Tiny house showdown – Tarleton vs RV

Alright, I want a good clean fight…

Although I would love a Tarleton, I may end up going with an RV instead. Granted, I have years to go before I decide one way or the other, so I’ll probably waver back and forth several times between now and then.

But reading The Mini-Mobile Cottage and learning that the Fencl design, at least, is very heavy and tall has made me waver in my decision to go with a Tumbleweed.

Ideally, I want something I can travel with 24/7, and I don’t think the Tumbleweeds are made for that. But let’s compare the two:

-It looks like a house, feels like a house, and has windows. The last bit is important.
-Cost is a big one. I’m not sure I’d be able to come up with 50k in anything less than ten years, and I’m unwilling to take on a mortgage. I have less than half that in debt right now and I can’t stand it.
-Height, weight, and the fact that it might not be able to stand up to a lot of moving. Mobile, yes. Suitable for RVing, probably not.

-Cost. I could get a used RV, or even a new RV, for less than a Tumbleweed.
-Height, weight, mobility. RVs are made to be moved about all the time.
-No one would care if I painted Art Deco gazelles on it or just covered the damn thing in bumper stickers depicting places I’ve been.
-It’s easy to find a place that services RVs.
-I know first-hand RVs can go off-grid for a week or more easily.
-RVs have to be dressed up before they’ll look or feel like a house. -Also, the lack of windows. And no loft or porch.

I’m reasonably certain I could fit either with a solar setup for electricity. The RV would probably come with AC, which I’d rather learn to live without, but might be useful in some cases.

At this point, I’m leaning toward a gutted and redecorated RV. Laminate flooring and actual furniture instead of RV chic. Books would be an issue in either scenario; I’d probably have to have them stored in a cabinet with doors. I’d like glass-fronted bookcases, but there’s too much chance for breakage. Closets aren’t really a big deal. I only have one closet now, and it suits me fine.

So, Tarleton or RV? Anyone have an opinion?


3 Responses to “Tiny house showdown – Tarleton vs RV”

  1. Dargon Says:

    As someone also interesting in the mobile housing, I’d have to look at some math to figure it out. How much bigger a truck and how much more gas would it use to haul a tumbleweed as opposed to an RV? Aside from some bridge clearances, I don’t see physical size as being too much a problem. There’s plenty of truck routes to take.

    Truth be told, it is not something I intend to concern myself with for at least a few more years, barring winning the lotto. Seeing as I won’t be graduating until the end of 2011, and at that point it will probably take 3-5 years to pay off my debt, I’m not anticipating being able to even consider a mobile house until at least 2014. And seeing as the world is going to end in 2012…

    However, once the debt is paid, I am confident the purchase price difference between the tumbeweed and an RV would be a nonissue. Nonissue enough that I could probably afford to buy two ;)

    And I’d probably spend the price difference making the RV look like a a Star Trek Shuttlecraft or something.

    • cwnmamau Says:

      The height consideration is from going RVing wtih my parents and seeing just how many trees can fit into a National Forest campground. I still need to find out the actual height of the toy hauler they use, it may be just as high as a Tumbleweed, or it may be shorter. Mom said she’d take me out to look at RVs when it cools off a little more (she’s weak). Then I can actually compare heights, weights, and pricing.

      • Dargon Says:

        I had another thought. There’s the winnebago type RV and there’s the reailer type RV. The former has the issue of being physically part of the behicle, making it far from ideal for permanent residence. If there’s a car problem, there’s a house problem. Trailer types can work as a permanent residence, as vehicle issues are solely vehicle issues.

        Out of curiosity, I looked at bridge heights on the way to school, a tumbleweed would clear them all.

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