The last thing you want for your beautiful tiny home, is to finish it and find out it weighs too much for your trailer. Overloading your trailer capacity can be dangerous, on top of potentially damaging to your tiny home foundation.
Here can be some of the dangers or issues of an overloaded trailer:
1. Unstable turning – An overloaded trailer it can create an uneven, or “bouncy” load. This can mean there’s a higher risk of your tiny home ending on it’s side and possibly hitting or sliding into someone or something else!
2. Inability to slow or stop – Almost all trailers have brakes on each axel, and these brakes are rated for their maximum towing capacity. An overloaded trailer can create a few problems with slowing or stopping. First, this means that the braking system of your trailer may fail prematurely. Imagine driving 60 MPH down the road and needing to come to a quick stop, only to find that you have to stop 14,000 lbs of tiny house with just the brakes on your truck! Next, you could find that while your trailer brakes may be working, because of having an overloaded trailer you may come to a much slower stop than you need or intend. This can lead to accidents, or even worse!
3. Tire blowout – An overloaded trailer can lead to greater stress on your trailer (and truck) tires. This can likely lead to a premature tire blowout. Go back to that same scenario; you’re traveling 60 MPH down the highway and a tire blows on your overloaded trailer! We’d rather not think about it, frankly!
4. Increased downhill speed – When you combine all of these potential issues and dangers, now include the fact that you’re going to a higher speed increase while going downhill.
5. Damaging the axels – An overloaded trailer can lead to trailer axel damage. This can even include the axel’s bending in the middle point. The issue here, is that this can ultimately lead to uneven wear on your tires, and eventually premature tire failure (or even a tire blowout!).
So, how can you be sure that you’re getting the right trailer for the weight of your home? The best way to know this is to trust your builder, but unfortunately this isn’t a guarantee of success. We’re sad to say that we’ve seen a few shell builders that put together a 24′ tiny house shell with traditional stick (wood) framing on a trailer that’s rated for 10,000 lbs. This will likely end up being an overloaded trailer!
When we build a shell for a customer, we take many things into consideration. This can include the length of the trailer, the materials we’ll be building with and even the materials the customer will be finishing their shell with (don’t forget about the details!!!).
In closing… make sure that you’re tiny house foundation will be appropriate and last for the lifetime of your tiny home living!
What is your trailer length and weight rating? How did you get your home built? Do you have any experience with trailer weight ratings and a story you can share with us?