Your Quick Guide to Tiny Houses on Wheels

Your Quick Guide to Tiny Houses on Wheels

Vehicles
Moving
By Mateos Glen Hayes January 17, 2022

Do you ever get bored of your neighborhood? Do you pine for a change of scenery? Do you wish you could just pack up and move when the wanderlust strikes?

If so, a tiny house on wheels might just be for you. Using the combined benefits of mobility, space efficiency, and simplicity the home on wheels gives you a level of flexibility that you would never get with a regular home.

Imagine being able to move by simply hitching up your home to a truck and setting off for the next vista. If you don’t like what you find there, all you gotta do is move on to a new place. There really isn’t any other home experience that is comparable. If you’re interested in getting involved in the home on wheels revolution, this is a great place to start.

What Are They?

Tiny Houses on Wheels Can Go Anywhere

Tiny Houses on Wheels Can Go Anywhere

Put simply, a tiny house on wheels (also known as a THOW) is a compact domicile that is built onto a sturdy vehicular frame complete with suspension, wheels, and brakes.

A THOW isn’t like a trailer because it has a lot more of the luxuries and comforts that you would associate with a regular home. For one, they tend to be quite a bit larger than trailer homes. Unlike the thin aluminum frames of motorhomes, homes on wheels are made of the same sturdy materials as conventional homes such as wood and steel which makes them look and feel much more like a conventional house.

Plus, homes on wheels are designed to be more permanent residences and are therefore built to similar standards as conventional homes. This sets them apart from the more temporary motorhomes. Having said that, many THOWs are used as temporary vacation homes as well.   

Is It Legal to Live in a Tiny House on Wheels?

The Legalities of Wheel Estate

The Legalities of Wheel Estate

In general, THOWs can be legally purchased and placed on your property in nearly every state provided that you’re willing to jump through a few hoops.

THOWs need to conform to the same standards that are required of standard homes as well as some standards related to RV homes. This ensures they are safe for moving on the roads as well as safe to live in. However, there are still quite a few restrictions in some states on THOWs, especially if you want to use a THOW as a standalone unit and not as an accessory dwelling unit.

You are also limited in where you can put a tiny house on wheels by the fact that most cities require that you hook it up to the local water, sewage, and electric system, although you may be able to use a septic tank in rural areas. The law also requires THOW owners to anchor their property so that it won’t move or shift in inclement weather.

Fortunately for THOW owners, several states are now in the process of passing laws that will make tiny homes on wheels much easier to own and move. 

Why Get One? 

Wheel Estate Can Make Quite a Cozy Domicile

Wheel Estate Can Make Quite a Cozy Domicile

One major incentive to owning a tiny house on wheels is low cost. While initial costs can be prohibitive, a THOW pays off massively in the long run because it costs much less to own than a full-sized home. Utility, insurance, and even truck owning costs (you’ll need one to move it) are going to be much lower in the long run than owning or renting a full-sized home.  

A tiny house on wheels doesn’t use much of anything, keeping utility bills low and efficiency levels high. For maximum efficiency, a THOW can be made completely off the electrical grid with solar panels which is perfect for those wanting to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

There’s also the obvious benefit of versatility that a regular home just can’t top. Prefab homes are also technically “mobile”, but they tend to settle once they’ve been in one place for a while, making moving them dangerous and expensive. By contrast, a THOW just needs to be hitched up to a powerful enough vehicle once it has been disconnected from its anchor and utilities and it’s good to go.

What Does it Cost to Own One?

This varies depending on where you live, and how much your tiny house costs. In the long run, though, you stand to save massively with a tiny house on wheels. Once you’re done with the initial costs of paying off the house on wheels price, utilities, campground fees, and the truck to haul the THOW, you could stand to spend as little as $75 a month in insurance. Of course, the initial will be steeper, and could even cost more than renting initially, but this will only be for as long as it takes to pay off the house.

So if, for example, you were paying $1,100 in rent before getting a THOW, you’ll probably pay slightly more than that per month for at least the first three years of wheel estate ownership. Once that’s done though, it’s cheap and cheerful all the way.  

Cons

Of course, there are a few downsides to consider if you want to live in a tiny house. For one thing, you’ll have a whole lot less storage space. That means less space for all your stuff and less space for storing food and supplies. So while you will consume less you’ll also be going to the store more.

If you’re not connected to city sewage lines, you’ll be responsible for emptying your composting toilet or keeping track of your septic tank, and that’s not the most pleasant chore around. Also, since you’ll need a good-sized pickup truck to comfortably tow your THOW, you’ll also be contending with low miles per gallon, which is especially a con if you’re invested in living a green lifestyle.

Finally, while a tiny house is pretty easy to keep warm in the winter, it can be a challenge to cool off in the summer, especially if you live in a humid region. 

Types

There are a few distinct THOW styles to consider. These are designed to suit many tastes so that there’s something for everyone who is in the market for a tiny house on wheels. 

Modern

Modern Tiny Houses Combine Mobility With Simplicity

Modern Tiny Houses Combine Mobility With Simplicity

Modern minimalist design has started to fall out of favor, but it is still pretty popular and with good reason. There’s still charm and character to effortless beauty and simple elegance, and with its clean lines, soft curves, and minimal ornamentation, a modern tiny house on wheels looks classy without having to spell it out. 

Classic 

Classic Style Means Classy Design

Classic Style Means Classy Design

Since a THOW is meant to be an alternative for a full-size home, it only makes sense to design it so it looks like a standard home. And indeed, most tiny wheeled houses are designed to replicate the same suburban charm.

This design may not be all that out there, but it comes with lots of room for changes should the need to freshen things up a strike. You can get different kinds of high-quality cladding, install premium roofing materials, add windows to let in more sunlight, and so much more. Plus, there’s something very beautiful about a timber frame tiny house on wheels.   

Mini Barndominium 

Rustic Country Charm Defines This Tiny House Design

Rustic Country Charm Defines This Tiny House Design

If your plan is to live out in the country and off the grid, you might as well have your house look the part. Farmhouse-style THOWs are becoming all the rage lately and with good reason. Their simple barn shape exudes a rustic yet modern feel and their steel construction adds durability and strength to your THOW.

A barndominium style THOW also has the advantage of extra attic space, and some models can come as long as 26 feet, allowing extra room for a cozy den or even some storage space.

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

comments

Under Construction - Coming Back Soon!

We are currently working on bringing you an improved experience. Please leave your name and email address and we'll let you know as soon as we relaunch.