We moved our tiny house on wheels from California to Tennessee. Roughly 2,300 miles in two and a half days. It was exciting, nerve-racking and ultimately very rewarding to move across the country with our tiny house on wheels.
We spent nearly a week scouting areas that we might want to move to in Tennessee and Texas. Why Tennessee and Texas?
Table of Contents
- Close to friends and family
- Tons of nature & outdoor activities
- Much lower cost of living than California
- It’s just a beautiful place!
- More freedom for people with a tiny house
- Austin has the Austin Live Work location
- Big city feel with lots of fun hipster things!
We decided on Tennessee after the visit primarily because of the access to outdoor activities, the cost of living, and the economy in the area. We felt like it was more possible to fulfill our future goals of buying and owning land here in Tennessee, due to the lower cost of property compared to Texas and California. Once we made the decision to move, then we had to find a place to live.
We put out a craigslist ad looking for a parking spot in the local area we wanted to move. We also checked local Facebook groups for trying to find parking. Lastly, we called all the RV parks we could find and asked if they’d accept a tiny house.
Most people that responded to Facebook and craigslist were inquisitive and wanted to be helpful, but none ended up being the right fit for us. Most of the RV parks asked, “What’s a tiny house?” And as I think it’s a newer concept, most RV parks turned us down. But we found one that wanted to see a picture, thought it was beautiful, and agreed to let us stay. Turns out we lucked out, because the RV Park is gorgeous and backs up to over 40 miles of natural hiking trails and a lake. #Winning
Now that the location was secured, we only had 6 weeks until our move. We gave our notice to our former land-lord per our rental agreement and finished out our responsibilities at that location. We immediately hired our driver which we had used before when we moved our house when it was just a tiny house shell. His name is Kelly from KGM Transportation and he does great work, is very pleasant to work with, reasonable prices. We highly recommend him for those in California.
Prepping for the move…
Let me start by saying, our tiny house, though built on wheels, was not intended to be moved often. Our packing procedures are a little different than some other tiny housers who move their tiny house around a lot. We had to consider all items on open shelving; This included our dishes, cookware, bathroom toiletries, etc., as well as pictures on the walls, unattached furniture and anything else that was not “secured” to the house.
We decided our best course of action was to pack all of our breakables inside our clothes which were stuffed inside out ottomans in our storage couch. We then decided to create a single level of boxes on the first floor just to help take up space on the floor so that items wouldn’t shift in transit. It was a sea of boxes. The goal was more boxes to take up space, but those boxes were not completely full boxes, if that makes sense.
Like many other “tiny housers”, we had to live in our house while prepping it for a move across the country. We left a small path from the door to the stairs to our loft so that we could actually get to bed and sleep the final night before we started our move across the country. The next morning we brought the mattress down from the loft, laid it on top of the boxes, filled in the gaps, put the exterior stairs inside in front of the door and locked it for our trip.
On the outside of the house, we disconnected our incoming water and our gray water system, took down the exterior lights, turned off the propane tanks, unplugged the electric, and stowed all of those items in our storage box built on the front of our tiny house. We also put some 3/4 inch wood over the front window, per our driver recommendation, in case of rocks flying up or kamikaze birds flying into our house. We removed the jacks and the lock on our ball hitch and we were ready to begin our move across the country!
Our driver arrived at 6:00 a.m. and we were ready to hit the road by 7:00 a.m. He checked the air in our tires and secured the house to his truck and we were good to go. Off he went with our house, and shortly afterwards we were on the road, too. Around 2300 miles and lots of coffee later, we made it to our new spot in Tennessee and our beautiful, epic house made it in one piece.
Due to the nature of our trip, we couldn’t drive with the house. We had to trust that it was in good hands since he is a professional driver. We brought our tiny house fridge in the car with us and we had coffee, water, and food in the car for us for the entire trip, so we knew we didn’t have to stop anywhere except for the occasional refuel, stretch, and sleep.
We drove 16 hours the first day, slept for 4.5 hours, and then drove 15 hours the next day. We slept about 8 hours that night, which was much needed at that point. Then finished off the third day with 3 hours and then our tiny house arrived about 30 minutes after we arrived at our new spot. It was perfect, as we secured our spot and looked it over to decide how we should park the tiny house. After a quick trip to the hardware store to grab a little extra piping, we easily set up our house. We’re so excited.
We spent the first day unpacking and setting up the house. The second day we explored our backyard. We’re so happy that we made the move across the country and ended up sleeping in OUR OWN HOME that very night it arrived.
The DIY Tiny House idea started in 2014. A complete DIY process, Will and Alicia did everything themselves from drawing up the plans, building the framework, electrical, plumbing, and finishing touches and appliance selections.
Over several years, they documented what it was like to live in a Tiny House, conducting very thorough research on how to solve the many issues and problems which come up. In 2019, they sold their Tiny House as their lives continued to evolve and change.
You can continue to follow the lives of Will and Alicia at @ironwillruns on Instagram.