What to do before going on a Tiny House adventure?
A Tiny House (or tinyhouse) is not a mini house like the others. Indeed, its particularity is that it is mobile, thanks to its trailer and its wheels! Whether you want to move a Tiny House or travel with your house on wheels, we advise you to follow a few simple steps in order to make your journey in good conditions. Below are some tips for preparing for a safe trip.
Have a good read and above all, have a good trip 🙂 !
Prepare the interior of the Tiny house before moving
The electrical system: what to do before driving
Your Tiny House is connected to the electrical network:
- In the electrical panel, turn off the switches that are responsible for the different circuits,
- Then turn off the differential switch: this is the largest switch on the left.
- Unplug your Tiny House at the external power socket near the tiller and replace the cover to protect it. Remember to take the power cord and an extension cord with you.
Is your tiny house equipped with solar panels? Some additional handling is required.
- When the photovoltaic park is on the roof, make sure to put the panels flat on the roof.
- Batteries should be disconnected and removed from the system. Ideally, they should be placed in the towing vehicle. This will considerably lighten the weight of your wheeled house. We remind you that the latter must not exceed 3.5 tons on its own.
Concerning the refrigerator, we advise you to start it a few hours after your installation on your new place of parking, for questions of gas and oil movements.
Gas : what to do before moving your tiny house ?
- In the front trunk of your Tiny, close the gas supply valve (vertical copper pipe with a valve). Remember: To close a valve, rotate the handle so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.
- Disconnect the cylinder from the regulator and make sure it is closed.
- Stabilize and secure the bottle so that it cannot move or fall during the trip.
- In the tinyhouse, close all the gas supplies with the valves present under each equipment: cooking plates, water heater, oven…
Hydraulic installation: the right thing to do before you hit the road
- Turn off the water circuits by closing the water valve under your Tiny. Remove the hose and take it with you.
- Turn off the cold water supply under your water heater.
- Open the faucets in the tinyhouse to let the water flow out of the pipes.
- Next, drain the hot water tank through the drain valve located underneath the tank. The water from the water heater will exit directly under the Tiny through the grey water drain.
- If you have installed a grey water drain pipe under the tiny house, remove it and store it.
Is your Tiny house equipped with a water autonomy system?
- Turn off the pump with the pump’s on/off button.
- Turn off the power source through the electrical panel.
- Empty the 325l tank of your tinyhouse. Connect a simple drain hose to the tank and open the drain valve. It is important to empty the tank on the tiller for safety reasons.
- Also close all valves in the system (filters, pump…).
Organize your equipment before departure
Stow and organize your belongings (objects, furniture, groceries…) so that nothing gets moved during the trip.
- Keep your personal belongings as secure as possible, including in closed closets, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
- Remember to lock drawers, cabinet doors and empty your shelves to avoid breakage. If you don’t have locking knobs, you can lock your drawers with string.
- Unhook or secure the ladders of your Tiny house, to prevent them from moving around during transport.
- As a precaution, you can glue protective felt under your furniture to protect the floor and call them with a carpet or a plaid for example.
- Get rid of the excess weight: the Tiny House alone, not including the vehicle, should not exceed 3.5 tons.
Pay attention to the balancing: the weight must be distributed evenly. Do not load the tiller or the front trunk of your tinyhouse to avoid any risk of damage to the tiller. Also avoid putting all the weight on the back of your tinyhouse, it can cause the vehicle to overturn.
showing the influence of weight distribution when driving.
Preparation of the exterior of the Tiny house
What to do to the facades, roof, doors and windows before moving
Before moving your tiny house, remove all the elements that could exceed 2.55 m wide. For example, check that you haven’t forgotten any flower pots, decorations or outdoor lights that you could have installed… We remind you that the lights installed by Quadrapol are made to be no more than 2.55m wide. So you can keep them when you drive.
Next, make sure the windows and door of your cottage are closed.
Finally, if your tinyhouse is equipped with a wood stove, check that the cap of the flue does not exceed 4.3 m. If necessary, the hat must be removed for the duration of the trip.
The different steps for the trailer
When your Tiny is ready to be hitched, remove the 4 stanchions. Remember to take them with you for your next installation. For convenience, store them in the vehicle towing your wheeled house.
Check tire pressure and re-inflate if necessary. The pressure should be between 4.1 and 4.5 bar. Also check that you have your spare tire and the pressure of the tire.
Raise the crutches with the key (or crank), the system is the same as for a jack. Collect the wedges and store them in the towing vehicle.
Adjust the height of the front of your trailer with the small front wheel (jockey wheel). It will allow you to be at the right height to attach the tinyhouse to the towing vehicle’s hitch.
You will find the different steps to hitch a trailer on this article.
Once the trailer is coupled, don’t forget to mount the jockey wheel and plug in the traffic lights. Once these are connected, remember to check that they are working properly.
Before hitting the road
We remind you that a BE permit is required to tow our tiny houses.
Prepare your itinerary!
Check the roads and accesses you will use before you leave. This will help you avoid disappointment. You can use mobile applications, for example, Google Maps, Street View or even applications for campers or trucks.
We advise you to prepare your itinerary by choosing your parking place in advance. Below are some tips:
- Contact the town halls of the municipalities where you will be living/parking;
- Contact the campsites of your destination;
- Or ask individuals who offer land (e.g. https://www.homecamper.fr/)!
Respect the speed limit
The speed of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes or combinations of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes, except public transport vehicles, is limited to :
- 90km/h on highways;
- 80 km/h on roads with priority status and marked as such. However, this maximum speed is raised to 90 km/h for vehicles with a total weight of 12 tons or less on dual carriageways separated by a central reservation;
- 80 km/h on other roads. However, this maximum speed is lowered to 60 km/h for articulated vehicles or vehicles with trailers whose total weight exceeds 12 tons.
- 50 km/h in built-up areas. However, this maximum speed is raised to 70 km/h on the Paris ring road.
A question, some advice? Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!
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