What is the difference between a caravan and a tiny home?
A caravan is traditionally designed to be used sporadically as a temporary home and is built to be towed regularly. A tiny home is comfortably designed to be lived in permanently and is built to last for generations. It is heavier than a typical caravan and takes a little more thought and planning to transport.
What are current New South Wales local council tiny home regulations?
Click Here to check out local council tiny home FAQ sheets.
The Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005:
The prior approval of the council is not required for:
(a) the installation of not more than 2 caravans, campervans or tents on any land, so long as they are not occupied for more than 2 days at a time and are not occupied for more than 60 days (in total) in any single period of 12 months, or
(b) the installation of not more than one caravan or campervan on land occupied by the owner of the caravan or campervan in connection with that owner’s dwelling-house, so long as it is used for habitation only by the owner or by members of the owner’s household and is maintained in a safe and healthy condition, or
(c) the installation of a caravan or campervan on pastoral or agricultural land, so long as it is merely occupied seasonally by persons employed in pastoral or agricultural operations on the land.
Depending on where you choose to site your tiny home, it is imperative that you check with your local council as to their specific regulations. After your tiny home leaves our workshop, you assume full responsibility and liability.
Where can I site my tiny home?
We recommend you seek advice from an engineer to determine choice of location and appropriate preparation of your land for your tiny home site. Quinn Engineering is one firm that may help you with these services. As an optional extra we suggest using our tiny house stumps that will stabilise and brace your tiny house frame. Stumps will also lift your tiny home wheels off the ground, allowing you to remove the tyres, placing them out of the weather to avoid deterioration and deflation.
What are dimensions of a tiny home?
Our 7.2 metre model is 2.5 metres wide, 4.3m high from the ground and weighs 4.5 tonnes. These dimensions meet the maximum dimensions for a caravan to allow registration through the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
Do you deliver tiny homes?
Once your tiny home has left our workshop, you assume full ownership and liability.
Towing to your site is an extra cost usually calculated per hour or per kilometre and organised by you. Marty from Total Towing regularly moves our tiny homes and is a local specialist towing expert.
Whomever you choose to tow your tiny home, before travelling we suggest you discuss insurance coverage with your tow truck driver for your tiny home during the journey to your site.
Your tiny home can be registered simply for the journey with a temporary permit for three days or registered permanently for the road with the RMS as a caravan. Our tiny homes are warranted for travel on sealed roads. Travel on unsealed roads is at your own risk.
We recommend taking out full insurance to adequately cover your tiny house for all eventualities from the moment it leaves our workshop. See below for our preferred tiny house insurance brokers. Full warranty information is extensively detailed in our sales contract.
Can I get finance and insurance for a tiny home?
Can I tow my own tiny home?
Our tiny homes weigh up to 4.5 tonnes and therefore require a vehicle that is legally able to tow this weight. A tow truck company with insurance coverage is a safe way to move your tiny home.
Who builds your tiny homes and where do you source your materials?
Our diverse build team has a wealth of experience and include qualified builders, carpenters and mechanics. Our periodic tradespeople such as our electrician, plumber, kitchen cabinetmaker and flooring installers are local to the Northern Rivers. It is important to us to support local Lismore businesses, and as such, our build materials are all sourced from Lismore or within the Northern Rivers.
What are the building standards for tiny houses?
Tiny homes are classed as a caravan and therefore do not have any current regulations regarding the framework. We aim to go above and beyond wherever possible with our builds and therefore meet the Australian Standards in our tiny home framework construction. You can be assured of a quality build when you buy a Northern Rivers Tiny Home!
How is your frame constructed?
We use timber frames because they are ecologically friendly and allow for adaptations and changes as we build.
How do you insulate a tiny home?
Our tiny houses are insulated to R4 and meet Australian Standard AS/NZS 4859. We use three products in the walls; reflective multi-cell insulation, reflective sarking sheeting and bulk polyester insulation. Our composite roofing product is a sandwich panel with an expanded polystyrene (EPS) core which is clad on both sides with Colorbond steel. These products used together reflect radiant heat and insure your tiny home is suitably insulated for a wide variety of Australian weather conditions. Read about R values here.
As an optional extra we can install floor insulation or thicker window glass in our louvres.
How much are your tiny home models?
How long does a tiny home take to build?
Approximately 12-16 weeks, however, build time can vary depending on our current orders. A $1000 refundable deposit secures your place in our build queue alongside a consultation to discuss your design needs and review our sales contract. Following this, a non-refundable deposit of 20% plus a signed sale contract will get your build underway. Please talk to us about our build stage progress payments.
Can I come and visit your workshop to view various stages of the build?
Once your build has commenced we will keep you updated as each stage is completed. If you wish, you may visit our workshop by appointment to view each completed stage.
Can you customise a tiny home for me?
Absolutely! We want to build your dream tiny home! We include minor modifications to our current models in our prices, however, major modifications or new designs will incur a per hour design charge. Also, if you decide to choose different materials, this may attract add on charges as we have priced our current tiny homes using specific materials.
Do you build tiny homes not on wheels?
All of our tiny homes are on wheels which means they are permanently attached to a trailer. We only build tiny homes on wheels.
Can I stay in a tiny home?
There are many tiny homes that you can holiday in to get a feel for the tiny house lifestyle and work out whether it’s for you! Here are a few that we like:
Also check out: unyoked
What options do you offer for going off grid in my tiny home?
Upon completion, our tiny homes are solar ready. We install a gas hot water system as standard and can install an upright gas oven and hob. As another optional extra you can choose to have a compost toilet installed with a rainwater tank and generator which means you are equipped for every off grid weather possibility!
Can I live in my tiny home attached to conventional power sources?
If you site your tiny home near available services (such as a shed with power and water) then it is simply a matter of connecting a power lead and a hose to your tiny home as you would a caravan.
How do I manage black water (sewerage) and grey water (waste water from shower, basin and kitchen sinks)?
If you wish to use a flushing toilet, you will need to engage a qualified plumber to plumb your toilet into an existing sewer system or septic tank. Alternatively, you could use a waterless compost toilet that does not require the services of a plumber. See information about our preferred compost smell free toilet model here.
Grey water can be managed by a grey water add on system. More information can be found about this optional extra product here.
What if I have some more questions?
Please get in touch with us! We are passionate about tiny houses and love talking about them. Contact us with your questions and move towards your new tiny house lifestyle today!
Click on the links below to find out more about local council tiny house regulations via their fact sheets.