The Cost of Towing a Tiny House

The Cost of Towing a Tiny House

We travel full time with our Tiny House and so far we’ve gone 15,000 miles in eight months. We’ve figured out the logistics on our own, including the cost of towing a tiny house. Below I’ve outlined OUR monthly expenses in hopes that it is helpful for our fellow travel bugs.

So, here you go folks, these are the REAL COSTS for towing a tiny house.

OUR MONTHLY EXPENSES ON THE ROAD

GAS: $726

Our Tiny House weighs 10,100 pounds when fully loaded. We tow with a Ford F-250 Diesel 4×4 and get between 8-10 mpg. We put 2,070 miles per month on our truck. That number includes ALL driving, not just towing.

MAINTENANCE ON TRUCK: $294*

*This number has been divided by the eight and a half months we’ve been on the road to calculate our average monthly expenses. Total truck maintenance is $2,499

This number is SUPER high! We had to replace a few parts in our truck, including the FICM, the alternator and two batteries. I can’t say whether this is due to towing or not, because the 2006 Ford F-250s are known for these problems. Sigh.. that’s life I guess. Hopefully this number will start to go down.

MAINTENANCE ON TRAILER: $55* 

*This number has been divided by the eight and a half months we’ve been on the road to calculate our average monthly expenses. Total trailer maintenance is $467.50

We had a regular 10,000 bearing inspection (they were good). We had to replace our tongue jack because we crashed the Tiny House on our maiden voyage… Full explanation here. We also had to replace our chimney cap a few times due to damage from low tree branches.

TRUCK INSURANCE: $95 

We are insured through State Farm. We have liability coverage on our “tow load.”

TRUCK PAYMENT: $0

Our truck is paid off. Yippee! We used to have two cars and a motorcycle in our “pre-tiny” lives. Not having a car payment is a blessing.

TINY HOUSE PAYMENT: $0

Our Tiny House is paid off. Yippee! We used to pay $2000 a month in rent in Los Angeles.

TINY HOUSE INSURANCE: $0

So far we haven’t found a Tiny House Insurance plan that is affordable and available as a multi-state / multi-country plan.  At this point, it’s not affordable for our tiny house to be insured. While we travel down the road, it is covered under our truck insurance as a “tow load.” When we are parked and detached, it gets tricky. Let us know if you have heard of an insurance plan that would work for our situation.

MOBILE INTERNET: $130

We use Verizon wireless as our provider because they have the fastest data service. We’ve been relatively happy with the service, but it’s expensive. Due to our web related jobs, we need at least 30 gigabytes a month. Obviously if you do not need 30 GB (or the internet at all) this number is irrelevant. Campgrounds sometimes have WIFI available, but it’s usually terribly slow.

CAMPGROUND FEES: $208

We park in campgrounds on average 8 nights a month. The rest of the time we park on private property, offered by some of the most gracious people in the world (our followers and other Tiny House enthusiasts). That helps A LOT! Campground fees can average between $10 – $60 a night. We are a member of Passport America, which offers a 50% discount on thousands of campgrounds all over North America.

PROPANE: $12

We use propane for our cooktop, water heater and sometimes to power our refrigerator.

WATER / ELECTRIC: $0

We fill up our water tank in campgrounds or from our parking hosts. So far we haven’t had to pay for water or power (of which we use very little), aside from our campground fees.

TRASH: $0

We carry our trash and dispose of it responsibly in campgrounds.

TOTAL AVERAGE MONTHLY EXPENSES FOR TINY HOUSE GIANT JOURNEY  = $1520

While this number might seem high, it’s less than our old apartment rent payment in Los Angeles (which was $2600 a month not including utilities, car payments, gas, etc)! We could save a lot of money by traveling less and canceling our internet, but that’s not the lifestyle we want.  You might notice that we did not include food expenses, phones expenses, health insurance, student loans, etc. That is because those expenses would be the same on or off the road, tiny or big.

We hope this is helpful! Could you do it cheaper?

*This article was originally published on Tumbleweedhouses.com

Follow:
Share:

61 Comments

  1. June 10, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Hi! I’m Brazilian, I do not speak English and I’m using the translator, so please relieve some slip. I would just like to say that this lifestyle fascinates me and, before I was 45 years old, I would like to adopt it, although I know that here in my country it is not very popular, so it will be difficult to find a place that can ” Build “a house on wheels. Thank you for all the tips. All the best for you !! 🙂

  2. June 5, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    I am new to this world. I am a successful professional wedding and portrait photographer. Of course like many my dream is to travel.. leave behind the ridiculous expense of living in Orange County. I make a great income to live such a mediocre life. I have been reading your blog.. but wondering. How do you make the 1520.00 income every month. Did you guys save before you went off on this adventure or do you make money on the road. I know you have stopped now and only work 8 month out of the year. I have built my company in Orange County and have a solid base of client and a nice income .. of course being on the road will now allow for me to make the same amount of money I make now.. I still have not figured out how I can do that. But … what do you do.. for your income.. how do most people make living on the road a reality when it comes to having a steady income?

    • June 5, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Online jobs! Digital nomads are growing by the day. Many people in our generation work from home. I work part time while I travel the world, as well. I really never have a day off, I’m constantly working as long as I have internet access.

  3. May 14, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Wow! This is a great article. I have been wondering about this as I get closer to traveling with my tiny. I cannot wait to experience this lifestyle!

  4. Mack
    March 21, 2017 / 7:59 am

    Hello! We are currently purchasing our Tiny House. We weren’t going to buy unless we found insurance. We have gotten a few quotes back from these places:
    Shelter Insurance
    Farmers Insurance
    American Modern – John Wilson – jwilson@bbins.com

    Also, if you can get your tiny N.O.A.H. Certified, they offer you very specific insurance through Foremost.
    Learn about that here: http://noahcertified.org/

    I hope this helps!

  5. Crystal f
    March 19, 2017 / 7:29 am

    What kind of solar panels did you use? Almost done with our build but are clueless on solar panels

  6. February 17, 2017 / 3:38 am

    Thanks for the article! Was wondering if your trailer maintenance included the cost of replacing any damaged tires? If a tire is damage on a tiny house trailer where could you have it fixed or how could you fix it yourself?

  7. Umma
    February 17, 2017 / 3:33 am

    Thanks for the article! Was wondering if any of your trailer maintance fees cover the cost of replacing a tire? What happens if your tire gets damaged and where can you take it for repair?

  8. Eric T Pittman
    November 9, 2016 / 6:52 am

    I enjoyed your article! A question I have is how did the tiny house tow behind your truck? Where you able to go the speed limit? Thank you for your time.

    • November 9, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Hi! The tiny house towed fine behind our Ford 250 truck. We did purchase a weight distribution system which helped with the sway. Check out the materials list for more details on that. We could go the speed limit, but preferred to go about 50-55 mph.

  9. Cas
    October 28, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Really good article and sort of confirms what I thought. Granted West coast real estate is generally more expensive than east coast but you can get a lot of house for $1500/month mortgage. What’s missing from this equation is that most of the people on TV are kids that don’t have a gigantic truck laying around even though they INSIST they want it on wheels. Generally a new or used 2017 Ford 250 4×4 Diesel truck, which is NOT something most people have laying around, costs between $50-$70,000. The math on purchasing a tiny house and moving place to place just doesn’t compute. Given the above monthly costs plus the cost of a truck. I could buy a nice cozy cottage on a lake someplace with a smaller carbon footprint (solar, tankless water heater, geothermal heat). Not arguing that a tiny house might be fun but the TV shows are not telling the truth about how expensive it really is. I wonder how many people that build these on wheels actually move them.

    • Xander Skyrien
      January 3, 2017 / 11:13 am

      Seems you’re writing commentary on the “cost” of the car rather than the tiny home lifestyle. Who said you need to buy a shiny new *2017* F-250?

      A “used” F-250 from 2006 with average miles in good condition has a KBB value of ~$5,500.

      • January 3, 2017 / 12:05 pm

        My truck was used, a 2006 actually with over 100,000 miles, but it’s a diesel. You don’t need to buy a truck unless you are moving constantly. You can rent one easily for occasional moves. This article is about travel and towing costs, not the typical tiny house lifestyle.

Leave a Reply