Any car that has a towing capacity or pulling power above 3,500 pounds can be used to pull a tiny house, if it's properly rated for the weight.
The towing capacity required to move a tiny house largely depends on its size and weight. A car pulling a tiny house beyond the limits of its pulling power will permanently damage your car.
This article will guide you through the requirements, vehicles that can be considered, and the best options available for towing your tiny house.
Having the right equipment, the best choice of vehicle and a safe route will make the task easier and help avoid any unpleasant situation.
Towing a tiny house is not a simple task, but if done properly and safely, it is not that complicated.
You need to understand the basics and meet the requirements before you tow a tiny house.
Tiny houses can weigh anywhere from 5,000 pounds to more than 19,000 pounds.
The weight of a tiny house depends on its dimensions. The average weights of tiny houses based on length are given below. These weights can vary by a factor of roughly 1,000 to 2,000 pounds based on fixtures, finishes and materials.
The weight of your tiny house will determine the type of car you can use for pulling your tiny house.
The bigger your tiny house, the bigger the towing capacity required to pull it.
In terms of understanding the towing capacity, the following factors will determine the choice of your car:
For instance, if your GVWR weight is 18,000 pounds and the curb weight is 5,000 pounds, the payload capacity is 13,000 pounds.
It is also important to note that various other factors such as the vehicle’s horsepower, transmission, axle ratio, and overall configuration play a role in determining its towing capacity.
This depends on the GVWR limit of the vehicle that you are using.
Based on their weight, vehicles are categorized into three classes and sub-categorized into eight classes by the Federal Highway Administration:
For your understanding, we can divide the vehicle into four categories:
Such vehicles are used for day-to-day use and can tow a single axle trailer. A common example of such a vehicle is Chrysler Pacifica.
This range is due to their expandable towing capacity with the help of towing packages, such as upgrading to the gear ratio, engine, and transmission. Such vehicles are able to tow single- and double-axle trailers.
The Honda Ridgeline pickup truck is a good example of a medium-to-heavy duty vehicle.
This category includes commercial trucks that can tow large trailers, but still, some passenger vehicles have managed to make it into this category, for instance, Toyota Tundra.
These vehicles are able to pull the heaviest trailers and largest ‘tiny’ houses. They are used by professionals for commercial purposes.
Ford F-450 HD is a popular extra-heavy-duty truck for moving tiny houses.
Among tiny house owners, SUVs and trucks are the preferred choices when it comes to towing their homes.
The best vehicle for towing depends on the towing capacity, weight, specifications, and engine of the vehicle.
The Ford F-750, a Class 8, Heavy-Duty truck, comes with a whopping 37,000 pounds towing capacity.
The best-in-its-class truck, with its 725 pound-feet torque can haul the heaviest and biggest of tiny houses over any road in any terrain.
The RAM 3,500 is a Class 8, Heavy-Duty truck with an incredible 35,100 pounds towing capacity.
It possesses 475 horsepower and 900 pound-feet torque. This makes it the best option for towing the heaviest tiny houses.
It is largely used by professional movers to move the heaviest tiny homes.
The Ford F-450 HD is a Class 7, Heavy-Duty truck that has a towing capacity of up to 31,200 pounds.
Ford F-450 features an impressive 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of torque. This makes it capable of doing all sorts of heavy-duty tasks.
It is a commercial truck designed to tow heavier loads.
A Class 7, Heavy-Duty truck that can manage 29,600 pounds of towing capacity.
It has about 750 pound-feet torque. But its masterful engineering design allows it to perform heavy-duty tasks efficiently. This makes it more than capable of moving a tiny house.
With its 23, 200 pounds towing capacity, this Class 6, Medium-Duty truck is a compelling choice to consider.
It has 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet torque power. This allows it to easily pull a tiny house in mountainous areas and rough terrains.
A Class 3, Medium-Duty truck, has a towing capacity of up to 13,200 pounds.
It gives good mileage and its towing capacity is maximized after upgradation. The Ford F-150 is the best-in-class for towing many large tiny houses.
The Nissan Titan PRO-4X is another Class 3, Medium-Duty truck. It has a towing capacity of 12,300 pounds.
Its 555 pound-feet torque makes it a perfect candidate for towing an average-sized tiny house.
It is fuel-efficient and its pulling power can increase with towing packages.
It is a popular Class 3, Medium-Duty truck that has a towing capacity of over 12,000 pounds.
The extra hundreds of pounds make it possible to add a few extra belongings. This makes it one of the most commonly used trucks among tiny house owners.
The Toyota Tundra has a towing capacity of 10,700 pounds that can be expanded by 7,000 pounds with towing packages.
This allows you to load belongings along with your tiny house. Although it is a passenger vehicle, its bigger engine allows it to be used for heavy-duty purposes.
A Class 2, Light-Duty truck, the Chevrolet Silverado 1,500 with a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds.
This means you have to limit everything you add to the tiny house.
Despite its limited capacity, its fuel consumption is efficient and is commonly used for moving tiny homes.
The remarkable Ford Expedition has a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds; this can be expanded to an impressive heavy-duty 9,300 pounds.
It has the highest towing capacity for an SUV. It can easily move an average tiny house with 9,200 towing capacity on the standard four-wheel drive.
The Dodge Durango SRT has an impressive towing capacity between 6,200 and 8,700 pounds - this depends on the engine variant.
It comes with a standard four-wheel drive and an impressive 475 horsepower that allows it to safely tow a tiny house.
The Lincoln Navigator has a towing capacity of around 8,700 pounds. But it reduces to 8,300 pounds on four-wheel drive.
However, the towing capacity will range between 6,200 and 6,600 pounds without a towing package. This is still an impressive capacity for an SUV to haul a tiny house.
The towing capacity of Nissan Armada is 8,700 pounds. It gives the same capacity with the rear as well as four-wheel drive.
This full-size SUV is fuel-efficient, and the four-wheel-drive makes it suitable for moving a compact tiny house.
The GMC Yukon has a towing capacity of over 8,400 pounds. This goes down to 8,300 with four-wheel drive, with the help of towing packages.
Its big engine can take up the towing loads efficiently to move a heavy tiny house.
Cadillac Escalade has a towing capacity that peaks at 8,200 pounds and 8,000 with four-wheel drive.
The Cadillac Escalade has a powerful engine and impressive horsepower. This allows it to carry out the heavy-duty task of hauling a tiny house.
The towing capacity of the Range Rover is around 7,716 pounds, which makes it a viable vehicle to tow a tiny house.
It has a built-in advanced tech feature that helps park a trailer using a joystick. This is helpful for people who find parking trailers difficult in tight parking spaces.
The Porsche Cayenne has a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds, which allows it to pull a trailer.
It is a luxury SUV which makes it a rather surprising vehicle to add to the list. However, it is quite capable of towing, hauling, and moving campers as well as tiny houses.
The towing capacity of a jeep is around 7,400 pounds. Along with great horsepower and torque, the Grand Cherokee is very efficient for towing a tiny house.
Its capacity and all-purpose features allow efficient use of towing. You can even bring along extra belongings of a few hundred pounds in addition to a tiny house.
The towing capacity of Land Rover Discovery is 6,613 pounds. It peaks at 8,200 pounds after upgrading with a towing package.
The Land Rover Discovery is excellent for towing due to its all-purpose features, efficient fuel consumption, and versatility.
The towing capacity of Jeeps is limited - up to 7,200 pounds. Even though its towing capacity can be maximized, it can only be used for tiny houses of 12 – 16 feet in length.
Still, there are other types of Jeeps, for instance, the Renegade, which cannot be used to tow your tiny house.
The Subaru Outback is a Class 1 vehicle that has a very limited towing capacity: a mere 2,700 pounds. Although a popular crossover, it is underpowered. Therefore, it is not capable of pulling a tiny house, even of the smallest size.
The Toyota Tacoma is a great truck. However, its towing capacity is limited to 3,500 pounds, which is not sufficient for towing a tiny house.
Its towing capacity can be expanded to 6,800 pounds with the help of a towing package. But, that is still underpowered to tow a tiny house.
Any vehicle whose towing capacity is insufficient to pull the weight of a tiny house.
Avoid light vehicles of Class 1, such as compact cars, pickups, vans, van cutaways. These vehicles have a towing capacity of fewer than 6000 pounds and cannot tow a tiny house.
Remember, a bigger tiny house will require a larger towing capacity.
Besides towing capacity, vehicle specifications, such as engine, transmission, braking system, etc., must also be considered. A compromised vehicle cannot be used for towing a tiny house.
Using underpowered vehicles to tow tiny houses can cause long-lasting damage to the car. A vehicle that lacks the pulling power of a stronger vehicle and can’t withstand the weight of a tiny house will not be safe or roadworthy.
Hauling a tiny house with ill-equipped cars can be potentially dangerous. This can even be deemed as criminal negligence.
Here are some examples of some common cars that are to be avoided when towing a tiny house:
The maximum towing capacity is 2,000 pounds. However, with the upgraded configuration and engine, the capacity can peak to a maximum of 3,500 pounds.
This is still not enough for the car to withstand and move a tiny house.
It has a standard towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. This renders it incredibly underpowered to pull even the smallest tiny house.
Even its increased capacity with the help of towing packages would not make it suitable for towing a tiny house.
The Toyota RAV4 has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. This makes it dreadfully limited to tow any cargo as heavy as a tiny house.
Apart from the technical considerations, your choice of vehicle should work efficiently for your situation.
The selected vehicle should be able to pull the weight of your tiny house and belongings. At the same time, it should be comfortable enough for you to move into your new location safely.
If you want to learn more about towing capacities or tiny houses, or simply find tiny houses interesting, visit tinyhouse.com!
Tiny House aims to provide products, resources, builders, decor materials, lifestyle, and design tips. They also offer support to make your experience as comfortable and memorable as possible.
So, what are you waiting for? Get all the information you need from tinyhouse.com, grab your keys, and set out on your Overlanding adventure!