why a gooseneck trailer?

Why a gooseneck trailer?

Most tiny homes are built on bumper pull car hauler trailers.  We opted to try something different and build our house on a gooseneck car hauler trailer.  We chose a 5th wheel or gooseneck hitch because it is much safer to tow than a bumper pull.  The gooseneck also allowed us to keep the house one story – no loft –  the bed is over the trailer hitch and is accessed by three steps.  Because it’s one story we didn’t have to go to the maximum allowable road height: 13′-6″.  Our house is only 12′-4″ off the ground to the top of the roof peak which also makes it easier to tow.

For more on our trailer foundation check out: this previous blog post.

our trailer in the shop after we removed the rotted decking


27 thoughts on “why a gooseneck trailer?

  1. Dwayne Mills

    I like it……how many bedrooms does it have?

  2. Smart move going with a gooseneck trailer. Definitely easier to tow and more stable.

  3. Bumper pulls are inherently dangerous, especially if you are towing a trailer of any consequence. Smart move going to a gooseneck. They are way, way safer and easier to tow. Also a lot more maneuverable.

  4. LeAnna Miller

    I have been searching the internet to find someone who might possibly have built a tiny house on a fifth wheel. Why? Because I just happen to be a tiny house fan..and..I happen to have an old fifth wheel I was going to sell in order to buy a new flat bed trailer to build a tiny house on. Now I realize I have in my possession a trailer frame far more sturdy and well supported than any flat bed, with the exception of commercial haulers, of course. Getting ready to scrap out that old fifth wheel using the money from the recycled aluminum siding and etc. to get going on this project. I am excited because my truck is set up with a fifth wheel hitch and the fifth wheel trailer gives me a definite designing advantage over the flat bed trailer. I am excited to find your website and excited to get this project underweigh.


    • Awesome! We really think the gooseneck trailer made a great tiny house, both for safe towing and design – the bed can be over the hitch so no loft or ladder needed.
      Let us know if you want any design review or tips! You might also contact the new show: tiny house nation, I think they’re looking for projects to do shows about…

  5. Eileen Queen

    I was thinking that a gooseneck would be more stable but hadn’t seen any either – until this one. Since I can’t use steps or ladder well (MS) I was thinking of putting solar panels on the top of the hitch. That way there would be much fewer breaks in the roof and maintenance would be easier. I even got to thinking of a cheap solar panel turntable and put my design on instructables.com (search RV SOLAR TURNTABLE). Of course access to the turntable would be difficult for me but would only need to be done when a move is made. Before moving, the panels could be turned so they don’t have any wind resistance (perpendicular to the truck’s movement). A fifth-wheel or gooseneck seems a logical place to start a design on a heavy load like a tiny house. Another good reason to use a gooseneck would be to have the trailer designed with a pointed storage area installed under the hitch to lessen wind resistance (a little).

  6. Margaret

    I have just begun my research into Tiny houses and have seen quite a lot of positive reviews on goose neck trailers. I was wondering, what is your ceiling height in the goose neck portion? Thanks!

    • we can stand on the top step next to our bed platform… which is really nice! the ceiling height from the inside gable peak down to the platform that the mattress sits on is 6′-0″.

      • Envision a “caboose style” roof in upper area. Increase height so this room could be sitting room/bedroom with murphy bed. Possible?

      • well, you could get an extra foot or so of height in the upper platform area, but then you reach the 13′-6″ maximum overall height…

  7. Sophie

    Dreaming of (read, obsessing over) my future tiny and drawing plans, I’m considering a gooseneck as well since seeing the Tiny House Nation episode with the house with a fab roof deck complete with collapsible railings! Glad to have found your site. Question if I may: can you pull this type of trailer with a regular driver’s license? And if so, is there a limit on length and/or weight? Not that I plan to move it about too much, but I really like the idea of going even longer than my original idea of a 28” 🙂 Thank you!

    • I really think goosenecks are the way to go – they are much safer to tow, and no loft to climb into inside. and yes, anyone can tow them. unless you go over the 8′-6″ width restriction, then anyone could tow them with a permit… or if you’re in a rural area, probably without a permit. I don’t know of any length or weight limits – it would depend on your tow vehicle.

      • jesse

        If U keep it 8’6” wide and under 65′ long and under 26K, U can do it with class B because, if U R lucky U could try it without a regular license but U will be using 4 axles and the other people Who R doing it they R taking a chance of a ticket!!!!

  8. Sophie

    Thank you for the swift reply! Along with my tiny philosophy, I don’t plan on ever owning a vehicle big enough to tow the house, so I’d rent/hire/borrow a husband for the day when needed 😉 I do like the idea of the bedroom on the neck… plus it seems like my plans so far could totally adapt to that type of trailer – especially since I want something at least 28″ long, the safety is definitely a plus!

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  10. VC

    Hello, I’ve just recently found myself into the tiny house movement. I love the idea of more financial freedom, more time, less stuff, and being more eco friendly. I love the concept that less is more, and tiny houses really are the epitome of that!

    Anyways, I had never seen anyone build on a gooseneck before until now. I love the concept of having more space without making the trailer longer. However I was wondering if It would be possible to loft the other end of the trailer? I like the idea of having an office space over the hitch and a lofted bed. But I am not sure if that is possible!


    • Hello!
      one of the advantages of our plan is a lower overall height – only 12′-6″ instead of the maximum allowed height of 13′-6″ – but yes, if you were okay with maxing out the height, then you could do a lofted bed at one end and a half loft office over the gooseneck. that would be pretty cool actually… really fitting a lot into the space.

      • Jeff

        Hi Carrie,

        You’ve mentioned a few times your reluctance to max out the height on your trailer…why is it such an important feature to be at 12′ 4″ instead of max height of 13′ 6″? I’d think that having the extra foot in interior space would outweigh the difficulty in the few times you’ve moved the trailer?

      • Hi Jeff,
        yes, good point – tiny houses aren’t moved often. I guess we kept our house lower for ease of towing and parking and because with the gooseneck design and the bed on the main level, there’s no need for extra height. and it saves on material costs to keep it lower.

      • This is more or less what we want to do… put a good-sized bathroom at the back end with a loft bedroom over it (I need a bathtub due to a chronic illness, so I can’t do the standard TH mini-bathroom with shower stall), and use the gooseneck space as a sitting area. I’m thinking of making a big window facing forward across the entire width of the house, with a two-person desk facing outward across it.:)

        One thing I can’t find out anywhere I look… how high off the road is the trailer bed on these trailers? I know the maximum height is 13’6″ from the road, not from the trailer bed… but if I don’t know how high the trailer bed is, I can’t design to fit into that maximum with any type of precision.

        I suspect we are going to end up pretty nearly maxing out the size limits on what is still usable as a THOW, at least without any kind of special permits. But it will suit us, even with some medical issues which require extra space considerations, and it will be roadworthy, and it will have everything we need and not much we don’t! If I can do that, I’ll be a very happy traveler. [Note: this is where I’d been originally trying to post this comment; please delete the version which put this under the wrong space. Thanks.]

  11. Ashley

    I was curious what the dimensions are of the area over the gooseneck. I’ve been curious about building a tiny house for a very long time now and have heard that having a gooseneck trailer can add extra floor space a long with being safer for traveling.


    • hi Ashley,
      I think those dimensions vary trailer to trailer but we built our house out over the hitch about 4′-0″, and then the bed platform extends into the room about 2′-6″ with a closet underneath in front of the gooseneck hitch.
      (I’ve written about this before too so maybe try searching our site for gooseneck trailer…)

  12. Julie

    Your tiny is so neat! I follow the blog of a young couple living in a 5th wheel and because of them, I love the idea of the gooseneck, since it’s most similar to the feel of a 5th wheel RV. I’ve seen pictures of the gooseneck tiny that was done on FYI but haven’t found interior pictures, nor can I actually find the episode. Besides that tiny and your own, I’ve never seen other gooseneck tiny’s! Have you seen any others, either in person or someone else’s blog?
    Thanks so much for sharing all about your experience! It’s so inspiring. 🙂

    • hi Julie, check out Macy Millers over at minimotives.com – hers is a gooseneck too! I love ours – the way the gable roof is turned over the bedroom makes it really perfect for walking up the stairs. and having an actual bedroom is very nice!

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