Moving your tiny house to its permanent (or semi-permanent) location is the final step of the build process. With the rising popularity of tiny houses, finding a reputable towing service might not be as hard as you think.
So, how much does it cost to tow a tiny house? Towing services generally quote $1 to $2 per mile for moving tiny homes. On average, you have to pay more than $1,000 for long hauls outside the state, whereas shorter moves within the state typically cost anywhere from $150 to $800, depending on a variety of factors.
Hiring a Company VS Doing It Yourself
Now that your home is built, the next thing you have to think about is moving it to its permanent location. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to do the haul themselves - in fact, a lot of tiny house owners prefer to drive their home on their own.
However, this option can prove demanding (and costly) if you’re only moving your tiny house once or every six months.
Jenna from Tiny House Giant Journey provided the monthly cost of towing her own tiny house. She uses a 2006 Ford F-250s to tow her 10,000 lbs tiny house. On average, she spends 1,520 a month on things like maintenance, repairs, and campground fees. This works for her because she’s constantly on the go and moving is a part of her tiny house journey.
On the other hand, homeowners who plan to seldom move their tiny house might be better off hiring a towing company. Tom and Shaye recounts their own experience of towing their tiny home, and why they decided to hire a towing service afterwards.
If you're not planning to move your home every so often, chances are you don’t have your own towing truck. As in Tom and Shaye’s case, they found it challenging to find a rental vehicle with a 3.5 ton towing capacity. Instead, they decided to have their home towed, which only cost them $180.
Breakdown of Costs: Hiring VS DIY
With a hiring company, you only have to think about the service fee and any permits you have to process if your home is beyond capacity.
If you’re having your tiny house built by a company, there’s a chance you don’t have to worry about moving it at all. Check with your builder to see if towing the tiny house is inclusive of their services.
Otherwise, here’s a breakdown of the things you have to think about if you’re planning to rent/buy your own truck:
|Hiring a car||$70 to $80 per day, cost can vary depending on towing capability|
|Buying your own truck||$34,000 to $50,000|
|Gas||$2.50 - $4 per gallon; pick-up trucks have an average mileage of 20 miles per gallon|
We recommend hiring a towing service for those who:
- Don’t have a vehicle capable of towing a tiny house
- Those who aren’t confident driving their tiny home
- Live in uneven terrain, requiring advanced driving skill
- Have difficulty finding a car rental that has an appropriate towing capacity
- Don’t want to worry about the stress of moving your tiny house
Benefits of Hiring a Moving Company
Still not sure if you should hire a moving company? Listed below are the top three benefits of hiring a professional to move your tiny house to its exciting new location.
1. Ease of Mind
What better reason to hire a professional other than you don’t want to deal with the anxiety? Instead of stressing behind the wheel, you can travel peacefully knowing your home is in safe hands.
Shelley and Joshua of Tiny House Basics filmed their move and captured the reality of driving a tiny house along the freeway. Even with minimal wind, a tiny house sways while in transit, and theirs isn’t an isolated case. Dozens of other tiny house owners attest to the swaying, which gets worse with uneven weight distribution.
If you don’t want to worry about this, hiring a professional to do the job will save you some headache.
2. Insurance Coverage
Getting insurance for your tiny home isn’t always the most straightforward process. Because tiny homes are difficult to categorize, most providers offer a specialized insurance policy that’s costlier than the standard package.
Affording an insurance coverage is a smart choice if you’re constantly on the go. However, if you plan to stay in an area for long periods of time, the inclusive insurance you get from hiring a towing service should be enough to keep you covered while you’re in travel mode.
3. Expert Drivers
Building and driving a tiny house are two different things. You may have built it from the ground up, learning and implementing everything as you go through the build, but this resourcefulness won’t translate into you actually driving a 10,000 lbs tiny house down the freeway.
When you hire a tiny house towing service, you’re not just hiring a car; you’re hiring a driver who has the skill set to safely deliver the cargo to whatever destination.
What Affects Tow Cost?
Different moving companies have varying criteria for calculating their towing costs. Some calculate it on a per mileage cost while others may factor in extra criteria. Listed below are the top variables that affect towing costs:
1. Per Mileage Cost
Towing a tiny house is a different story from towing a car. On average, tow companies charge the following:
|Regular tow truck||$75 to $125, $2 to $4 per mile|
|Flatbed towing||$2.50 to $3.50 per mile|
|Mileage rate||$2 to $4 per additional mile|
Towing a tiny house within the state can cost anywhere from $150 to $700, depending on the moving company you’re working with. Out of state tiny house tows will inevitably be more expensive, costing $1 to $2 per mile.
On average, an out-of-state tow starts at $1,000. For example, a tiny house owner shared having to pay $1,800 to have their tiny house moved from LA to Chicago.
2. Time and Date
Similar to non-tiny house towing, the time and date of your move will affect the towing cost. For long distance moves, after-hour costs are usually added to the upfront price.
We recommend scheduling your tiny house move around good weather so you don’t have to make stops and delay your move. Lugging around a tiny house is challenging as it is; doing it during stormy or snowy weather can make the move more difficult and stressful.
Schedule your move during the weekdays to afford the general rate. Weekends, holidays, and special dates tend to hike up the price, so try to move during uneventful days.
Moving a tiny house poses an incredible challenge even to experienced drivers. Having your home moved to a remote location can increase the final cost of the service, especially if you’re moving somewhere with uneven terrain and challenging landscapes.
Plan your route in advance so you don’t have to waste time looking for the ideal path on the day of your move. Ask the local community on bridges, roads, and other infrastructure that would allow you to safely and conveniently move your tiny house to its new location.
Towing Insurance: Do You Need It?
Towing companies typically insure you against any loss. The cost of insurance is usually already part of the package, and we recommend only working with companies that offer insurance coverage as part of their service.
On the other hand, moving your tiny house on your own would require you to get insurance. Keep in mind that insurance policies for parked tiny homes and those in-transit are different. If you’re a frequent traveler, you’d have to secure two separate coverages that will protect your home for when you’re camping and driving.
The cost of insurance for tiny homes vary. Because tiny homes don’t easily fall into common insurance policies, most homeowners end up with specialized insurance that’s specific to their tiny home.
While it may be pricier than existing plans, it’s definitely worth it knowing the home you worked so hard to build is safe and protected.
Is Insurance Necessary for Tiny Houses?
No, owners are not required by law to acquire an insurance for their tiny home. However, having one will keep your home safe and give you peace of mind.
If you’re not ready to spend on a lucrative insurance coverage but are worried about damaging your home during the move, hiring a towing service will solve this problem and provide the solution you need for the situation. You can just think about getting an insurance after you’ve moved to a more permanent location.
Top Tiny House Towing Companies
1. Heavy Haulers
Heavy Haulers is a transportation company that services the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This company has an experience moving tiny houses over long distances. As a reference, they’ve moved a 25,000 lbs tiny house for nearly 2,100 miles. It’s a great option for those who have big and heavy tiny houses.
2. Tiny Home Transport
Tiny Home Transport is another specialized tiny house towing company in North America. Quotes are provided based on your specific tiny home. You can request for a quote here.
3. Coast to Coast Transportation
As the name suggests, Coast to Coast Transportation accommodates long hauls for tiny houses. This company has proven experience towing tiny homes all over the United States, whether it’s professionally built or DIY. Coast to Coast Transportation is also flexible with tiny house builds that are over height and width regulations. Ask for a free quote today.
UShip is a platform that connects professional movers directly with customers. Some of the providers will be individuals with no corporate affiliation, so you likely won’t have an insurance coverage with it. On the up side, the rates are more flexible and affordable compared to towing services.
Final Tips for Tiny House Towing
Get the most out of your towing budget by doing the following before booking a company:
Ask for multiple quotes. The average quote for tiny house towing is $1 to $2 per mile. Talk to different towing services to get the best deal possible. Ask for a quote in advance to get a better rate.
Join Facebook groups and ask for help. Join local tiny house Facebook communities to get in touch with other enthusiasts who could help you find an affordable towing company. Who knows, you might even find someone who would happily tow your home for free.
Work with companies with tiny house experience. A moving company might have been customers for years but it doesn’t mean anything if they don’t have any experience working with tiny homes. It’s an entirely different ball game that requires specific skills. Choose a company that has proven experience moving tiny houses.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.