Our Tiny House Adventure & Adding A Gooseneck To Our Design
My wife and I are very excited to move forward with our Tiny house building plans. We are very thankful to many many people that have given us wonderful insight and perspective on how to move forward with our tiny house plans.
After touring a number of tiny houses and speaking with my father and others who are experienced carpenters, metal fabricators for the trailer, and many others with varying perspectives and skill sets in life, we have arrived at our unique tiny house design.
Right now our final plans are all on paper, and one day I hope to create a full sketchup and/or architectural plans that I will be able to share with the world. In the mean time, I would like to share the different designs we have borrowed ideas from.
Tiny House Build Influence:
First off, we love the building plans and shed-roof design that can be found on Andrew and Gabriel Morrison’s Tiny House Build website. From our experience, the peaked roof, even with a dormer, creates too little space in the upper/loft areas of the house. The shed roof also makes for very simple construction, since all of the rafters will be identical, and there won’t be any special cuts to the roofing to ensure it doesn’t leak.
Here is an example picture of the Tiny House Build exterior.
Here Comes The Gooseneck Tiny House Design…
After consulting with the experts at Wright Trailers in Seekonk, MA we decided to change the trailer design from just a flat deck with a fixed tongue hitch (whether it is a ball or pintle hitch) that connects to the bumper/rear hitch to instead go with a gooseneck trailer. This was for a few reasons:
- A gooseneck trailer, also known as a 5th-wheel trailer significantly increases the safety for hauling/pulling on the road. With a rear hitch trailer, if there is too much weight on the back of the truck it can push the back down, and actually lift the front of the truck a bit significantly affecting the steering ability with the front wheels.
- Since the gooseneck hitch fits into the bed of the truck slightly forward of the rear axle, the weight of the trailer actually helps to pin the truck’s wheels to the ground. Additionally, with more weight over the rear wheels, the truck’s brakes will be more effective (think about why people put buckets of sand in their truck in the winter – to weigh down the bed helping out the braking ability).
- The extension of the gooseneck section of the trailer allows for a different sleeping loft opportunity than the flatbed trailer allows. Instead of having 4’10” of maximum headroom in the loft requiring a tall guy like me to slouch/lean over the whole time, the gooseneck sleeping area will create and area with about 7’4″ of head room on the tall side of the room!
Of course, there are always a couple of drawbacks to consider. Here is a short list we have identified so far:
- Fewer trucks are outfitted with 5th-wheel/gooseneck hitches than fixed tongue hitches found on the rear of trucks on the east coast of the U.S. We do know a few people, particularly in the horse world that have trucks outfitted with 5th-wheel hitches so we aren’t too concerned about finding someone to pull out home to wherever we choose to live.
- Added cost. Due to the extra metal and fabrication time required to build the gooseneck extension, the typical added cost is $1,500 USD.
Our immediate research in gooseneck tiny homes did not bring up many results. From what I have learned about gooseneck trailers, they are more often used for hauling in the mid-west region of the United States, while “fixed tongue” rear hitches are more common on the East and West coasts of the U.S. Without any actual data backing this up, it seems to me that more people are building tiny houses on the East and West coasts, and going with the status quo trailer that is used for hauling.
What Does A Gooseneck Tiny Home Look Like?
Here are pictures from Peter’s website that we are using almost exactly – with the exception of using a shed roof instead of the 3-angle that they went for.
We are working on some of the interior details. My wife has found some great space saving strategies. Look for more updates to come!