Alternative living spaces have become very popular over the last decade or more. Partly motivated by the need to find more affordable housing, and partly driven by a need to be free from the burdens of owning or renting a conventional property, two of the most popular choices are tiny homes and caravans.
You may wonder how a tiny house (which is generally a property that has been built to only provide the living space with an individual needs, so that it is less expensive than a standard home) could possibly compare to a caravan, given that a caravan has wheels. While tiny house dwellers may argue that as a tiny house feels more like a house and looks like a house, it’s better.
Fans of each option will argue theirs is the best. Interestingly, the two alternative living options have several similarities, but if you are giving serious consideration to living in one or the either, even if it’s only part of the time, you need to look at what sets them apart from one another.
To help you out, let’s take a look at some the key advantages of each.
First, let’s look at some of the major advantages traditional caravans have over modern tiny homes.
There’s no point in beating around the bush, when the simple fact of the matter is, if you are looking for a way to escape from normal living and want to be able to travel, a caravan is the better option of the two. Tiny homes, in general, are not mobile.
Therefore, while you may have a home that offers you greater financial freedom, you can’t really attach it to a trailer and car and drive off when you get itchy feet and need a change of scenery. Or can you?
More Planning Involved and Building
If you choose to invest in a caravan, you simply need to find a suitable model and buy it. Even if it needs work done, you still have the basic structure already in place to work from. With a tiny house, unless you are buying someone else’s pre-existing property, you need to invest in the designing and building of the property. This means you may need to wait and have a patient attitude while you wait for your brand new, extremely small home is built.
Cheaper in General
There is still a lot of debate raging on about whether a caravan or tiny house is cheaper. For the most part, although we feel it’s a close-run thing, we believe that caravans are slightly cheaper. When you consider the price, you can get a used caravan for and the price of a new build tiny house, there isn’t much competition.
As things continue to change and tiny home development evolves, perhaps they will eventually cost similar prices.
We would like to point out that, if you shop around, you may be able to find a relatively cheap tiny house build. If you choose to do it yourself, you may also find that it is less expensive.
Tiny House Advantages
In the interest of partiality and to help you make an informed decision, let’s look at some of the benefits of tiny homes.
They Actually Look Like Houses
Again, let’s start with the most obvious of all – tiny houses by their very description and nature, look more like real homes. You can work on your touring vehicle as much as you like, altering and customising it, but it will never look as much like a traditional property than a tiny house.
Aesthetics is a big part of things, but the fact a tiny house is just a smaller-scale version of a standard house offers more benefits than it’s better looking.
A tiny house actually feels like a real house, which is a great advantage over a caravan, if you are looking for a property that doesn’t feel like you are on a never-ending holiday.
More Weatherproof and Better Insulated
Yes, we know for the most part that caravans are weatherproof, and many provide effective insulation. However, tiny houses still tend to be better equipped in both departments. Particularly if they are new builds and you have a part in the design process, as you can make choices regarding the materials used to insulate and weatherproof the property. Something you are unlikely to have any say in with regards to the design of a caravan.
More Comfortable to Live In
Although there are plenty of caravans out there that offer extremely comfortable living spaces, as tiny houses are made to look and feel like traditional houses, with the only sacrifice being space and size, they tend to feel a lot more comfortable to live in. They are often designed to offer more permanent accommodation than a caravan.
Having better insulation and protection against the elements also means that you can benefit from lower energy costs than a traditional home or caravan.
Choice of Materials Used
Again, unless you are refurbishing a caravan or building your own, you will have little to no say over the materials used in its construction. As you will probably be commissioning a company or taking on the work yourself to build a tiny house, on the other hand, you can choose the materials used. This is especially advantageous if you are looking to non-toxic materials and those that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
There are clearly positives and negatives that come with both tiny houses and caravans. The choice of which is best for you will depend a lot on personal preference and your own circumstances. If you are not interested in having mobility and just want a more affordable and minimalist lifestyle, a tiny house may be the way forward. Whereas if you are looking to have freedom, not just from conventional housing and a cheaper lifestyle, but are also looking to be able to travel easily with a roof over your head, caravanning might be best.