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Tiny House vs 5th Wheel

July 17, 2018

Tiny House vs 5th Wheel

In the United States a 5th wheel, or fifth wheel if you rather it spelled out, is a reference to a type of trailer hitch on an RV.  It has a U shape and is installed into the bed of a truck to attach the RV to the vehicle.  This allows for arguably better control and stability than the tradition hitch you would see attached to the bumper of a vehicle.  

Benefits of both Tiny House and 5th Wheel:

  • Simplicity: Both types of home require simplified living, as you only have so much room to collect belongings.  You are constantly forced to make a decision whether something is really worth the amount of space it takes up in your dwelling and this streamlined the important process of finding out that life is not about the materials you possess, but rather the life you live
  • Telework:  More and more employers are untethering their employees from the cubicle existence and allowing for workers to live where ever they please.  With the invention of wireless hotspots and mobile connectivity your house on wheels just became an office too!
  • Savings on Travel: If you are able to take home wherever you go, there is no need for costly rentals.  You can just pull up your proverbial stakes and go!  Save that money for an experience with your kids, i gauruntee you won’t regret it.

Differences between Tiny Houses and 5th Wheel Regulations:

  • There is long standing and quite robust regulation of RVs or 5th Wheels throughout this great country of ours.  This allows for easy research as to those laws and allows for traditional recognition for insurance purposes. 
  • Many jurisdictions take issue with the “mobility” of Tiny Houses.  This is simply because they haven’t had time to catch up to this trend of living.  This is a great opportunity to explain the differences of a Tiny House if you wish to be considered a traditional dwelling for such things as insurance, or you could argue for treatment as an RV.  Look to your specific jurisdiction’s legislation and find out the rules for your area.


Differences between Tiny Houses and 5th Wheel Mobility:

  • 5th Wheels are specifically designed for the greatest stability during travel, so they allow for easier turning and a stable base connection between trailer and truck.
  • Tiny Houses could possibly be more “boxy” depending on their design, so the aerodynamics cause for possibly cross wind issues.  There is nothing that says you can’t design a Tiny House to have rounded edges, so think about travel when you are initially designing your Tiny Home.

Differences between Tiny Houses and 5th Wheel Maintenance:

  • 5th Wheels are able to find repair shops and dealerships scattered across every state.  These locations are familiar with working on the specific issues and are authorized, many times by the manufacturer to complete complex overhauls, as needed.  
  • Tiny Houses are constructed by Tiny House builders who could fall closer to tradition house builders.  This is a benefit because for individual components you could find multiple HVAC, Electricians, Plumber, etc. who can work on your home.  This may allow for many more options, closer to you, when you need to repair a specific part of your home.

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