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This Lawyer Lives in His RV named Napoleon

Bob is a lawyer who ditched his luxury apartment to live in his RV named Napoleon!

Doing so is allowing him to pay off law school loan debt and live simply — read the rest of his story below.

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This Lawyer Lives in His RV named Napoleon


Images via Bob

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Images via Bob

Video: Napoleon’s Interior

From the owner: 

Bob, the Louisiana Nomad Lawyer, is an attorney in Louisiana pulling in a six-figure salary who recently decided to shun traditional living arrangements of a white collar working professional in exchange for a simpler way of life with no mortgage, no rent and no utility bills. He moved out of an urban luxury condo and into his 19ft. 2010 Four Winds RV, nicknamed “Napoleon.” He lives full-time in his RV tiny home, which is shorter than many pick-up trucks and fits into a standard sized parking spot, often with room to spare. Bob splits his time between Baton Rouge, New Orleans, where he is an urban boondocker, meaning he parks “Napoleon” on the street for his accommodations rather than paying to stay at an RV park.

Bob, after living in a few studio and efficiency apartments through school, has been obsessed with the tiny home movement for years and had planned on building his own tiny home on wheels, stemming from the desire to design something and and craft it himself but also to keep costs down. His tiny home obsession was mostly viewed as an interesting and affordable option to someday have a second-home or vacation cottage. However, after an impulse decision involving a desire to eliminate lingering law school tuition debt and save money, and since he did not have the patience to wait long-enough to construct his own tiny home, Bob purchased his small RV used for $23K and now has home he can keep in Baton Rouge during the week for work, a home in New Orleans for fun on weekends, and a home he can take with him on visits to see family in Mississippi, Florida or wherever he wants to take it.

“Napoleon” has a 50 gallon freshwater storage tank that provides water for the bathroom shower and to the kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as the toilet. There is a refrigerator/freezer, a microwave, a two burner propane stove, toaster oven, a propane hot water heater for hot showers and hot water, a 32″ flat screen TV with digital antenna, AT&T wireless hot spot for wi-fi internet, and an air conditioner/furnace for heating and cooling, a bar area with hanging wine glasses. It houses his bicycle, and provides ample storage for his casual clothes, work clothes, as well as kitchen wares and utensils. It has a four-person dinette area with table that is usually left converted to a daybed set-up. It even has a “guest room” that sleeps two with its sleeping loft.

Bob, the Louisiana Nomad Lawyer, has been very comfortable in this transition to this new way of living and has not regretted his decision to go tiny in the least.


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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.
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Susanne
    November 30, 2016, 4:54 pm

    Wow I am jealous! See this guy is a genius for realizing early on ” Why have my expensive luxury condo just because people expect me too?” When he still has school loans to pay ( and desires to pay them off quickly and in full!) if desires later can then save quickly in order to build a small home., not a McMansion if he so chooses…

    • Natalie
      December 1, 2016, 10:30 am

      Precisely! He’s very wise 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Janet
    November 30, 2016, 5:17 pm

    This is what student debt does to you. Large debt makes you rethink what’s necessary in life. Living small/tiny is a great way to prioritize your life. Pay off debt, live in a minimalist way and love the life you live. This is why tiny home communities are essential to our way of living, now and in the future. Those who are retiring simply can’t make it anymore. Living tiny would be a great way to live for these folks. Ready for a family? Live small instead of tiny. The nation will have to adapt if we put the pressure on each state. I was thinking of moving to Spur, TX until I looked at their “fracking map.” YOW, I don’t want to boil my water or drink “fracked water.”

    • Natalie
      December 1, 2016, 10:31 am

      Yes living tiny and small is going to be the only way for many people – – and that’s a good change — Tiny House Talk Team

    • jm
      December 2, 2016, 9:55 am

      Makes student debt, or any, sound almost beneficial.

  • Linda Hodges
    November 30, 2016, 5:56 pm

    I am so proud of him! Getting his debt under control while living frugally and yet very comfortably. I think I could live in there. It is well organized and has everything necessary. Good for him!

    • Natalie
      December 1, 2016, 10:31 am

      He did a great job! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Annette
    November 30, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Great going Bob! Thanks for sharing. Radical departure from the conventional takes loads of courage. Good luck in your career and may the Force be with you.

    • Natalie
      December 1, 2016, 10:32 am

      🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • November 30, 2016, 7:36 pm

    At age 60 I bought a teeny tiny (70 sq. ft.) Tumbleweed and lived in it, very happily, for 5 years, before meeting my (now) husband. He & I recently retired and are living full time in a 27′ Born Free RV. We LOVE our lifestyle! If we had thought of this at Bob’s age we’d be gazillionaires by now! Good on you, Bob! You are brilliant!

    • Annette
      November 30, 2016, 8:01 pm

      Good luck to you both and thanks for the story!

      I too downsized at age 56 to 450 square feet — not radical compared to Bob and other tiny housers. But it was a big departure for me considering a previous high-floor-white-glove-service lifestyle.

      I now live pretty much under the cellar stairs. Making the leap was wrenching — and I totally love it and made the right choice.

      But it’s important to acknowledge that when I wanted a big lifestyle it was because I was supporting several kids. I didn’t want them to feel limited, strange nor for my teens to have to explain anything. I just wanted a normal home for kids.

      Is tiny normal yet? What do kids say who live tiny? Is it imposed upon them? Do they feel like they’re living in shacks or does the Internet help in mainstreaming everyone?

      Thanks for the food for thought.

      That was then, this is now!

      • Diane the Designer
        November 30, 2016, 10:30 pm

        I agree. Whole heartedly. We as single Mom’s feel that we need to make the back drop for our children and make sure they have everything to feel normal. While sacrificing our future and security in doing so. I am a tiny house designer and prefer to remain anonymous not wanting to be on TV as asked. I wanted to give my kids everything and I did it. I never went for the stacked cash and prefer to live day to day month to month. It has worked for me quite nicely since 1981 and no matter how you live your life always remember God is in control and he will bless whatever he feels is right. Whether a shack or a mansion.
        God Bless you and if I pushed the report button by accident I am sorry. I was just trying to reply. Keep going and enjoying.

        • Natalie
          December 1, 2016, 10:33 am

          Such great thoughts and stories! So great to hear from folks who are downsizing 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

        • Doug
          December 6, 2016, 2:40 pm

          My wife and I have 6 kids between us and live in a 840 sqft house that started as 320. The kid’s friends think our house is big and neat because it’s not ordinary. We live in a rural area that isn’t full of rich people with high expectations of other peoples lives either so that may help.

    November 30, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Wow! Good for him. Nice and cozy inside and organized. Two thumbs up.

    • Natalie
      December 1, 2016, 10:34 am

      He deserves it! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Susanne
    December 2, 2016, 8:25 am

    I agree with going smaller when there’s children involved… And if possible have a very small bit if land for them to play on… Not in the street or parking lot….:(

    • Natalie
      December 5, 2016, 10:32 am

      Well he has no kiddos, so he didn’t have to worry about that. — Tiny House Talk Team

  • jm
    December 2, 2016, 9:56 am

    And as a benefit the lawyer can leave town very quickly…

    • Bob / Louisiana Nomad Lawyer
      December 5, 2016, 11:54 am

      See… I’m no dummy. haha

  • Susanne
    December 2, 2016, 12:15 pm

    Leave quickly?! Hahahahahaha!

  • Meg
    December 2, 2016, 1:07 pm

    Good for him…getting rid of debt early is important!! And the lawyer getting out town quickly comment…WINS. 🙂

    • Natalie
      December 5, 2016, 10:33 am

      Hahaha… oh my! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Bob / Louisiana Nomad Lawyer
    December 5, 2016, 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, y’all! I spent years living in very small efficiency apartments and studio apartments in early adulthood. Tiny, well laid out and organized spaces are very comfortable to me. So, “Napoleon” is working out just great. With the money I am saving, I was able to take a spontaneous snowboarding trip to Lake Tahoe this past weekend. Living tiny is already allowing me to live life more fully. Best wishes and happiness to everyone!

    • Sally Schrock
      December 21, 2016, 1:44 pm

      Kudos to you, Bob! You’ve really defined for many of us what tiny home living is all about in one word: simplicity. Far too many people complicate their lives with mortgages they can barely afford, fancy cars they really don’t need, and other superfluous trappings of “the good life”, which really isn’t so hunky-dory after all.

      The truly affluent are those who’ve found ways to not only live within their means, but also to be able to live life as they wish, without having to worry about having to choose between paying the electric bill and buying food, or living in fear that their job is next on the chopping block and losing their McMansion down the road to foreclosure. We tiny house people are truly empowered!

      • Natalie
        December 22, 2016, 7:40 am

        That’s the truth! It’s awesome 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Cyndi Raper
    December 21, 2016, 2:01 pm

    Lawyer Bob, I am a 56 year old retired litigation and family law paralegal craving to get the heck out of Florida let’s make a deal I’ll come work for you for free if you let me park my tiny house in your parking lot in exchange how does that sound

  • Sharon Goodenough
    December 21, 2016, 3:24 pm

    Reminds me of the lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) in “The Lincoln Lawyer” movie who operated out of his Lincoln Town Car 🙂

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