For many, including me, joining the Tiny Home movement is inspired by the desire to live the lifestyle of adventure combined with less financial commitments, less impact on the environment and more freedom to explore America. It’s been a long journey getting to this point where my 1800 sq. ft. home has been sold, many of my material possessions sold or given away, and becoming nomadic. We still haven’t decided exactly which Tiny Home we will make our next project/home. There are so many options! Since part of having an Adventure Attitude is ABC (Always Be Curious) and always be learning, I thought I would share with you some of the research I have done to consider the pros and cons for different Tiny Home options.
One option we are considering is buying a plot of land and building tiny houses on it. One would be our home base, from which we would explore this great country.
The RV Life
There are lots of vlogs, blogs and podcasts on living the tiny life. My first podcast I found that helped me learn about working while traveling is called The RV Entrepreneur. It was an interview on this podcast that led me to a YouTube channel that is extremely practical – The RV Geeks. These guys are like your wise dads telling you how to change a tire.
Skoolies (aka former school buses)
A Tiny Home expo was a great place to really get a feel for the different options. While there, I saw several different kinds of converted buses. One was a former Senior Center shuttle bus. Another was a short bus. Then there were several of the longer lengths. Astounding how those really felt as comfortable as some single bedroom or studio apartments. I also learned that one has to watch out for heights (my partner is 6′, and most interior bus heights are not always that tall.) I also really like the uniqueness of how each bus was converted. Like the other options, these rolling homes have their pluses and minuses.
Another category of rolling homes is vans. The most popular ones for conversions are the Sprinter vans as they have higher ceilings. Many people convert the vans themselves. However, buying already converted vans is becoming easier and more popular for many. We decided against this option for us, as it just felt too small and cramped. The only pro is that it can park just about anywhere, without people complaining. I actually saw one in the ritzy neighborhood near me parked on the street (my first clue was the extension cord running from the van to the big house!).
One way to test out if you’re interested in this option is to rent a camper van! At one of the Tiny Home or RV shows, I learned about a company called Escape Campervans. A few months later, a friend’s daughter DM’d me through Instagram (where you will find lots of accounts posting under #vanlife). She had recently rented on through this company to tour the coast of California! Catherine highly recommends them (she is fresh out of college, so a different perspective than mine).
Last summer I had a guest blogger write about her adventures in van life living. Allie, her hubbie and their dog travelled the U.S. in their van they called Clifford, the Big Red Van. Check out her story here: Clifford the Big Red Van – The Owen’s Adventure in Van Life Living
The Trailer Option
Trailers come in all sorts of sizes and options, that there will most likely be something that appeals to you. The key benefit of trailers is that you have a separate vehicle for exploring an area once you park the trailer. This can be important if you want to see cities, have a quick trip to the grocery store, or just go down a little side road (that often are too tricky to maneuver in larger vehicles like RVs or buses). My favorite are the Airstreams, or “Silver Bullets.” Those can be pricey, but we have checked out older ones that we could renovate. It’s fun considering all the options!
What are the benefits of doing research to follow your dream or passion? It helps bring clarity by showing what you do like and, importantly, what you don’t like. You get to meet new people and learn so many new things. For us, we know we want to build something that engages our creativity. As for some others, it’s the freedom of the road. For you, it might be just enough to inspire you to move out of your comfort zone and try something new – if you’ve never gone camping, renting a van may be your first step into that kind of adventure! Who knows? That’s the wonder of it all.
Easter Monday will be the first day of our “location independent” adventure. Being nomads will bring new challenges all sorts of fun escapades, all ending up in adventure. Our next steps will be to take a few weeks up in the Boston area. Then we start heading west, with a few pre-planned stops, to end in Oregon. There we have family to stay with while we decide which option will best suit us!
Update – We bought an Airstream
In the Fall of 2019, we bought a vintage Airstream! Here’s more on that: “Introducing Wednesday the Airstream Adventure Mobile” In fact, I’ll be having more updates as we go through the process of renovating her and other tiny home options. Check the new “Wednesday the Airstream” category for more!