Are you thinking about getting a place of your own? Are you trying to decide between a tiny house and RV? Are you confused about what building a tiny house from scratch entails, and how it may compare to living in a house on wheels?

The tiny house vs RV debate might pertain to you if you’re looking to find a great lifestyle alternative to the status quo. This might be because you’ve grown tired of city living, or are just looking to shake things up in your life.

Perhaps you’re planning to go from living in an apartment to building your own place from scratch. Maybe you’re looking to travel and see the world, and want a home you can pick up and bring with you.

Tiny houses are trendy and adorable, and the thought of building one from scratch is quite attractive. On the other hand, having your office and kitchen on wheels also presents a desirable alternative.

Some factors that you ought to consider when investing in a tiny house vs RV include the following:

A Permanent Residence

Who hasn’t been enamored by the thought of owning one’s own property? Having the space and opportunity to grow, develop, and raise a family in a settled neighborhood is certainly appealing to many people. Being able to do so at an affordable price and without the hassle of acquiring a regularly sized home may sound too good to be true.

Building or buying a tiny house is a great way to start anew and set the foundation for a new life by starting from scratch. Planning for the future by investing in a permanent residence is also assuring and can provide a sense of security.

By comparison, RVs bring a sense of freedom and flexibility that tiny houses lack. However, there are risks involved when dealing with a house on wheels.

One major risk includes eventual repair and replacement costs, seeing as your mobile home will be exposed to a variety of harsh weather conditions, in addition to having many moving parts that sustain wear and stress from constant moving.

The Nature of your work

If you have a nine-to-five job that requires meetings and appointments with clients, purchasing a tiny house might be a better option.

Conversely, if you work remotely or work for yourself online, an RV may be an excellent choice. It provides you the necessary shelter and living conditions to support your remote work, while also allowing you to do that work wherever you choose.

You may also want to consider where you see yourself in five years. Do you plan on living an open ended and rambling lifestyle? Or are you looking to settle down at some point and set your roots where you are?


Perhaps you see yourself settling down in a couple years but want to explore more of the world before you do so. In that case, an RV could be a great choice for you, and one that would be temporary.

Setting Up

When it comes to a tiny house vs RV, the costs and requirements of setting up your new home are certainly factors to consider.

As you already know, RVs are mobile, so it is important to consider the number and weight of the possessions you bring along. To economize on space and fuel, it’s better to go as light as possible, and forgo any particularly fragile objects.

Additionally, the materials and appearance of your RV will be set by the manufacturer and will be mostly beyond your control. However, this can be considered a plus, given that a lot of the setup will be completed beforehand and will be included in the cost of purchase.

On the other hand, a tiny house allows you a greater degree of choice and flexibility. You will be able to choose all the materials used and how to install them, allowing you to customize the home to your exact specifications. With this, however, comes the obvious requirement of the time and work required to plan and build the home yourself, or to work with contractors and tiny house producers.

There are prefab tiny homes, which may be a good option for those who would prefer to leave construction and design to the professionals.

Mobility and Flexibility

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, RVs will be your best bet. As noted above, an RV home allows those with flexible schedules to travel at their leisure and visit areas they wouldn’t otherwise choose to live in.

While tiny houses often require less maintenance than full sized homes, leaving them behind still necessitates the same considerations and safety concerns.

Legal Requirements

Even though RVs feel like a low-maintenance option, there are a couple things to keep in mind. Apart from the taxes and other legalities of owning a vehicle, it also requires a special permit to move homes on wheels, including RVs.

RVs must also abide by traffic laws. Due to regulations with RVs, parks and campgrounds authorities often do not allow parking within parks, even if it is just for the night.

As for tiny homes, the normal legal and zoning requirements necessary for a regular household are also applicable.

Infrastructure for a Tiny House vs. RV

Water, sanitation, and electricity are the main resource concerns for anyone living in houses or RVs.

For electricity in an RV, a generator on board will provide for basic needs such as light, electronic devices, and appliances. Waste will have to be stored in the RV and dumped at an appropriate waste disposal location. Likewise, an RV can hold only a limited amount of graywater and fresh water, which will need to be refilled at regular intervals.

Tiny homes are far more convenient in this regard, as they should be connected to a permanent water source and sewer system.

Another consideration is insulation. Houses provide better insulation in terms of sound and temperature. RVs, while having climate control, are more subject to outdoor weather conditions and temperatures.


There are a lot of elements to consider before buying a tiny house vs RV.

Both tiny houses and RVs have their perks and disadvantages. Your needs and requirements will determine which is best for you, and the list of points we’ve gone over will help you figure this out. It is wise to know your budget options and lifestyle preferences before investing in either of these options.

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