In our imagination moving our new tiny home on wheels didn’t seem like that big of a deal, until the day came to move it for the first time. Even though I kept telling Stephanie, “I’m as calm as a cucumber”, my hands on the steering wheel told a different story!
Earlier that day, we drove a half hour from Raccoon Creek State Park where we had been staying nearly a week, to a nearby suburb of Pittsburgh to pick up a truck capable of towing our tiny house on wheels built by Tiny Living by 84 Lumber. Since we are negotiating a truck sponsorship for our tour, we don’t have quite the vehicle to tow our tiny. Apparently, a Prius doesn’t have enough power to tow a 10,000 lb. house. Earlier in the week we spoke to the guys at Enterprise Truck Rental and they found us a new Dodge 2500 Diesel that was more than capable of putting our show on the road! The only downside was that their insurance underwriter doesn’t allow them to provide the appropriate “turnkey” towing package (hitch, ball, stabilizer bars, etc). In our situation we knew we would need them anyways so we quickly stopped, made the purchase, and were on our way again!
Steph and I have driven a lot, both personally and professionally. Steph used to drive a double-decker tour bus around a zoo, all the while avoiding pedestrians and baby ducks. I, on the other hand, logged more miles than I can count crossing the country teaching about animals, and I’ve towed a boat or two. Neither of us had towed anything nearly this large, heavy, or pretty. Oh, and let it be known neither of us have towed the actual home we live in either!
After a quick photo or two, and this video, we were on the road. The house itself was built to be highway legal, but 13’4″ is pretty tall if you think about it. We actually hit every low hanging branch on our way out of the park. Once we were on the highway we were fine though. In fact, we were cruising! I think about how calm and collected I must have looked. Inside though? Nervous wreck!
Luckily it wasn’t a very long drive. A little less than two hours later we pulled into our new spot at Fox Den Acres in New Stanton, Pennsylvania. Steve, the owner, was a great guy from the start. He even greeted us and helped me unhook the house from the truck. Before we knew it, we were back at Enterprise dropping off the truck and driving our considerably smaller, hybrid car back home.
For the most part all the worry and road anxiety was for naught. In the days since, I have received advice from everybody and their brother about towing this rig. It’s been great though and from those conversations comes my compilation list of Top 4 Towing Tips for Noob.
- Pretend like it’s not there. This one sounded pretty scary to me. Apparently, noobs like myself will worry so much about the trailer that they will constantly look in the rearview mirror and eventually hit something in front of them. You have to pay attention to what is in front of you, not what is behind you. Drive normally.
- Remember that it’s there. I know it sounds contradictory to #1 but if you follow #1 too much, you’ll take turns too sharply and run over curbs. A nice wide turn is key.
- Take your time. If you’re not in a time crunch, there’s no need to go fast. Just slow down. Double check your hitch, brake lights, chains, etc. And on the highway, get in the right lane and let ’em pass you.
- Practice makes perfect. Just like anything else, nobody’s going to be great right off the bat. In the words a seasoned RV veteran, “Relax, you’ll be a pro before you know it.”
Do you tow your tiny house? What about an RV or travel trailer? Do you have any funny “first timers” stories you want to share with us? If so, drop it in the comments section below!