We went from our small home to an RV with approx 400 sq ft of living space. Invest carefully & learn for others mistake of rushing in.
When planning to downsize from our small home, we were looking for:
Portable - we wanted to travel around North America on road trips
Living Comfort - we were focused on ensuring we have space for creature comforts
"Known Entity" - Insurance, by-laws, etc. Ensuring the legality of our little home
Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) vs. RV
Our thinking was building a custom tiny home could have the same costs (we don't have access to salvage building materials), require build time and then you're left with the challenge of insurance, finding places to park it, dealing with the ambiguity of by-laws in for a THOW.
This led us to purchase a 4 season, 5th wheel trailer. We quickly (within first 4 months) realized that RV living was not right for us. Overall, the main problem? It was too big.
While loaded with all the creature comforts, it really wasn't practical for us. We took a financial loss, having bought this RV before testing out life in a trailer park. We highly recommend spending a couple weeks living & working from a trailer park before making any commitment - RVs (particularly tow behind) can't be parked many other places.
The Downsides of an RV
Our insights based on our experience. Make sure you focus on what suits you best, and not what suits others. There isn’t and shouldn’t be one size (or solution) that suits all.
Repairs - Slow & Expensive: You are at the mercy of dealerships and their knowledge of your model.
Parking - RVs are big and can't be taken just anywhere. Parks and cities charge preimum rates for RV sites with hook ups.
Life in Trailer Parks - Neighbors are close-by. Not all site managers are equal.
Loud - Heating, cooling & cooking in the RV is pretty noisy. Systems are selected for price and weight - not comfort in RVs.
Sound Proofing - RVs are built to be as light as possible. This doesn't bode well for noise. Rain is LOUD on trailer roofs. You'll hear every conversation outside your trailer.
Travel Limitations - A pickup truck and 5th wheel is a big vehicle to drive. Weather, availability of hook ups and space for parking reduce your flexibility
Hard to Customize - It is easier to live in small spaces when it is well designed and laid out. RVs are build one size fits all.