eagle trailer PAD series is still at the top of the chart. This is because of the recessed crossmember support framework which accommodates for insulation without any further modifications.
Don’t pay extra for features you do not care about. Even a simple trailer will accommodate a tiny house provided that it is the right size. However, this always comes down to personal preference and if you believe the extras are worth it, spend away!
We hope that this guide has helped you make an informed decision. But if you are still on the fence, we have one last item to offer.
In our opinion, the Iron Eagle Trailer PAD series is the best overall choice. It is specially designed to be used as a foundation for a tiny house versus functions, such as loading and towing goods or small vehicles like ATVs. This option is cost-effective, has a warranty period, and adequate space to build your tiny home.
We hope this review has helped you understand the basics of choosing the best trailer for your tiny house. Good luck with making an excellent purchase!