Tiny House on Wheels vs. RV vs. Skoolie vs. 5th wheel
Now this is a REAL hot topic! I have been frequently asked why I chose to go with a tiny house on wheels instead of a cheaper RV or 5th wheel. First things first, in all honesty y’all, I had NO IDEA what a 5th wheel was until AFTER my tiny house was nearly complete. I really thought that when people said 5th wheel they were talking about a semi-truck! And for the life of me I could not figure out why anyone would want to go about converting a semi-truck! So, from the beginning from bad researching on my part, a 5th wheel was out of the question.
Tiny house on wheels vs. RV
When I set out to purchase a tiny house on wheels, I had the same question “What was different between it and say an RV? Could I just live in an RV instead?” Short answer: Yes, you can in fact just live out of an RV. In terms of space, the living is just about the same. In terms of movability, I’d say an RV would be easier if you didn’t have your own truck to pull your tiny house. In terms of longevity, an RV may not be the route to go and ultimately that is what steered me away from an RV. While doing this same research, I found out that since RVs are not meant to be lived in full time, a lot of the components that go into an RV are plastic and break easily. “But Alexis, couldn’t you just buy a cheap RV and renovate the inside? Tiny houses are getting expensive out here and we tryna save money!” I hear ya random internet person but to answer your question, you technically can but you really shouldn’t! The problem is, RV trailers are not necessarily designed to carry a ton of weight, that’s why everything in an RV is more or less plastic! When you start adding in all the components of a normal house with wood and metal features, you start messing with the weight. And everyone (even me with my limited knowledge of construction) knows that when you start messing with the weight of things on wheels, you need to start messing with the trailer too, because they are connected like two peas in a pod. So now not only would the inside need renovating, the trailer could need upgrading too! At that point are you really saving any money? Tiny house living for me was never meant to be short-term. This was not a steppingstone into a larger house, or a temporary two-year fix until I found something better. When I decided to go tiny, I knew I was in it for the long haul (or at the very least 5 years). I wanted to live in a house that was durable and would last for as long as I needed it and not a day less.
Tiny house on wheels vs. Skoolie
“Yes, okay we see why you didn’t choose an RV, but what about a Skoolie? They’re so cute and way cheaper to build!” And again, right you are random internet person! And I thought the same thing, and was enamored by all the fun, beautiful skoolie conversions. BUT AGAIN, upon doing research, I found a few articles mentioning how difficult it was for skoolies to find parking especially if they were not fully off-grid (which I knew I would not be). Parking is such a big big thing that I did not want to get this awesome rad Skoolie renovated on the cheap, only for it to be stuck in storage because I couldn’t find suitable parking. Obviously there are plenty of people and families that live in a skoolie and find parking fine and I say “heckers yeah!” to them. But I had zero desire to add even more parking stress to my life. I knew that if I went the tiny house route AND got my house RVIA certified, I had a much higher chance of finding a good parking spot.
What does tiny house living mean to me?
I love this question so so much because the answer is different for EVERYONE! Everyone has their own reasons for going tiny, and even if the reasons are similar, the motives and motivating factors behind them are different for all of us. While I won’t go into my whole “why I went tiny” background in this post, I will summarize what tiny house living means to me. To me, tiny house living means:
Freedom. For obvious reasons, tiny house living means freedom to me, because I can literally choose to live ANYWHERE in the United States I want! I don’t have to worry about selling a house or breaking a lease or finding an apartment in a new city. All I have to do is tie down some appliances, find a parking spot, and call my tiny house mover to hitch my house up and mover her along. I love that I have this choice and am not confined by location to what jobs I can have or where I can live. Speaking of jobs, I am free to work part time and don’t have to worry so much about bills because I live in a tiny house! My rent is nothing compared to some people I know, and this enables me to work part- time, and have more time at home with my daughter. If I were living in a traditional home or apartment, this would not be an option, and I would be forced to live that 9-5 grind (y’all I HATE the 9-5 grind with a passion!). I am free to work as little or as much as I want. (Okay well I’m not quite free to work as little as I want yet but I am working on it!)
Simplicity. Tiny house living= simple living. I’m not surrounded by useless stuff because I have no room for it. I can’t go out and bring useless stuff home because again, I have NO room for it. I find that I am okay living with a few shirts and a few jeans. I only own I think 4 pairs of shoes and two of them are boots! I have two pots and 1 frying pan. Two plates and a whole hoard of mugs (mugs are my weakness). My daughter has minimal toys and only a drawer full of clothes. Our lives and possessions are simple, but we are filled with so much happiness! Before living tiny, I had a walk-in closet FULL of clothes and even THEN, I had some stored in a suitcase. I had 20 pairs of shoes and only wore probably 5 of them. My kitchen was stocked with plates, cups and pots even though I rarely cooked and didn’t have that much company over. Going tiny forced me to get rid of these things and really evaluate what I thought of as a need or simply a want.
Happiness. Happiness is something that eluded me for a VERY long time even after I got my tiny house; but it has helped me become the happiest I have ever been! I will NEVER have to worry about a roof over my daughter and I’s head. I NEVER have to worry about whether or not I will make enough to keep the water and lights on. Even if I lost my job tomorrow, I could do food delivery for a week and make enough to pay for my lot rental. This alone has brought me so much joy, because it enables me to do the other two on this list. I have a home. I am a homeowner. I am raising MY daughter in OUR home. Just typing that out makes me swell with pride and want to cry from happiness. This is something my generation is told we most likely will not accomplish. I have accomplished it at 24! Is it the traditional meaning of the word? No! And thank the goddess for it! Even if our home is small it is still filled with joy, laughter, adventures, happiness and love. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is a tiny house to you?
What would be your reasons for going tiny, and what would tiny living mean for you in your life?
Leave a comment below!
Live, Laugh, Love