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  • Writer's pictureHailey Spaulding

RV vs Tiny House: Weighing The Pros & Cons

Recently, you may have come across the new movement towards RV living. As this form of living has gotten more popular, the market for tiny homes has increased with it. And, most RV parks are housing both RVs and tiny houses, making RV living more flexible than ever. So, what is the difference between an RV vs tiny house, and which is best for you?

What is an RV?


Before you consider comparing an RV vs tiny house, you should get a good grasp on what each of them are. An RV (recreational vehicle) is known in broad terms as a livable, motorized or towable vehicle. Now, this is a very broad definition, and it doesn’t quite consider the many regulations that exist in the RV world.

Varying by state, there are many regulations for RVs including things like safety standards and vehicle weight ratings. These regulations will often determine the legality of your RV, and its ability to be transported or kept in an RV park. These regulations are mostly decided by the department of transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). So, be sure to read up on the regulations in your state before purchasing an RV.

What is a Tiny House?

You may have heard of the term “tiny house” before, but what exactly does it mean? A Tiny house is a home that is around 100 and 400 square feet. Although this definition seems limiting, tiny homes provide a wide variety of options that may suit your needs as a home buyer.

The most popular version of tiny homes are known as tiny houses on wheels (THOW). This tiny house is sweeping into the RV game, because of their portability and size. The standard procedure for a purchase of one of these homes is to go through a dealer, who helps you get financing and make the purchase happen. After that, you can have your home delivered anywhere.

Although this is the most relevant type of tiny house when we talk about RV living, there are many more versions as well. Small cottages can be found, which are stick built and share the tiny house dimension criteria. There are also other versions of housing that fit this criteria, including treehouse tiny homes, shipping container homes, and micro-apartments.

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RV vs Tiny house: Which Is More Expensive?

Now that you know a good amount about the two, let’s talk about the benefits of RVs and tiny homes, and figure out which one is best for you. One of the first things to consider about the two living options is cost. Either way you go, monthly expenses will be greatly reduced compared to traditional living, but there will be an initial cost to purchasing one.

So, is a tiny house cheaper or an RV? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t that simple. An RV will range in cost anywhere from $10,000 to over $500,000 depending on its luxuriousness. A tiny home can range anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000. So, which of the options is best for you may depend on the price range you can afford.

If you are looking for the cheapest possible option, you may want to consider an RV so you have the option to spend less than $30,000. But if you were already budgeting $30,000 or more for an RV, a tiny home may be a good option. Likewise, if you are budgeting for a more luxurious home and want to spend more than $80,000, you may want to look into high dollar RVs.

RV vs Tiny House: Lifestyle Differences

So, you may have a better idea of which of the two living options fits your price range better, but which one will fit your individual lifestyle?

The main difference between RVs and tiny homes is their flexibility in transportation. RVs can be driven or towed anywhere, making them much more flexible in this aspect. Tiny homes usually are delivered once to a location you choose, and stay there. The only way to transport the tiny home to another location is to hire a trucking company to transport and pilot the home.

Now, RVs are more flexible in transportation, but which is more livable? This again depends on personal preference. Having such a wide price range, RVs have living options that can be very primitive or very luxurious. Tiny houses can also be more primitive or luxurious depending on the price. However, many prefer tiny homes because they feel more like a traditional home, while RVs are a totally different feel.

So, which option is more livable for you will be determined by what kind of lifestyle you’re accustomed to. If you prefer to travel a lot, and don’t mind a less homey feel, RV may be the way to go. However, if you don’t care to travel as much, and prefer a homier feel, tiny houses may be a better option for you.

Where Can You Keep Your RV or Tiny House?

Now, you probably have a good idea of which living options will work best for you, but where can you live once you make your purchase? Many people think that the living situations or an RV vs tiny house is complex and widely different, but this isn’t the case.

Many RV parks now consider themselves villages, breaking past the traditional patch of land with a bunch of slips. These RV villages have developed strong communities, providing much more to their tenants. The most notable thing about these, is the fact that many of them allow RVs and tiny houses in their slips. This means that regardless of which option you choose, you can find a nice community at an RV village.

If you’re looking to live in the Texas Hill Country, Shilo RV Village may be the place for you. Shilo offers over 40 slips to either RV owners or tiny home owners. Shilo has built a strong community, hosting events monthly for tenants. Shilo also features many amenities including a dog park, pool table, shaded slips, storage, fruit trees, walking trails, wooded lots, concrete patios, showers, bathrooms, and an amenity center. FInding RV park living for both tiny homes and RVs has never been easier!


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