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Tiny houses vs. RVs: Which one should you buy?

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This flowchart quiz can help you figure it out

travel trailer and tiny house L: Aleksey Stemmer/Shutterstock, R: Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Whenever we cover tiny houses here on Curbed, readers love to point out that these trendy micro dwellings are just glorified RVs, something that’s been around forever. While the basic function is the same—both tiny houses on wheels and RVs offer a home on the go, usually in somewhere between 100 and 400 square feet—there are also non-trivial differences, from the overall look and feel to more specific concerns like ease of mobility (a point for the more lightweight RVs!) and extent of customization possible (a win for tiny houses!)

For a quick, general idea of which category is more suited for your needs, follow the flowchart below.

In general, tiny houses on wheels are best for people who, well, want to live in something tiny and mobile that also feels like a house—even at the expense of a more complicated process for securing financing and certification as an RV, plus sticking out like a sore thumb whenever on the move. But for those who champion convenience above all else, something in the well-established array of RV offerings is easier to purchase, tow, park, and potentially resell as well.

Did you pick one over the other in a recent purchase—or are mulling over one? Sound off in the comments.