Towing your Tiny House
Tiny homes can be heavy. Depending on the length and trailer type (Standard flatbed vs Gooseneck) your tiny home can range from 6000-18000 pounds! Buying the right truck can be a seemingly daunting task. Hopefully, we can help you find your way to the right vehicle to move your beautiful home to it’s next destination!
Firstly, we don’t recommend you buy a gasoline truck. We recommend a diesel engine truck. Diesel engines will always get better gas mileage while towing versus a gasoline engine. Being environmentally conscious, diesel engines are also more “Green”. Diesel requires less to refine that gasoline (Better!). Diesel engines work at a different level of compression than gasoline, and ultimately output less emissions and carbon monoxide.
But, what about that black smoke that comes firing out of the back of diesel engines? Generally, you only find that in diesel trucks that are burning an incorrect fuel to air mixture. Most of the time this comes from people who have modified their diesel trucks for performance. Generally, two things make power in a vehicle — fuel and air, so if you’ve got black smoke you likely have an incorrect mixture of fuel vs air.
So, what kind of diesel truck should I buy?
Used Truck Recommendations:
1. 2003 to 2004½ Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500
If I were to make this post thousands of words long, you’d quickly learn that I’m a bigtime (big… big time) fan of Dodge trucks. The in-line 6 cylinder diesel is a great option and produces great power. Depending on the model, you can get towing capacity with this truck that ranges from 15k-16k lbs.
2. 2006 to 2007 Chevy and GMC 2500 and 3500
Chevy and GMC are well known for having fantastic transmissions, but produce moderate power. You can expect towing capacity with this model to range from 9k-11k lbs. Of all Chevy & GMC trucks, this has been one of the best models ever produced.
3. 1996 to 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500
This variation of the dodge ram will likely be known as one of the most reliable trucks ever made. You can expect towing capacity of 9200-9800 lbs. If you can find a used one of these with less than 200k miles, it might be worth looking at!
4. 1999½ to 2000 Ford Super Duty
This Ford is one we feel comfortable recommending. This version of the 7.3l diesel engine has proven to have had most of the problems resolved and is very reliable. You can expect towing capacity of 13-14k pounds.
5. 2008 to 2010 Ford F-250 and F-350
Frankly, we will begrudgingly recommend this truck. The 6.4l diesel engine has proven to be quite reliable and producing decent power, however this truck is plagued with a radiator problem. We owned a 2008 F-350 and felt like we couldn’t trust this truck until we replaced the stock radiator with a mishimoto aluminum radiator. You can expect towing capacity to range from 8k-13k lbs.
All of these trucks allow great aftermarket options to produce some extra power. We’ll talk about that in another post!
Common Truck Questions:
Q. Can’t I just add aftermarket parts to my truck to make it tow more?
A. Yes and No. Adding horsepower or torque to a truck will definitely make it capable of towing more, but that doesn’t mean you should. Towing puts a lot of pressure on a truck in multiple ways. This includes the engine, frame, suspension and brakes. Just because you added enough power to your truck to tow 20k lbs, doesn’t mean that your frame can handle it, or your brakes will be able to stop it.
Q. Can I increase the capacity of the bed of the truck?
A. Yes and No…. If you want to be able to tow heavier weight, or have a heavier capacity in the rear or bed of the truck, the best way to do that is to add air bags to your truck’s suspension. Firestone is a great product and good place to start http://www.firestoneip.com/ Another option is to add a leaf spring, but I’d prefer the air bags!
What kind of truck do you have to tow your tiny home? Do you have any other ideas for towing a tiny home? Do you have any experience with a truck, or aftermarket truck part/upgrade that you could share your thoughts on?