When I was a kid my family camped a lot. At first we did this in a simple tent. However, as I got older my parents upgraded to a small pop-up camper and eventually to a full-blown travel trailer with a bunkhouse. The idea was that the bigger, nicer rigs would make our trips better, and in some ways they did. However, all of the changes weren’t for the better, a fact I kept in mind while shopping for a travel trailer for my family to live and travel in.
Now, despite the fact that we made an effort to keep things on the small side, we are seriously considering downsizing even more. We’ve found that the three of us don’t really need all that much space, and our 29-foot trailer is, at times, more trouble than it’s worth.
Here are the reasons we are considering a smaller trailer or even a class B motorhome.
1. Better gas mileage
Everyone knows RVs don’t get great gas mileage. Our current setup gets about 10mpg when towing, and while ours is better than many others out there, it still isn’t awesome.
Of course, we went in prepared for this, so the terrible gas mileage is not a huge problem for our budget. However, a smaller rig would almost certainly mean less money spent on gas, and that means more wiggle room in our budget for fun outings. This alone is almost enough to convince me that a smaller RV is the right pick for our close-knit family.
2. Improved maneuverability
If better gas mileage isn’t a good enough reason for you to make the switch, consider the improved maneuverability you would have in a smaller rig. Camper vans and Class B RVs are especially easy to drive, meaning less stress during travel days and an easygoing RV experience. Heck, even getting gas which is generally a chore in an RV would be more simple!
3. More parking available
Driving isn’t the only thing made easier by a smaller RV. A little RV will also make parking a much simpler process.
Many of the smallest motorhomes can fit into a regular parking space or two, and even if you decide to go with a small trailer, you’ll find that squeezing into parking lots is no longer such a hassle. This is great because it means errands like stopping in at local restaurants or grabbing a drink from a coffee shop are made possible.
4. Less stuff
For my family, one of the best things about moving into an RV was the dramatic decrease in material items. We found ourselves thinking more about what we brought into our home, and getting rid of items as soon as we noticed they weren’t being used.
We now go through our cabinets every few months to get rid of unwanted items and keep our trailer’s weight in check. Not only does this keep our rig’s weight down and our cabinets clean, it also relieves us of all the stress brought on by too much stuff.
Downsizing to a smaller RV would mean making even more conscious decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. This in turn would lead to even less clutter and fewer items to clean up, keep track of, and repair—something that would bring even more peace to my family and myself.
5. Easier boondocking
The ability to boondock is one of the amazing benefits of traveling in an RV. After all, who could resist a free place to park in some of the most beautiful areas of the country? The trouble is that pulling a large travel trailer off the road and into the wilderness is not always possible. We certainly can’t venture very far in fear of getting stuck.
A smaller rig would remove this issue entirely. Less weight means less chance of getting stuck, and a smaller vehicle makes it easier to maneuver through obstacles. This opens a whole new world of boondocking opportunities.
6. Greener living
Living in an RV generally leads to more eco-friendly life choices, and a smaller RV only makes the lifestyle a greener one.
A little RV generally means smaller tanks, leading to more careful water consumption when hookups are unavailable. Many camper vans and Class B RVs contain fewer lights and smaller appliances, meaning they can be powered using solar panels alone. The improved gas mileage is a huge eco-friendly benefit, and the need to reduce consumption of material things also helps the environment.
While a smaller rig does have downsides too, I feel that the pros outweigh the cons for many individuals. I encourage you all to take this option into consideration the next time you’re looking for a new home-on-wheels. Who knows? You may find a tiny RV that makes you happier than ever!