Our family of three has been tiny living in a 31 foot RV trailer for 5 months. The previous 7 years, we lived in a 1900 square foot house that we “owned” in the city. By “own,” I mean we paid the bank every month to try to own it eventually. We felt we had done what we could with urban homesteading, and we were having trouble finding economic sustainability in the city.

We hoped that moving to a rural area would allow us to further embrace sustainability through homesteading, minimalism, zero waste, and financial health. We also have a long-term intention to move towards living off grid.

Our moving process began a year earlier than intended, so we decided to begin the tiny house living adventure in the RV.

The Tiny Living Trial Period

To be honest, tiny house living with a family doesn’t feel as drastic as it first seemed. I used to joke that we would have to build three tiny houses so I wouldn’t go all “Heeeeerrrree’s Johnny!” on everyone, but I don’t feel as cramped as I thought, at least not by people. I still feel as though we have too much stuff at times, but that is both because the RV doesn’t quite accommodate our needs, and we need to downsize more. There are things that we brought that we haven’t used at all, and there are the crates full of stuff in my grandma’s basement. Besides the stuff I am certain we will keep, like bed sheets and the book collection, no one has really thought about the crates and what is in them.

We live on 9 acres surrounded by public forest, so the RV has given us the chance to be outside much more. It has also allowed us to discover what we really miss about our old house, and what we want in a tiny house on wheels. We decided we were totally willing to trade in our mortgage and a larger space in order to customize a tiny house to our exact needs, try to build debt-free, and have a house that moves.

My list of what I miss about our larger house isn’t nearly as long as I thought it would be in the beginning.

The organized, functional kitchen

I really think that the functionality of a space, or lack of it, bothers me more than the size. Smart functionality is part of the minimalism definition, and is a central tenant to modern tiny living. One of my favorite parts of this adventure has been designing the kitchen that we will be using. While it will never be huge, it is big for a tiny house floor plan. We opted for a wider 10’ trailer so that we could fit relatively full-size appliances in the kitchen. I have scrutinized each inch, what we need in a kitchen, and where we need to put it.

Decent bathing facilities

We’re not entirely smelly and dirty over here, but our shower leaves much to be desired. We also chose our larger tiny house floor plan size so we could fit a full-size bathtub/shower inside the tiny house bathroom.

Super first world problems, but…

I miss our comfortable place to sit and watch movies, read, or generally hang out. Our tiny house interior pushes the bathroom and the kitchen apart, and puts them under the lofts to allow for a “spacious” tiny living room.     

And of course, laundry, laundry, laundry

Minimalism with kids isn’t the easiest. The laundry is one of the hard parts, and I am currently in hard negotiations to add a washer/dryer combo to our tiny house floor plan.

Do you think you could do tiny living with a family?
Do you do tiny living with a family?
We would love to hear your stories!