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Life in an RV While Building a Home Debt-free


What would it take for you to be debt-free? What could you do without monthly payments? The Ries family decided to move into an RV so they could pay cash to slowly build a small home!

While they could have been moved in by now had they financed their home, living tiny with their two little kids means that once they move in, they won’t be carrying debt! They’ve done 95% of the house building by themselves. Amazing.

We got to interview Karissa and hear about what it’s like living in their RV renovation. Check it out below, and follow the family on Instagram.

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Family of Four and Their RV Life

I love the unusual color scheme in this home

A sectional sofa leaves lots of space for playing.

How cute are tiny babies in tiny spaces?

A little fireplace makes things cozy.

I love Christmas decor!

They built their own bunkroom for the kids.

And mom and dad have a room on the other side of the RV.

Here’s the home they are building!

Karissa: Getting Out of Debt While Living Tiny


What are your name(s)?

Karissa & Andrew Ries

How many people (and animals) are living in your RV?

4 peeps! Andee (2 years) & Kase ( 10months)

How long have you lived tiny?

We’ve been living “tiny” for years, but went extra tiny into the RV November of 2019!

What do you do for work? Or do you travel full-time?

We are stationary in our RV, but we own and run a construction business together & I am a design consultant as well!

What are you hoping to get out of living tiny?

Our number one goal with living in our RV is to become debt free! & we are making such good progress & can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

What inspired you to choose an RV (rather than say a tiny house or a bus)?

We chose an RV for several reasons, but mainly because it seemed the most realistic for our lifestyle full time & we are renting our home in the meantime!

How did you acquire your bus? Did you do a lot of renovations?

This is our second RV we’ve renovated and lived in since November 2019 & we bought them both used and have fully renovated both of them top to bottom!

What are bills/utilities like compared to before?

We are fortunate enough to be on my parents property and our cost of living is a fraction of the cost it was in our home prior.

Before going tiny, what was life like?

The same life, just closer to our people 🤍

Is there anything from your old life that you miss?

Not much really – I’d say I miss a big shower/tub, and maybe a bigger fridge, but all in all it’s perspective and we don’t regret it!

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

So fast to clean up the space and of course the debt we are paying off!

What about some challenges?

You’ve got to be on your toes! Everything will be working fine and then the next day something needs love!

What makes your tiny home special?

We BUILT our own bunkroom for the kids since we couldn’t find one within our budget. It’s exactly what we needed!

What is your favorite part of your tiny home?

The kids having there own space and so do we! Also that it keeps us minimal and we Really love the items we have and bring into our space!

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny?

Just do it. You can learn as you go and you can always go back to your regular style home/life if it wasn’t a good fit for you!

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Our big thanks to Karissa for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Avatar Marsha Cowan
    January 9, 2021, 4:54 pm

    Wow! What a beautiful RV! Lovely decorations, and the new house looks like it is going to be lovely, too. Best wished with your build.

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