In the previous Blog I talked about how traditional housing solutions have become less desired or even possible due to economic costs, environmental concerns or emotional well-being. Another topic discussed was how people have sought to address those factors in the Tiny House phenomenon.
However, an additional solution to counter the negatives of traditional housing has been found in a more specifically nomadic lifestyle best supported by Recreational Vehicles or RVs.
In the first blog I mentioned that RVing is extremely personal in nature and best pursued after an honest review of various factors – all of which will contribute to the ultimate experience. Before I begin to discuss factors one must consider before making a selection of what type of RV to use and if RVing is even right for you I’d like to contribute some of my unique perspective regarding the RV lifestyle! This is so you so you can make a better-informed decision regarding your move into the market for an RV.
As mentioned, one non-traditional housing solution has been the Tiny House craze. Tiny Houses employ fairly traditional frame construction methods but on a non-permanent platform. This non-permanent base is needed to avoid local building code requirements for any “permanent” structure.
While a wheeled platform can be an adequate solution for infrequent moves the construction techniques and methods for tiny homes is not nearly as robust as the methods used to construct a typical RV. Granted, many low end travel trailers may use wood framing with fiberglass batting insulation and be clad in aluminum siding, but these are much lighter in weight than a “stick built” tiny home. These cheaper trailers will still better survive the vibrations from road surfaces and the sheer loads of wind forces to the front and sides of the unit during travel.
I will cover some other factors below showing why RVs represent a more desirable option than a tiny home if any significant amount of travel is anticipated in a non-traditional housing lifestyle. Granted, a tiny home allows total flexibility over the size and shape of the exterior envelope. But this has its own self-imposed restrictions as a builder must not exceed certain height parameters to ensure no collisions with low bridges or overpasses encountered during road travel or movement. Another “wild card” factor in a tiny home is the total weight of the final structure upon completion. Again, short-distance and occasional relocations may be possible but long term travel would require that the platform upon which the tiny home is built not be stressed beyond its capabilities in axle rating, braking, tire size and type, etc.
Towable RV units have been designed from inception by a manufacturer to be operable within all these criteria. They must also comply with some oversight entities like the Department of Transportation (DOT) the RVIA ( https://www.rvia.org/ ) Yes, poor designs elements can still occur but a consumer does have legal recourse in these cases and is not totally isolated as they would likely be in a custom tiny house situation.
Liability, insurance coverage and costs and other legal factors like financing, inspections and resale assessments also come into play. For a commercially produced RV unit these are more known factors and less likely to stymie or frustrate a consumer in any of these areas.
In the first blog I mentioned that RVing is extremely personal in nature. It is best implemented after self-reflection, soul-searching and an honest review of various factors – all of which will contribute to the ultimate experience. I have produced and will make available in the near furture some checklists and fact sheets that will aid you in accomplishing these tasks
Once again, thank you for your time! Your participation will pay you dividends and serve to influence your ultimate satisfaction!
Larry G. Himes