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Photographer & Florist’s Clean & Bright RV Renovation

Meet Parker and Lexa: A young couple saving big by living in their gorgeous renovated fifth wheel in California.

He’s a photographer. She’s a wedding and event florist. They got married about two years ago and have been living tiny now for a year and a half. Lexa said they’d discussed getting a tiny house once they were married even back when they were dating, and intentionally lived in a little apartment so they’d be prepared.

While they may not live tiny forever, this lifestyle has allowed them to park on family land and save rent, preparing them for a lifetime together! Doesn’t get more amazing than that. Follow them on Instagram (@lexamstutz).

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Young Couple Living in RV Renovation

Their dinner table doubles as a home office.

Look at this adorable visitor on the couch!

The leather couch looks so much better than a standard RV couch doesn’t it?

Here’s some of their kitchen counter space.

Ah that farmhouse sink is everything!

I love how they created open shelving by simply removing cabinet doors!

Everything is so bright and airy feeling inside.

Plenty of space to cook up a storm.

Love the adorable mini dutch oven!

A cozy spot to curl up and read.

Woven baskets are such a convenient and stylish way to store things.

I love all the natural wood accents in the home.

The bathroom has a gorgeous basin sink.

Compact, but functional!

What do you think? Could you live here?

Interview with Lexa!

What are your name(s)?

Parker and Lexa Amstutz

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

We currently live in Thousand Oaks, California, and we have been living tiny for about a year and a half.

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

Parker is a commercial photographer for outdoor brands, and I am a wedding and event florist. We are primarily stationary, but we do travel quite a bit for work, leaving our tiny house behind.

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

Parker and I have been dreaming about living tiny once we got married since we were dating. We even had a shared Pinterest board of various tiny houses that we both loved. We began to
consider the possibility of renovating a 5th wheel trailer into a tiny home when we came across @ArrowsandBow on Instagram. They were a family of 5 living in a darling trailer in Thousand Oaks. That’s when we thought, “we could do this too!”

We know that we won’t live tiny forever, but our dream has always been to use our tiny living situation to save more, give more, and travel more. Living simply while we are young is giving us the ability to prepare for our future together.

How did you first learn about RV-life/tiny living?

Like a lot of people, we watched tiny house shows and were constantly blown away by the creativity and simplicity people could achieve with tiny living. We love that with how small our space is, we are able to make design choices that really reflect our style.

How long did it take to finish your renovations?

We did the bulk of renovations over the course of about 12 work days, but we are continuing to fix and tweak things even a year and a half later!

Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves?

My husband’s family has helped us all along the way. My father in law, Bob, has basically been the foreman on all of our renovation projects!

Are you comfortable sharing how much your tiny home cost? What are bills/utilities like compared to before? What do you pay to park?

We paid about $5,500 cash for our trailer, and we are really grateful to be able to park on my husband’s family’s property. We pay them monthly utilities, although it is nothing close to what we were paying in rent at our previous apartment! Our current situation, although temporary, is allowing us to prepare financially for our future. We are really grateful to be so close to family during this time.

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

Finding a parking spot for a tiny home can sometimes be the most challenging aspect of this lifestyle. We are currently stationary on my husband’s family’s property, but we keep our eyes open for land for sale near us!

Before going tiny, what was life like?

Parker and I moved into a little apartment here in Thousand Oaks after we got married. We knew that our goal was to live tiny, so we always lived very simply, even in our apartment. When we finally settled on our 5th wheel, we didn’t have to do much in terms of pairing down!

Is there anything from your old life that you miss? 

Even in our apartment, we felt that we had more than enough space. Now, we feel that we are able to utilize and enjoy each area of our home. Like everyone else, we still accumulate “stuff” and find that we need to simplify, but we were able to build those habits from the very start. However, after a long day of editing photos and corresponding with clients from our kitchen table, I know Parker misses having a real desk!

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

The most practical benefits have been financial, but we are also experiencing the freedom of a simpler life. We both own just the amount of clothes that we need, we use all of our kitchen appliances daily, and we are incredibly close as a couple. You have to be close when you’re living in 235 square feet!

What makes your RV special?

Our RV is special to us because it represents working together on a project, building a little life together, and laughing about tiny house mishaps. (All probably too gross to share, ha!)

Is there anything you’d change about your RV now that you’ve been living in it?

We do look forward to having more bathroom/shower space someday, but we say almost daily that we are so grateful to have our tiny bathroom! It’s funny how living tiny makes you thankful for even basic aspects of a home, because each area is custom and special to us.

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

One piece of advice that we would give is to practice simplifying your life as much as possible before going tiny completely. Begin the practice of pairing down every area of your life, from your clothing, to your electronics, to your kitchen utensils. Before we moved into our 5th wheel, we went on a weekend trip to the Sierra’s and stayed in a renovated trailer AirBnb to test out tiny living. That was an informative experiment that gave us ideas for our own tiny home, and let us experience working, cooking,
and sleeping in a small space together.

Learn More:

Our big thanks to Lexa 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.
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • June 8, 2020, 9:17 pm

    I just love what they have done. I understand they will eventually move on — but what a great way to spend the early days of their marriage and to learn how to not accumulate too much stuff (trust me) as time goes on. I especially enjoyed seeing their Pug on the couch!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 9, 2020, 1:57 pm

      Exactly! It’s so much easier to start with LESS!

  • Maria
    June 9, 2020, 7:23 am

    Very nicely done. Beautiful. I could live in this year round.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      June 9, 2020, 1:55 pm

      Me too!

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