To determine the cost of a tiny house trailer, there are many factors to consider. In this article, we will go over all the characteristics of tiny house trailers and how they affect the individual costs of your desired tiny house trailer.
Material Cost by Geographic Locations
Cost of living, Rent, Food, and even steel prices vary by region across the united states. Although it would be easier to have standard pricing across the country. We strive to have the best prices we possibly can at our manufacturing locations with respect to local pricing on steel and the cost of living for the fabricators that build the trailers at each factory. Due to this, the cost to produce our custom trailers will vary slightly based on where the trailers are built. We want to provide the best and most competitive prices in the market but the truth of the matter is the price to build and buy the steel for a custom trailer will vary from California to Florida and From Tennessee to Pennsylvania. When a quote is requested for a tiny house trailer, We take into account where you are located in relation to our closest factory that can produce the exact trailer you are interested in along with the distance away you may be. We will then quote the best trailer option taking into account all those factors. No matter where the trailer is built, there will never be any hidden “steel surcharges”.
Styles Of Tiny House Trailers
There are a few main categories of Tiny House Trailers:
- Bumper Pull Hitch
- A Gooseneck
- 5th Wheel Hitch
The main difference between a Gooseneck / 5th Wheel trailer and a bumper pull trailer is the way they attach to a vehicle.
- A bumper pull trailer attaches to a vehicle by way of a ball hitch on the back bumper of a truck or tow vehicle. The common size of this ball hitch comes in 2 5/16th” for tiny house trailers.
- A Gooseneck trailer has a long “neck” That resembles a goose that reaches up and over the back of the tailgate of a truck and slides over a ball hitch that is in the bed of the truck.
- A 5th Wheel hitch will have the same trailer shape as a gooseneck although the attachment to the tow vehicle will vary. The difference is a gooseneck trailer slides over a ball hitch in the bed of a pickup truck, while a fifth-wheel trailer attaches to a pickup truck using a hinged plate hitch; the same type of hitch is used by semi-trucks. The biggest advantage of a gooseneck & 5th Wheel trailer over a bumper pull is its stability. for the purpose of this article, we will just refer to Bumper Pull & Gooseneck. a 5th Wheel hitch is available for tiny house trailers although rarely ordered. The 5th Wheel feature is approx. $275 over the Gooseneck hitch)
Gooseneck Trailers will also allow you to have a buildable deck on the gooseneck hitch while a Bumper Pull trailer does not allow that. A bumper pull trailer has a triangular-shaped hitch to allow it to follow the truck that it is towing without running into the bumper or “jack-knifing”. A Gooseneck will also have a Triangular shape hitch that is under the buildable deck but since it arches over the tailgate of the truck there is no risk of contacting the bumper. The Gooseneck has a have a square buildable deck on top of the hitch. the risk now is the upper deck possibly hitting the cab of the truck if you do not have enough clearance between the deck on the hitch and the truck. If you do not have sufficient space, you should in limit your turn radius or consider using a hitch extender like THIS or THIS. to give more room. A gooseneck trailer will give you more livable space but it will come at a price.
The Gooseneck option starts around $2,400 and adds an 8ft hitch as well as an 8ft long deck on top of that hitch. If we compare that extra 8ft of living space to just making a bumper pull longer by 8ft. At an additional length cost of approx. $150 per linear foot for a bumper pull, there is a premium of approximately $1100 more by choosing the gooseneck hitch option. If cost is a factor in your decision between trailers, then a bumper pull might be best for you.
Trailer Length & Axle Capacity
Lengths of Tiny House Trailers go in full foot increments from 10ft to 56ft. Bumper Pulls are available in lengths from 10ft to 48ft. Goosenecks are available in lengths from 18ft (10ft + 8ft Gooseneck) to 56ft (48ft + 8ft Gooseneck)
Axle Capacities consist of: 3,500lbs, 5,000lbs, 6,000lbs and 7,000lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (or GVWR) consist of:
- 7,000lbs (Two 3500lb Axles)
- 10,000lbs (Two 5,000lb Axles)
- 12,000lbs (Two 6,000lb Axles)
- 14,000lbs (Two 7,000lb Axles)
- 18,000lbs (Three 6,000lb Axles)
- 21,000lbs (Three 7,000lb Axles)
- 28,000lbs (Four 7,000lb Axles).
Trailer Length and Trailer Axle Capacity go hand in hand so we decided to keep them as one category. Although one of the biggest factors on price is the length of the trailer, The longer the trailer the need for a higher weight capacity is required which will affect the price as well. the smallest tiny house trailer is 10ft and the longest goes all the way up to 56ft long. With that in mind, The average weight of a tiny house when finished is about 500lbs to 550lbs per linear foot of trailer length so this should be factored in when choosing an axle capacity or Gross Vehicle Weight Capacity (G.V.W.R. for short)
When deciding on a trailer length you will need to decide on an axle capacity as well. Say you are interested in a 20ft trailer, If we used the formula above that would be 20 (for 20ft) multiplied by 500 (for 500lbs) equals 10,000 (for 10,000lbs) on the low end and 20 x 550 for 11,000 (11,000lbs) on the high end. With this in mind, it is recommended to choose a trailer with an axle capacity of 12,000lbs or more. Usually, when choosing a 20ft trailer, many people opted to buy more trailer than they need and exceed the maximum average weight, and go with a 14,000lbs capacity trailer. If you choose a shorter trailer like an 18ft, you will be in most cases fine going with a 10,000lb capacity trailer.
If you are considering a 10ft wide trailer or even an oversized 11ft – 12ft wide trailer there is a different formula to calculate average weight. This formula is 59lbs per square foot of trailer deck. For another example, lets take a 40ft x 10ft Gooseneck, This will have a lower deck (under the gooseneck hitch) of 32ft in length plus the 8ft long upper deck that is on the gooseneck hitch for a total of 40ft in linear length and 10ft in width with a total square footage of 400 square feet. If we multiply this by 59lbs per square foot we get 23,900lbs. This would exceed the 21,000lbs GVWR so at this length we would recommend going with the quad-axle 28,000lbs GVWR with Four 7,000lbs axles. It is definitely possible to get this weight down especially considering that this is just a guideline and the final weight will vary based on Design, Materials, and Features. For example, by using lightweight siding, We saved over 1,000lbs on our own tiny house. In most cases, it is best to “buy more trailer than you need”. This mindset will tend to save you more in the long run than buying super lightweight materials and stressing over the weight of your house (Trust us, We counted every pound we put into our house).
The width of tiny house trailers relates to the actual buildable deck.
Deck Sizes Available:
- Standard: 92in to 102in Wide Deck
- Upgrade: 9ft to 10ft Wide Deck
- Premium Upgrade: 11ft to 12ft Wide Deck
All standard tiny house trailers will have 102″ wide axles and fenders. But the deck is what we care about since this is what we are building on. The available deck width range from 92″ wide to 102″ wide. When you order your trailer you can choose any width in full inch increments in that range for the same price.
The maximum width of a trailer that can be on the road without permits is 8ft 6in wide (102”) not including the tires. Any size over the 102” width will require a permit from each state the tiny house is traveling through. These permits can range in price from $14 to $35 per day and some states even offer “Annual Passes” for transporting a larger than 102” wide trailer. When a trailer exceeds 10ft in width there is some added restrictions depending on the state and it is best to check your local state’s Department of Transportation for details. We build our standard deck widths on our tiny house trailers in widths from 90” to 102” wide. You can choose any width in that range. Many people who do not plan to move their tiny house often choose the max standard width of 102” wide for their deck, with siding and trim this will make the finished width over the 102” allowable for travel on public roads without a permit. If you plan to travel often or want to make sure your finished tiny house is under the allowable width, We recommend choosing a deck width of 99” or below, This will give you ample room for sheathing, siding and trim to remain under the 102” width required for travel on public roads. In addition to standard Tiny House Trailers, there is also 10ft wide models with special 10ft wide axles/fenders ands also 11ft to 12ft wide oversized models (these will also have 10ft wide axles and a frame that wraps around the exterior of the tires (AKA Wrap-A-Round Deck). To obtain a permit to move a 10ft or wider trailer, you can purchase them through each states Department of Transportations website.
8ft 6in Wide, 10ft Wide & 11ft – 12ft Wide Decks
92″ to 102″ or what we refer to as standard deck is the base model pricing for our trailers. 10ft Wide Trailers run approx. $1800+ to upgrade and will come with custom 10ft wide axles and the ability to have any deck width from 9ft to 10ft wide. To upgrade to a much wider deck, You can opt to choose our oversized decks of any full inch increment from 11ft to 12ft in width. These oversized trailers will still have 10ft wide axles but the deck will extend past the axles and “wrap-a-round” them so when you build the wall framing will cover the wheel wells will a sleeker more home like outside appearance. We do allow enough clearance to still be able to change the tires in the case of a flat or blow-out.
No permit is needed for any trailer 102″ (8ft 6in) wide and under. When a trailer exceeds 102″ wide you will need a wide load permit from each state the trailer travels through. When a trailer is 103″ wide to 10ft wide, the permit process is pretty simple and consists of filling out a permit with the measurements of the tiny house and tow vehicle and the travel route. Then faxing or emailing the permit application to each applicable state department of transportation. when the trailer is 10ft 1in to 11ft 11in there may be some extra restrictions based on the state you are traveling through, this may vary from time allowed to travel and cost of Permit. When the trailer is 12ft in width and wider it will require pilot cars in the front and back of the tiny house at a rate of $1.50 per mile per pilot vehicle.
Size Limitations at our Factory Locations
With 6 manufacturing locations across the US we do have some size restrictions on the trailers we can build at each location based on the size of our physical factory. If you would like a size larger that what we build at our closest factory to you, we can ship that ideal size from the next closest factory, Shipping on all trailers will always be extra.
Maximum Sizes By Factory Location
California: 40ft Overall – Up To 40ft Goosenecks and up to 36ft Bumper Pulls With a 4ft Tongue. up to 12ft in width
Texas: 52ft Overall – Up To 48ft Goosenecks and up to 40ft Bumper Pulls With a 4ft Tongue. up to 12ft in width
Pennsylvania: 48ft Overall – Up To 52ft Goosenecks and up to 46ft Bumper Pulls With a 4ft Tongue. up to 10ft in width
Tiny house trailer options are best viewed as tools to speed up, Simplify or even maximize your build.
- Starting with the most popular way to simplify your build are the Flush Crossmembers. At $150 this option saves time, money and materials by using the trailer as the subfloor.
- Drop Axles at $175 per axle, These maximize your build by giving you a extra 4″ of headroom in your lofts. A Tandem axle trailer like a 24ft 14k will have two sets of drop axles at $325 total while a 28ft triple axle will have three sets at $525 in total.
- The 12″ extended tongue at $200 this gives you extra room on the tongue of your bumper pull trailer for a small storage shed, outside HVAC unit or even propane tanks without limiting the turning radius of your tow vehicle.
- Extended Gooseneck Option will extended the deck on the gooseneck from the standard 8ft length to up to 10ft in length and this option costs about $750 extra.
- Steel Flashing which ranges from $75 – $85 per linear foot is a sheet metal belly pan that is welded and painted to match the trailer and is welded on the underside of the trailer. The main purpose of the steel flashing is to provide a smooth barrier under the trailer to easily allow you to lay your insulation for your subfloor on top of and provide some protection from damage underneath like from rodents and other animals. The Flashing is not intended to be water tight, it will be welded around the perimeter with gaps in between the welds to allow water to drain out in the instance of a water leak inside the house. You can seal off the flashing if you would like with a caulking but it is not recommended.
- Deckover Option increases the deck height of the trailer to 36″ above grade, and has the framing of the trailer over the wheel wells. If you do not plan to have lofts in your tiny house this may be a option of interest although it is pricey at $1800 – $2200 extra due to the large amount of extra steel and framing components required to make this trailer.
- Scissor Jacks and stabilizer jacks are optional and can be placed in any location around the trailer, these run between $93 each per jack to add to your desired location.
- Threaded rods run between $22 each depending on our manufacturing location and these 1/2″ to 5/8″ thick bolts are welded around the perimeter of the trailer deck to assist in securing the wall framing of the tiny house easily to the deck of the trailer with the use of Simpson string ties, Please see our article on flush crossmembers HERE for more info.
If you are looking for something that was not mentioned above, please do ask as we build all our trailers custom just for you.
Below is some examples of our starting prices on our tiny house trailers, The actual price may vary in your region taking in account the information above but these will help show starting price ranges. for 10ft models add $1800-$2200 to below pricing and for 11ft to 12ft wide models add $3800 to the below prices. To add the gooseneck hitch which adds a 8ft buildable deck on top of the gooseneck hitch add $2400+ to the prices listed below.
Tandem Axle Starting Prices:
- Tandem Axle 7k GVWR Tiny House Trailers Start at $5,299
- Tandem Axle 10k Tiny House Trailers Start at $5,699
- Tandem Axle 14k Tiny House Trailers Start at $5,999
Triple Axle Starting Prices:
- 28ft Triple Axle 18k / 21k Triple Axle Tiny House Trailer Start at $8,999
- 32ft Triple Axle 18k / 21k Triple Axle Tiny House Trailers Start at $9,299
- 36ft Triple Axle 18k / 21k Triple Axle Tiny House Trailers Start at $9,599
- 40ft Triple Axle 18k / 21k Triple Axle Tiny House Trailers Start at $11,499
Gooseneck Starting Prices:
- 32ft Gooseneck 14k Tandem Axle Tiny House Trailers (24ft Lower Deck + 8ft Upper Deck) Start at $9,499
- 36ft Gooseneck 21k Triple Axle Tiny House Trailers (28ft Lower Deck + 8ft Upper Deck) Start at $11,599
- 50ft Gooseneck 21k Triple Axle Tiny House Trailers (42ft Lower Deck + 8ft Upper Deck) Start at $14,899 Quad Axle Start at $16,849