Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Companion a Mobile Home or a Recreational Vehicle (RV)?

The Back Porch Homes’ Companion is classified as “tiny home on wheels” or “THOW.” This is a new classification of housing that fits between mobile homes and RV’s. Back Porch Homes are built on a trailer but are built to the quality of a residential home. In a word, they are simple: Simple to buy, simple to finance, simple to insure, simple to transport, simple to place, simple to live in, simple to repair and simple to sell.

What makes the Companion different from traditional mobile homes?

 The Companion is actually mobile. The primary issue with “mobile” homes is how much they cost to move and their notoriously cheap quality. Back Porch Homes are tow-ready and built to residential standards. 

Can I put a Companion in my my backyard?

Yes. However most municipalities have a 15-day maximum stay in an RV. While this code is rarely enforced, it’s important to stay compliant. Many cities, understanding the urgent need for reasonably priced housing, have already changed their codes to allow for permanent residence in THOWs. Back Porch Homes is working with the Inland Empire’s city and County governments to adopt similar code changes. But, just to be safe, check with your local code enforcement office.

Where can I park one if I don’t have my own land?

After we reach full production, Back Porch Homes will begin acquiring locations through the country for our customers to place their homes in exchange for a monthly fee. Locations will be chosen based on customer demand.

Are there any cities in California that already allow full time residence in a Tiny Home on Wheels?

Yes. Fresno has been the most progressive. They have structural standards, impact fees, and setback guidelines already in place. Back Porch Homes is working with Inland Empire city and county governments to adopt similar policies as a means of complying with Sacramento's requirements that local governments actively pursue affordable housing solutions.

Is the Companion set on a permanent foundation?

No. The Companon is a Department of Transportation (DoT) registered trailer. Once parked, it can be elevated by jacks and the undercarriage can be covered by paneling.

How is the Companion connected to utilities?

Back Porch Homes will handle the permitting, install, and utility connection of your home. THOWs are connected just like an RV to park-style hookups. We will build a utility tree to connect the sewer, water, and electric hookup location directly to your existing utilities.

What if I’m on septic?

Septic systems come in all sizes and styles. Depending your system's age, size, and the number of occupants on your property, it may need to upgraded. Back Porch Homes can handle this process for an additional cost.

What are the Companion's dimensions?

Exterior Dimensions:

Interior Dimensions:

28’ long by 8.5’ wide by 13’ tall

27’ long by 7.5’ wide by 8’ tall

How is the Companion certified?

The Companion will be certified by the American National Standards Institute and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. As a result, they qualify for all forms of RV financing and insurance.

Does Back Porch Homes offer a warranty?

Yes. All Back Porch Homes come with a one-year warranty covering manufacturing- and service-related defects. BPH warranties comply with any other state-required warranty.

What types of financing are available?

THOWs, like the Companion, are registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. As a result, they qualify for auto title loan financing. However, interest rates and loan terms typically associated with auto financing are unattractive so Back Porch Homes offers financing for its THOW product including the Companion. Final terms will be released closer to launch but we expect the payment to be less than $500 a month for the Companion model based on the borrower's creditworthiness.

How and when can I order my Companion?

Buyers will order their Companion unit directly from Back Porch Homes. Interested parties should add their name to our interest list to receive more detailed information and an invitation to visit our Riverside-based showroom and factory.

How are THOWs bought and sold?

Tiny Homes On Wheels are bought and sold just like a car. They are registered, liened, and transferred through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Can I tow these on city streets and highways? And what type of vehicle will I need?

Back Porch Homes are 100 percent U.S. Department of Transportation compliant and legal on all streets RV’s are permitted. We estimate that a ¾- to 1-ton truck should be able to tow your Companion.

Can I match the color of my Companion to my house?

Yes. All Back Porch Homes are delivered white and can be painted to match your existing home for an additional cost.

Can I easily hide the wheels and hitch from view?

Yes. The hitch is removable and there will be a system for adding paneling to cover the undercarriage. 

Does the Companion have RV-style kitchens and baths?

No. Back Porch Homes have a full apartment-size kitchen with appliances and full residential bathroom. 

Is the Companion ADA complaint?

Yes. All openings in Back Porch Homes are 36” or greater. They are elevated so a ramp will be required for wheelchair egress. 

Where can I find parts to repair my Companion?

Back Porch Homes are built from quality, off-the-shelf residential materials that can be purchased at any home improvement store. 

Are Back Porch Homes difficult to upgrade?

No. Back Porch Home designs are meant to be simple to repair and upgrade.

Are Back Porch Homes sold furnished?

Yes. We will have built-in furniture upgrades available from the factory at an additional cost.

Can I put a solar system on my Back Porch Home?

Yes. All units will be pre-wired for solar energy systems.

Will be Back Porch Homes have units available for rent?

Yes. After year two, we plan on creating a short-term leasing division for occupants that need timely delivery and short occupancy windows.

Is there any Caliornia state-level legislation that addresses type of housing?

The state has specifically stated that they will allow municipalities to make these decisions locally. There are however many recent affordable housing bills that encourage this type of housing.  

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