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From 2,700 to 314 Square Feet: Family’s RV Travel Lifestyle

I absolutely love seeing families downsize from “regular” American homes to itty bitty spaces and seeing them truly enjoy and thrive in that lifestyle. That’s the case for the Aviles family, who went from a 2,700 square foot sticks and bricks home to a 314 square foot RV so they could travel.

In 2019, they travelled over 6,000 miles, and put in another 8k in 2020! While they do plan to eventually build another home, it’s clear this minimalist experiment has forever changed them for the better. Plus their two kids have seen so much of the country they might have never seen if they stayed at home.

They did a ton of work on their 1996 Winnebago to make it a boho-chic home that reflects their personalities and works with their lifestyle. Enjoy the photos below and be sure to read our Q&A with mom, Aubrey, below!

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They Put 8K Miles on Their RV Home in 2020!!

Look at this happy family!

I love that they made space for a library!

The couch looks like a cozy place to cuddle.

They took out the standard dinette to create a kids’ spot.

Love that cool black furniture piece.

Another view of the living room area.

Kids making rice crispy gingerbread houses.

Love the open shelving and wooden bowls.

There are more books in the Master bedroom.

Storage in the bathroom with awesome wallpaper.

The tile also looks the part.

Aubrey: RV Lifestyle with Family of Four

What are your name(s)?

Carlos, Aubrey, Jade and Ian

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

We have a rag doll Persian named Seal nickname is cocoa puff.

How long have you lived tiny?

1 year 7 months

What do you do for work?

I’m a real estate broker and my husband does computer coding.

Or do you travel full-time?

Yes for the most part. This last year we traveled about 8k miles

What are you hoping to get out of living tiny/small?

We wanted the freedom to travel and see as much of the country as possible. We wanted to also travel to see where we would eventually plant roots. We left a 2700 sq ft house with three car garage and three living rooms to 314 sq ft space. We wanted to save money for more land and less house. The world has since become our backyard, we’ve parked in the mountains, in canyons, on the beach ect.

Describe your decorating style and philosophy?

I would say thrifted bohemian, but I love things that remind me of a place and memory I want to remember. Most everything I have is homemade, gifted or treasures found to keep in memory of… I don’t like buying stuff just to decorate. My philosophy is to recycle as much as possible by buying second hand or filling my home with things that have meaning and/or functionality. I have a lot of small paintings and keepsakes I’ve collected from our travels around the world too.

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

We are currently in a 30ft travel trailer soon to be working on a stick built tiny home.

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

We found our home on Craigslist while on a road trip in California , it was preowned 1996 Winnebago. We have done a lot of renovations. We recently redid the kitchen completely. We replaced the bathroom sink and vanity. We ripped out carpet and replaced with LifeProof flooring from HD. It’s held up amazing! Took out all the built in furniture and put our own In to create more space. We converted some things like cabinets, to open bookshelves and desk area for work.

What are bills/utilities like compared to before?

My expenses now are less than my electric bill of my stick built home. Our current monthly rent is $177 which includes are lot, electric, water and septic. With our cell phones and vehicle insurance, our monthly expenses excluding gas and food are less than $500. 😬

Before going tiny, what was life like?

Hectic, we were rarely home. Worked a lot. We were always going on road trips so we thought why not live on the road? We began looking into full time rving.

Is there anything from your old life that you miss?

I miss my bathtub 🤣

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

We don’t worry about bills, we spend more time doing things we enjoy, we can move at anytime to anyplace, we can see family and friends anytime, we have more time to spend as a family, we don’t need a lot so we spend a lot less. When you have a small closet and a small living space, you don’t feel the need to fill up space just because.

What about some challenges?

Finding a good spot to park in popular parks at peak times, dealing with blown tires, our transmission blew out of our truck this year on our way through California, I guess I’m so used to living on the road now I feel like the challenges are really considered challenges anymore because we’ve worked around them like going to the laundromat once a week to do laundry, now I like that I can just get it all done in an hour or so versus everyday I used to do laundry.

What makes your tiny home special?

We own it, we remodeled it ourselves and put a lot of love and thought to it, we’ve hosted dear friends and family, we’ve made incredible memories, we can take our home wherever we go, even to the beach it’s given us back a lot of love to hold onto 🤗

What is your favorite part of your tiny home?

My kitchen is my favorite. It’s the perfect tiny farmhouse kitchen! I can cook and create comfortably and it makes it feel like home.

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

Start purging before you move into a tiny home. You will need to do this several times. You won’t need half the stuff you think you do! Do research and ask a ton of questions!! I feel like we avoided so many disasters and money pits by asking a lot of questions and researching before buying and moving in. Anything from what to put in your black water tank to buying a dehumidifier! I felt pretty prepared by the time we moved in fulltime. Make a check list for moving days, you don’t want a box of snickers ice cream flying out of the freezer! 🤦🏻‍♀️Zip Ties and Velcro are your best friend!🤪

Learn More:

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Our big thanks to Aubrey for sharing! 🙏

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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 three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • merryl
    January 12, 2021, 9:37 am

    Wow this is really nice!It looks warm,inviting,and cozy.As a book lover myself,I like that there is alot of space for books.You can never have to many books.

  • Donna Rae
    January 12, 2021, 11:18 pm

    Lovely! Lovely! Lovely! LOVE the Bohemian theme…it’s exactly what came to mind when I saw the beautiful, comfy and unique decor. It’s just so friendly and I could spend a lot of time in it. Amazing what can be done to make a generic RV into a sweet home. I wish there was a photo of the exterior so we could get an idea what they started with.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 15, 2021, 9:19 am

      Hi Donna — I think they have more before and after pictures on Instagram!

  • Katrina Kole
    January 12, 2021, 11:54 pm

    Omg I love this cute family so much. More than their home. And I really love their home. These are the type of people I feel so inspired by

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 15, 2021, 9:19 am

      Right? They’ve really found the heart of living tiny and loving each other!

  • Kay W Jackson
    January 26, 2021, 9:34 am

    Renovation looks great. However, in all the pictures here and on instagram, I do not see where the kids sleep. It looks like the couch will fold down to a bed. Is this the kids sleeping area or do they sleep in the bedroom that is shown? From past camping experiences, I know that having to fold down/out a bed everynight is a pain, especially when kids are sleeping in that area.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 27, 2021, 1:36 pm

      You know, I did have the same thought. They may be a co-sleeping family, or perhaps they use a fold-out set-up as annoying as it is.

  • Marsha Cowan
    June 17, 2021, 8:25 pm

    This home is rich with decorating ideas! Layered woven rugs, layered window treatments, tile, wallpaper–it’s just all so beautifully done. The kids area is great, but that master bedroom takes the cake. It’s gorgeous! I absolutely love the kitchen. The whole home is just lovely!

  • Fran Marie
    June 19, 2021, 5:57 pm

    There’s so much in there and yet doesn’t feel cluttered. Beautiful design.

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