Towing & Weight Distribution for Tiny Houses, Caravans & Trailers
Updated: Jul 16, 2022
Here is the best information available on how best to arrange to tow your Tiny House, or an attached trailer/caravan. There are plenty of cases of vehicles frequently flipping, leading to serious injury or even death (for you and other drivers) on the roads when it is done poorly.
Both videos cover towing slightly differently, with some basics to remember:
Tow Ball Weight is best calculated at one-tenth of the total weight of the trailer/Tiny. In truth, it is a complex physics/engineering formula. Check the Towing Capacity of the towing vehicle, then check the total weight of the trailer/Tiny by looking for an etched metal plate which is usually located on the side of the tow bar near the tow ball. You can check your weights by visiting a local Weighbridge Station. You can ask them to calculate the tow ball weight of your trailer/Tiny and advise on safe towing weights.
The maximum weight listed on the plate is not the maximum weight of your trailer/Tiny. Because you generally add more stuff, clothing, food, water and weight when you purchase an empty trailer/Tiny.
Another rule-of-thumb is to ensure your Towing Vehicle is heavier than the trailer/Tiny. The heavier towing vehicle will generally dictate the relationship of the tow and who is boss, especially when you overtake or hit a bump and potentially lose control and flip.
Ensure a majority of the weight is over the centre wheels of either vehicles to give greater stability. Not only does this distribute the weight more equally across the wheels which helps them carry all the weight, but it also creates a better centre of gravity, and puts most of the safe downward force on the tyres to grip and stay more steady on the road.
Having your trailer/Tiny generally angled flat or leaning toward the front/tow ball is safer than having it tilting backwards.
If driving a trailer/Tiny feels unstable or feels like it could start swaying, it IS unstable. Pull over to the side of the road safely and move things around before continuing.
Greater stability is towing uphill rather than downhill or on a flat road. This is because your Towing Vehicle is ruling the tow, and directing the relationship of the tow, because it is generally dragging the trailer/Tiny when going uphill, rather than being pushed downhill.
The faster you travel, the risks turn exponentially higher.
Search the internet for local caravan hitching and trailer towing courses available in your area.
Safe Tiny Travelling.