Tiny House vs RV

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Planning on reducing your ecological footprint or tired of the rigidity of rent? In either case, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. We have devised a comprehensive guide to help you decide which type of housing will suit your needs the best.

In recent years, we have seen people shift from their taut lifestyles to the one that is more flexible and easygoing. For this reason, there has been a striking rise in the purchase of Recreational Vehicles (RV) and Tiny homes.

Both these housing setups have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, however considering factors such as cost, size, and comfort, we aim to find out which one of the two setups stand-out.

What is a Recreational Vehicle?

A Recreational Vehicle, often termed as RV, is a specially designed automobile that features living quarters with various household amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and an entertaining area.

While these vehicles are great for traveling and adventure, some people use them as their main house. 

Types of RV

There are three main types of RVs: Type A, Type B, and Type C.

  • Type A

This motorhome is the largest and the most luxurious of its kind. It has plenty of storage and a spacious living room- it can accommodate up to 4 people at a time and has a slide-out.

The only drawback of this vehicle is that it has a terrible fuel economy.

  • Type B

Commonly known as a camper van, type B RV comes with all the amenities of a type A RV but in a much smaller size. While there is enough room to stand up straight, the interior is a bit cramped. Similarly, unlike type A, this motorhome does not have a slide-out.

The best part about this vehicle is that it’s the least expensive of the three.

  • Type C

Type C motorhome is best suited for a large family. It has a satisfactory fuel mileage and comes with two slide-outs. You can even tow your car with this RV. 

It comes with two double beds and two queen beds and can accommodate up to 8 people at a time.

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What is a Tiny House?

A tiny house is a small-sized home with square footage between 100-400. It can either be rented or owned. 

These homes can have their foundation laid out on the ground or wheels. Most tiny homes are independent structures that can be parked alone or with another building. They come in various shapes and sizes and are no doubt a great example of a simple yet, efficient lifestyle.

Living in a tiny house has its financial advantages. An average American spends half of his income on accommodation; this has resulted in 76% of the people living from paycheck to paycheck.

Living in a tiny house reduces your overall expenditure. You will be saving a lot of money which you can invest elsewhere. Moreover, this way, you will also be looking after the environment.

Tiny House vs. RV: What Are The Differences And Which One Is Better

Now that we have an idea about the two types of housing setups, it is time that we carry out a comprehensive comparison between the two.

While there are a lot of similarities between RVs and tiny homes, there are a few differences you must take into account before making a purchase. In this article, we will highlight those differences to find out our winner.

Taking into account multiple factors such as cost, comfort, and affordability, we will help you find out which one of the two housing setups will suit your needs the best. 

So, let’s dive in, shall we?

Cost Comparison

The cost of building a tiny house from scratch varies from around $125-$300 per square feet. Taking into account the fact that a tiny house falls between 200-400 square feet, the overall expenditure of the entire project is a lot more than purchasing a second-hand RV.

A brand new RV that is around 24 ft long and takes up 220 square feet of space will cost you $110 per foot. Moreover, if you consider buying a used motorhome, the price falls dramatically. You will save a lot of money which you can spend on furnishing the interior of your motor vehicle.

However, the price of a tiny house does not fall even after several years of use. While this may be a drawback for purchasers, it is an advantage for the sellers.

In other words, buying a tiny house may cost you a lot, but it is a sound long-term investment. On the other hand, purchasing an RV may cost you less, but you might have to sell it at a lesser price than the one you bought it in.

Financing Options

The great thing about an RV is that it is easy to get a loan for it if you need it. However, if you are trying to get a loan for a tiny house, the procedure isn’t as easy.

If you want a loan for a recreational vehicle, the procedure is the same as that of a car. These loans can run for 10-20 years, depending on the type of vehicle that you are planning to buy.

In contrast, financing options for tiny homes are few and shifty. Most banks shy away from loaning money for such projects because they don’t come under housing or motor vehicles. So, it’s hard to get them to finance the construction of your tiny home.

Since these projects are all do-it-yourself, it is hard for the financers to determine the entire cost of the project. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the structure meets all the security standards stated under the law. In simple words, they don’t trust the project enough to invest in it.

Nevertheless, there are a few tiny house manufacturers that are ready to finance their products, but finding a bank loan is not an option.

Ease of Traveling

There are a lot of people who would choose a house, no matter how small, over an RV. We know, the idea of a small house seems very appealing, but the reality of it is that a tiny house will not withstand the constant pressure of motion. 

When you move a small house from one place to another, it puts a lot of stress on the structure. Many owners have complained that even after making short trips, they had to make some repairs in the house. Thus, the overall expenditure is likely to increase manifolds.

A tiny house is a good option only for people who are planning to travel a short distance or wish to stay in just one area for most of the year. If you are looking to make small stops and be on the move, it is best if you buy an RV.

An RV is built in a way so it can withstand the constant pressure of motion. Moreover, it has a streamlined body that makes sure that the vehicle moves faster.

A recreational vehicle is built primarily for mobility; hence, the materials used in its structure complement its purpose. On the other hand, tiny homes aren’t constructed, keeping in mind the factor of mobility. Thus, they are comparatively heavy, and at the same time, less durable.

Size Comparison

When it comes to size, tiny homes take living minimalistic to a whole new level. 

The problem with this setup is that with only 400 square feet of room and no option to expand, a tiny house can get very cramped, real fast. Especially if you’re a family with kids, this housing style is not an option for you. 

In comparison, RVs are very spacious and even allow you to create more interior living space with the help of slide-outs. These slide-outs are one of the most significant selling points of a recreational vehicle. It can expand your RV up to 500 square feet. 

Moreover, the thing with RVs is that since all of the amenities have already been installed in the motorhome. You will have an oven, a dishwasher, and even a drier. In other words, no additional expenditure.

However, in the case of a tiny house, you have to buy all these appliances yourself. Not only that, but you even have to fit them in the house on your own.

This can be a very tiresome job for most people as not everyone’s an architect.and by the time you’re done, the interior of the house becomes so constricted and sparse that you hardly have space to add your personal belongings.

Comfort Comparison

Taking into consideration the size of a tiny house, it is best if you purchase an RV. Depending on the type of RV you buy, you can accommodate up to 8 people in an RV at a time. This may be impossible for most tiny homes.

The number of bedrooms in an RV also varies according to its types. Type C RV comes with two double and two queen beds. Similarly, a type-A RV can have up to two double beds and one queen bed.

However, in the case of a tiny house, the number of rooms can be limited. Plus, in most tiny homes, you have to climb a ladder to get to your bedroom. While this set up may be great for young couples, older couples won’t prefer climbing a ladder every time they want to use the restroom.

Not to forget, RVs have bigger bathrooms and better cooking spaces.


Due to the influx of tiny homes, most states in the US are trying to update their regulations to categorize tiny homes as legal residence.

However, the process seems slow, and for now, it is very difficult or, in other words, impossible to find insurance for a tiny house. That being said, any repair, little or big, may cost you a few thousand dollars.

The only way you can find insurance for a tiny house is by setting the house on a permanent foundation. If you plan to move house to a different location, new problems will arise; your insurance company may not approve of the change and might withdraw its coverage.

Thankfully, Recreational vehicles are legally insurable, even if it is your permanent place of residence. You won’t have to worry about the damages even if you’re in a new location every other month.

Fitting In

RVs are pretty common all around the states. You see people traveling in RVs all the time, so they tend to blend in. But tiny homes have their way to stand-out.

Since their design, color, and size depends from owner to owner, tiny homes may not blend in that easily. Be ready for people to ask you a lot of questions and even for a tour inside the house.

If you’re a private person, consider parking your house in a location a bit far away from the buzz of the city or the town that you’re visiting.


Selling your RV is much easier than a tiny house. There are a lot of people out there looking to purchase an RV but a tiny house, not so much.

Similarly, it is very hard to put the right price tag on a tiny house. You’re never exactly sure what’s it worth, but in the case of an RV, various factors can be taken into account. Moreover, multiple selling markets can help you find the right buyer for your RV.


If you’re planning to downsize, all the determinants point in the direction of an RV. This motorhome gives you the freedom to travel wherever you want and whenever you want with your friends and family.

A tiny house does have a strong appeal, but realistically speaking, there are various drawbacks of this setup, which cannot be disregarded.

Now that we’ve helped you distinguish between an RV and a tiny house, the ball is in your court. You get to decide which setup fits your needs the best. Hopefully, our guide will help you make the right choice.