After counting down the days and nights, staying back until 7.30pm the night before the move, suddenly the morning was upon us.
It was a wet morning but we hardly noticed, rushing around with last minute attempts to tape up windows, fill in rivets along the drive way and to remove any loose pieces of trim from the outside of the house. All the furniture was out, the door was strapped closed, the light fittings were removed and the rest was up to luck…
It’s been a few months now since we moved the tiny house. Through all the excitement of the move, I didn’t get a chance to share many details. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked and some of the details that might be of use to anyone else planning to move for the first time:
What did you use to move the house?
The general advice I received on this topic was that loading the house (trailer and all) onto a tilt tray truck would provide more suspension and protection for the house. Unfortunately, general advice didn’t count on my house being 4.2 metres tall from the ground. The height pretty quickly ruled out getting it on top of any kind of trailer. The house was going to be shifting on its own wheels or not at all.
My Uncle gave me the number of a local business, Reidy Recovery and Vehicle Salvage a tow truck company specialising in 4WD recovery and vehicle salvage. I called with my unusual request and spoke to Ben, who barely batted an eyelid. ‘Yeah, nah, that sounds alright. I’ll come have a look.’ Later that week, Ben ran his eyes over the tiny, the pokey way out of the block and the neighbour’s drive we’d be using as our escape route. ‘Yeah, nah, that looks alright. Too easy.’ It was hard to know whether Ben’s calm confidence suggested a guy who was way too laid back about this tricky job, or a guy who had been driving trucks for most of his life and knew a thing or two about pulling things behind them. He patiently inspected all the potential pitfalls and potholes I posed, and talked through my concerns with the same relaxed reassurance. After my third time asking if he thought getting it out would be an issue or if the weight distribution would affect how it towed, he told me with finality; ‘Mate, my truck could pull this thing up the side of a mountain.’ I decided to trust that he was the second guy, and we booked the move date in.
Thankfully, he totally was the second guy. Ben was patient, experienced and took almost as many pictures as he towed the tiny as I did – which earned plenty of brownie points in my books. A little enthusiasm goes a long way! Two weeks later, good friends of mine also hired Ben to move their tiny and had a very similar experience. If you’re looking for a towing company in the South East suburbs of Melbourne, I recommend you give Ben a call.
What permits did you need to move it?
I will admit this was one of the most stressful parts of the move. Two nights before the move, I got online and applied for the same unregistered vehicle permit I had purchased when I first picked up the trailer – an online, $24 permit that is generated straight away. However, this time I also stumbled across something called an Oversize vehicle permit. Given my house and trailer ARE technically oversize, at 2.8 metres wide, I figured to be safe I’d better apply for that one too. What I didn’t count on, is that this permit can take up to 2 weeks to be approved! Clearly, with only two sleeps to go, it was unlikely to go ahead before the move.
I panicked, called VicRoads, called Ben (the driver), called VicRoads again, and didn’t get very far with figuring this one out. Ben reassured me that it wouldn’t need the permit, Schedule 7 on the VicRoads website and the associated rules around oversize vehicles seemed to clearly state that no permit is required unless it was over 3 metres or you were planning to drive on certain roads. I wasn’t going to get the permit in time but I didn’t want to be busted moving something illegally that already falls into a grey area. Stress, stress, stress. In the end, we did everything we could to follow the rules and then went with it. VicRoads have since gotten back to me and have granted the permit, but I haven’t been able to speak to them properly to confirm what regs really do come into play here. Get in touch if you’re interested in knowing more detail about the oversize rules, I’m sure I’ll have an answer eventually.