Life can be a lot — a lot of stress, a lot of pressure to keep up, a lot of everything. Tiny homes encourage stripping away most of that, getting to the absolute necessities and just letting go of that “a lot.” For some tiny homeowners, that means freedom. The minimalist aspect of tiny living can clarify the difference between needs and wants, unburdening homeowners of the weight of too many belongings, and free them from the consumerist compulsions. That freedom can be channelled into a tiny homeowner’s passions, whether it be travel, living off the grid, or reducing your carbon footprint.
Once you’ve taken the plunge and decided the tiny life is for you, the question becomes: how mobile do you want your home to be?
Wheels vs. Roots
So what’s the big difference between a tiny house and a tiny house that goes on adventures? A tiny house that stays put often has more options with utilities, such as internet. Going off the grid holds a significant appeal for those who don’t enjoy the oft-overwhelming combination of the microscope and echo chamber that is social media. If you don’t feel the need to be tethered to the internet, a house on the move might be ideal. For homeowners that work remotely from their tiny home, the loss of a constant internet signal can be a dealbreaker.
Other utilities, like power, can be mitigated for a life on the go with the implementation of solar panels. This option is ideal for tiny homeowners who appreciate reducing their carbon footprint. That said, your home state can have an impact on what you can and cannot do. Solar panel access varies by state. And let’s be honest: we all love access to running water. Tiny homes aren’t without options, though; there are plenty of places to park your home when you’re on the move.
Mind on Your Money
One of the best parts of tiny homes is their inexpensive nature. The houses themselves can cost hundreds of thousands less than a traditional home, and when you have limited space, your consumerism goes way down. Big fan of DIY? You can build a tiny home from the ground up using materials you gather on the cheap. Oh, and those solar panels you sprang for? They can even snag tax credits on your returns. That said, the mobility of your tiny home can affect your costs. The more you travel, the more prepared for travel you need to be. Towing your home requires safety features like a weight distribution hitch and anti-sway bars. Neglecting these safety features can lead to disaster.
Difference Between Tiny Homes and RVs
Why a tiny home? Why not an RV? In their basest functionality, tiny homes and RVs can be very similar. Living from an RV has a lot of the same challenges as a tiny home. Fundamentally, it really comes down to your purpose in downsizing and your goals. Tiny homes are just that — they’re homes. A big part of the appeal is having something that looks and feels like a house. Tiny homes are highly customizable, so they can be designed around whatever is most important to the homeowner (as well as a good dose of personality). They can be built from scratch by the homeowner, and the design freedom is endless. While tiny homes are moveable, they often camp out in a location for long stretches of time — including pop-up communities of tiny homes. They tend to be built with climate in mind, making them frequently better suited for harsher weather, like winter hail and snow.
RVs are, by and large, made for those who are on the go. Their aerodynamic, lightweight design makes them easier to handle on the road. They’re also better suited for milder climates — why deal with winter when you can just drive south? For those who aren’t handy with construction and don’t have the cash for a pre-built tiny home, RVs often have better access to financing options.
Whatever your goal, there’s an option for you and a community of enthusiasts with the know-how and guidance at your back. The best part of conversations like these is that they all boil down to one basic concept: how would you like to pursue your dream?
Well? How would you?