RV or Tiny Home?

This week we attended the Tiny House Roadshow in our hometown of Cookeville Tennessee. We love traveling, but it is also nice to get back to our roots and visit friends and family. You might be wondering why we would attend a tiny house show when

#1 we are not in the market for a different living space (some of you are laughing) and
#2 we do not plan on living in a tiny home in the near future

The truth is we LOVE living small. The idea of declutter and eliminating to live a fuller life has been an amazing transformation for our family. Tiny Houses are another form of this minimalistic idea of living and we find it inspiring. Also, they are just super cool and we can’t help ourselves.

When we decided to downsize, the thought of a tiny home did cross our minds. We’ve even been asked the question quite often “Why we did not go with a tiny home instead of an RV?” I think a lot of that decision depends on what lifestyle you plan to live. Do you plan on staying in one area for longer periods of time or do you plan on moving around frequently?

True Tiny Homes are indeed meant to be moved and mobile, but they are generally used to be more stationary and moved infrequently. Tiny Homes are commonly built on a moveable trailer frame to avoid zoning and restriction codes on a small size home. I am not saying they can not be used for travel, but for the most part they tend to be heavier than most travel trailers and even 5th wheels.

If you plan on moving your home on wheels every couple weeks, then an RV may be the better fit for you.  The lightweight and aerodynamic design make them a better candidate for frequent transport. If you do not intend or need that amount of mobility and want the feel of a stationary home, then a tiny home may work best for your needs.

There are a few factors that set tiny homes apart from RVs. Tiny Homes are just as described, a home. They are built with materials used to create homes and in return you can get a more homey feel and solid frame. Tiny Homes are custom built so you can pick out your design, decor, and floor plan. They feel spacious and well built, not to mention if you are handy, you can even build it yourself and save some serious money.

Insulation may also play a factor. We have never owned a tiny home, but we have owned a regular size home and we can say the insulation on an RV can be more difficult to control than a home at times. An RV typically has thinner walls and if it is meant to be towed your goal is to keep it as light of a weight as possible. That is not to say we stay extremely hot or cold in our RV, it means we intentionally try and follow the mild weather, because we are so flexible with our mobility. Plus we enjoy traveling to areas with ideal weather, so it is a win win.

Keep in mind, this is not always the case. RVs have came a long way these days compared to older RV models. Some of the newer RV models are made of fiberglass and have 4 season packages, therefore maintaining temps are not an issue. Just keep in mind most RV’s are intended for occasional use and not full-time living, so this may require some research to find out which RV’s insulate better than others.

A lot of the things I mentioned for a tiny home can also apply to an RV. Yes an RV can be renovated to fit your personal decor style, which we have done currently with our Airstream. Even after renovations our RV still feels like an RV and not a “home”. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE our Airstream and we actually LOVE the camping feel. We enjoy feeling like we are on an extended camping trip and we do feel like it is home sweet home. In compassion, after walking in the tiny homes, they truly felt like a home with the high ceilings and custom builds. This may be a great alternative if the RV camping feel is not your taste.

Another hurdle to consider is parking of the tiny home. We have talked to tiny home owners a few times and they have mentioned the complexity of finding places to park. They have had trouble finding campgrounds as they travel the U.S that allow tiny homes. We have been full-time traveling in our RV for 2 years and have never seen a tiny home while camping in campgrounds. Most of the time, you will find more regulations with parking  your tiny home more than an RV. It just may take more planning and not as much flexibility.

So you may be asking yourself why would anyone in their right mind want to live tiny?

The answer is FREEDOM!

Although both an RV and a tiny home have differences, they also have something very similar in common. They are great resources for eliminating the “junk” in your lives and living an amazing “journey” . Both options offer a practical and cozy living space and it comes down to what you prefer and works best for your lifestyle.

We have absolutely loved living small because of all of the freedom it has awarded our family. We have more freedom financially and with our time due to the lack of high payments and overwhelming debt. In return, we are able to do more of the things we love.

We enjoy living on less to experience more.

The smaller the living space, the less to financially support and my favorite perk, the less to CLEAN!

I am not going to say there are not things I miss about living in a sticks in bricks home, but I can say I wouldn’t trade it for the amount of beauty we have seen in this country through travel or the amazing family memories we make together every day. It is not about the space or jumping on the tiny living bandwagon, it is about FREEDOM!

Yes it is tough! Elimination is tough! I can honestly say after all of our downsizing I do not miss a thing. It feels amazing and is a freeing experience that has been worth every emotional downsizing decision.

Maybe a tiny home is not for you and that is okay. Maybe living in an RV is not for you. Again that is okay. You don’t have to make a drastic change to that degree to experience freedom. Maybe downsizing your house, car, or just clutter is all you need to experience a more rich life. Don’t let your stuff control and define you. Go live life and make memories!

Author: Marissa

Hi, I’m Marissa! I’m a a nurse, wife, mother, and sister of 6 brothers and sisters. I love being outdoors and traveling to new places. As a family we enjoy hiking, running, biking, or just hanging at the lake with friends.


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