Should You Build a 10ft – 12ft Wide Tiny House?

in 2014 when we built our very first Tiny House Basics Trailer which would later be the foundation for our own tiny house we still currently live in, Extra wide 10ft – 12ft wide trailers weren’t even a thing in the tiny house world. The max width we could go was 8ft 6in (which is the legal limit to travel on roadways in the contiguous US States), this max-width was include the fenders and tires. At the time, the vast majority of tiny houses were built in between the fenders of a standard 8ft 6in wide trailer so that meant the rough framing was only 6ft 10in wide, Talk about tiny! That meant the living space inside, once finished, was only 6ft 2in wide. (I think I’m getting anxious even thinking about how narrow that is!) Knowing this was not going to cut it for us. We decided to build our first trailer with a deck that extended the full width of 8ft 6in front and in the rear of the fenders to give us the maximum interior space while still using the widest trailer available at the time, an 8ft 6in wide trailer. To further increase the space we had, we would build over the fenders and not inside the width of them. After all a fender was basically the same as framing over a window, so we treated our fenders like windows and build the walls over them to maximize our interior living area. By having the wider deck and framing over the fenders, We expanded our living space from what would have been only 191 square feet up to 238 square feet of living space on the ground floor (using our 28ft x 102in wide trailer as an example)

Our Tiny House in 2014 Built on a 28ft x 8ft 6in Wide Trailer

All was good in the tiny house world and our extra-wide decks that were 8ft 6in wide were a huge hit and that became the single most popular deck width we started building for customers for all our trailer sizes from 12ft to 34ft (our longest length at the time) Then In 2015 we started getting requests for a wider deck and we started looking into wider axles from our suppliers. As with many of our unique options, it starts with one customer asking for it and boy are we glad they did. We were able to secure wider axles from our axle suppliers and we started to roll out the 10ft wide models and the following year our 12ft wide models. The design and construction was very similar to our 8ft 6in wide models but now with an extra 1ft 6in of interior width. Instead of 7ft 10in of interior width, we now had 9ft 4in of interior width on our 10ft wide models and 11ft 4in of interior space on the 12ft wide models. That means our standard 8ft 6in trailers can fit completely inside the fenders of our 10ft wide models!

and 8ft 6in wide trailer stacked on a 10ft wide trailer

This brings us the most valid question of all when it comes to choosing a 10ft or even a 12ft wide trailer. how do you move it? If you would like a in depth answer to that questions, check out this video from our Facebook page:

Options for Moving a 10ft and Wider Trailer

The two options you have for moving a 10ft or wider trailer whether it is from our factory when you are picking it up or when you are moving your full built tiny house comes down to: Moving it yourself or hiring a professional to move it.

12ft Wide Deckover Trailer

Let’s start with moving it yourself, You are a DIY and you are gonna build a tiny house, why not tackle every aspect of it? heck yeah, and more power to you, Here is what you need to know in general terms as it may vary from state to state and we suggest looking up the exact requirements for your state and the states you plan on driving through. In simple terms, you will need a permit from each state you travel through, which can range from $14-$36 per state. the standard wide load permits applies for all sizes wider that the legal limit of 8ft 6in up to 11ft 11in. If you hit the 12ft mark, you will need to employ pilot cars when traveling. So many of our customers choose to go with something a little under that like 11ft 10in or 11ft 6in and only need the permit and no pilot cars. Each state may have different requirements and times you can travel through certain metro areas so it’s good to do that research in advance. Here is an example of a Wide Load Permit from the state of California:

Once you have your approved permit to travel the intended route you would like to go, you are all set. Most permits will give you a week or two range on when you can travel. There is also a suggested route for most states’ permits, this may be due to construction, road closures, and congested areas. In most cases, these permits are very helpful in planning the easiest and most efficient route when traveling with a wide load trailer. What if all this just seems to much to handle? Then the second option of hiring a professional to move your wide load tiny house is probably the best way to go. Honestly, its what the vast majority choose to do. and what we would strongly suggest when going with a 11ft – 12ft wide model. The benefits of having a professional move your tiny house trailer from our factory to your house for your build or even from your build site to its final parking spot is worth the extra cost from our perspective. The actual cost varies depending on distance the trailer is traveling, but you can factor a wide load on average will range about $300-$500 more to move over a 500mil distance more than it would be for a 8ft 6in wide trailer. Now since a majority of our customers, heck 99% of them don’t travel with their tiny houses, that little extra premium for most people is totally worth it for that extra 17.6% of extra living space in a 10ft wide model or 41% increase when going with a 12ft wide model. Talk about extra room for activities!

Left: 8ft 6in Wide Tiny House Right: 10ft Wide Tiny House

Well, Should You Build a 10ft, 11ft or even 12ft Wide Tiny House?

This answer is entirely up to you, but if you ask us, We will always say: “if you are even contemplating the idea of a 10ft or wider Tiny House, You absolutely should” We have never to this day had any customer regret going with the 10ft and wider tiny house trailers, It makes all the difference in the world if you ask us. You have so much more flexibility in design, in space, and basically everything. The only time I would not recommend a 10ft – 12ft wide trailer is if you are in fact going to be traveling regularly in your tiny house, in that case, it would be a challenge to have to deal with permits on a regular basis. although there is some states like California that offer annual wide load permits that would be something we would recommend thinking about.

If we did it all over again back in 2014, we would have built our tiny house to be 10ft wide, Everytime we stepped into one of our customer’s homes and felt that extra interior width we get excited for the possibilities for more open interior layouts and extra flexibility in design. So what do you think? is a 10ft or 12ft wide tiny house for you, or is 8ft 6in just perfect? Only you can decide, Afterall no one knows your needs better than yourself, and since every tiny house is custom to each Person / Couple / Family it doesn’t matter what we think or anyone else does, do what is best for you and we will help you ever way we can, Happy building!