Let’s start with the positives, if you selected a good builder then some of the great features of a Custom RV/Tiny Home is that having a deep kitchen sink for cleaning, decent appliances and insulation you are going to see the value of these items very quickly as you will use them daily. It’s a great feeling knowing that everything is working and that it’s like a normal residential home/cabin only very appealing because of its small footprint but also that you have a good roof and windows and can live in almost any climate.
Here in the North Carolina mountains, I have had mid 30-degree temperatures as well as low 80 degrees now as we get into warmer months. The mini-split AC / Heat Pump systems are worth every dime invested as an option as they heat the unit without much work…getting cozy in 200sf is really nice when it only takes 5-7 minutes. Plus if you have neighbors with glamourous RV’s you can smile at home knowing that the energy loss of heat or AC evaporation is so much less than compared to a Class A or C model RV you might see. Oh, forget the countertop refrigerator unless you eat somewhere else you are going to want a mid-size 15cu inch size with freezer or larger and more storage either on the exterior or in Tiny Home.
One of the take away’s from this is that Tiny Houses have it partially right, if they are constructed with best carpentry practices then it’s rock solid like a house and this is our distinction and value proposition against Class A, B and C, RV’s you can compare this all day long to the fiberglass laminate flashy RV’s, but pound for pound a residentially constructed Custom RV/Tiny Home home is better built by a margin of 20-30%, where this will really show up if properly maintained is in how long they last in 10-15 years as RV’s tend to start showing wear within 4-5 years
So let’s get to size one of the most overlooked aspects is that the RV industry can actually show us what are the preferred lengths from its buyers, most of them except Class B are 30-40 feet long, compare this to the Tiny Home industry where 16’, 18’, 20 and 24’ models are being built, unless this is a work trailer, you are a minimalist or short person you will outgrow this in 6-18 months.
After coming up on a month of living in my Custom RV/Cabin as I’m calling it (it’s licensed as a travel trailer ) but you know them as Tiny Homes. I would not purchase anything less than 28 feet and really consider a 30-35 foot model and also make sure at the destination you either have a deck built on the land or have a deck built on either end of the trailer, possibly a drop down or modular one you can put on as needed, again space your going to want it, if you are at an RV park some of them have decks already built.
Taking this a step further I would even suggest considering a 10-12 foot wide by 28-35 feet which put you in the Park Model category, but this will be sufficient for two adults with two queen size beds or a configuration of a queen size bed and an additional room with two single beds or futon sleeping arrangement. This also gives you the extra elbow room and living area you might need if staying beyond seasonal 6 months or longer. People can easily live in this size longer periods of time approaching 10-20 years without needing more space unless the family grows or lifestyle change.
Some other takeaways, try to have your builder design larger windows, living in less than 200 square feet requires some adapting but if you have 3-4 large windows allowing both light in and an aperture to look out, with consideration for 3-4 smaller windows just below the roofline if you are looking at a loft model unit. Otherwise, you may find yourself wanting to escape into the outdoors you pursued so passionately in the first place. If you builder is skimping on this find another one, also make sure your electrical panel is rated up to 50 Amp’s but works with 30Amp, the cost difference is marginal but if you get on 50 amp service you don’t have to worry thinking operating your Combo Ventless washer and dryer and you just added more convenience…30 amp service will not do it.
Can I still start out with a 24-foot length model, yes just make sure you plan to have space so you can be comfortable in the living area, you only really use your bed for sleeping so you want room to unwind
Sea To Sea Homes now build up to 30’, 32’ and 35’ models and has the first Park Model finished.