The Tiny house Blog

Tiny House Trailer Maintenance

Updated on:
April 12, 2024
Tiny House Trailer by Trailer Made

Image Source: The Trahan Tiny House

Are you making the most of your tiny home on wheels? Behind the charm and mobility of your compact living space lies the critical task of trailer maintenance.

Ensuring your trailer is in top condition is not just about avoiding breakdowns; it's about maximizing your home's longevity and safety on the road. 

This article dives into the essential maintenance practices for tiny house trailers and highlights the benefits of choosing a reputable builder, ensuring your tiny home adventure is as carefree as it should be. 

Let's explore how to keep your tiny home rolling smoothly, focusing on practical tips for tiny homeowners.

Does the Trailer Need Maintenance?

When it comes to tiny home living, the foundation (quite literally) of your abode plays a crucial role in ensuring your safety and comfort. 

Unlike traditional homes, tiny homes often rest on trailers, offering the unique advantage of mobility. However, with great mobility comes great responsibility—specifically, the responsibility of regular maintenance. 

Just like any vehicle, a trailer requires periodic check-ups to ensure it remains in tip-top shape. This includes inspecting the tires for wear and tear, ensuring the brakes are functioning correctly, and verifying that all lights and signals are operational. 

Additionally, the hitch system and the undercarriage need regular scrutiny for rust or damage, especially if you're journeying through diverse climates or salty air. Ignoring these maintenance tasks can lead to hazardous situations on the road, transforming your tiny home from a dream into a potential nightmare.

Have the Right Tools for Tiny Home Maintenance

Embarking on the tiny home lifestyle is an invitation to become a jack-of-all-trades, especially when it comes to maintenance. 

Whether you're tightening a loose screw or undertaking a full-scale renovation, having the right tools at your disposal is essential. Here's a rundown of the must-have tools for any tiny homeowner:

  • Adjustable Wrench: The MVP of tightening and loosening anything from bolts to nuts. Its adjustability makes it a versatile companion in your tool arsenal.
  • Pliers: For those times when you need an extra grip. Whether you're cutting, bending, or gripping something, pliers can be your best friend.
  • Flashlight: Essential for those nooks and crannies that natural light just can't reach. Plus, you never know when you might need to do some emergency maintenance in the dark.
  • Hammer: From hanging pictures to minor demolition work, a good hammer is indispensable.
  • Screwdriver: A set with various heads will save you from many headaches, as screws of different sizes and types are omnipresent in tiny homes.
  • Power Drill: For when manual power just doesn't cut it. A power drill can save time and energy, whether you're assembling furniture or making modifications to your home.
  • Level: Because nobody likes a wonky shelf or an uneven floor. A level ensures your modifications and repairs are not only effective but aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to these tools, embracing and learning basic skills in woodworking, electrical wiring, painting, and more can elevate your tiny home living experience. These skills not only empower you to maintain and enhance your home but also imbue your space with a personal touch that truly makes it yours. 

The journey of tiny home living is as much about embracing simplicity as it is about becoming self-reliant and resourceful.

Basic Trailer Maintenance

Maintaining the trailer beneath your tiny home isn't just about keeping it looking nice—it's about safety, longevity, and avoiding the hassle of unexpected repairs. 

Here are a few basic but critical maintenance tasks that should be on every tiny homeowner's checklist:

Check Lighting

Before hitting the road, a thorough check of your trailer's lighting system is imperative. Functional lighting isn't just a matter of convenience; it's a legal requirement. 

Ensuring that your turn signals, brake lights, and other indicators are in working order can save you from the inconvenience of being pulled over, the risk of becoming a road hazard, or the cost of repairing damage caused by unnoticed issues. 

A simple way to test this is by connecting the plug from your trailer to your tow vehicle and running through all the light functions. This includes checking that your turn signals and brake signals illuminate promptly and brightly. Ignoring this step could not only lead to fines but also compromise your safety and that of other road users.

Check Tire Pressure

Tire maintenance is another non-negotiable aspect of trailer upkeep. Regular checks and maintenance of the correct tire pressure are essential. The optimal pressure level is usually indicated on the tire sidewall, and maintaining this level can significantly impact your trailer's performance and safety. 

Underinflated tires are the leading cause of tire failure. They can cause overheating, increase fuel consumption, and reduce your tires' lifespan. Before embarking on any journey, especially long road trips, checking and adjusting your tire pressure is crucial. 

This simple act can prevent accidents and ensure a smoother ride.

Check the Bearings

The wheel bearings are the unsung heroes of any trailer, ensuring that your wheels spin freely without overheating. Over time, bearings can become worn or dirty, leading to inefficient operation, which in turn can cause overheating, unnecessary wear on your brakes, and even tire failure.

Repacking and greasing your trailer's wheel bearings is a task that requires a bit of mechanical know-how but is entirely manageable with the right guidance. The process involves removing the wheel and hub, cleaning the bearings, and applying fresh grease. 

While it might sound daunting, numerous resources, such as tutorials and step-by-step guides like the one from Family Handyman, can walk you through the process. Ensuring your wheel hubs have proper grease levels is not just about maintenance; it's about preserving the integrity of your journey and your tiny home on wheels.

Check Lug Nuts

The vibrations and rigors of road travel can cause lug nuts to loosen over time, a small detail that can lead to big problems if not addressed. 

It's crucial to check the tension of your lug nuts at least twice during the first 1,000 miles of your trailer's life and then periodically, such as every time you change your oil (about every 5,000 – 6,000 miles), service your brakes, or rotate and balance your tires. 

Using a torque wrench to tighten them according to their size ensures that your wheels stay securely attached to your trailer, maintaining safety and performance.

Check for Rust Spots

Rust is the enemy of any vehicle, and trailers are no exception. Rust spots not only mar your trailer's appearance but can also weaken its structural integrity over time. Regular inspections can help you catch and address rust before it becomes a major issue. 

Removing rust involves sanding down the affected area and applying several coats of spray paint to protect the exposed metal. This simple maintenance task can significantly extend the life of your trailer and keep it looking sharp.

Grease the Hitch

The hitch system is a critical component that connects your tiny home to your tow vehicle, and keeping it well-greased is essential for smooth operation. 

Using a grease gun and automotive grease, or even just a can of multi-purpose grease and a latex glove, apply grease to both the trailer ball and the hitch. This not only facilitates easier connection and disconnection but also reduces the annoying creaks and groans that can occur with a dry hitch. 

Plus, it prevents heat buildup, improves your turn radius, and eliminates other potential towing issues.

Check the Tires

Tire maintenance doesn’t stop at checking the pressure and bearings. The tread wear on your tires is a critical safety aspect that needs regular monitoring. 

A general rule of thumb is that tires should be replaced every 5-7 years, regardless of how worn the tread appears. However, any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, bulges, or worn tread, should prompt an immediate replacement. 

Tires are your tiny home’s only contact with the road, and their condition directly impacts the safety and efficiency of your travels.

Choose the Right Tiny House Trailer Builder

Embarking on the tiny house journey is an exciting venture, but the success of your mobile home starts with a solid foundation: the trailer. 

The choice of your tiny house trailer builder is paramount, not just for the immediate satisfaction of your needs, but for the long-term viability and ease of maintenance of your tiny home. 

A reputable and experienced builder can significantly reduce the frequency and complexity of maintenance tasks, ensuring that your home remains a haven of peace rather than a source of constant upkeep.

One commendable option for those in the tiny house community is Trailer Made Trailers. Their expertise and dedication to quality have set them apart in the tiny house world. They even have a Tiny House talk show where they take about tiny houses:

They offer a range of tiny house trailers that utilize a combination of steel and aluminum in their frames. This innovative approach ensures that the trailers are not only strong and durable but also lighter than those made from traditional materials. 

The advantage of a lighter trailer is twofold: it can be easier to tow, and it puts less strain on both the vehicle and the trailer itself over long distances and time, potentially reducing wear and tear.

By choosing a quality trailer builder, you're investing in a product that's designed with the unique challenges of tiny house living in mind, from maximizing durability to minimizing maintenance requirements.


Maintaining the trailer of your tiny home is about more than just preserving its appearance; it's about ensuring its safety, longevity, and reliability as you embark on adventures or settle into your chosen spot. 

From basic checks like lighting and tire pressure to more involved maintenance such as bearing greasing and rust prevention, each step is crucial in its own right. 

Moreover, equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge for the job can make these tasks less daunting and more a part of the rewarding experience of tiny house living.

The choice of your tiny house trailer builder is a significant decision that can influence the amount of maintenance work required. 

Opting for a builder like Trailer Made Trailers, known for their quality and innovation, can provide peace of mind and allow you to focus more on enjoying the tiny house lifestyle and less on upkeep.

Ultimately, the journey of tiny house living is as much about the joy of simplicity and mobility as it is about the responsibility of maintenance. 

By taking proactive steps in care, choosing the right partners for your journey, and embracing the learning process, you ensure that your tiny home remains a source of freedom, joy, and adventure for years to come.

And before anything else, we recommend using a hitch lock from Proven Industries for locking up your trailer.

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