Full-Time RV Living
Full time RV living is a workable option for tiny living. RV sales are breaking records.
It may be old but my 20′ Class-A Motorhome allows me to go camping in any kind of weather. I sleep in a very comfy bed. It has a refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, generator, toilet, and hot and cold running water. It’s great for a weekend. I’ve even taken several week long trips. But…
The shower is so tiny I can’t use it. Things break as fast as I can fix them. It gets nine miles per gallon. I’ve had to rebuild the bed over the cab, rebuild the door, resurface the roof coating twice, replace the heater twice, replace both batteries, and replace all of the tires. The awning completely deteriorated in the sun so I just took it off. One time the muffler and exhaust pipe fell right off while driving. The kitchen sink faucet (plastic) leaks and there is a whole list of other things that need to be fixed.
Retiring in an RV:
I have considered retiring in an RV. Lots of people do it. I’ve been to many RV shows seeking the perfect model for me. Wow, are they nice. One had bunks for seven people and a TV in each one. (Who needs seven TV’s in there camping box?) I also noted that, no matter how expensive, they all have the same membrane roof that mine has. I can envision repair after repair the rest of my life.
The RV industry infrastructure supports this lifestyle choice:
The RV industry has been around for decades. Even tho it is technically illegal to live in an RV full time millions of people do it. Hundreds of RV parks, some the size of small towns, are devoted to this life style. Some of these “tin teepees” are really nice. You’ve seen them. Some even have a garage. I really don’t need to tell you about them but to say: we can really take a lesson from some of their designs when thinking about our own tiny house designs. They really do do a better job of living room comfort. They also have the infrastructure down pat (I like that word).
Positive features of an RV:
- Their plumbing and electrical systems are well thought out and work well. They are designed perfectly for what they are meant to be, temporary abodes; they have all the amenities of a modern home and are completely move-in ready
- Designers have done an awesome job of providing comfortable surroundings . There is lots of storage, even places for vehicles on board.
- They are designed to travel safely. They are as light weight as can be.
- There are thousands of RV parks, with full hookups, in beautiful places and repair facilities backing them up.
Negative features of an RV
- Their roofs are a thin rubber membrane that need to be refinished frequently to prevent leaks.
- The walls are thin and usually not meant for cold weather climates or snow loads.
- Most kitchen have very limited counter space.
- RV’s are vehicles that depreciate in value.
- These vehicles require special skills to repair, remodel, and maintain; They need constant maintenance.
- They are built to NFPA & ANSI building codes technically not legal as a permanent residence.
- Some can be very expensive. Many are built as cheaply as possible to the minimum requirements.
Depending on a persons desired lifestyle a Travel Trailer, or Motor Home might be the perfect thing. An RV can offer the mobility grandparents desire to visit far flung offspring or move to different climates as the seasons dictate. This is pre-built luxury. Just pays your money and drive away. No special skills or sweat equity required.
There are some tricks required to skirt housing laws that require a permanent residence. Advice to accomplish this abounds in books, websites, and YouTube videos.
These aren’t “Tiny Houses” but are in the category of “tiny living” and should be considered an option for those interested in the Tiny Life.
Here is a good YouTube® video of a family living full time in their RV.