Let’s Go Places: How to Try Out a Tiny Home on Wheels - Tiny House Blog

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Let’s Go Places: How to Try Out a Tiny Home on Wheels

When you picture a tiny home, you probably picture a traditional one: a small cabin that looks like a miniature version of a house, right? The truth is, tiny homes come in many different shapes, from familiar to unconventional. The purpose of a tiny home is to live simply, within your means, and to reduce your impact on the environment. So, tiny houses can come in the form of yurts, treehouses, and even RVs.

One of the biggest advantages to living in a tiny home on wheels is freedom. Being able to move from place to place makes the size of your home seem much larger than it is. When the whole world is your front yard, the square footage of your house doesn’t really matter anymore. If you’re on the fence about living in a tiny house on wheels, or any sort of tiny house, renting an RV might be a good way to get acclimated.

Tiny House Living is On the Rise

The tiny house movement and the full-time RV movement are both rising at an unprecedented pace. Smaller families and higher costs of living have inspired people to back away from oversized and overpriced housing and instead search for more affordable alternatives. Tiny homes drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fuel and energy consumption, and ownership costs.

In fact, the average tiny home costs around $23,000, and 68% of people who live in tiny homes have no mortgage. The RV industry is changing just as rapidly. Now, more people are buying RVs than ever before, and the average age of full-time RVers is getting lower every day. Millennials are on track to becoming the second largest age bracket of RV owners.

Does Renting an RV Help Prepare You For a Tiny Home?

Full-timing in an RV presents many of the same opportunities as living in a stationary tiny home, but with the added benefit of being mobile. It’s the perfect harmony between leading an exciting, well-traveled life while still having a place to call home. However, it’s important to try out the RV life before you commit to it. You’ll need to learn how to adapt and be self-sufficient if you want to live on the road. By renting an RV through a peer-to-peer site like RVshare, you can get a feel for the RV lifestyle. There are several benefits to renting P2P:

  • P2P sites have lower rental rates than commercial rental companies because there’s no overhead. RV owners create the listings themselves, so they get to set the rates and rules for renting their RVs. All these savings trickle down to you. Furthermore, you’ll have a better chance at finding long-term rental discounts so that you can try out the RV for as long as it takes to make a decision.
  • RVshare is a network of hundreds of thousands of RV owners across the country. That means you’ll have access to an enormous inventory of RVs. You can try out RVs of any type, from teardrop trailers (the tiniest of homes) to 40-foot motorhomes (yep, still a tiny house). You’ll even some vintage and customized RVs!
  • You won’t have to worry about insurance coverage while you’re on the road since RVshare offers up to $1 million in liability coverage and free, 24/7 roadside assistance. You might need to get your own rental insurance, which, in some cases, you can get from the RV owner for around $24 per day.
  • The best part about P2P RV rentals is that you get to work one-on-one with the owner. It fits perfectly into the tiny home lifestyle. After all, we’re about downsizing and sustainability, so it should only come naturally that we want to work with local individuals!

Learning How to Downsize – The Big Problem With Small Living

One of the biggest qualms that people have when considering moving into a tiny home is downsizing. It’s true; learning to live small can be quite a big challenge. This is another area where renting an RV can help you prepare. Most RVs are equivalent to tiny homes in size – some are even smaller than tiny homes. Living in an RV for a few weeks will help you learn to look at material possessions with a more critical eye. You’ll quickly learn how to prioritize needs over wants. To get you started, we’ve found some resources to help you get started:

  • Organization is imperative not only as you’re downsizing, but also while you’re living on the road. As you get started, it’s helpful to sort your inventory into categories: clothes, kitchen and household, important files, and tools. Try to keep a bare minimum of items from each category.
  • Doesn’t it always seem so hard to get rid of clothes? Unfortunately, you’ll have to if you plan on living in a tiny house or RV. This checklist will help you figure out what clothes you absolutely need, and which ones you don’t.
  • Obviously, you need kitchen supplies to cook, and other various household items to keep your tiny home clean. In a world of gadgets and trinkets, it’s way too easy to fill your cabinets with unnecessary items. This list will help you pare down your inventory to the essentials.
  • Things like photographs and paperwork can take up a lot of space. Use a digital scanner and save them on your computer or flash drives. If you’re a bookworm, consider getting an e-reader and donating your old books.
  • Tools are heavy, and when you’re living in an RV, weight limits are important. You’ll need a set of homeowner tools to keep on the road with you, but don’t overdo it. Here’s a good list of what you’ll need.

Rent an RV and See if a Tiny Home is Right for You

Tiny house living is possible and even rewarding if you’re adequately prepared for the lifestyle change. Whether you want to live in a tiny home on wheels or a mini cabin in the middle of the woods, renting an RV before making the switch can give you the tools you’ll need to be happy in a smaller space. Who knows? You might end up deciding you want to live in an RV and travel the country! Do you have experience with renting or living in an RV? Tell us how it went in the comments!

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m - July 18, 2017 Reply

Where is the image in this article from? What rv?

    Kent Griswold - July 19, 2017 Reply

    The writer said it was from a stock photo and she did not know for sure. To me it looks like the interior of an Airstream…

troy - July 18, 2017 Reply


I too was wondering about the rv in the image. google search turned it up as a stock photo taken in a Düsseldorf camper van/caravan show in 2012. So looking a German campers, Hymer and its offshoot eriba.com seemed to have similar aesthetics in some of their lines, including curved cabinets.

    Kent Griswold - July 19, 2017 Reply

    The writer said it was from a stock photo and she did not know for sure. To me it looks like the interior of an Airstream…

Alicia Byrne - May 25, 2020 Reply

I think you made a great suggestion on saving photographs and paperwork on the computer to save space when living in a tiny home. I think that with proper planning and design, a tiny home actually looks not bad and cozy too! I wouldn’t mind staying in a tiny home in the future.

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