Home On Wheels

The RV lifestyle is perfect for anyone who desires to be outdoors and on the move. With the RV industry booming , more models of all shapes and styles have come out to accommodate the different desires of the public. One of the newest trends in RV’ing is an increasingly popular style called tiny houses. These small home-on-wheels are built to appear more like a mini-home, rather than a bus like traditional RV’s. We’ll take a look at how a tiny home differs from a towable RV to help you decide which one is best suited for your next adventure.

RV and Tiny Home

What Is a Tiny Home?

 A tiny home ranges from 100 to 400 square feet and is typically mounted on wheels for easy towing. The easy mobility combined with both the cost effectiveness and the desire to downsize and travel   the open road has led to the tiny home movement . This increasing popularity of living minimal has also sparked multiple TV shows like Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Builders and Tiny House Hunters  that showcase the tiny-living lifestyle. These homes can be custom built containing environmentally friendly features and appliances and, because of their size, are often less expensive to maintain.

 What Is a Towable Trailer? 

There are a variety of recreational vehicles, ranging in size from 10 feet to 40 feet. At an average of 12 feet, towable camping trailers are most similar to tiny homes considering the size and the lack of independent mobility of both. These trailers are commonly referred to as pop-ups or tent trailers, because of their resemblance (in both size and transportability) to tents. Similar to tiny homes, these RVs can be easily towed and are far less expensive than larger RVs. And while they can’t be custom built, the interior amenities and space can be customized to fit the needs and desires of any RV’er.

Size Does Matter

Tiny home lovers have embraced and encouraged the minimalist lifestyle, understanding that the important things in life are found on the open road. Tiny-homers don’t need a lot of living space and, when built on wheels and registered as an RV, they can avoid the minimum zoning size requirement of 1,000 square feet. Instead, these tiny homes are typically around 150 square feet. Installed appliances and amenities are smaller in size to accommodate the size restraints of a tiny home, and because of those size restraints, maximizing storage space is essential. Tiny home builders and designers either create or find furniture that can double as storage, like these , to make the most out of the space.

Towable trailers are roomier than tiny homes, but can also lack in available storage areas when compared to a larger RV. Because of their relatively larger size, builders can better customize the interior to include normal-sized appliances and more storage space. Although they are more spacious than a tiny home, towable trailers are still appealing to those embracing the minimalist lifestyle. Towable trailers have the basic amenities that are commonly found in tiny homes, like a living space, an area to sleep, and a condensed kitchen. So while the two are similar in regards to the minimalist lifestyle, towable trailers have that extra few feet if that’s what you need!

I Like To Move It, Move It

The open road is calling, and both tiny-homers and pop-up trailer owners alike are answering. But because neither can independently travel on their own, they must be towed. While towing a house or trailer might seem daunting, the basics are easy to learn. For both tiny homes and towable trailers, it’s imperative to keep the maximum tongue weight — the downward force that the tongue of the trailer applies to the hitch of the tow vehicle— from exceeding the vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. Payload capacity and weight distribution must also be calculated to avoid any towing mishaps.

Pop-up Trailer

  A tiny home-on-wheels can be easily towed , assuming you have a truck or can access a professional towing company. The final weight of a tiny house varies based on things like roofing, flooring, and  cabinets, but if you’re planning on traveling full-time, then most full-sized trucks (like this F-250) can tow your tiny home, leaving you worry-free.

    Towable trailers are designed for towing. Similar to tiny homes, these trailers must be towed by a vehicle that can withstand both the trailer’s gross weight and maximum tongue weight. Contrary to towing   a tiny home, when towing a trailer you have to determine which class of hitch to get. There are five classes of hitches, all of which can be found here . Makers of towable trailers understand that owners want   to be on the move as much as possible, so once you determine all of the towing basics, it’s all smooth sailing on the open road.

Customization Is Key

Customization is one of the main appeals of a tiny home—and considering there are literally thousands of different ways to customize a tiny home, we’re not surprised. Most tiny-home owners build their home from the ground up, giving them the ability to choose everything from the roofing to the backsplash in the kitchen. These small home-on-wheels are also environmentally alluring , since they are custom built and can be made with non-toxic, chemical free materials. While there are certain foundational requirements when building a tiny home, for the most part every aspect of design is determined by the owner. You can build a bigger bathroom with a smaller living space, or a bigger kitchen— whatever you choose, the best part is the choice is yours! 

Towable trailers, however, are not as customizable since they are pre-built before you buy them. Although the exterior and the actual build of the trailer is pre-determined, the interior design is fair game— and since they are bigger than tiny homes, there is more space for customization. Depending on your budget the trailer’s interior design can range from elegant to casual, but either way you can make the design of your towable trailer fit your style perfectly.

Tiny Home

The Price Is Right

Like we previously said, the ability to fully customize a tiny home-on-wheels from the ground up is a designers dream. That dream, however, does come at a price. The cost of a pre-built tiny home ranges anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $40,000 depending on the size and customization. Various factors , like hiring a contractor versus building it yourself or the type of electricity system you use, will determine the final cost of your tiny-home. Luckily, because of the ability for full customization of your tiny home, you can most likely adjust modifications to fit into your budget.

The price of towable trailers are more straight-forward, since they are bought from a distributor. These trailers typically range from $6,000 up to $30,000 but the cost really depends on both where it’s bought as well as the make, year, and style of the trailer. Towable trailers can be sold in-person or via websites like RVtrader . Similar to tiny homes, the final cost of the trailer will depend on the amount of customization; but because they are sold and not personally built, the prices are typically less flexible.

The Right Home On Wheels For You

When deciding between a tiny home and a towable trailer, there are many factors to consider. Do you want more room? Or do you prefer sacrificing some extra space for the ability to fully customize? Towable trailers might be great for RV’ers who have a full-time home elsewhere, while tiny homes are more ideal for those looking to live on the road full-time. No matter what you decide, both tiny homes and towable trailers alike are perfect for any wanderlust RV’er or travel enthusiast that wants to explore the open road.