10 Advantages Of RVs Vs Tiny Houses On Wheels

A lot of you may have noticed just how many people are either purchasing, buying, or even building a tiny house on wheels.

While these creations are cute and appealing because they look a lot more house like,  they are not necessarily the best option for those that want to hit the road or that want to downsize and live more frugally.

Here are 10 advantages a standard RV have over a tiny house on wheels so you don’t make a costly mistake and sacrifice the comfort of you and your family!

RV Vs Tiny House

1. The price for a tiny house is very high per square foot of space.

While small houses often cost more than 30K and often 50K, you can purchase a used RV for far less.

For example, a used Airstream travel trailer bought for 15K might need a little work to look up to date on the inside, even if you invest an additional $5,000 in upgrades, you are still coming in at $20,000 instead of $50,000.

Other camper trailers can be had for even less. Sure the newer Airstreams are as much as some houses, but you can find a used one that even though it is 30 years old, is still in pretty good shape. Other camping trailers can be had for far less and can be fixed up to suit your unique needs.

2. RVs have downstairs bedrooms.

Bedroom in an RV

Many tiny houses have lofts sleeping spaces and that means climbing a ladder quite often.

Older people and those with any health conditions might find that a loft is not okay.

Lofts are fine for some but over the years most people are not going to want to climb that ladder every time they need to use the restroom.

3. RVs are actually made to withstand long stretches of being on the highway.

Tiny houses are tough to move

While a lot of people move their tiny homes around fairly often, the fact is that they are not necessarily made to withstand the wind, oil, water, dust, and debris that can be kicked up when going down the road.

If the outside is shingled, then whatever is on the road can be slung up under the shingles and lead to water damage for example. Roof shingles can be lost going down the road.

RVs are made to take those long hauls and adventuresome weather conditions that can pop up on your journey.

4.  Availability of RVs is greater.

Regardless of the popularity of tiny houses, RVs are still much easier to find.

You can check any local sales paper or online classified ads and find an array of RVs in all types of sizes.

5. Better bathrooms in RVs

RVs have superior bathroom

I am not going to say that all tiny houses have composting toilets or alternative bathroom setups but a lot of them do.

An RV has an upgradeable bathroom that is a lot more like most of us are used to using on a daily basis.

While incinerating and composting toilets can work for some, if they are not cared for and used correctly it can cause problems and smelly situations.

6. RVs are lighter weight for towing and more aerodynamic when going down the road.

Traveling with an RV is extraordinary

One part of having an RV or a tiny house is having a vehicle that is capable of towing it.

Tiny houses are made more like a stick built house so they are much heavier than the lightweight yet strong materials that are used for RV manufacturing.

A lot of the cost of an RV is because the weight is considered so much and light and strong materials are just more costly than wood, concrete fiber boards, and shingles. Trailers are made more streamlined so they go down the road with less wind resistance so you have an easier time hauling.

7. RVs have a better kitchen and food prep areas.

RV Kitchen area

A lot of the tiny houses you see have very small food prep and cooking areas.

If you want an indoor oven and stove combo then good luck.

While some people have managed these most prebuilt tiny houses have a few stove eyes and a sink and not much else. Counter space becomes even more valuable because having a dining table is probably not going to happen.

RVs have dining tables that can be used for just hanging out and relaxing or as extra food prep areas.

8. RVs sometimes have space for at least a small clothes washer and dryer.

While there are a few people that have sacrificed some below counter space to have a washer or a unit that washes and dries, in a tiny house, plenty of those living in them find themselves at the laundromat and that is not cheap.

The washer/dryer combos that tiny house owners use are expensive and take a long time to dry so it can take a very long time to do the wash for even 1-2 people.

9. RVs blend in more.

Part of the appeal of a tiny house is the appearance.

For those that want to just blend end and enjoy themselves, an RV is going to make that easier.

If you have a tiny house be prepared for people to ask a lot of questions and even want to tour the inside. If you are a private person, you really need to consider this if you are planning on being on the road a lot and staying at a lot of different locations.

Selling your RV is easy

10. Reselling is easier with an RV.

People are more familiar with RVs and it is much easier for them to find comparable ones so they can know what value they are getting for their dollar.

You can look up the specs on a travel trailer and find out a lot about it. It can be much harder to find information on a tiny house on wheels and putting a price tag on it is also very hard.

You may find that you have to take a loss on that tiny house when you go to sell it.

Deciding Which Is Best For You

Do you have experience living in RVs or tiny houses? Have you lived in both?

Please share with us the positives and negatives you experienced with either one! What tips do you have for making life easier when living in an RV?


Mike Napier

I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast who has gone on several excursions along the coasts and has visited 31 of the 50 United States. One of the most important things to me personally is making the most of each day. I'm firmly entrenched in the middle-class and don't mind at all. My freedom and ability to travel and spend time outdoors are more important to me than working at a desk and putting more money in the CEO’s pockets. If camping and active living is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

13 thoughts on “10 Advantages Of RVs Vs Tiny Houses On Wheels”

  1. Thanks so much for the information. Although the appeal of living in a tiny house is up there with traveling the world, I do see the benefit of buying an RV.
    I am 55 (56 in April) and am on disability for chronic pain due to arthritis. So I know a tiny home would be way to much for me. Upkeep, loft bed, and minimum places for my grandkids. I’ll be purchasing an RV for a fulltime home in the future. Once the family home sells I’ll be moving closer to my son and his family.
    If you have any other articles you could recomend on using an RV fulltime, I’d like to study more on it.
    I live in East Tennessee and although I may travel some, I would like to have an RV that is 4 seasons. Any recommendation there would be great. Prefer a travel trailer but am open to a 5th wheel.
    Thanks so much.

  2. Anthony DeAngelis

    I just bought a new fifth wheel by Jayco Eagle. I’m truly impressed. I have been watching the “Tiny House TV Shows” for years now. They are sometimes impressive too. The builders of the trailer Tiny Houses can be very creative for sure. The Jayco people have been building trailers for decades and it certainly shows, they thought of everything. Led lights in almost every storage compartment, weatherproof plumbing, four season ability, and SLIDES, three of them in mine. slides add square footage it makes the space about 14′ wide, not tiny. Easy to finance, insure and buy they have it all over stick built in my opinion. 65 MPH and 10+MPG with the right tow vehicle is easy. Oh, a real flushing toilet and no propane tank under the sink!

      1. We bought an RV to use as a weekend getaway. It is on 14 acres. Much cheaper than building a tiny house and my 2 kids have their own bedroom and we have ours. The space is awesome. I would not want to use a ladder everyday to use my bedroom

  3. I just bought a 2014 Jayco Eagle Travel Trailer, 39′. It is perfect for me and my cat. I wanted to get it because it is cheaper and I can make it what I want when the time comes. I am 65 yrs young and I still work full time and love comeing home. I do have a lot of getting rid of to do, lol. I am not a pack rat for sure. I do know if I have had it for a year and am not using it, then out it goes. My kitchen is very small but not a problem I have all I need and I also wanted this for the fireplace and TV over the fireplace. I love this and intend to paint and remodel in the next 12 months. I also have 3 slide outs. It is also cheaper than the tiny houses I really liked that were shorter.

  4. I’ve been living in my 27′ travel trailer for 8 yrs. In CA. after selling my condo. I absolutely love it. I rent a private little spot on a 5 acre piece of property that I share their septic tank with for less than what others pay for a room rental, that includes utilities. The negative is windows. Deeper windows for more sunlight with vertical breaks rather than horizontal which obstruct views. Easier acces to tanks for deep wash and scraping and having sliding storage drawers under the exterior of the trailer would be huge benefits. I modified interior by removing the dining table/benches for living room space and replaced the master bed with a sofa/bed to create a den/bedroom. I love my tiny home.

  5. If you keep US, you may be ok with a RV, but the canadian winters are more comfortable in a tiny. I personnaly plan to strip my mobilehome to insert insulation un the walls and change aime windows because “the box” (it’s name) is already well equiped.
    Thank you for the info!

  6. I agree with Julie, RV’s may work in the south but up north there just not insulated or heated anywhere near a tiny house. Also I’m not sure which tiny houses the author has looked at but bathrooms are much more like a house than an RV’s and kitchens can be amazing. Tiny houses can be built any way the owner likes. RV’s are far less customizable.

    1. I have been considering a tiny house with the accommodation of a small grand piano, 5’4″ which I have a $$ investment in; it is an instrument which I do not want to give up although I do have a digital Roland which is basically piano sized and not too heavy so I can continue my love of classical music playing. An RV will not accommodate a grand piano. I appreciate anybody’s thoughts about this situation as my scenario is not, perhaps, common. Downsizing from a typical suburban house situation and may be launching out on my own after a failed long-term marriage. Thanks.

      1. Hi Diane, we have a tiny home and wondered if it would be okay to put a small upright piano in it; when I asked one of the manufacturers they said they don’t recommend it because of the weight. However I really want to do it! And your comment was very encouraging to me. What is your current situation? Did you move the piano in to the tiny house and how was it to move it, do you have any feedback etc?

        1. Holy crap Pam

          I will admit I’m practically brand new at looking at tiny homes/RV’s, so I may be totally uninformed and speaking out of line but…. a for-real upright piano.

          Lol idk, doesn’t that seem like the most Stretching It concept when it comes to “small living”, efficiency…….. type of thinking? If I were you I’d just research how best to replicate whatever it is you want from the ancient 1-ton upright, in a nice sleek electronic keyboard/piano of which there are surely a rainbow of choices.

          Good on you for pushing the limits though, I guess; that seems like the exact kind of thing that drives this industry, after all

  7. Except, you can’t live in an RV longtime. Try taking use of its accommodations repeatedly and it’ll ware fast. RVs are made with cheap materials because they’re only meant to travel in. So comparing a tiny house that is meant for long term living to something that’s just for traveling is a bad contrast.

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