Tiny House On Trailer vs RV (pros and cons comparison)

Tiny House On Trailer vs RV (pros and cons comparison)

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Deciding between a tiny house on trailer vs an RV is easy if you are clear on your vision. There is this debate on what’s better but i would say it depends on your personal choice. Your needs, wants and how you want to live your life is the real factor in deciding between the two.

A tiny house can be built from scratch where as RVs are bought as they are made. One can also customize an RV and get it remodeled as per your needs.

In this article, lets walk through the major differences between the two, this will help you decide in a better way.

Tiny House is more Homey

Tiny house on wheels is way more homey than a normal RV. We have lived in RVs and have also spent significant amount of time in house on trailer. Honestly we have felt that tiny houses on trailers are way more like your home on land. RVs do give you all the amenities but somehow they lack that home like feeling.

Inside RV you would have everything that perfectly fits in, your kitchen could be more modern but yet it may lacks that punch of being homey.

This being said, i wont say tiny house is replacement for your original house. Most people who take the route of tiny house have aims of experiencing a different lifestyle. And perhaps they want to move whenever they feel its time.

It gives you that freedom to be stable when you feel like and move if you want to. My couple of friends who stay full time in a house on wheels did the same thing when they were tired of California, they moved to Idaho.

So, further speaking on how the house is homey i think its because you custom make it. The material, furniture, the colors and design you put in, all of these makes it more homey.

I certainly cannot point out on 1 thing that makes the difference. If you ask people who have lived in both, most would say the same thing hands down.

Its not the only thing : Now, before you make your mindset and choose the tiny house over a camper, being home like is not the only thing. There are other points that you should consider, i have listed everything below. Continue reading.

House on wheels have Better Insulation

They have much better roof insulation. RVs are made of material that’s more travel friendly. You need to work on caulking, sealing more often to make sure the roof isn’t leaking. With tiny houses the material is better and overall it gives much better protection against the weather.

Harsh Weather : This is a big deal specially when you have harsh weather. There are lot of people who complaint of having a camper that is leaking. Or during the winter its way harder to live inside. Winters are particular harsh even if you have minor leaks. Cold air can spoil you life inside the camper.

With RVs, people try all sorts of things to keep it insulated. Skirting, heating the camper and using electric blanket all sorts of things can help you in RVs. Tiny house on the other hand provides protection in itself and you would need less efforts to insulate it.

Tiny House gives stability and yet you can move when needed

With tiny house what we have seen is people tend to stay at a location more longer than one does with RVs. RVs have a purpose and that’s how they are designed as well.

So, if you plan to have a more stable life yet have some freedom to move then house on trailer is the way to go.

You can park the house at a location that fits your lifestyle and then continue to be there as long as you want. Generally, people would staying at location for months and years.

With this, you can explore the region better, having a day job will also suit this type of lifestyle. With RVs, most people want to travel a lot ad move from place to place.

This point will help you clear the doubts you had. If you want to explore more and change the place where you live more often then RV or camper is the way to go.

Tiny House is more spacious

RVs can be huge. Class A motorhome for example are huge, they give almost everything that one can desire in a home.

No doubt some of the RVs are very spacious. But, if you were to compare like apple to apple, tiny house are spacious.

They have better utilization of space. Everything looks bigger and spacious. I don’t know why we get this feeling, may be because they have better ventilation.

Perhaps, one can design it the way they want it. RVs pack a lot in as little space as possible. You have everything fitted perfectly but that somehow takes away the space luxury.

The living area would give you space to move, kitchen too with better storage. Same goes with bathroom and sleeping area. Overall it does make a lot of difference. If you have a million dollar budget then sure go for a motorhome that will be no competition.

House on trailer can be custom built

Custom built option means you can have it built according to your lifestyle. You get to choose how all things would be placed. Of course there will be some limitations; you cant have it all.

But, you still can make it as per your needs. That’s a big plus if you are planning to live inside for many years. Many a times when people get their first RV they may not get what they were expecting.

RVs come as a standard and you have to adjust most of the times with whatever you get. With tiny house you can have that kitchen designed as per your choice. The furniture can be fitted in as per your liking.

Basically, you bring in what you like and leave out whats not needed. Design the windows or door or furniture as you want. Also, you can get all things installed and fitted inside them that you generally get in an RV. A water tanks, pump or furniture.

One other thing is you can avoid toxic materials in building the tiny house. RVs may be made of material that’s not best for your health over long time.

More ventilation, Big windows, more air circulation in Tiny House

That’s a big plus and i think this play a great role in keeping it more homey. Ventilation or having big windows is a big thing at-least for me.

RVs do have windows and doors that can be big but the whole construction is done keeping travel in mind and that’s why you wont have much ventilation.

The tiny houses that we have lived in or seen were all having huge glass windows and i think that made a lot of difference in how we perceived it.

When you are living at a location or campsite, having that kind of air circulation is much needed. Also, having to spend a lot of time with less ventilation may not be great.

This also leads to better living in summer wherein you can open up the windows and don’t have to face high temperatures. In RVs, the roofs can get heated making it difficult during high temperature weather.

Tiny House on wheels wont cost huge

living in a tiny house

One can build a custom tiny house on a budget starting from 20K to 60K. Its upto you how you want to build it. Spend more to have luxury and choose the type of material you want.
They are not cheap but wont cost huge either.

There is no doubt that RVs too can be bought in very little amount. But, those will be the most basic ones out there. Tiny house what you will get at a $50K will be much better in comparison to what you may get at the same price in brand new in RV.

Read : Average cost of different types of RVs

I wont say there is much of a difference but overall i find the tiny houses more cost effective.

All will not agree on this i am sure. Some of the RVs that pack more luxury and amenities can cost in millions. Some class A luxury motorhomes can be bought only if you are a millionaire.

They are more sturdy as compared to RVs

RVs are normally built with a material that is for better travel. So, they normally keep it light and therefore result in less sturdiness. That’s not the case with tiny houses, which are meant to travel with but mostly parked at a place for long duration.

People would spend months and years at a location with tiny house rather than continuously moving.

RVs also need to be made with aerodynamic design and need to be lighter. Therefore they may not be great in terms of how strong they are.

Its not that they will fall or break easily, its just a comparison. You don’t have to be worried to know if the RV is sturdy or not. Manufacturers obviously have process in place to make it as per standards. That being said, at times strong winds or storms can affect your RV.

Lets check out pros of RVs over tiny house on trailer.

Can Move easily with RV or travel trailer

a small travel trailer parked outside a house
trailer camper

You can move very easily from place to place when you are a RV owner. They are made so that you can travel more rather than be at a location for months. Basically its easy to tow or drive them.

Same is not the case when you own a bulky and difficult to tow tiny house. If you wish to see the country then getting a camper makes more sense.

Boondocking or going to more remote regions is also not possible with tiny houses. Traveling through narrow or bad roads is not great when you are towing a tiny house behind.

A motorhome or trailer will be light and therefore as a driver you wont be under much stress as compared to tiny house.

RVs can be ultra luxurious

Some of the motorhomes can be highly luxurious. Fitted with modern technology driven appliances which may not be possible with tiny houses. Obviously they will cost a fortune. But, if you want that kind of lifestyle then RV is the best option.

You get motorhomes that can store your luxury car inside, RVs with more than 5 slide-outs can expand it to an unimaginable space.

RVs are light and fuel efficient

They are light weight and therefore easy to move and also are better at fuel efficiency. Tiny houses on the other hand are heavy and therefore difficult to move and cost more on fuel.

If your aim is to move more frequently then having an RV makes sense. A tiny house on average weighs in between 10,000 lbs to 25,000 lbs. RVs too can weigh on higher side but because they are more better in design their fuel efficiency is better.

Read : How much does a travel trailer weigh

Smaller RVs like pop up tent trailer or truck camper weigh much less and are very easy to maneuver. One can also boondock with RVs very easily which is not the case with tiny houses.

Its easy to sell an RV

RVs are very popular and the market is huge. Because the demand is so high its easy to sell your RV if you want to. Several dealers are waiting for you to sell your RV. This is not the case with tiny houses. Your custom built tiny house may not find a buyer that easily.

Many people buy used RVs as its good way to buy an RV. Brand new RVs cost a lot and their depreciation is high.Therefore getting an used RV makes sense and there are more takers. The very first RV that we bought was also an used one.

Depreciation : Most RVs loose their value more than 50% in 5-6 years. The moment one gets a brand new RV on road it dives in its value. That’s the way it is. And therefore, buying a used RV that’s not much old can make more sense then getting a brand new one, that’s what i feel.

Lots of options in RVs

RV market is huge. You get tons of models, layouts. There are several type of RVs that are made. You can tow or you can drive a motorhome. A pop up camper or tent trailer can weigh less than 2000 lbs.

You will find plethora of layouts that can suit your needs. Also, since the market huge, there is more competition among dealers which is beneficial for the consumers.

Renting : One can also rent an RV, there are several renting companies out there. If your RV is lying idle you can put it on rent as well. Because the RVs are so popular you can easily find something that will meet your needs.

Low end RVs are cheaper

Used RVs or low end RVs can be bought in as little as $2000, same is not possible with tiny houses. Low cost tiny houses will still be more than $10000 and getting a low end tiny house may not be a good decision specially if its used one.

It may not serve the purpose and in such a case a low end RV can be a better decision. Most people who choose tiny house aren’t really looking to save money though, they just want the experience the tiny living gives and yet save some money plus move when needed.

In Conclusion

We started by saying your needs, wants are most critical in deciding between the two. After going through each of the pros and cons you will agree that, an advantage with tiny house may not necessarily be a disadvantage with RV. Its true other way round as well.

Tiny houses are made for less frequent travels where as RVs are for those who want to be on the move continuously. Choice is yours. Whichever you choose to go with, enjoy the camping!

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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