Building Tips

Sponsored by Pacific West Associates, Inc.

Pacific West Associates Inc.

Building Tip #1

One of the biggest considerations about your Tiny Home on Wheels should be where you intend to park it. Many jurisdictions in the United States have different zoning, planning and occupancy ordinances that may affect your ability to park and occupy your tiny home. Different requirements may apply, such as insurance coverage, certification, additional permitting, etc. Make sure to contact your local jurisdiction and inform yourself about the requirements that you must comply with as you continue your journey into tiny living.


Building Tip #2

RV certification requires a specific size for egress windows. NFPA 1192 (RV building code) and ANSI A119.5 (Recreational Park Trailer code) require a free opening of 24" wide by 17" tall. And at least one secondary means of escape shall be on an exterior wall located on the opposite side of the primary entry door. Proper marking of additional egress is also required. Integrating this consideration into your tiny home design will make it easier to comply to existing regulations that different jurisdictions may have.


Building Tip #3

Tiny Homes on Wheels have nuances that traditional foundation buildings do not. When designing your plumbing systems, abrasion, vibration and chafing are things that must be kept in mind. Proper securement of the lines is important to minimize the effects of these issues as caused by your Tiny House moving down the road. These lines must also be properly bonded to the chassis if required by building code.


Building Tip #4

Weight is an important issue during the construction of your Tiny Home on Wheels. Keeping a proper weight distribution and sticking to the weight rating of your trailer will help with control as you pull your tiny home down the road. Dimensions are also specified when building to the RV and Recreational Park Trailer (RPT) code. A standard RV size is limited to 8’6” wide by 13’6” tall. This allows for transportation without a movement permit. RPT dimensions can exceed the RV dimensions but may require additional permits and considerations to move them through local, state, and federal motorways.


Building Tip #5

Proper lighting of your tiny home will ensure that you can drive your tiny home at night and in low visibility conditions safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an informational document of the required lighting and markings needed to make your tiny home as visible (and compliant) as it needs to be. Learn more here.


Building Tip #6

Recreational Vehicle (RV) certification is required to be able to park a vehicle in national parks and other NFPA 1194 compliant campgrounds. Certain jurisdictions will also require tiny homes to be certified to either the NFPA or ANSI standards. These can be obtained through tiny homes you buy from RVIA or Pacific West Associates, Inc. certified builders. If you are building your tiny home yourself, DIY certification programs are available for compliance to these standards from Pacific West Tiny Homes.


Building Tip #7:

Safety should be at the top of your list when building your Tiny Home on Wheels. Safety markings, such as exit stickers and propane shut off labels are required to be applied to an RV certified Tiny Home on Wheels. Smoke, CO2 and Explosive gas detectors (most commonly propane) are also required, as is a properly rated fire extinguisher. A working and labeled egress window, escape hatch or skylight will provide a way out should you need to use it. Consult with your builder or your certifier about the safety features that you need to stay safe in your tiny home.

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