Tiny Living in a 23 ft. Trailer

How living in a travel trailer offered freedom after the next emptied.

When we were in the process of selling our family farm the goal was to move into a tiny house.  Back then, we owned another piece of land, and we also had a 23 ft. travel trailer that Robert used for contracting.

I was gravitating towards tiny living after the nest emptied because we spent most of our time outdoors. For us, it just made sense to live simply.

Then shortly after the farm closed it was like a chapter of our life had also closed. We quickly purchased a brand-new tiny home and another tiny building for that property.

I will never forget Robert asking me, “which one do you want to move into?”

At the time I really didn’t know what I wanted so I quickly said, “for now, let’s move into the travel trailer.”

Shortly after we settled into this new lifestyle everyone asked over and over, “when were we moving into our tiny house?” I just smiled and said, “when the time is right.”

The "time" turned into years that offered me many things to think about. 

I wondered often, “why do others care how we live?” I mean Robert and I are the most boring people you will ever meet.

It’s when I took a step back and realized that as people, we place too much emphasis on our earthly home when we should be more focused on our heavenly home.

Sticking with the 23 ft. Trailer

With no regrets I decided to stick with living in our 23ft trailer for five years.  You heard me right, no regrets at all.

But what is it like to live in a 23 ft. travel trailer without pullouts?

At first it was fun and convenient, like every day was an adventure. 

If you have met my Robert, then you know he is filled with joy and brings a sense of hope to all situations. Needless to say, we were very content.

Then a few years ago I decided to go contracting with him.  Yes, I went on the road and that’s when things started to change.

Living in the travel trailer became less convenient because I had nowhere to go. Everything I loved to do outdoors was no longer at my fingertips and I became restless.

This is when I started rethinking living in a travel trailer long term.

When Texas froze in February 2021 Robert, and I snuggled up. We went for walks to pass the time and we were blessed to never lose power.  We also learned that candles put out a lot of heat.

After that experience we thought maybe getting a bigger trailer would be a good idea. We looked at many new and used trailers, but nothing felt right.

For Robert, he didn’t care how we lived.  I remember he said one time, “I could live in a cardboard box” and be perfectly content.

That wasn’t true for me but what I took from that statement is that I needed to learn how to be content with what I have. 

Sometimes our wants can confuse what is actually good for us. When I look at the last five years, I’m just incredibly thankful for that time and even more thankful for what’s to come.

Pros and Cons for tiny living in a travel trailer

The Good & Bad Things

The good that came from tiny living in a travel trailer includes a long list. So, I’m going to bullet point several thoughts because I believe people from all ages can benefit from this lifestyle.

Do I think it's a good idea to live in small quarters long term?  There is no right or wrong answer for that question because it really depends on the person.

For both Robert and I the answer for long term living would be "no" because we have a lot of hobbies and things, we want to accomplish in the time we have left.  Space is required to accomplish those plans and we are excited about this next chapter.  So, let's look at both lists to see what you think. 

Good Things List:

      •  Less space to clean, 15 – 30 minutes once a week.
      • Living in close quarters makes for a stronger marriage.
      • Smaller fridge and freezer taught me to not waste food.
      • Money saved on housing expenses like insurance is wonderful.
      • Money saved on living expenses like utilities is amazing.
      •  Money saved in general is fantastic because storage is limited.
      • If there was an emergency our house went with us.
      • RV park people are nice, but preferred parking on my own land.

Bad Things List:

      • Setting up and breaking down to move is a pain and can strain relationships lol.
      • Can be stressful to “tow” if not familiar with backing up and transporting.
      • Very few entertaining options, especially if you have hobbies.
      • Hiring for repairs can be pricy if you don’t have the skillset to fix things.
      • RV park pricing is all over the place, expect to spend 350 – 700 a month.

For us the good outweighed the bad and when I look back, I smile and say, we did it and in a few months, we'll be done with it. 

This experience proved to me that what others think means nothing. The sacrifices that we were both willing to make made us better people. More importantly, for me I grew on the inside and I have embraced a bit more grit that will carry me forward in this next chapter.

I know what is most important in this life and it sure isn’t my earthly home. Y’all what’s most important thing is our heavenly home.