If you’re considering tiny house living like we are, there are definitely some less-desireable aspects to take into consideration.
This probably goes without saying, but you have room for a lot less stuff in an RV or tiny house.
We’ve been weeding through our stuff little by little since 2012, but giving ourselves specific parameters to try to fit into actually feels really helpful as a stronger filter for what we truly need and want. I’ve found that it’s easy to hit a getting-rid-of-stuff plateau every so often if you don’t really “need” to.
Counter space, refrigerator, stove etc. are all generally much smaller and less convenient than ideal, making certain aspects of life potentially more complicated rather than less.
You could say it’s just a matter of perspective whether having less space in your refrigerator simplifies grocery shopping or makes it more complicated, for example. I mean, buying fewer groceries could mean eating less (probably not?), eating differently, not being able to buy in bulk, shopping more often, etc. But it’s potentially less complicated in that you need to be more focused and it could take less time? Ugh, I don’t know, doesn’t sound awesome to me.
There’s no way around having less privacy in a tiny home.
Personal space, quiet time, husband/wife time, etc. is more complicated.
We have quite a bit of experience dealing with this issue. Every year when we visit family we are most often staying in the same room with our kids. We even set up for us to all sleep in the same room at home at one point. We really don’t mind it for the most part.
This sort of goes along with privacy, but one of the “fun” aspects of being together in tight quarters is the way it can magnify the things that annoy you about the other person and increase conflicts.
At the same time, you can certainly use it as an opportunity to grow and mature! haha.
Along with the advantage of mobility you gain with a home on wheels, you also increase the need for more frequent maintenance because things are able to shift and break more easily than a traditional house.
You’ll want to be comfortable with basic electrical, plumbing, etc, or at least willing to learn.
Towing your tiny house or RV also means increased maintenance for your vehicle – more oil changes, gas, tires, etc.
Beyond the wear and tear caused by moving, campers need to give frequent attention to potential leak points.
These are all kinda annoying, but at the same time, we’re kinda happy to up-level our skills. Plus, it still might be less upkeep overall than, say, landscaping and such. It remains to be seen how it all shakes out.
Water, electricity (generator/battery), propane… having to conserve them can certainly cramp your style and even be downright annoying.
The only “plus” I can think of in this case is exercising creativity for conservation, which is a good skill to have.
Regular repair people may not feel comfortable servicing your rig.
For things that you don’t know how to fix, like maybe your furnace, AC, etc. you may have to find specialized RV repair people.
The good thing is that you can learn how to fix almost anything online these days, but it probably isn’t the most efficient or reliable option.
If you’re in a colder climate, you’ll have to be smart about your water pipes. There’s also the matter of how well insulated (tiny houses are generally better insulated than RVs) your rig is.
A great solution for this is GO SOMEWHERE WARM.
In a small space, dirt and clutter are more quickly accumulated and noticeable.
If you haven’t found a place for everything to call “home”, it will be glaringly obvious in no time.
On the flipside, it can’t take much time to clean up 🙂
Mold and Mildew
RVs and tiny houses are notorious for having problems with mold and mildew. Such fun.
Even confident drivers can find themselves on edge while towing.
When it’s not having to be careful of other drivers on the road, there’s also the struggle of fueling up, navigating small spaces, etc.
Having the right kind of hitch and brakes can definitely help the driving aspect at least.
Dumping sewage and wastewater is no laughing matter… then there’s the reality of various people smells in tight quarters…
Thankfully, things like essential oils and Poopouri can help.
If you’re moving around a lot, there’s a lot of setup and teardowns to deal with.
Plus the parking fees that can add up quickly.
Boondocking can help!
Moving around a lot makes it difficult to develop or maintain community interaction.
While there is a lot of community that can happen online, there’s certainly also something about in-person. We enjoy getting to know new people, but we also really like having a “home base” that we are able to go back to.
“Embracing Small” Takeaway: It can be easy to look at a lifestyle through rose-colored glasses and imagine it will be a solution to everything that ails you, even though there are always downsides. Do you feel like the pros of tiny living outweigh these cons?