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Finding Financial Freedom: Goodbye Mortgage, Hello RV Renovation!


Tiffany and Derek have two little girls. They bought a home like they “should,” but money was tight leaving them without any extra money to travel or even finish the home the way they wanted to. So they did something totally crazy: They sold the house and bought an RV which they remodeled into a gorgeous space with all the features they would have loved to have in their big house.

In total they spent around $25,000 on their new home and pay around $530/month to park in a nearby RV resort. Now Derek (@_tinyhouse_bigdreams_) can work as a Youth Pastor without the financial stress, and their girls can grow up in a gorgeous home handcrafted by their parents.

We were privileged to do a Q&A with Tiffany,  so be sure to read it below after checking out the photo tour of their home.

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Family Sells Big Home for Renovated RV for Financial Freedom

From the living room leading back to the gorgeous Master bedroom.

Sectional sofa and kitchen table. Love!

Love the way they used a basket as a light fixture!

Butcher block counters and a farmhouse sink. Love!

Simple cooktop for making meals

The girls’ room, with two cribs and space to play.

What a luxurious bathroom! Love the subway tiles.

A look at the Master bedroom.

Those TP bags are clever!

I could definitely get ready here.

Q&A with Tiffany: RV Life, Family of 4

What are your name(s)?

Tiffany, Derek, Felicity (3) and Marina (1) Sanchez

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

4 people, no animals yet

Where do you live? How long have you lived tiny?

We live in Clermont, Florida which is kind of a suburb of Orlando. We have been officially living tiny for almost 2 months

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

My husband is a young adults Pastor and at the moment, we are stationary but we would love to travel!

Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny?

We want financial freedom, less stuff and more experiences. We really want to teach our children that life is not about what you have but who you are. It’s about building character and experiencing as much as you can. It’s about loving people and being grateful and generous with what you do have.

How did you first learn about tiny house life/RV life?

We really started learning more about tiny houses by watching HGTV and then we found out about RV reno’s on Instagram!

How long did it take to finish your RV?

Because we had some water damage and had to slowly come up with the finances for the renovation, it took us about 9 months to complete.

How did you build your RV? Did you have any help?

Did you do it yourselves? We had to hire someone to help us with the water damage, but everything else was done by us and my father in-law.

Are you comfortable sharing how much your tiny home cost? What are bills/utilites like compared to before?

The total cost including buying the RV, hiring someone to fix our water damage and our entire reno, was $25,000. Our lot rent at our current campground is $530 a month, which includes the water. And our electric bill is about half the price as it was in our 4 bedroom house.

How did you find a place to park and live in your RV?

We had an option of parking on a friend’s property but it would have required a composting toilet and the location was also little further out from work and family. Because of this we decided to go with a RV resort closer to my husband’s job.

Before going tiny, what was life like?

Before we went tiny we owned a 1800 sq ft house. We were very stretched financially and stressed about maintaining our home and yard on top of a busy work load and 2 small children. We found ourselves buying things we didn’t need just to fill the space we had and feeling very discontent because we couldn’t save, travel or even afford to put our own mark on our home.

Is there anything from your old life that you miss?

I think the only thing I really miss is having the space to host a party or a large group. We love to fellowship and host people at our home. We could still have some people over and hang out outside, but we are limited because we live in the RV resort. But one day we might own our own land and would free us up some more!

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

We are saving so much money, we are getting outside way more, and we are spending more time together as a family.

What about some challenges?

We have not faced many challenges living tiny. We had our RV for 9 months before we moved in so we had alot of time to prepare for the space. There was a bit of a learning curve with transporting the RV a few times, and adjusting to small waste tanks. But once we learned to adapt, it has been fine.

What makes your RV special?

We were actually able to create our dream home, even though it’s tiny it still has so many of the details that we have always wanted in a home. Things like: Butcher block countertops, farmhouse sink, ceiling beams, and an over-all light and open feel.

What is your favorite part of your RV?

My favorite part of the RV is the farmhouse sink centered right under the kitchen window and how easy it is to clean. Derek’s favorite part is the wood beams and the kitchen.

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

Be realistic about the space you *need.* We knew we needed a washer and dryer and a separate space for our girls. Without those two things, living tiny just wouldn’t work for us. Think about your lifestyle and your needs. Don’t settle! If you’re going to live tiny, make it beautiful and inspiring.

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More Like This:  Tiny Houses | RV Conversions | Photographer & Florist’s Clean & Bright RV Renovation | Digital Marketer Celebrates One Year of RV Life with Two Cats | Winter Haven, FL Tiny Home for Sale: $24,999 OBO | Hand-Built Open Floor Plan Tiny Home for Sale, CA: $70K

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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.
{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Vickie Gnad
    June 20, 2020, 4:40 pm

    would have been nice to see the outside of the rv.. is it a semi?

    • Avatar Janet Elmore
      June 20, 2020, 5:40 pm

      I believe it is a 5th wheel if you click this link it takes you to their Instagram page where there is more pictures and there is one of what I would assume the outside. https://www.instagram.com/_tinyhouse_bigdreams_/

    • Avatar Michael L
      June 20, 2020, 9:35 pm

      Going to their Instagram page confirmed my suspecions… It a very large goose neck RV.

  • Avatar Kathleen veltsos
    June 20, 2020, 4:55 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous and well decorated. Well done. I love the location of the master bedroom.

  • Avatar Rosemary
    June 26, 2020, 11:29 am

    This is the most amazing renovation I have seen. Someone become an interior decorator!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 27, 2020, 12:57 pm

      Right!? I need them to come to my place.

  • Avatar Rosemary
    June 29, 2020, 11:55 am

    Sorry! Someone (should) become!

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