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How to Bolt and Attach a Tiny House to a Trailer

If you’re wondering how you securely bolt and attach a stick built tiny house onto a flat bed trailer you’re at the right place.

This is something I’ve wondered about for a long time before I finally figured it out by attending workshops and asking builders, so you’re definitely not alone in wondering how it’s done.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go anywhere to learn the basics of how to attach a tiny house to a trailer, you can simply watch the video below and gain a good understanding of how to properly secure a stick built tiny house to your own utility trailer. Please enjoy and re-share below. Thank you.

How to Bolt and Attach your Tiny House to a Trailer


Images © The Homestead Craftsman

Video: How to Attach your Stick Built Tiny House to a Utility Trailer


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Mike
    December 30, 2014, 2:18 pm

    I use “Locknuts” instead of lockwashers. Vibration over time can overcome those little lock washers, and sometime the lockwashers can lose it’s tension. However, I’ve never had a locknut fail me in any condition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyloc_nut

    • Alex
      December 10, 2015, 11:11 am

      Great suggestion, thank you!

    • Claude
      January 4, 2017, 11:34 am

      Exactly, well said!

  • Rusty
    December 30, 2014, 2:41 pm

    The SHAKES look nice on the wall for sure .I do agree about lock washers with wood . The climate I live in the wood will shrink leaving the washer loose I’ve seen it a thousand times on wood structures I have remodeled . Don’t use galvanized bolts and eventually the rust will keep the bolts from coming loose lol! Nylon insert nuts I agree with also glue during construction.that is this old guys view . Oil all the way on raw wood I agree with .

  • Jeanne Atkinson
    December 30, 2014, 3:53 pm

    Please sign me up to receive The Tiny House Newsletter.

  • December 30, 2014, 4:09 pm

    The main problem I found while researching how to attach mine was the fact that every trailer is different, and every house is different, and so we just went with what was “advised” and then modified it for our needs. We used 84, 3/8 x 2″ bolts to attach the subfloor to the trailer, then 8, 1/2″ x 3″ bolts for the front and rear subfloor panel, 14 of the 1/2″ x 4 ” to bolt the frame to the subfloor and then 16 more bolts used on the 4 corner-placed hurricane straps. Soooooo many holes!!!

  • Jeff
    December 30, 2014, 9:57 pm

    Nice looking house! Good job on the ty-par under cedar too; someone did their research! I definitely agree with using the nyloc nuts instead of lock washers. Lock washers are great for a static structure but trailers bounce around and vibrate so much on the road that I just would not trust a regular lock washer. Use the nyloc washers, threadlock, and use construction adhesive to stick your bottom plate down. Since I’m being nit-picky, I also would not use carriage bolts for two reasons, the first being that you can not crank it down very hard without the head spinning in the wood, and two, in a tiny house this probably would not be an issue but the head can pull clear through the wood if enough force is applied. I recommend using a hex head bolt with a hold down plate or a large thick washer.

    • Norris
      January 5, 2017, 12:38 pm

      Also another suggestion is to use hurricane ties to connect the studs to the top and bottom plates. This ties the walls to the trailer and secures the whole wall as one structure.

  • Billy
    December 30, 2014, 11:49 pm

    I’ve worked on all sorts of stuff throughout my life and always found that lock washers suck for any application. They have little surface area to distribute load, they get squashed right out from under the nut if you get it too tight, and they tear up and gouge surfaces. Get nylon locking like the people above mentioned, or the locking nuts that are slightly crimped or ovalized on top.

  • Marsha Cowan
    January 2, 2017, 4:45 pm

    Whoa! He is soooooo cute! Sorry…just taken back a little. Now…ahem…back to the subject… Yes, attaching a tiny house to a trailer. I tend to stay away from the corners with bolts because the corners are already under horizontal stress, kind of like a fault line, and the weight of the house only increases that stress. I like to come back about a foot from the corners for the first bolts where the steel has a longer and stronger continuous run before the break at the corners, then put them about every two feet up to within a foot of the other corner. Same thing across the ends, and if an extension is going to be built over the tongue, one bolt hole on each side as far away as feasible from the weld joints. I feel it allows the welded corners to be supported by the end framing of the sill boards (kind of like plywood provides the support of an rv floor over the two by twos if you put screws every six inches), while not sacrificing the integrity of the ends of the welding anymore than they already are. But that’s just me…to each his own.

    • Natalie
      January 3, 2017, 9:33 am

      Hehe, Marsha 🙂 And thanks for your advice! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Michael
    January 2, 2017, 6:24 pm

    Nicely made. However, a camper trailer wouldn’t be my choice especially when you want to move your tiny house because they are usually not designed for carrying the much higher weight of a THOW.
    Attention needs to be payed to the load capability of the trailer.

    • Natalie
      January 3, 2017, 9:29 am

      Very true! Always be careful! — Tiny House Talk Team

      • Heidi Hargrave
        August 3, 2017, 1:23 pm

        I used a camp trailer but had it reinforced with another bar of steel and added a 3rd axle for less than $1000.

  • Bob
    January 6, 2017, 2:16 pm

    good idea on the multiple fasteners. One suggestion would be use a hex bolt with washers. Carriage bolts do not have any ratings that I can find. If you use machine bolts you can get different grades. I used grade 8 bolts for a little more piece of mind. Thanks for sharing.

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