Three Differences between a Tiny House and RV

We’ve been a part of almost a dozen home shows and tiny house events.  One of the questions we get asked a lot is….

What’s the difference between a Tiny house and a RV?

There are some pro’s and con’s to both. This article may make it seem like we’re bias towards tiny houses. We are!  Each have their place, but these are three major differences between a Tiny House and a RV.


Yes – you can buy a RV that is “four seasons”. But the truth is, these are still only moderately-well insulated structures. The fact is, most reputable Tiny Home builders make sure that their homes are insulated as well (if not better) than most residential construction. Tiny homes are truly insulated for year-round use.

We’ve spent a winter in our RV in the past, and we would find that the furnace would run around the clock to keep us warm. You can spend hundreds of dollars a month refilling Propane if your RV is very poorly insulated.

Heating and cooling a Tiny home is easy, and takes a lot less energy and fuel to do so!

Maintenance & Repairs

We speak from personal experience that both RV’s and Tiny homes require maintenance and upkeep. The major issue here with RV’s, is that they not only require a lot of maintenance to upkeep, but more times than not your RV will require a major repair or replacement every 3-5 years. In fact, we’ve noted from many RV owners that in some cases they find themselves buying entirely NEW RV’s every 5-7 years!

Depending on the types of materials you finish your Tiny Home with, you can have a “generally” low-maintenance Tiny Home. All homes (Yes, even those gigantic ones built on the ground) require maintenance.

Tiny homes are built to residential code and tolerances. This means that your Tiny home is going to last many many many more years than your typical RV!

The last point with regards to maintenance and repairs – is the ease of finding parts and equipment to fix problems in your Tiny home. Your Tiny home on wheels is generally built with residential materials. Which means that on a Sunday night if you’re having a plumbing problem you can find your fix at the local Home Depot. In the case of a RV – most of the time you need to get your parts at a specialty store, or even to place a special order for them!


Most of the time, RV’s will weigh less than a Tiny Home. You can even find “ultra-light” RV’s. We encourage the use of lightweight materials, as long as you aren’t losing any strength with your home. But the fact is, Tiny homes are heavy.


What do you think about these differences?

Do you have any experience with a Tiny house or RV with regards to these differences? Tell us your story!