Fred’s Tiny Houses FAQs
Tiny House FAQs
- Do you have a student/pension discount for your accessing How To Build A Tiny House - The Australian Online Course?
No unfortunately, there are no student or pension discounts available for accessing . There is, however, a payment plan available, which is $72 of monthly instalments for four months.
- Do you offer discounts to How To Build A Tiny House - The Australian Online Course for people in other countries?
If you are not based in Australia and would like to take , the same cost applies to your enrolment, which is AU$288. There is, however, a payment plan option available, which is $72 of four monthly instalments.
Please note that the course content is expressly Australian, and applies to building a tiny house on wheels (THOW) in Australian climates, within Australian road rules and using building materials that are readily available in Australia.
- Can I get a tiny house shell built for me?
If you would like a builder to build a tiny house shell for you on a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer, we can put you in contact with a number of experienced tiny house builders who can do the shell build for you.
- I need the tiny house trailer dimensions before I can design my tiny house on wheels.
How will I know where the stud wall tie-downs are on the trailer to build my wall framing?
The stud wall tie downs (part of the ) are placed on the long walls of the tiny house trailer only, and appear within the first and last 600mm of the long walls on the tiny house trailer. This allows for window and door placement to be freely designed into the long walls of your tiny house without interrupting structural support offered by the stud wall tie downs.
For more details on your trailer dimensions, see our. If you have chosen a trailer style from Fred’s Tiny House Trailers range and you need key dimensions of your trailer, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have already you will receive a Sketch-Up file of your tiny house trailer for your design ease.
- How long can I build a tiny house on wheels (THOW) in Australia?
The legal length limit of a registrable tiny house on wheels (THOW or caravan) in Australia is 12.5 meters long. However, building a 12.5 meter long tiny house on wheels under a weight limit 4500kgs is very difficult, so we suggest doing preliminary weight estimations for your tiny house design before buying the longest possible trailer.
For information on building a tiny house on wheels outside of this length limitation see this article here.
- How wide can I build a tiny house on wheels (THOW) in Australia?
The legal width limit of a registrable tiny house on wheels (THOW or caravan) in Australia is 2.5 meters wide, not including outside marker lights.
For information on building a tiny house on wheels outside of this width limitation see this article here.
- How high can I build a tiny house on wheels (THOW) in Australia?
The legal height limit of a registrable tiny house on wheels (THOW or caravan) in Australia is 4.3 meters form the ground.
For information on building a tiny house on wheels outside of this height limitation see this article here.
- How far off the ground is a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer?
Typically the Protruding Wheels Guard tiny house trailers are 670mm and Flat Top tiny house trailers are 750mm off the ground. There is one small 4.8meter long tiny house trailer in our range, rated to 3500kgs, that sits a low 560mm from the ground.
Note that you or your builder will build the floor on top of this trailer height, and the way that you construct your floor will impact your internal hight available within the vehicle height limit in Australia (4.3meters above ground).
- What’s the difference between a Protruding Wheel Guard tiny house trailer and a Flat Top tiny house trailer trailer?
There are a few factors to consider when choosing what style of trailer you would like. Our Protruding Wheel Guard trailers have a lower floor height by 80mm compared to the Flat Top tiny house trailers, which impacts the internal height of your tiny house on wheels (THOW).
The Protruding Wheel Guard design is typically tucked into cabinetry on the interior of the house which limits the position of the side door. There are other things to consider when choosing what style of tiny house trailer will suit your project, so we have developed a quiz to help you decide. Take the quiz: .
- If I buy How To Build A Tiny House Course first, then purchase a Freds Tiny House Trailer later, do I still get the course for free?
Yes you do. If you take first, and purchase a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer later, you can let us know in your trailer quote request that you have already taken the online course. At that point, we can deduct the cost of the course from your trailer quote.
- Why buy a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer instead of another tiny house trailer?
A Fred’s Tiny House Trailer provides the strongest attachment possible between tiny house and trailer making it safe to tow. We know that tiny houses don’t get towed very often, however, importantly, when it does get towed, it needs to hold together. And on the road, the tiny house will have to withstand the greatest and most extreme forces on all its fastenings, so it needs to be built to withstand those forces.
A Fred’s Tiny House Trailer offers the ability to create a completely insulated floor cavity, to make sure that the outside temperatures are not being conducted into your tiny house on wheels through the steel trailer.
Aluminium underfloor storage boxes come standard with your tiny house trailer, giving you additional discreet storage options for your tiny house design, perfect for batteries and other items that you need to store but do not need to look at.
Fred’s Tiny House Trailers are registrable in all states and territories in Australia because they comply to the VSB1 Revision 6.
With a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer you get free access to , teaching you everything you need to know about building a tiny house so that it is lightweight, strong, vibration resilient, compliant to national vehicle regulations and comfortable to live in year round in our varied climates in Australia.
With a trailer purchase you also get three hours of for free on your tiny house design, which can be used formally via zoom meetings or casually, if you are up a ladder or at the hardware store and need to know something on the fly.
- How long does it take to build a tiny house on wheels (THOW)?
First the tiny house trailer fabrication typically takes 6 – 8 weeks.
It can then take three to five months for a professional tiny house builder to complete building a tiny house on wheels (THOW) if they are working on it full time and have pre-ordered materials including windows and doors.
If you are a skilled tradesperson and already working in the building industry but you can only dedicate weekends to the tiny house building project, it is reasonable to allow about a year for your project to reach completion.
If you are a DIY builder who is learning how to build for the first time and doing most of the tiny house building yourself you can expect the project to take up to 18 months or longer.
For all tiny house projects, the construction time is minimised when the tiny house is being built from tested and proven construction plans or a tiny house design that the builder has built before. Building indoors also saves construction time because it avoids delays caused by weather events.
For custom tiny house builds or builds without a detail construction plan, these timeframes may be increased by about two to three months.
- How much does a tiny house on wheels (THOW) cost in Australia?
Tiny houses on wheels (THOW) in Australia can cost between $90,000 and $170,000 when built to completion by a professional builder.
If a tiny house on wheels is equipped with off-grid solar panels and a battery system a well as battery-friendly appliances and a composting toilet, for example, the cost can increase by approximately $10,000 to $20,000.
For DIY builders wondering how much a tiny house on wheels will cost them to build, there are many recent (2020-2023) examples DIY builders who have built a tiny house on wheels for full time living and with off-grid capability for $60,000 to $80,000. That includes outsourcing a few trades like plumbing, electrical and some custom cabinetry, for example.
When considering the cost of a DIY tiny house build, the cost must also be considered against the time it takes to build a tiny house on wheels. If you are taking time off work to build your tiny house on wheels you can also calculate the lost income into the cost considerations of building the tiny house yourself.
- How much does a tiny house trailer weigh?
All of the tare weights of Fred’s Tiny House Trailers are listed on our table. Fred takes care to design tiny house trailers that are lightweight from the outset, making it easier on you as you complete your tiny house building project and the allowable weight limit shrinks as your tiny house grows.
- How high off the ground is a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer?
The tiny house trailers with the lowest floor height in our range are Protruding Wheel Guard Trailers with the height from the ground typically measuring 560mm (3500kg ATM) or 670mm (4500kg ATM) for an uncompressed suspension. The actual trailer floor height will be lower to the ground than these figures, because as the tiny house gets heavier the suspension compresses and gets lower to the ground.
We also offer tiny house trailers with a flat top, meaning the floor of the tiny house extends over the top of the tiny house trailer’s wheel guards. Flat top tiny house trailers in our range typically measure 750mm above ground.
For all our trailer specifications see our Trailer Price and Specifications page.
To assess which style of tiny house trailer is best for you, between Flat Top and Protruding Wheel Guard, take the quiz on this page: Choosing Your Trailer Style.
- How much does a tiny house trailer cost?
All of our current tiny house trailer prices are listed on our table. The price of a tiny house trailer varies with size and material choices. The smallest tiny house trailer that Fred’s Tiny Houses offer is 4.8 meters long and when finished in DuraGal, costs less than $12,000.
The largest tiny house trailer that we make is 9.5 meters long and when Hot Dip Galvanised (premium finish) costs near $19,000.
- What is the lead time on getting a tiny house trailer made by Fred’s Tiny Houses?
Typically our lead time for fabricating your tiny house trailer from ordering to completion is between 6 to 8 weeks. This may be less for trailers with a DuraGal finish because the finish avoids the transport and hot dip galvanising process which can take between two to three weeks to complete.
- Is there an architect who can draw up my tiny house construction plans for me?
Yes there are who are able to draw up custom tiny houses on wheels on Fred’s Tiny House Trailers using the UCM®.
- What if I go over the weight rating of my tiny house trailer?
Should I stay below the weight rating of my tiny house trailer?
If your completed tiny house on wheels exceeds the weight rating of your tiny house trailer as specified on the trailer’s compliance plate, even by one kilogram, then it is an unroadworthy vehicle, meaning that you cannot tow it on it’s own wheels on a public road in Australia under any circumstances. If you cannot lighten the weight of the tiny house on wheels (THOW) sufficiently to be under the weight rating of the trailer for transport, the tiny house on wheels will have to be carried on the tray of a truck or a low-rider semi-trailer.
This is a costly option and the tiny house on a low rider may exceed the height limit for Australian roadways (4.3meters), and even the height limit for a special Class O permit (4.6meters).
- Can I build my tiny house on wheels (THOW) on an old caravan chassis?
Unfortunately, building a tiny house on an old caravan chassis is unlikely to be a successful tiny house project. Caravan chassis are rated to low weight limits, because caravans are designed to be towed behind family vehicles with low tow limits. Look for a compliance plate on your caravan chassis and find the ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass).
That weight is the limit of what your overall weight of the completed tiny house needs to weigh. Caravan chassis ATMs will typically be below 3000kgs which is a difficult weight limit to achieve when building a tiny house out of traditional building materials like wood, steel and house cladding. Caravans are built out of plastic products and sealed with glue and rubber to stay lightweight, which is not what a tiny house on wheels is able to match in terms of weight.
- Do you make gooseneck or fifth wheel tiny house trailers?
We do not currently have any gooseneck or fifth wheel tiny house trailers in our designs. This is because there is a weight rating limit of 4500kgs to any trailer using an electric braking system in Australia. Also, the gooseneck trailer or fifth wheel tiny house trailers are typically designed to distribute a large weight load (think greater than 1.5 tonne) onto the centre of the axle group of the tow vehicle.
This is useful for tiny houses on wheels that weigh 12 tonne or more. As the air over hydraulic braking system for that kind of weight rating is cost prohibitive here in Australia there is not a high demand for gooseneck trailers for tiny houses on wheels.
- Why is there a 4.5 tonne weight limit on tiny houses on wheels (THOW) in Australia?
There is a 4.5 tonne (4500kgs) weight limit on the use of electric brakes on any trailer or caravan in Australia. If a trailer or vehicle is rated to more than 4500kgs, it is legally required to have a non-electric braking system, for example an air-over hydraulic braking system, which adds an additional $5,200 upwards plus engineering costs, to the cost of the tiny house trailer.
As such, most tiny house builders (DIY and professionals alike) choose to stay within the 4500kgs weight limit for building their tiny house on wheels (THOW).
- I am coming to Castlemaine for the day, can I visit a display tiny house on wheels?
Fred’s Tiny Houses does not have a display centre for tiny houses on wheels (THOW) in Castlemaine Victoria. We work from home and our personal tiny house is being used as our home office at the moment. When you pick up your tiny house trailer you are welcome to see our tiny house, and if you and would like that to be in person, then the consultation will be conducted in the tiny house on wheels, which is another great opportunity to see it and ask questions about it.
- I want to use a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer, but I can’t build the house myself. Will you build the tiny house for me?
If you would like to work with a builder to realise your tiny house dream and you are purchasing a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer for your tiny house, we can put you in contact with a number of experienced tiny house builders who can do the build for you.
- Where can I buy a tiny house on wheels (THOW) ready made on a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer using the UCM®?
There are a few different building companies that design and build tiny houses on wheels (THOW) for sale, on Fred’s Tiny House Trailers particularly in Victoria, Australia.
When there is a completed tiny house for sale, we advertise the tiny house on our Instagram and Facebook feeds as well as send out an email to our subscribers. If you would like to contact these companies directly to find out what they have in the production line, you are welcome to.
If you would like to create a custom tiny house design and work with a builder to realise your tiny house dream and you are purchasing a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer for your tiny house, we can put you in contact with a number of experienced tiny house builders who can do the build for you.
- I have some detailed questions about my tiny house design / project / social enterprise idea. Can I talk to Fred about it?
If you would like a tiny house expert to look over your personal tiny house on wheels (THOW) design and discuss technical details of how to build your tiny house on wheels, then you are welcome to book a consultation with Fred. Go to our Book a Consultation With Fred page to book over Calendly. The cost is $75 per hour and the first three hours of consultation are redeemable when you purchase a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer.
We recommend that you take How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course before booking a consultation, because that course provides so much information that your questions in the consultation will be different after you have taken the course.
- Will termites be a problem if I use a timber frame?
Termite species behave differently to each other, and termite species vary across different locations and climates in Australia. Contact your local pest control experts to find out what type of termites are active in your area and how they attack houses. Find out what preventative methods the pest control experts recommend to protect conventional residential houses from termite attack. By doing that, you may be able to determine if termites will be a threat to your tiny house on wheels (THOW) and what you can do to prevent them.
- Why do you still recommend using timber frames for a Tiny House?
I’ve heard that steel frames for tiny houses are lighter than timber. Why do you still recommend using timber frames?
When comparing timber framing to steel framing in a tiny house on wheels, we need to consider the whole wall system, not just the materials. Why? Because timber and steel framing systems are so different that the overall completed wall will determine the weight, not just a weight comparison of the material (timber v.s. steel).
Yes, steel can be smaller in profile and stronger in its span loads than timber. It can also be lighter weight in linear meter comparisons to traditional timber framing (90mm X 45mm). However the base metal thickness (BMT) of the steel specified is crucial and yet can vary greatly. When the BMT of a 92mm wide steel stud reaches about 1.1mm thickness, it becomes heavier than 70mm x 35mm pine framing.
We also need to consider the frequency of member placement for the two different framing methods. If ordering a steel tiny house frame, have a look to see if the advertised 600mm stud spacings is being followed in practice, or if the framing company is adding a lot of additional studs and noggins that add to the overall weight of your tiny house frame, rather than reducing it.
While considering the weight outcomes of the two different framing systems, also consider the other factors that may effect a tiny house wall construction choice:
- Vibration resilience and wind loading for a vehicle application
- Fastenings for steel vs timber framing in vibrating circumstances
- Wall width and insulation solutions to reduce thermal bridging
- If you change your mind part way through building about a window location for instance, how easy is the wall systems to change.
- Embodied energy (carbon emissions of creating steel vs timber framing)
- Bracing methodology
Go to Tiny House University and enrol in How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course for a detailed Unit that covers this complex issue of comparing timber to steel framing in a tiny house on wheels.
- Do you supply a steel frame for the tiny house on one of your tiny house trailers?
No we do not supply steel frames for the tiny house on our tiny house trailers.
- Can I use a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer and the UCM® with a steel frame?
I want to use a steel frame on my tiny house on wheels (THOW). Can I use a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer and the UCM® with a steel frame?
Yes you can attach a steel frame to the tie-downs on a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer.
- I want to build using SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). Can I order a tiny house trailer to receive the SIPs?
Yes we have designed and built many tiny house trailers to receive a building system of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). We have a number of suggestions on ways in which we can adapt our existing tiny house trailer tie downs to receive your SIPs, however we will be asking you to give us the dimensions of your chosen SIPs and the manufacturers recommendations on attachment, including your flashing design to shed water. Note that some manufacturers of SIPs will have developed their attachment recommendations for buildings, not for vehicle applications, so that will need to be taken into account when determining your attachment method of your SIPs to your tiny house trailer. Customisations to our existing tiny house trailer designs attract a fee of $450 to cover the time it takes to change the design to your requirements.
For more information on our SIP accepting tiny house trailers, click here.
- I love the idea of the UCM® so can I pay Fred’s Tiny Houses for the licence to use the UCM® on my tiny house on wheels (THOW) and have my friend build a trailer (or adapt an existing trailer) to use the UCM®?
The licence to use the Unified Construction Method® (UCM®) on your tiny house on wheels (THOW) is only available when you purchase a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer. The licence travels with the trailer, is for single use only and cannot be purchased without the purchase of a tiny house trailer from Fred’s Tiny Houses.
If you purchase a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer and you area DIY builder, you will be eligible to receive the single use UCM® licence for free. If you are building the tiny house under a commercial agreement, or you are paying someone to build the tiny house for you, the single use UCM® licence costs $390 and allows us to support your build team. We do this by providing your build team with education and consultation so that everyone is on the same page for how to build the tiny house on wheels and correctly install the UCM® in your tiny house on wheels
- Can I have a SketchUp file of a tiny house trailer so that I can see the trailer dimensions that I am designing upon?
After you purchase a tiny house trailer from Fred’s Tiny Houses we can supply you with a SketchUp file of your specific tiny house trailer so that you can use it in your tiny house design process. Please note that this file is for your personal use, not to be passed onto others.
- I want to fabricate my own tiny house trailer so I am looking for tiny house trailer plans
Building you own tiny house trailer may appear to be a good way of saving money on your tiny house build. However, we have seen DIY builders take on their own trailer fabrication before and it very often results in a difficult experience or an unwanted outcome. Our strong recommendation would be to get a trailer fabricator to produce a tiny house trailer for you. That way, if you are building the tiny house on wheels yourself, you can focus your attention and energy on that. Building the tiny house is a big enough job on its own. We have seen many well intentioned, skilled DIYers lose so much energy just trying to get the trailer together that it has derailed their entire project. To put this in context, we have also received numerous calls from metal fabricators and boiler makers alike who want to build their own tiny house but they want us to build their trailer for them because it is hard work and they don’t want to take on that part of the project.
Fred’s Tiny Houses do not sell trailer plans to DIY or professional tradespeople.
- Will you sell me your tiny house trailer plans so that I can fabricate it where I live?
No we do not sell our tiny house trailer plans for others to fabricate, not to metal fabricators or DIY builders.
- I want the longest tiny house available. Will you make me a tiny house trailer that is 12.5 meters long?
Fred’s Tiny Houses do not make tiny house trailers that are longer than 10 meters. Yes it is legal to have a tiny house that is 12.5 meters long but the maximum weight of the completed tiny house has to be below 4.5 tonne (4500kgs) when using electric brakes, so it gets very difficult to finish the tiny house under that weight limit when is it so long.
- Can multiple tiny house trailers be stacked on top of each other to save on delivery?
Yes this can lower the overall cost of tiny house trailer delivery per trailer. It is important though to factor in the equipment required to unload your tiny house trailer upon delivery. Do you have a safe place to unload, as well as access to a crane, forklift with long tyres, or gantry that could lift the trailers off from their stacked position? If so, this may be a suitable option for you. Talk to us about arranging delivery of several tiny house trailers at once to your location.
- How much will it cost to have my tiny house trailer delivered?
Generally there are three options for collection or delivery of your Fred’s Tiny House trailer to your location, all with different price consequences.
The cheapest way of getting your tiny house trailer to your place is by collecting it yourself. For this, you will need the . If you are collecting your tiny house trailer from Castlemaine and you are coming from interstate, you are eligible to stay overnight at our tiny house (provided that it is available) to save you money on travel expenses.
The next option would be to float the towing job on a ‘tow my trailer’ type of website, which are online job-bidding platforms. This allows people who are already travelling that route to bid on the tiny house trailer towing job. This can be an affordable option but comes with some risk because the driver may not be insured to perform that towing task. Getting your tiny house trailer insured for the delivery trip is a good idea. This may cost between about $0.90 per kilometre to $2 per kilometre.
Finally, there is a carry service provided by transport companies who will transport your tiny house trailer on the tray of a large truck. This is the safest option because the transport company should be able to provide insurance for cargo that they carry, and it is also the most costly. It may cost up to $4 per kilometre traveled.
- Do you fabricate your tiny house trailers in NSW/ QLD/ TAS?
We fabricate trailers only in Castlemaine, Victoria.
- Does the tiny house trailer come with the insulated subfloor already built on it and included in the price?
No it does not. When Fred demonstrated how to build the subfloor of the tiny house using the Floor-Joist Tie Downs and the Stud Wall Tie Downs in a trailer video, it was to demonstrate the construction method of an efficient and well insulated subfloor. When you buy a trailer from us you get the chassis only and the floor construction is up to you.
- Is the listed length of Fred’s Tiny House Trailers just the frame that I build on, or does it include the draw bar length too?
The lengths of Fred’s Tiny House Trailers as listed in our table is the footprint that you build the tiny house on. For each tiny house trailer, add an additional 1500mm of length for the A-frame draw bar. For example, an 8 meter tiny house trailer will be 9.5 meters long when including the A-frame drawbar.
- Will you be running your face to face tiny house workshops in my State or Territory any time soon?
Currently we only run the Deep Dive Tiny House Workshops in Victoria. These weekend workshops are run at CERES Environment Park in Brunswick East and in Castlemaine, Central Victoria in the Uniting Church Hall. Please note that the in-person workshops are an advanced level of tiny house building education and you will need to complete How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course before being eligible to attend the Deep Dive Workshops
- Can I build a tiny house that is removable from the trailer in Australia?
Yes it is possible to make a tiny house that can be removed from a trailer in Australia. However it is a good idea to consider all the potential consequences of this decision before going ahead.
For example, if you remove the tiny house from the trailer when it is parked on private property in Australia, it will no longer be recognised as a vehicle and will be classified as a building, which may trigger planning and development applications in your local area.
Also, if you intend to remove the tiny house from the trailer for transport, it will have to be transported on the tray of a truck or low-rider trailer as cargo, which may be more expensive than rolling it on its own wheels. It may be a good idea to find out about the transport costs for different sized loads before building the removable tiny house, because if it is over a particular size, height or weight when loaded, different costs will apply for a transport service. Also, an over height load may forfeit the transport companies ability to insure their load, so it would be a good idea to build within the perimeters of a transportable load.
Additionally, if you would ever like to transport the tiny house on the removable trailer, it’s important to be confident in the method of attachment between the tiny house and the trailer. You will also need to make sure that the tiny house and trailer combined do not exceed the overall weight rating of the trailer, in order to make transport on the trailer legal. If the overall weight of the tiny house and trailer combined exceeds the weight limit of the trailer, it will become an unroadworthy vehicle that cannot be towed on its own wheels.
- I want to learn hands-on carpentry skills so that I can build a tiny house on wheels (THOW). Where can I do that?
There are a lot of Neighbourhod Houses, Community Learning Centres and TAFE institutions that offer short courses in basic carpentry skills; metal work and how to use power tools safely, for example. To gain the physical skills you will need to build you own tiny house on wheels, look for a short course in working with wood, metal or power tools in your area.
- Do I learn about how to build a tiny house on skids / foundations?
is completely dedicated to building tiny house vehicles, not tiny houses on foundations. In Australia, a tiny house vehicle legally falls under the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 which stipulates all the rules and regulations for making a complaint vehicle. The main point of compliance to meet the vehicle standards is the vehicle’s overall weight, which is not a compliance factor in buildings on foundations.
If you are building a tiny house on skids or foundations, it will not be considered a vehicle, it will be considered a type of building. The tiny house on foundations will therefore fall under the , meaning it will have to meet both the building standards and permit requirements that are policed by council and applied to buildings of that size and category.
If you want to learn about building a tiny house on foundations, you can look to any course that is based on building standards that meet the .
To learn about building a Tiny House On Wheels (THOW) that is comfortable to live in and safe to transport and meets the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 (VSB1), enrol in .
- Is the course on 'How To Build A Tiny House' relevant for me?
What if I am not a DIY builder?
The online course is relevant for anyone who is planning on building or buying a tiny house on wheels in Australia.
- For people who are thinking about buying a tiny house on wheels, How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course will help you navigate an under-regulated industry by becoming an informed consumer. There are a lot of tiny house ‘lemons’ out there. You can avoid buying one by knowing what to look for.
- For skilled trades people who have experience in the construction industry and would like to move into tiny house construction as a business venture – How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course will help you to re-think the existing practices in construction to assess their relevance for building tiny houses on wheels. Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOW) are vehicles and are therefore regulated by the Vehicle Standards Act which have different rules and regulations to meet from the Building Code of Australia.
- If you are a DIY builder then How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course will catapult you into a high level of knowledge about what to build, how to build it, and how to meet existing regulations so that your tiny house on wheels project is a success by all standards – including your year-round comfort.
- How does the Tiny House Course start and finish?
is a self-directed online course which means that you completely control the pace and structure of your learning modules. There is no start or finish time and you have access to the course content indefinitely.
- I have heard that Fred’s Tiny Houses offer a tiny house floor planner on SketchUp. Where do I find that please?
The product of the SketchUp Floor Planner has changed since its conception as presented on . We now provide a free SketchUp file to our trailer clients (after purchase of their tiny house trailer) of their specific trailer with sample walls, fastenings, roof options and many other layers to give you a massive head-start on your tiny house construction plan.
- How do you ask a question on The Australian Tiny House Online Course?
Yes. When you are enrolled in , each Unit has a ‘Discussions’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Press it to view previous questions asked by other students, and their answers. You can press the ‘Create new post’ button there too, which allows you to ask Fred a question about building tiny houses on wheels, which he will answer on the platform.
- Can I re-watch videos in How To Build A Tiny House once I've completed the course?
The Australian Online Course once I have completed the course for the first time?
Yes. Your access to the content in is on-going and forever. There are no limits on the amount of times you can watch the same video. This is helpful as we find that students get a lot out of the course throughout the different stages of designing, planning and building their tiny house on wheels (THOW).
- How do you recommend building the floor on a Tiny House On Wheels (THOW)?
There are lots of ways to build the floor on a tiny house trailer, and lots of pros and cons to different combinations of flooring materials for a tiny house on wheels application. We have a Unit on building the floor and material choices in the as well as a flooring topic within the advanced tiny house course . For suggestions on the basic subfloor build up on a Fred’s Tiny House Trailer, see, time stamp 2:31.
- Can I live in a Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) legally in Australia?
There are different rules across Australia relating to living in a tiny house on wheels (THOW). Living in tiny houses on wheels will be subject to laws surrounding camping on private property which is different in different states, territories and local councils. In NSW, most local councils allow living in a tiny house on wheels if the person occupying it is a member of the exisiting household. In Victoria, local councils often limit the amount of days anyone can live in a caravan or tiny house on wheels to a six-week annual period, calculated accumulatively across the year. There are some exceptions to these rules, for example in the Yarra Ranges, Surf Coast Vic and Mount Alexander Shire. There are also different regulations in Experience WA. For more information about Council Regulations for tiny houses on wheels in your area, see our table of information here.
We also have a whole module dedicated to this topic in How To Build A Tiny House – The Australian Online Course including how to research the local laws in your area, navigate council regulations and see examples of people who live permanently in tiny houses on wheels.
- Can a tiny house on wheels (THOW) be registered as a caravan in Australia?
It’s a good idea to aim for making a tiny house on wheels (caravan) that meets road registration status for three main reasons:
- Insurance companies will insure registered vehicles (THOW) but they will not insure vehicles that are un-able to be registered. If you are looking to purchase a tiny house on wheels from a builder, a finance company will require the tiny house to be registrable as a caravan before approving a loan.
- If you ever choose to sell your tiny house on wheels (THOW), a potential tiny house buyer is going to trust a registered tiny house vehicle more than a vehicle that is unable to be registered. So if your life circumstances change, or you want to sell your tiny house at any stage to get your financial investment out of your tiny house, making the tiny house registrable will future-proof it.
- In the event of being confronted by council with a tiny house on private property, having a tiny house that is a registered vehicle puts you in the strongest position for negotiations. This is because local councils control the existence and use of buildings on private property, making sure they adhere to the state’s planning scheme. If the council representative recognises your tiny house on wheels as a building or dwelling by how it is being used, they may try to apply all sorts of building permit applications, development applications, soil testing, etc to your tiny house on wheels. However, if you have a registration for your vehicle, you are in the strongest position for maintaining the status of the tiny house as a vehicle, and therefore the laws surrounding ‘buildings’ fall away. The tiny house will, however, be subject to laws surrounding camping on private property which is different in different states and local councils. For more information about Council Regulations for tiny houses on wheels in your area, see our table of information here.
- How wide can I build my Tiny House on Wheels (THOW)?
Can I build my tiny house on wheels 3 meters wide or more?
You can build a 3 meter wide tiny house on wheels (THOW) if you want to, however it will not be registrable as a vehicle. This is because it will be seen as a caravan under the VSB1, but it will not comply to caravan standards, as caravans are only considered registrable when they are under the 2.5 meter width limit and follow a number of other vehicle requirements.
(There is an exception to this rule in Esperance, WA, which will now be measuring tiny houses as ‘dwellings on trailers’ – not vehicles– so tiny houses on wheels in that local area will be measured by different width and construction requirements compared to the rest of Australia.)
If you are building a tiny house on wheels (THOW) wider than 2.5 meters, the overall weight of the tiny house when completed will be a significant consideration. If the completed tiny house on wheels goes over the weight rating of the trailer as specified on the trailer’s compliance plate, it cannot be towed on its own wheels. So a wider tiny house runs the risk of going over weight by virtue of being a bigger structure and therefore would have to ‘lose weight’ somewhere else, like being shorter in height or shorter in length, for example.
Read more about size regulations for building a tiny house on wheels in Australia in this blog: