Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you know someone is about to say, “I told you so?” You kind of squint and wait for the comment to hit you in the face like a pie.
Well, after this update I’ll be doing a bit of squinting.
If you’ve been following our journey, you know that it has been our dearest wish to build our very own tiny house to take with us on the road as we travel nurse. We’ve been pursuing that goal for the last year or so. We found a builder we absolutely loved and together we created a floor plan and design for our would-be home. We even put down the money to buy the actual physical trailer on which said tiny home would be built. Then the time came to find a loan to pay for the build.
But time after time the answer from bank after bank was “No, we don’t do tiny homes,” like Andie McDowell slapping Bill Murray in the face over and over again in Groundhog Day. It was an exhausting and discouraging process, to say the least.
Throughout the process of tiny home planning and dreaming, we have had lots of people say, “Why don’t you just buy an RV?” to which we usually sigh and explain that while technically a tiny house IS an RV, they are also nothing like RVs. Tiny homes are extremely well built, far less flimsy than most RVs. And you get a lot more square footage. And they’re meant to be lived in, not camped in. You get the idea. Also, most motor coach style RVs cost three times more than our house. So the RV idea was always a giant, “NO!” Plus I hate how they look on the inside.
But then one day I picked my husband up from a shift at the hospital in Florida and he mentioned one of his coworkers, a fellow travel nurse, lived in a rather nice travel trailer that she and her husband live in that only cost a fraction of our tiny house budget. I immediately started in on why travel trailers aren’t a good idea: they’re flimsy, there’s no space for the baby, and they look like they were designed by a baby boomer convention (baby boomers – no offense – tend to LOVE dark woods, fluffy leather furniture, and ornate window coverings. All fine if you live in a 19th Century English manor home, terrible if you live in an RV. It makes the whole thing look like a cramped, dated cave. Millennials like myself like our spaces sparse, open, and light — mostly because we’ve been broke since ’08 and we have no wealth to flaunt).
But as the dream of our home-on-the-road started to look tinier and tinier, the idea of a travel trailer seemed like a necessary evil. My heart sank at the idea of living in some ugly trailer instead of our lovely tiny house.
I follow #tinyhouse and #tinyhomes and a number of other tiny related hashtags on Instagram, if for no other reason than as a means of keeping the flame of hope alive. A few months ago I stumbled on a photo of a lovely fireplace scene in what looked like a tiny house, only to look closer and see that it was the inside of an RV travel trailer. My interest was piqued and I instantly began following this woman’s Instagram account. Then I found more and more people who had purchased an RV and completely renovated it to look like a tiny house. Do yourself a favor and do a Google image search of “RV renovation before and after” to see what I mean. I was so excited.
My husband and I called our builder to ask if he would be willing to do the renovation for us after selling our trailer (we have neither the time nor ability for a massive DIY like this). He loved the idea. Since he already knows exactly what we want, getting something fixed up would be no problem. Within a short time, our trailer sold!
After weeks of trying to search for just the right travel trailer, we found a nearly brand new one really close by and at a really decent price with a bunkhouse, so the baby has her own space as she grows. We are hoping to sign the papers tomorrow on the loan and by next week this trailer is ours!
We are not sure of the renovation timeline, but for now we are excited that our “home-on-the-road” is going to become a reality! Photos will be shared in earnest once we move in!
Now to wait for the “I told you so” comments!