Many people ask me “why would I need to buy a tiny home when I can pick up a used travel trailer for less than $5000.” Well, first of all, a travel trailer is a “recreational vehicle”, or RV. They are made to go camping – not to live in. The wall thickness of a RV is typically 1.5 inches, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for insulation. Compare this to a tiny home, where wall thickness is 4 inches or greater, allowing for more insulation. This translates to lower energy costs, whether you’re using propane or electricity. I would compare the energy bill for electric with an RV and a tiny home over the summer months where the AC is operating most of the day.
I would say the average lifespan of an RV is around 20 years, whereas the tiny home can last more than 50 years. Why the difference? Construction. Tiny homes are built like houses, and are not moved around as much. When you buy a tiny home, you move it to your site and leave it there. These are not designed to be moved around like a travel trailer.
I’m not trying to slam the RV industry. I love RVs, and the RV lifestyle. They’re just not made to be lived in for extended periods of time.