10 Big Questions About Tiny Houses

Why Not an RV, Instead? Or a Cabin?
A U-Haul van tows a tiny house to its next destination. Tiny houses don't tow as easily as RVs. Matt Harriger Used Under Creative Commons CC By -SA 2.0 License

It might seem easier — and cheaper — to move into a trailer or cabin instead of building a tiny home. Tiny-home buyers have their reasons why they prefer their dwellings.

Unlike an RV, a tiny home looks (and feels) much more like a traditional home. And that's important if you're going to be living in it full-time. In addition, many trailers aren't that well insulated. Although tiny houses are often found in more temperate climates, those using them in colder areas say it's relatively easy to create a well-insulated small home [source: Tiny House Talk].

Since many tiny-home enthusiasts are also passionate about the environment and healthy living, many say another benefit of a tiny house as opposed to an RV is that you can create a home out of the materials you'd like. No messing with materials that release potentially harmful particulates, like volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. RVs have the edge, though, if you like to move around — they're much lighter to tow. Plus they attract less attention than a tiny house [source: Tiny House Talk].

What about cabins? Some argue tiny homes and cabins are pretty much the same thing, assuming the "cabin" you're thinking of isn't really a giant structure. But if they're both the same size and the cabin is set on skids, not a foundation, there really isn't much difference. Similarly, some tiny-home fans assert the concept can also encompass houseboats, treehouses, converted buses and yurts [source: The Tiny House].