Tiny House Trailer Living Vs Apartment Living
A couple of years ago my wife and I decided we were going to travel the US in a semi-retired state. We kicked out the kids (all over 21), sold our home and purchased an tiny house trailer. Well live situations change and we didn’t get on the road, at least not yet. We ended up staying in the area and taking full time jobs. But we decided at the time to stay in the tiny house trailer as full-timers.
The purpose of the article is to offer some insight as to the possibilities of using house trailer instead of apartments and the advantages of trailer house.
Let’s start with the financial side of living in a tiny house trailer. You have the cost of the tiny house trailer. These are to be treated just like cars. If you buy new, you will take a beating on depreciation. However, like a home, the interest is tax deductible. So the best deal seems to be a unit that is a year or two old and financed. If you want to buy new, figure a discount of about 25-30% off from the list price. Our unit was a 2003 still on the lot in 2005 with the 2006 units being delivered. The sticker price was over $65,000. We paid $40,000 saving us about 38 percent. Now at the time we did not have a tow vehicle so the dealer delivered the fifth wheel to a near by campground.
Oak Grove in Hatfield, PA is a year round campground. This is important. You want to find a campground that offers year round operations. You don’t want to have to move out in the wintertime. A lot of camp grounds close from November to March or early April. When we started there our rent was $375 a month and included water and electric. Our only other expense was propane for heating and hot water. Oak Grove supplied 2- 100 lb propane tanks and they automatically changed the tanks for us. This is really nice, kind of like automatic oil delivery when you own a house. During the warmer months we hardly use any propane, maybe a bottle every other month if that. However, wintertime we will use 3-4 bottles a month due to the heater. Currently propane runs about $50 a bottle. So from the standpoint of renting an apartment to living in a tiny house trailer expenses are normally cheaper. My daughter pays $750 a month for an apartment near us and we pay on average $425-450.
Other benefits of living in a tiny house trailer – people! The people you find camping are the most wonderful folks you will ever come across. They are friendly, helpful, young at heart and just plain nice to be around. We have been avid campers since before we were married. I used to sneak down to DE where my wife (girlfriend at the time) and her family were camping and pitch a tent, then make myself part of the family. In the almost 40 years we have been together and camping we have never met anyone that was rude, a thief, or not willing to lend a hand if asked. In fact we have had more offers of help without asking than anytime we lived in a house or apartment.
It’s funny, but when I traveled and stayed at hotels, you almost felt like a ghost or leopard or something. Heaven forbid if you said ‘hi’ to someone in the elevator or hallway. But when camping, everyone waves as you walk by, some will offer drinks or have you sit by the fire and chat for hours. Its like we are all family.
Speaking of fires, what is it about a campfire? To sit down at night around a nice campfire is so relaxing. Nothing needs to be said, just watch the flames and it seems all the stress just floats away. But campfires have another benefit, food. Nothing tastes better than food cooked over an open fire. Try doing that in an apartment.
Tiny house trailer has another benefit, vacations. If you live in an apartment, you vacation consist of going to a destination, finding a hotel/motel, eating out every meal, and taking enough clothes with you for the length of the vacation. When you live in a tiny house trailer, your home goes with you. 30-40 minutes to pack the tiny house trailer, disconnect the utilities and hook up to the truck and you are on the road. When you get to your vacation destination, another 30-40 minutes and you are ready to enjoy the sites. Meals are not a problem, you have a complete kitchen already stocked just like at home, since it is home. On a special diet? No problem, you normal routine is uninterrupted. Clothes get dirty, a lot of tiny house trailer come with washers and dryers, so you can do your laundry while relaxing in the evenings or before you get started for the day. Tiny house trailer is usually cheaper too. When you compare the expenses you will find the tiny house trailer trip is a lot cheaper than hotel/restaurant trip.