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‘Family Road Trip’ Tiny House Design Sleeps Four!

This is a family road trip tiny house design that sleeps four by Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design.

From time to time I daydream about taking my family on an extended road trip in a tiny house.  So just for fun, I drew this tiny house design and got a little carried away in the details.1

Tiny House Design for a Family Road Trip


  • Easy to tow
  • Aerodynamic
  • Lightweight
  • Sleeps four
  • Full kitchen
  • Fits on 16′ trailer
  • Metal framing
  • Lightweight siding
  • Front door ramp
  • Towable with Ford F-150, Ram 1500, etc.

Read Michael’s full article to see more and learn more including two tricks he used to get more space out of the 16-foot trailer.

Michael Janzen offers a variety of tiny house plans on his website (including free ones!), he blogs at Tiny House Design, and he’s the author of Tiny House Floor Plans: Over 200 Interior Designs for Tiny Houses.


  1. Road Trip Tiny House Design
  2. Road Trip Tiny House Design Concept (YouTube)

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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!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Trish Dee
    September 25, 2017, 3:52 pm

    This is a wonderful tiny house design. If I owed it, I would be on the road all the time.

  • Becky Gaddis
    September 25, 2017, 4:08 pm

    How long did it take to build?What’s the wt?Is it registered as a Rv with DMV?Since it’d homebuilt how are the taxes accessed?.Do u have Rv outlets?Toilet is it Dometic or composting?Also frig?is it dometic?Washing machine and dryer combined?I would be over the top ecstatic to have a small tiny home..Money will be so tight in a few years on social security I will need to travelnurse and live a very simple life.Not complaining just reasoning and thinking of the freedom.Gypsynurse.Lol Becky [email protected]

  • Gabriella
    September 25, 2017, 5:53 pm

    Very Solar : ) : ): )

  • victoria
    September 25, 2017, 6:15 pm

    did i miss the bathroom?

    • James D.
      September 25, 2017, 7:31 pm

      Look at the overhead view of the floor plan, it’s the closed off space to the left… Loft ladder is barn door style that slides open to access the bathroom…

  • Drew
    September 25, 2017, 10:12 pm

    I am no engineer, and with that in mind the biggest issue I see with this design is the air flow. I understand that the aerodynamics from the tow vehicle will help lift a portion of the air up and to the side, but there is still so much towering over that SUV in the model. That is the biggest issue I have with almost any of the THOW I have seen and thought about investing in to and or building. These are so hard to pull, and if you are going to go this far to own or live in a tiny home, may as well make it a 5th wheel to be more secure while towing as in addition to the added space.

    • James D.
      September 26, 2017, 2:32 am

      No, structures don’t have to be curved to provide better aerodynamics… They just need to provide a way for the wind to flow around it without directly pressing flat against it.

      Take a horse trailer for example, just a sharp wedge shape that lets the wind flow to either side of the trailer and that’s actually has less air resistance than most RV trailers…

      Similarly, this design has angles that lets the wind flow around it instead of pressing against it.

      The slanted down forward roof, also not only lets more of the air flow over and past it but the air flow helps provide some downward pressure that helps keep the weight of the trailer firmly on the tow hitch and helps reduce the chance of the trailer tipping back and yanking the tow vehicle up…

      Just that small window directly facing the tow vehicle is the one part still directing facing into the wind but that might as well not be there for what little resistance such a small area would impose.

      Besides, fifth wheels are only ideal if you need to tow very often and usually for very big THOWs… It’s overkill for something only 16′ long and can apparently be towed with just a SUV, which not only doesn’t have the towing capacity of a truck but also doesn’t have any way to hitch up a 5th wheel… Inversely, getting a 5th wheel generally means you have to use a truck to tow it…

      Also, its a misconception that 5th wheels add space… You’re actually losing space because you can’t use the space below the cantilevered section because that’s where the 5th wheel hitch is located and has to have room for the truck bed to back into it and you can’t raise the height any higher to compensate.

      There’s just no competition of vertical space as you would have with a regular loft. So, unless you turn part of it into storage, you can have standing room height because there’s nothing else to share that vertical space with…

      Thing to keep in mind is there are always trade offs and it’s mainly preference and lifestyle needs that determine which trade offs are better for a particular use case/owner…

  • Michael
    September 25, 2017, 10:36 pm

    I like this concept on a smaller footprint. It is ideal for extended road trips.
    Aerodynamic shape is lacking of most THOW because they aren’t moved very often.
    Beside that, stick framed ones are a way to heavy to be towed on a regular base.
    Steel frame or SIP are the way to go when it comes to reduce weight but gain stability and long life span.
    Your front design is great to reduce wind resistance.
    However, I am a bit concerned about tongue weight by arranging all the heavy stuff forward of axles.
    I would put ‘garage’ as the air conditioner (as proposed) behind the washer
    and gaining more counter space in the kitchen.
    For guys who love to cook it is a must as a full size fridge would be.
    Cramped sleeping lofts aren’t for the FL climate and we don’t need sleeping for kids.
    A lift up to the ceiling king size bed would be my preferred choice. Its always ready to use and out of the way
    when not needed. The sofa bed could be used for occasionally guests.
    Doing so would allow to reduce overall height which would benefit wind resistance again.
    Roof shape could be simplified by putting a single pitch from bow to stern and additional solar panels
    could be added.
    The entrance set up seems to me very practical but the ramp may be to long for some locations and should
    have a division and a screen door as an option. I personally like a Dutch door.

    Do you consider rain water harvesting?
    How much water tank capacity would be available?
    I am very much interested in plans to get the framing professionally done.

    • James D.
      September 26, 2017, 3:00 am

      Shape of the house should balance that out a bit with the loft towards the rear, with highest side of the house, and there’s not really heavy items in the bathroom or kitchen on the lower front side… No bathtub, for example, and just a shower stall…

      Besides, rule of thumb for weight distribution of a trailer is 60/40 with most of the weight towards the tow vehicle…

      So you’re suppose to have most of the weight forward, it helps keep the trailer from tipping back and yanking the tow vehicle up. Also, having most of the weight forward keeps the center of gravity closer to the tow hitch for better control and less dragging…

      It’s one of the reasons 5th wheels have an advantage for larger and heavier THOWs as it pushes the center of gravity further over the tow vehicle instead of behind it and allows for some more weight sharing as the trailer weight can more safely press down on the truck bed than it could on a rear tow hitch…

      Anyway, steel framing and small size means this should be pretty light for a THOW… The SUV may be a little tricky but your base level truck like a F-150 should be more than capable of pulling this even up pretty steep roads…

      The new 2018 models of the F-150 coming out include a configuration for a maximum towing capacity of 13,200 lbs… So could probably tow 2-3 of these daisy chained…

      While, you could always get a dually if you plan to tow off road and need extra traction…

  • Rick C
    September 25, 2017, 11:07 pm

    Have fun with the sore neck you’ll get watching TV with that awful placement–that needs to be on an articulating arm so it can be angled.

    • James D.
      September 26, 2017, 3:16 am

      Rick C, why are you assuming it isn’t an articulating arm… Rendering isn’t showing it flat against the wall… and the linked article states it’s on a swinging arm mount…

      Besides, wouldn’t be much of a Tiny House if you couldn’t customize it and these are basically plans/musings to build…

  • September 26, 2017, 5:03 am

    Wow! What an AWESOME IDEA! To go on vacation with! It looks GREAT INSIDE! Thank You! For sharing!🏡

    October 5, 2017, 8:28 am


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