A young, boho woman wrapped in a blanket sits outside of her a-frame tiny home.

Are Tiny Homes on Wheels Technically RVs?

Tiny homes have created quite the stir in the last several years. With many people looking to live a more minimalist lifestyle, tiny living seems like a natural fit.

If you ask those considering jumping into the lifestyle if they’d prefer a tiny home on wheels or an RV, they’d likely have a preference. However, are both of these vehicles technically RVs? Let’s find out.

A young, boho woman wrapped in a blanket sits outside of her a-frame tiny home.

What Is a Tiny Home on Wheels? 

A tiny home on wheels is a tiny home built on a trailer chassis. However, just because it’s on a chassis doesn’t mean it will be mobile.

Small homes often use heavier building materials and thus can weigh a considerable amount. Their construction makes them great options for those looking to live in a tiny home full-time but still have the flexibility to move their home.

What Qualifies as a Tiny Home?

There’s no formal definition of what qualifies as a tiny home, but the consensus is that a tiny home is less than 600 sq ft. While homes less than 800 sq ft are still considered small, anything above 600 sq ft isn’t typically considered a tiny home. 

A tiny home on wheels parked next to a deck enjoys a private setting out in the woods.

Does a Tiny Home Count as an RV?

Whether a tiny home is considered an RV or not is dependent on the tiny home’s construction. Not all tiny homes are RVs.

If the tiny home is on a trailer chassis, legally speaking it’s an RV. Tiny homes built on a foundation aren’t RVs, and you can’t register them as RVs.

What Is the Difference Between a Tiny Home and an RV?

An RV is on a trailer chassis. A tiny home that isn’t classified as an RV sits on a foundation. Once it’s on a foundation, you can’t drive a tiny home from location to location as you would an RV. Additionally, you don’t have to register a tiny home with the DMV if it isn’t on wheels.

A standard RV uses fiberglass or aluminum siding, whereas tiny homes usually use wood, steel, and vinyl on the exterior.

Tiny homes are often heavier in overall weight than RVs. Typically, a commercial vehicle will have to tow them due to the weight.

A small travel trailer RV parked in the woods with a pink lawn chair out front.

No laws state that you can’t live in a tiny home, regardless of whether it’s on wheels or not. The minimum size of a home to be legally considered an acceptable permanent dwelling is 120 sq ft. Because a tiny home is anything under 600 sq ft, you have quite a bit of leeway when it comes to living in a tiny home on wheels. 

However, some people do run into legal issues when it comes to local land usage and their tiny home on wheels. So while it may be technically legal to live in your tiny home, there are restrictions in place that can make it difficult when choosing where to live in it.

Can You Put a Tiny House in an RV Park?

Many RV parks allow tiny homes to rent a seasonal or permanent spot in their park. There may be specific criteria in some cases. For example, it may need to remain mobile, meaning you can’t place it permanently on a foundation.

RV parks can accept or deny tiny houses based on their standards. Local laws may also dictate whether they accept tiny homes. Check with your desired RV park directly to learn if they accept tiny homes. 

A beautiful view of fields and trees out the windows in a tiny home.

Can I Live in a Tiny House on My Land?

Check local ordinances before you consider living in a tiny home on wheels. In most cases, if your tiny home is in a designated trailer or RV park, you can legally live in it. In some parts of the country, it’s legal to live on your property in whatever structure you desire, whether that’s a traditional sticks-and-bricks home, a trailer, an RV, or a tiny home.

Many other parts of the country have strict regulations on what they will consider an acceptable full-time dwelling. Verify with your local authorities which dwellings pass muster when it comes to legal full-time dwellings. 

Is a Tiny Home on Wheels Worth It?

Tiny homes on wheels are great for those who want a mobile home but with a more residential build and look to it. If you’re looking to move your tiny home a few times but not regularly, a tiny home on wheels might be exactly what you need.

Those who want to move their tiny home on wheels regularly might be better off purchasing a typical RV. Typical fiberglass and aluminum siding RVs can withstand frequent travel, whereas tiny homes can’t always handle the rigors of the road.

Would you consider living in a tiny home? If so, do you think you’d like to have your tiny home sitting permanently on a foundation or resting on wheels?

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