When you really take a look and compare tiny homes and RVs, you begin to see how the lines between them blur. Since tiny homes are typically built on trailers, aren’t they a form of recreational vehicle? Since RVs can be lived in full-time, aren’t they just tiny homes? While these two types of dwellings have quite a lot in common, there are a few crucial factors that set them apart from one another. And when you compare these factors, the differences clearly reveal where tiny homes fail and RVs succeed!
Part of the appeal of having your dwelling on a trailer is that you can hitch it up to your vehicle and travel as you please. But just because tiny homes are on wheels doesn’t mean towing will be easy. Not only are they heavier than RVs, their shape and design creates drag that makes handling on the road much more difficult. If you are fearful of towing, hauling a tiny house can be a nerve-wracking experience. Luckily, RVs are naturally conducive to the traveling lifestyle because they are made to be mobile! RVs are crafted to have an aerodynamic design and are made using lightweight materials so you can cruise down the road with ease. While tiny homes can be restricting, RVs give you the freedom to explore and visit amazing destinations like the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument or Zion National Park. Tiny homes might be a great option if you are just looking to stay put and downsize, but if it’s a life of adventures that you’re after, an RV will be the way to go!
There is something to be said for simplicity. There might be a lot of novelty attached to tiny homes, but there are also a lot of added difficulties as a result. Financing can be a hassle. Complying with building codes and other legalities is a headache, and finding a trusted insurance company to cover your tiny house can be a struggle. With an RV, you don’t need to worry about legalities or arousing suspicions, and financing and insuring are as simple as it gets! Additionally, many RVs come with warranties to support you in keeping your precious home away from home protected.
Used RVs are very reasonably priced. The cost of constructing a tiny house on the other hand, not so much. Reported averages for building a tiny house range anywhere from $20,000-$30,000, and not many people have that kind of cash just sitting in their bank account. The alternative of repurposing or remodeling a used RV isn’t just cheaper, it is also a lot more sustainable and resourceful than building a tiny home from scratch.
Whether you’re thinking about full-timing or you just want a weekend getaway dwelling, RVs are going to be the most versatile and adaptable option. Not only can they act as a humble year-round abode, but they can also accompany you on vacations too! This will make the cost of traveling cheaper, allowing you to vacation longer and more frequently! Unlike tiny homes, which are designed to stand out and draw attention, RVs let you voyage under the radar. You can travel easily without the added threat of suspicion and unfamiliarity. With a tiny house, you need to find a reliable place where you can semi-permanently park your trailer, and this is a big deterrent for many people. When you go with an RV, you’re given a lot more options when it comes to where you can park it. Just like tiny homes, RVs can also be used in any climate. You can find models that come equipped with fully-enclosed and heated underbellies so you can comfortably live in your RV throughout the winter too!
There are a few different aspects to the standard design of tiny houses that give RVs the edge when it comes to functionality. For the elderly or those with a limited range of motion, traversing tight staircases and loft ladders common in tiny houses just isn’t viable. Similarly, for those with pets, your dog might also struggle getting up to your loft bed, and who wants to sacrifice snuggling with your furry friend? When it comes to transport, the fuel costs of hauling a blocky tiny house is much less functional than the streamlined design of an RV. These rigs aren’t just ideal for full hookup locations either. RVs can be customized, manufactured, and outfitted to have all the same off-grid capabilities as a tiny house, it’s just a matter of whether or not you want them.
RVs come with the added blessing of immediacy. Upon purchasing a rig, you’re instantly ready to roll off toward adventure! With tiny houses however, once you buy the trailer, the real hard work begins. If you’re not a master craftsman, building your own tiny home will be a challenge that could leave you with a half-finished hut that just collects dusts in the driveway. When you buy an RV, rather than worrying about having to pick up a hammer, all you’ll be concerned with is what to pack for your adventure!
Tiny Home Appeal
While RVs have their obvious benefits, it is worth pointing out that there are a couple of upsides to tiny homes too. Deciding whether an RV or a tiny house is better is ultimately subjective. Weigh the pros and cons for yourself based on your desired lifestyle and make your own conclusions while keeping this information in mind.
- Appearance: When it comes to the matter of aesthetics, tiny houses can be a bit more appealing to the eye. The custom-designed and personalized features of many tiny homes don’t just add to their overall appearance, their resemblance to a residential home can make them feel cozier too! While the look of your dwelling is primarily cosmetic, appearance is, for some, a major concern.
- Control: With DIY tiny houses, you become the structural architect, the laboring builder, and the overall designer, and there are some benefits to this. Not only do you have more control over the construction process, but you alone make the decisions about the materials used and the method of design. Being able to call the shots is one of the biggest advantages to tiny houses.
RVs and tiny houses are both essentially microcosms of residential homes. They are compacted and self-contained structures that lead to a larger and more exciting life in a smaller and more simplified space. Regardless of your opinions on the topic, RVing enthusiasts and tiny home lovers should not be pitted against one another. Rather, they should be connected over their mutual appreciation for alternative lifestyles and their willingness to live outside of the box!