If you have a towable tiny house, you may be wondering how much it weighs. Knowing the weight of your tiny house is actually pretty important if you plan on moving it.
If your tiny house is too heavy it might go over the weight limits of your trailer. Not knowing the weight of your tiny house also affects how well you can distribute that weight for towing. Either situation can be dangerous and costly.
To avoid these problems, let’s look at how much tiny houses weigh, and how to weigh them:
How Much Do Tiny Homes Weigh?
The average tiny home weighs about 8500 pounds. That’s over 4 tons! Of course, they can be heavier or lighter depending on how tiny they actually are.
There are different ways of measuring how much a tiny house weighs, however.
Different Methods of Tiny Home Weighing
When determining the weight of a tiny house, there are actually different types of measurements to consider. These weight measurements are important for calculating safe load capacities for towing with a trailer.
1. Tiny House Dry Weight
To measure your tiny house’s dry weight, weigh the house and trailer with empty fuel and water tanks and no moveable furniture. Include any built-in furniture.
2. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is actually not a measurement for a tiny house at all. This measurement is for how much your trailer is able to tow safely.
3. Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
The Gross Combined Weight Rating is the measurement of your tow vehicle, the tiny house, the trailer, people riding in the vehicle, the tiny house and all its contents. The Department of Transportation uses this rating for determining whether the load exceeds the weight limits of a road.
4. Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
The Gross Axle Weight Rating is the maximum weight your trailer and vehicle axles can safely tow. Manufacturers give this rating per one axle, so multiply this rating by the number of axles your vehicle or trailer has. If the load weight exceeds this rating, it is not safe to tow your tiny house using that vehicle or trailer.
5. Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)
The Gross Trailer Weight is the actual trailer weight including the materials it was built from.
6. Payload Weight Rating
The Payload Weight Rating is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating minus the Gross Trailer Weight. You use this rating to determine how much your trailer can safely carry.
7. Tongue Weight
The Tongue Weight is the amount of weight the vehicle’s tongue is carrying. Because trailers are designed to transfer some of their payload weight to the tongue, you want the weight of your load to be properly distributed in order to not overload the tongue or imbalance the trailer.
How Heavy Can a Tiny House Be?
There is no legal weight limit for trailers in the United States. However, you should consider the maximum weight your trailer and vehicle’s tongue can carry, and your vehicle’s hitch class.
Hitches are rated from one to five, in Roman numerals. A Class I hitch carries the lowest weight while a Class V hitch carries the most. In general, the strongest standard hitch can carry a maximum of 17,000 pounds, so take that into consideration when building or choosing a tiny house.
What Kind of Truck Can Pull a Tiny House?
When considering vehicle towing capacity, it is important to understand the capabilities of the engine. A powerful engine makes it easier to tow a tiny house. However, there is an average vehicle towing capacity.
Smaller vehicles can tow a tiny house under 20 feet long with a weight of up to 5000 pounds. A heavy-duty truck, on the other hand, can tow a longer tiny house that’s more than 10,000 pounds. The average tiny house will require a standard truck or large SUV to tow it.
How to Weigh Your Tiny House
Obviously, you can’t weigh a tiny house on a bathroom scale. So how do you weigh it? There are two primary methods for weighing a tiny house: combining the weight of building materials and weighing it at a truck scale.
Calculate the Weight During the Building Process
If you plan on building a tiny house, it is important to get an accurate weight before you build it. To do this, you must weigh each individual building material plus the future contents. This way, you avoid going over your weight limits.
Weighing Your Tiny House at a CAT Truck Scale
For existing tiny homes, you can simply drive through truck scales. Doing this will get you an official certificate of weight for about $10. You can also weigh your tow vehicle to calculate your other weight ratings.
The weight of your tiny house is an important thing to know. You don’t want to go over carrying capacities on any part of your vehicle and trailer, nor the roads you’ll be driving on. Doing so could result in injuries to yourself, other people, and your bank account. So, use these tips to make sure you have an accurate weight for your tiny house.
For more tiny living and travel content, check out our other articles.