Category Archives: Traveling with a Tiny House on Wheels

Suggestions for Safe Travel

Jenna & Guillaume are traveling around the USA with their tiny house as part of a workshop tour, and have gathered these suggestions for safe travel.

If you have any specific travel related questions, you can contact them at
jenna-guillaume@americantinyhouseassociation.org

Be sure you know the laws of the state(s) you’ll be traveling through. Depending on the height, width, and weight of your tiny house, you might need special permits and/or a commercial driver’s license.

Here’s a handy but unofficial summary of height and width limits.

Generally, a commercial driver’s (CDL) license or other special license will not be required if you are towing your own tiny home, even if it weighs more than 10,000 pounds. In most states, a motor home or recreational trailer operated solely for personal use is exempt. However, this is not true everywhere. (For example, California requires a special Class A license for towing heavy RVs.)

Here’s a handy but unofficial summary of driver’s license types.

Who must have a commercial driver’s license? Anyone who drives a commercial motor vehicle. In most (but not all states), the definition of a commercial motor vehicle is:
a) a combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds (So, if your truck weighs 9,000 pounds and your tiny house weighs 13,000 pounds, the combined weight is 24,000 pounds and a CDL would not be required in most states.)
b) a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;
c) a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;
d) a school bus; or
e) any vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be placarded in accordance with State and Federal regulations.

In most states, commercial motor vehicles do not include: a) implements of husbandry; b) any motor home or recreational trailer operated solely for personal use; or c) motorized construction equipment, including, but not limited to, backhoes, compactors, excavators, tractors, trenchers and bulldozers.

Even where RVs towed for personal use are exempt from CDL requirements, state troopers are not always aware of it. Research and print out the state laws before you go.