≡ Menu

Why She HATES Her Tiny House….

This post contains affiliate links.

In this article you’ll learn about how and why you might hate living in a tiny house.

In the tiny house world, we constantly glamorize the lifestyle because it has its benefits (costs less, quick to clean/maintain, better for the environment, etc.), so I think it’s best to offer a reality check, and I’m glad Jenna, of Tiny House Giant Journey, is doing that for us today.

In the video below, she covers the top 10 reasons why living in a tiny house stinks so I wanted to share them with you to start a discussion about it in the comments and then I wanted to ask you the all important question, which is…

Will any of these drawbacks stop you from going tiny?

Top 10 Reasons Why Living in a Tiny House Can Be Terrible And Why You Might Hate It

1. Tiny Homes Get Dirty Fast

2. Composting Toilets Get Old When You Have Guests (And Have to Explain How to Use It)

3. Making Your Bed And Changing Your Sheets in Close Quarters (Like a Sleeping Loft) Is Really Annoying

4. Smells Can Take Over the House Easily (Your Stinky Dog, the Bathroom, Too Much Perfume, When Cooking)

5. Having Guests Over is Tight… No Space for Activities and Hardly Any Space for Sleepovers

6. In a Tiny House on Wheels, You Cannot Add on to Your Tiny House

7. Weigh Limitations on Trailer Axles So You Have to Be Careful About What You Put In Your Tiny House

8. Tiny Closet Spaces So You Can’t Have Lots of Clothes

9. Parking and Insurance Can Be Challenging to Find (Legally)

10. People will Judge You For Living Tiny, Using Composting Toilets, Etc.

But I’m curious, will any of these reasons stop you from living tiny?

Let’s Talk About It!

Which one of these downsides of tiny house living is the worst for you?

Are any of them complete deal breakers for you?

Or could you live with them and still go tiny and see yourself doing it happily?

How could you get passed these issues? Maybe with a small house on a foundation? An apartment? Or are you good with a tiny house on wheels or something similar to it?

Let’s talk about it in the comments!


  1. YouTube
  2. Tiny House Giant Journey

You can share this using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more! Thank you!

More Like This: Explore our Discussions Section

See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses

This post contains affiliate links.

The following two tabs change content below.


Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Alex
    June 18, 2018, 8:24 pm

    Thank you for this. It is refreshing to hear the downsides from someone who’s been there. If a follower doesn’t mind your top 10, then great, go for it. It reminds me of the folks who bought a house on a beautiful piece of property in Northern Montana. The first Winter, they realized that you can be stuck for days or weeks by a blizzard. Many of them sold and moved back California. You really have to decide to change your lifestyle, which can be difficult for some people. I, personally, am looking to use tiny house(s) for guests (or live in in-laws) when they come visit (using regular plumbing on a foundation). This allows them their space, out of my hair, and we can gather at my regular sized house for socializing.

    • September 19, 2019, 5:33 pm

      I don’t live in a tiny house, so I may be ignorant in the advise given, but here it goes:

      1. Tiny Homes Get Dirty Fast
      Cover furniture with painter’s plastic when not in use.

      2. Composting Toilets Get Old When You Have Guests (And Have to Explain How to Use It)
      Get an electric toilet. Turns the stuff into a sterile powder and it is not difficult to use. It vents to the outside and can add warmth (2,000 watts), without the smell, in the winter time. Only drawback is cost, $2000 and electricity usage.

      3. Making Your Bed And Changing Your Sheets in Close Quarters (Like a Sleeping Loft) Is Really Annoying
      That’s one of the sacrifices I would gladly make.

      4. Smells Can Take Over the House Easily (Your Stinky Dog, the Bathroom, Too Much Perfume, When Cooking)
      Maybe an air purifier might work.

      5. Having Guests Over is Tight… No Space for Activities and Hardly Any Space for Sleepovers
      Not much can be done about that.

      6. In a Tiny House on Wheels, You Cannot Add on to Your Tiny House
      I’d rather have a permanent tiny house on a foundation but I know it’s not for everyone.

      7. Weigh Limitations on Trailer Axles So You Have to Be Careful About What You Put In Your Tiny House
      That’s why I don’t like THOW. I’d rather live in a stationary TH.

      8. Tiny Closet Spaces So You Can’t Have Lots of Clothes
      Put your possessions in a large outside tent. I’m referring to the kind of tents that the military uses. 16′ X 16′; cost about $1,000.

      9. Parking and Insurance Can Be Challenging to Find (Legally)
      See answer to #7.

      10. People will Judge You For Living Tiny, Using Composting Toilets, Etc.
      That’s their problem.

  • ClassyGlobal
    June 18, 2018, 8:24 pm

    A THOW will be my next residence, only concerns will be finding a band of great mechanics, registration/insurance & maybe odors (kitchen/pet/potty (though I’ll have a few exhaust fans)). Other people’s perspective of my home will be of no concern in the least as they’re not offering to cover my living expenses.

  • Vivian
    June 19, 2018, 12:16 am

    None of these came as a particular surprise. I honestly feel I could take most of that in stride. Only two issues really impact me. 1) the loft. I don’t wanna have one. First, if you have that boyfriend or a spouse, I can only imagine the concussions one would get when getting busy, lol. Second, I don’t want to crawl into bed, out of bed, or all over just to make the bed. I’m tall and getting on in years, so it won’t work. So, I’ll just have to design things with a downstairs bed.

    The major issue that makes me hesitate is the parking and insurance. I’d like to move around a little, but I have no destination in mind yet. Knowing that every county or city has different ordinances is off-putting. And, I didn’t know insurance would be hard to get. Sigh.

    Still, I’m currently living in 400 sq feet and have a design that will accommodate clothes and food storage – and not together, lol. The rest, is easy to deal with.

    • CherryLipGloss
      July 20, 2019, 8:00 pm

      I agree with you. None of her issues were of much concern to me. I don’t cook, don’t wear perfume, and I’m compulsively tidy so it wouldn’t get dirty. And like you, I’d most definitely purchase a tiny home with a downstairs bedroom. I don’t like having a lot of clothes. Tend to wear my “uniform”, jeans and a white tee. And I wouldn’t care if someone was judgmental. So all’s good except for the legalities. I hope to own one soon.

  • Eric
    June 19, 2018, 3:12 am

    I’m fascinated with THOW’s but probably won’t get one for a whole host of reasons.

    My youngest son, 25 y.o. said to me, but what about the smells from cooking… it’ll get into everything including your clothes. And to honest I hadn’t thought about that, but upon considering it I thought stuff it, I’m gonna be by myself… I’ll keep clothes for wearing to go visiting other people in a special container. Problem solved.

    But reality is… I think I’d rather be in a small house like the one designed by Nils Pearson. But… the cost… oh, the cost.

  • Karen Blackburn
    June 19, 2018, 3:27 am

    Currently living 444sqft, that is 4 adults. No lofts, my daughter and son-in-law have a decent room to themselves and can get around the bed to make it, also wardrobe space but my daughter keeps buying clothes so storage is a problem, but then it was in a house as well. My husband has a tiny room and sleeps on a metal fold out bed, 2 mattresses and a sleeping bag, uses bag liners which are easily washed so no bed to make. Storage under bed, over bed cupboards and crates on the floor. I have a corner of the living room, yes I have to crawl over the bed to make it but the major problem is my bed is covered in cushions and stuffed toys during the day, time spent removing and replacing them is what really takes the time.I store my clothing in plastic boxes and use the same to give me some privacy, basically I have made myself a room within a room (5’x6’6″ including boxes), not much space but I manage. We also have a full size dining table, a 2 seated sofa, a desk where I work, a folding table used by my husband for hobbies, and we are in the process of finding room for another desk four my daughter who is returning to college. It us cramped, not aided by the neighbouring dog who has cancer and spends her days with us, only a matter of days now and we can move her things out and have a really good clean (hates vacuum cleaner so can’t use, but will have a blitz shortly). Secret is that we have an on site shed for the gas tanks, bikes, tools, bits and bobs we need but not in the house, we rent a secure container (20′) for furniture, extra books, clothes, items not needed but don’t want to sell. We have been here 5 years now, 6 in August, and while we want to move it is to something similar but where we have our own space. Eg: I hope to have my own tiny THoW – thinking of converting an old truck or maybe a shed. – while my husband wants a small caravan foir himself. My daughter and son-in-law are hoping for another THoW similar to the one we currently live in but with space for kids, she can work from mine, I paint and sew so a beautician won’t be much trouble. We didn’t plan this a anything more than a short term solution to homelessness (landlord sold house we rented, couldn’t afford new rents) but while the location is a problem (to much drama in life of new landlady) we like the area and the small house. Its a common thing here in Ireland, they are called a mobile home but nothing like the trailer homes in the US, often found in a garden as overflow housing as the family grows or can’t afford to move out, especially in rural areas. No stigma attached but you do need a friend, unless you are living on family property, whose address you can use for mail (landlady not a problem but the daughter would steam everything open first, then reseal, and spread the details of your bank account/income to all). We want to stay in the area, excellent public transport for my son-in-law to get to work and my daughter to college, my husband works in the industrial yard next door when his health permits, we’ve made great friends and have a good social life, the rural bus, comes every 2 hours to take people between train station, shopping centres and out to village over the county border as many don’t have a car, stops outside the gate when we need to use it and accepts my travel pass, plus we want to keep an eye on the landlady – she has health issues and we don’t trust the daughter or her brother as her property would sell for big bucks and they both see the dollar signs with a sister/mother in the way, don’t trust them and might need to take the other dogs in in a hurry.
    Plan first, decide what you want from your home, if a social person ensure outside facilities exist to cope, if static find someone willing and able to let you camp on their land, allow for extra off site storage-secure unit- for inevitable overflow. We didn’t think it would work but it was an emergency, now we are actively looking for same but owned by us and with 2 smaller “Granny” units for my husband and myself. Even eying up my dads place in New Zealand and wondering if we could move out there and put THoWs in his garden, once we are all self supporting. You may hate it, but you might equally love it. As to cleaning, I have lived in really huge places (last was 3840sqft) and the cleaning is never ending plus your belongings and furniture merely expands to fill the space. Been there, done that a number of times, not any more. Can usually clean all of this in a day, dying dog puts a temporary hold on that but a blitz will only take a day.

  • ClassyGlobal
    June 19, 2018, 3:38 am

    Yeah eating quite raw and mainly plant based eliminates 75% of bad odors associated with cooking, which I shall be eating. Cooking meats and with oils tends to be heavy and sticky.

    As it regards price I totally agree I am not paying traditional price for nontraditional living. As a combat vet with several recent deployments starting in 2001 we were required to live in modified shipping containers ( containerized housing units – chus – pronounced choo or choose). That’s when I started conceptualizing tiny living in my head. Containers were less than $1000 (b, c, d grade) and have steadily risen with the trend. Mid 2000s I was looking at a company named MEKA, they had a 20ft all inclusive solar, water tank, compost toilet for $17k. Its no longer in their line up and their cheapest unit is $75k. Times change so quickly… I’m converting a minibus into home and a mobile workshop…

  • Kurt
    June 19, 2018, 2:10 pm

    Never thought about having to think about the weight of things due to axle weight limitations.

    As far as inviting people over…don’t. That’s how they roll in Japan. You typically meet in a restaurant, not someone’s home.

    I don’t have a composting toilet, but I sit to pee in my home. I learned that lesson quickly when I started having to clean my own bathroom. Sitting doesn’t result in sprinkles all over the place. I’ve even asked male visitors who ask to use the restroom to sit, even if they only have to pee.

    • Kurt
      June 19, 2018, 2:12 pm

      Sitting to pee reminded me of a sign I saw in the mens restroom at an office building recently. The sign was above the urinal and one of the statements went something like: “Get closer. It’s not as long as you think.” LOL!

      • Michele Bellon
        July 21, 2019, 6:30 pm

        That’s good. And then there is always “We aim to please. You aim too please.”

  • Marsha Cowan
    June 19, 2018, 4:59 pm

    Really? I have lived in tiny houses now for 7 years. My first one was 6×10 living area, the second 6×6, the third (a bus) 71/2 x 10, and my present one 5×9. My spaces are small, but organized. I use a portapotty and empty it into the sewer once or twice a week. Otherwise, I don’t even know its there. Odors come and go quickly in a well ventilated tiny house, and I don’t plan for company. . .I go out! Yet my houses do accommodate the occasional drop by easily. All beds are a pain to make up, not just in a tiny house. cleaning is a 5 second chore done daily or hourly is I want to, it is no problem. I have everything I could ever need in my tiny houses and weight room for more, so that is not really an issue. I park legally in RV parks with showers and other amenities, so I don’t have to worry. I have far more clothes than I can wear, and plenty of room to store them. My friends are always amazed that I wear something different every day. I am so hooked on tiny living that I don’t think I could ever go back into a house or apartment again. That’s how great it is. Sorry if the some of you have a list of things you hate. . .maybe its not the life for you.

  • Marsha Cowan
    June 19, 2018, 5:01 pm

    oh. . .and I cook meat. The animals eat the vegetables, and I eat the animals, so meat cooking is the biggest smell you will have in my tiny house, and it smells great!!

    • markgil
      July 1, 2018, 6:32 pm


      you should watch “Cowspiracy” & ‘What the Health” on netflix

  • ClassyGlobal
    June 19, 2018, 5:30 pm

    @Marsha Cowan – Living in tiny places is all about perspective. My perspective was forever changed after my 1st deployment, and for the better! But I also learned when folks cook fish, burn popcorn and sauté garlic in a confined space, one better hope they have their clothes properly secured or live by the tiny window in the chu or every1 smells like some1s lunch/dinner. I eat meat as well. Just not as much anymore. and have learned how to prepare it in a manner that doesn’t fill my space.

    Some people try to have a traditional mindset and compare/contrast it to a nontraditional space and then get butt hurt if it doesn’t work. It’s the Round Peg Square Hole dilemma that most folks are in denial about.

    Being prepared, flexibile and OPEN to understanding Tiny Living goes a long way and can counter a lot of the negatively skewed assumptions. Which might I add all losses steam when the Tiny Life Individual realizes what others think and the past no longer resonate!

    One thing Tiny Living promotes is Living In The Moment!!! IMO

    • Marsha Cowan
      July 21, 2019, 12:29 pm

      I sooo agree!

  • ClassyGlobal
    June 19, 2018, 5:38 pm

    @Kurt – I wish more guys would sit just in general it is actual better for the male “UroSexology” down there. Think of the P or S trap under the sink. When you stand it is like the P trap when you sit it is straight. Less dribbles in your boxer briefs and backwash for your body to have to dissolve… Sitters have better prostate health over time as well!!!

  • Nanny M
    June 19, 2018, 10:33 pm

    Loved the video and the comments. Learned so much. Thank you all.

  • Lauren
    June 20, 2018, 12:02 pm

    Thanks for making this informative video. Definitely good things to keep in mind when considering living tiny. One thought I had was purchasing (or making) bedding that would be easier to change/clean for these spaces. Did find this bedding, although somewhat expensive. Another option.

    • Alex
      June 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

      That’s interesting!

  • Rusty
    June 20, 2018, 2:24 pm

    I have wanted to hear from someone who has lived tiny for a period of time. I enjoyed the video and what’s it really like to live tiny. I have for several years now been looking at the tiny homes with a discerning eye and came to the conclusion my tiny home will have to be 350 to 400 square ft. My sleeping area would need to be on the main floor. I like to entertain small but a comfortable seating area for 4 is a must. Eight foot ceiling for cooling and heating efficiency along with double pain windows. A covered porch would make a nice entry way and for sitting outside on a swinging chair. There is a lot to consider and the video followed by a discussion is quite helpful. Happy decluttering everyone.

  • janis
    June 20, 2018, 3:41 pm

    I don’t want to live in a sleeping bag I want to live like I would if I had a home . And I have a rare autoimmune disease which is why I have a downstairs master. And I need soft sheets and light blankets butvthey have to be warm because it snows where I live

  • ClassyGlobal
    June 20, 2018, 6:44 pm

    The amazing thing about living tiny especially DIY, you live exactly the way you choose. If you want $200 Egyptian 1000 thread count cotton sheets & baby goose down comforters, you can. It’s much than you think. Acquiring things becomes easier when you lower living costs. I’m being extreme with details but if you get a THOW that’s DIY and paid for (there’s a couple living in a Sprinter purchase & buildout was $11k – it is Simply BEAUTIFUL). If just you, being exclusive, well appointed and comfortable are quite easy in a DIY THOW. Like Mr. Bob Wells of CheapRVLiving.com says the biggest monthly raise you’ll ever give yourself is eliminating rent or mortgage. With that added income (400-2000 pr mth + utilities) you can live extremely well. No sleeping bag required!

  • Carolyn
    July 1, 2018, 7:32 pm

    I found most of the comments very helpful and some very funny😂. I’m looking for a tiny home but want to buy small piece of land to park it..permanently. My husband and I own a three story home in the city, paid in full but need lots of work. He’s basically a slob and I must have order. We are empty nesters and if we’re to have company it probably wouldn’t be anymore than two people, my sister and grandkids. I basically want the home for myself. I really appreciate the comments.

  • Grace
    July 1, 2018, 10:11 pm

    Thanks for all of the comments everyone!

    I agree that these are fairly common problems in a tiny house, however the concept is to build to your priorities. Almost all of those problems can be solved with a little creativity (and some money). Your bedroom could be bigger or designed to make it easier to navigate. You could design a guest room that can fold away. Get some fans to keep air circulating. One of those robot vacuums will take care of most of the cleaning. There are a very wide variety of toilets, composting if otherwise that can be used. Macy Miller was able to design her Tiny House On Wheels for expansion. And so on. As you build and design, you have to decided what you want and then look into how to make it a reality. A lot of the legal stuff is getting better thanks to the hard work of tiny housers out there but is definitely a concern to anybody wanting to live this lifestyle.

    I have even designing my 133 sq. ft. tiny house for 3 years and my trailer will arrive at the end of next week!!!! I’ve decided that the bedroom and bathroom issues are not a big deal to me. However my family loves to host dinners and parties and I don’t want to loose that so I’ve designed a big dinning room (seats 9 people!) as well as a fold-out wall to allow for extra deck space that directly connects to the indoor space. I’m not really into clothes so my clothing storage is minimal, however I do have to deal with freezing winters and sweltering summers so I do have a little hanging clothes storage for winter jackets, boots, scarves, gloves, etc. and the occasional long dress for my violin performances in the summer or for a wedding.

    While I think that it is great to talk about these issues, overall they can be avoided and even if they aren’t, they dont’t outweigh all of the positives of living tiny. This lifestyle is just overall better than conventional living for anyone who wants more time, to be environmentally friendly, to be able to move, etc. All other problems or habits can be changed or built around to make an enjoyable space.

  • Lela
    July 2, 2018, 12:15 am

    2nd paragraph, should be “its benefits” (“it’s” is a contraction for “it is”).
    Submitted by your kindly grammar nerd.

    • Alex
      July 2, 2018, 1:50 pm

      Thanks for catching that and letting me know. I’ll fix it now!

    • Eric
      August 16, 2018, 6:24 pm

      I’m surprised I didn’t catch that… and I’m a renowned grammar nazi.

      Before the flames it’s a term for people who are very, very, veryyyy pedantic about grammar. And spelling. My golly, I despair at the spelling these days, world wide but particularly in the States. Some days I think I’m going to have a stroke or heart attack over the absolutely appalling spelling by so many people.

      Now, I’m off to catch 43 winks. Yes, 43 because I was up half of last night and I need to catch up or I will be zombie like tomorrow. ; )

    • July 20, 2019, 8:30 pm

      Enjoying the comments and perspectives. BTW, on the topic of grammar, I believe it should be “double pane windows” not “double pain windows” above.. 😉

  • Mrsc
    July 2, 2018, 12:18 am

    After living in a trailer for 3-5 days a week for a year now:
    Bugs and rodents. I shudder at the thought if fleas because ants are bad enough. Flies, mosquitos and things on you at night.
    Heat when the wind dies or heat waves.
    Condensation, condensation.
    Why is there never a pump switch in the washroom?
    Dirt. Laundry. Its never ending.
    Wobbling when someone moves.
    Having too little or too much heat or cold.
    Frozen wrenches and propane tanks at 3am.
    Just saying.

    • Garth
      July 2, 2018, 5:01 pm

      Why would these be a problem in a TH any more than a big house? These are not travel trailers.

      • Mrsc
        July 3, 2018, 8:20 pm

        Because solutions are often too power intensive or possibly high consequence.
        Try being lightly hypothermic and goibg out in -30 (or less but cold) to thaw a frizen regulator or fix water lines or pump.
        If you get sick…that is often bug trouble because the constant checks and small to dos cant just be put aside.
        I’m not sure why you think there is much difference between the two?

      • Mrsc
        July 3, 2018, 8:20 pm

        Because solutions are often too power intensive or possibly high consequence.
        Try being lightly hypothermic and goibg out in -30 (or less but cold) to thaw a frizen regulator or fix water lines or pump.
        If you get sick…that is often big trouble because the constant checks and small to dos cant just be put aside.
        I’m not sure why you think there is much difference between the two?

        • Garth
          July 3, 2018, 9:06 pm

          It sounds like you’re partly equating THs too much to travel trailers, which they are not. Not at all. As for the cold, I’ll defer to you or those who live there. I will not live anywhere that has hard winters.

        • Eric
          August 16, 2018, 6:28 pm

          Just create an insulating bag type device to put over the regulator. Problem solved.

          Solve the wobbling issue by using leveller/stabilisers properly. That way you don’t have wobbling issues and you should be able to level the floor so there is no sloping issues.

    • Eric
      July 21, 2019, 12:05 am

      Re-reading this quite some time after original posting and my brain read… frozen wenches… OMG laughing my pants off.

  • Laura Mulligan
    July 2, 2018, 2:44 am

    the non flush toilet would be a definite problem for me. the stink.
    i prefer a tiny house that is on a foundation. it is almost impossible to get anyone to come out and fix anything that is on wheels. (my experience living in a 5th wheel) the size would not be a major factor. if i wanted bigger, i would not be going “tiny”… eh ?

    • Garth
      July 2, 2018, 2:47 pm

      Laura, I can’t speak from experience, but from all the videos I’ve watched on the subject, it is my understanding that if a composting toilet is correctly installed and operated, there is no stink. It’s definitely _not_ just bringing the outhouse indoors. Tiny houses can be on foundations too, but the wheels option is attractive for many people, for various reasons, including getting around certain requirements like that a house connected to the ground not be smaller than some what someone erroneously determined to be the smallest livable size. The quality of build of THs is generally way, way better than 5th-wheelers. Many RVs seem to be made of cardboard and staples, unlike THs.

      • Sandi B
        December 7, 2018, 9:43 pm

        Garth, one has to give thought to how you are actually going to use a THOW. If you are going to be doing, or want to do, a lot of moving around then you do not want a THOW, but an actual RV. THOW’s are expensive to tow due to weight problems, they are not all the steady on their wheels and can be a major problem and you can not take them on certain roads and highways. A THOW is the way to go if you are going to plant yourself somewhere for the long term but want the ability to move it fairly easily if you need to move, but you need to remember you are on a trailer and you need to up keep the wheels etc. and keep all moving parts lubed and protected. I never see anyone talking about such things, but when tires sit they dry out from the inside out and tires for these rigs are expensive whether an RV or THOW.

        I have been living in a 36 foot trailer for 19 years now yes, same trailer. You just have to keep them maintained, fix the little things before they become big things. I have upgraded the insulation and am getting ready to basically gut it and redo the inside, change the layout etc. I want to upgrade the wiring and electric box to handle a higher load — I want more kitchen and less “living” space. I want to update the look and feel and accommodate it to my current needs, which needless to say, have changed over the years. But I have not found problems as mentioned above living in a small space — thought I would, but have found I rather enjoy it and one can get pretty creative as regards storage etc. I guess it boils down to what is really important to a person. To me I like that I can move it myself if I do not like my neighbor to another space or another area. I can pick up and move across country if I choose — That freedom means a lot to me, even if I do not move it all that often — the option is always there. I have never had a problem with smells in my trailer, or lack of storage. I do not have sleepovers, I have no problem with getting insurance, I have all the things I need, a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom with all the amenities, I can easily maintain it myself and easy mobility should the need arise. I do not know if I would live this way if I was not single — I think it could be problematic with another person to consider. I do not have to worry about house payments or high utility bills. I have thought about tearing down the trailer off the trailer and building a THOW, however, then I loose the easy towing, affordable insurance and I can accomplish much the same and retain it as an RV. AND, I have a lot of clothes and I do mean a lot and I love kitchen gadgets — if you plan you can have. Merry Christmas to everyone and a super great New Year!

        • Garth
          December 8, 2018, 12:21 am

          Sandi B, yes, I do know THOWs are not travel trailers. That was part of my point. As for tires sitting and deteriorating, it has always seemed to me like a waste if people buy brand-new tires for a THOW, move it a hundred miles to their destination, and not give the tires any more use in their reasonable lifetimes—although, that lifetime should be very, very long if the tires are removed from the hubs (and the house is propped up on jack stands of some kind) and put under the trailer, out of the sun and kept in the cooler area. The rear tires on my van are 17 years old but look nearly new since I drive less than a thousand miles a year. Still, I’m about to replace them just because of age. It makes more sense to me if the towing company you hire to move the THOW rents you the wheels with good tires on them as part of the deal. The same tires could get used many times per month, on different customers’ trailers, rather than being wasted.

          It’s nice you can remodel your THOW. I’m sure you’re looking forward to the result, with excitement! 🙂 It’s a contrast to modern travel trailers which, when ready for remodeling, are probably ready for the dump instead, because modern travel trailers all seem to be made of cardboard and staples.

        • Alex
          December 8, 2018, 7:01 am

          Hey Sandi, thanks for sharing – and well said on the THOW vs RV issue. Good points! Also – good luck with your trailer conversion project. That’s so great how you’ve used your trailer for 19 years. Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Garth
    July 2, 2018, 4:50 am

    Some of those don’t seem like they need to be problems. I dream of downsizing someday—waaaaay down (we’re in a 1260 sq ft now)—although I don’t know if my wife will ever go for it.

    I’ve wanted a loft all my life, so I’m gonna have a loft, doggonnit! One concern I have however is that it could be too hot to sleep up there in the summer. Perhaps someone experienced could comment. It would still be possible to have alternate sleeping possibilities downstairs, used only on rare occasion.

    I really do want to own less though, and a tinyhouse would be a good excuse to get rid of a lot of accumulation. I do however want it wider than 8.5′, so we don’t feel like we’re living in a toothpaste-tube box. This won’t be a travel trailer—just a house that could go with us if we moved, something that hasn’t happened in 27 years. Permits to move a 10′ or 12′-wide TH are inexpensive and easy to get.

    I’m slightly optimistic that the parking situation is improving as more and more communities start allowing THs.

    What’s the deal with insurance? Is it just the liability for pulling it on the road, or more like fire insurance on your house? If it’s the former, I would hope it would be included in the fee from the company that pulls it with a truck. But if it’s the latter, I’ll go without. The only house fire I’ve ever seen in my entire life was from someone’s meth lab blowing up. For those of us who don’t do that kind of thing, the microscopic risk of losing the house and its few contents to a fire are worth forgoing the insurance if an insurance company doesn’t want to sell a policy.

    My wife does cook; but if the smell is a problem, that’s what hoods over the stove are for. We occasionally open windows too, unlike my mother-in-law who definitely has bad indoor pollution from not ever opening things up as they should be every day at the time that it’s most pleasant outside, whether night time in the summer or early afternoon in the winter. I won’t live where there are hard winters anyway.

    There won’t be a dog in our household. Ever. I hate the smell, the noise, the destructive wagging tail, etc..

  • Viceroy
    July 2, 2018, 1:35 pm

    I enjoyed this video and learned a couple of things.
    1. Seriously consider having/getting a pet.
    About 1/3 of the issues revolves around her dog. (Shedding, stinky, etc.)
    2. Consider size FIRST. Having a 300 sq.ft. tiny house vs. 150 sq. ft. one is a HUGE difference.
    3. Think through whether this will be used exclusively for travel, or whether it can & will be legally parked & lived in, part time.
    4. Wardrobe isn’t too much of a priority for a retired single guy, thank goodness. 🙂
    (Think; black socks & sandals at the beach, JK).

    (As a side note, I grew up in the Denver metro area I kind of chuckled when I saw her citation from Commerce City).
    Great video!

    • Eric
      August 16, 2018, 6:34 pm

      Socks? And sandals? At the beach? Are you mad? Gads, I wear jandals at the beach (flip flops in the US) no socks required, or even really possible unless you have those Japanese ones.

  • Kirsten
    July 2, 2018, 7:03 pm

    Interesting comments. The only things stopping me now is finding a legal permanent place to park it plus how to transport it (will probably get it made in France or The Netherlands but have never driven with trailer!)
    The advantage of a tiny house is you can discuss your needs with the builder, such as extra insulation, bedroom with door etc.
    One thing else nobody has mentioned is snoring! I definitely want both a loft bedroom and a downstairs bedroom with a door so that both snorer and others can get some sleep. I would have the downstairs bedroom as a single bed so that it can be a sofa during the day and a ‘retreat ‘ if somebody needs some time out.
    Too many places have no land for anything but large houses so my biggest hurdle is where to put it.

  • William Baird
    July 3, 2018, 11:33 am


    It is great that this discussion is happening.

    We have been living tiny for 4 years now (2 adults, 3 kids of 11, 11, and 7yo, and multiple animals, currently 2 cats, 1 dog, and 1 guinea pig, all in just under 500 square feet). We have faced many of the challenges discussed already, and some additional ones.

    First, we have to change our air filter frequently, sometimes weekly, due to the amount of dirt that gets spread around the living room, even though we don’t wear shoes inside (blame the animals?). This increases air costs in the summer and makes us stock filters frequently, minor inconveniences. Also, there is the issue of noise during sex. Oddly, that is one of the issues most frequently discussed in person about tiny houses, at least in our experience, but infrequently mentioned online. We just try to be quiet when necessary, at least when the kids are around. That being said, this noise issue pervades most parental relationships, even in larger houses, and folks find ways to maintain. We also occasionally send the kids out to play by the creek, where they won’t hear us, sonce our house is on 18 acres, giving us plenty of outside to explore.

    As to not accumulating things, we gave away or sold most of our statues and other decorations that do not hang on walls. We also built floor-to-ceiling bookcases on one wall to hold the books we plan on reading in the future (if there are no realistic plans of reading or rereading a book, we give it away). Whenever we see things in stores we would have bought in the past as decorations or cool doodads, we usually think “that’s cool, but I have nowhere to put it.” We then pass on the purchase. This has probably saved us hundreds, if not thousands in purchases in the last few years.

    Changing bedding in a loft is tricky, but not overwhelmingly difficult. At most it takes an extra five or so minutes, compared with traditional beds. No biggie. We are patient people and do not get agitated by stuff like this, though I can see that this may be a bigger problem for folks more easily agitated than we.

    Getting away from people, either during a storm or just to get some alone time can be difficult in a tiny house. Luckily, all members in our household get along well, and we can talk, play board or card games, watch a movie, create some art, dance to music together, play with animals, cook a meal together, or find some other ways to entertain ourselves during storms. Sometimes we need alone time, and everyone has the option to nap, read or write in bed just about any time.

    The guest space is an issue. We have always liked to have folks over, and we have continued to do so in our tiny house. Sometimes it rains, so we cannot hang outside (our usual preference). In such cases, we squeeze into the living room. Being in close proximity has resulted in many intimate conversations that include folks who would probably be otherwise excluded in larger homes, with multiple rooms guests could occupy. Conversations in larger groups can be excellent and enlightening, especially if they include folks we would usually rather leave in the other room.

    We got rid of most of our clothes before moving into our current house. We purge and rebuy new clothes twice a year, usually, but we do keep relatively limited wardrobes. This rarely gets noticed, but when someone breaches the subject, we are more than happy to discuss different aspects of tiny living!

    Overall, many of the challenges identified in this article and comment section are difficulties, but they are a far cry from making tiny living stink. In many cases, facing these challenges leads to creative solutions that increase the overall goodness in our lives. Sometimes you have to live with really stinky cat poops. Such is life with cats in a tiny house. Empty the litter, light some incense, and move on!

  • Michelle
    July 30, 2018, 2:49 pm

    Here are a few more difficulties. Like RVs and anything else on wheels, keeping one’s water pipes from freezing is quite difficult. I went this last winter with no running water, and that is NO FUN. Finding insurance was terrible (got turned down by over a dozen places). And unless you are planning to do all of your repairs and such yourself, it can be hard to find folks to hire to do them, because a tiny house isn’t an RV or mobile home and it isn’t a typical house – I confused many a plumber asking about water filtration systems because they couldn’t wrap their head around my house. Oh, and my teenager hates the house even though she was all on board when we first ordered it and moved in.

    • Alex
      July 31, 2018, 11:20 am

      Hi Michelle, sorry to hear about the difficulties with your tiny house but thank you so much for sharing them with us here so we can help potentially save some people from going tiny who maybe shouldn’t!

  • Heather HJ
    August 16, 2018, 5:36 pm

    1. Gets dirty fast, gets cleaned fast.
    2. We will be putting in an incinerating toilet, will pay off in long run since it doesn’t use water. I dont like giant composting throwns that dudes hafta sit to pee & I’m not doing the peet moss or saw dust thing. I dont really care if I hafta explain the toilet to ppl.
    3. Making the bed I do expect to be a pain. We will have an elevated bedroom but not a loft. It will be tall enough for us to stand being we are both under 6ft. But the room will barely fit my must have king size. As long as I sleep good, I’ll manage the bed making.
    4. Smells….well we will be installing multiple exhaust fans. My clothes will have up to 4 doors between them & the kitchen if all are closed. Also a back door for circulation. Loads more concealed storage that hopefully keeps out smells. & toilet is in its own closet room with closing door from rest of bathroom, exhaust fan & window.
    5&6. Guests. Dont have many, if we do its just one & often its a kid. We are building ours on a foundation & will use a 8×10 shipping container as an add on for future kid or guest sleeping quarters.
    7. Weight not an issue when you plan on building on a foundation with shipping containers
    8. Closet space will be challenging for all mine & my husband’s clothes. But I have designed multiple storage options for our shipping container house. Full size closet in bedroom, shelving any where I can put it, storage in staircase, toe kick drawers in kitchen& bath, & a 3ft tall 8×7 storage space outside under the bedroom. I do plan on down sizing my wardrobe.
    9. Parking. Not an issue. Building it on my father inlaws land. There it will stay.
    10. People judging. More like they will be envious of my high end fixtures & my unique customizations perfect for our lifestyle, that will be paid off & mortgage free. Who is anyone to judge. Take it with a grain of salt & move on.

  • Eric
    August 16, 2018, 6:45 pm

    LOL… that should be throne not thrown.

    If closet space will be challenging why not just give some of your clothes away? Realistically, how often do you use most of them? My wife of 34 years still has clothes from when we were married… because she will fit in them now after 3 kids. Not! Ludicrous to have far more than one needs. Even I’ve got clothes I haven’t worn in over 15 years. Think I’ll get rid of some of them tomorrow.

  • Halfbomb
    August 21, 2018, 3:34 pm

    This is the first time i’ve seen this correspondence but i totally agree with all 10 reasons.

  • Richard L Herrington
    July 20, 2019, 7:18 pm

    Women are never satisfied. They are constantly complaining about something.

  • Melissa Robinson
    July 20, 2019, 8:22 pm

    I’m on the other side of child rearing (and divorced for the past 10+ years) so it’s just going to be me and my 2 dogs (both are long haired Chihuahuas- Mocha is 9 lbs and Dottie is 4.5 lbs) so we won’t need much space. However, I know I will have to make adjustments in order to live “tiny”. First, I have Chronic Neurological Lyme disease which can greatly limit my mobility and gross motor function. Bending, crawling, scooting, rolling, or whatever acrobatic routine most people do in their loft absolutely will not work for me. I do want a main bedroom loft but it has to be tall enough for me to stand in. I also want it completely closed off. My thought is that all people need privacy at times so it’s important to me that have that in my bedroom. I’m not so much worried about food smells – I HATE and I mean completely ABHOR cooking so I don’t need to worry about that smell. My dogs are very small and hate the outdoors. They go to relieve themselves and immediately walk right back inside, which keeps that nasty outdoor dog smell to a minimum. I’m definitely concerned about parking & insurance which is why I haven’t purchased/built a tiny house yet. I want to make sure I have “all my ducks in a row” first, so to speak. The tiny I purchase or build will have room in the master loft for storing clothes (non-negotiable for me). I also must have a staircase with storage- ladders are for the younger generation. I’ll break my neck trying to navigate a ladder at night! The cleaning issue isn’t a big deal to me. I clean either at home or work every single day so I’m used to it (I’m a HS teacher so you all can guess why I clean at work daily). The toilet issue… I have no problem with a composting toilet but I haven’t decided which to go with – composting or flush. I’ll figure that out later. I think if you plan ahead properly (starting with your tiny house sketched plans), then most of these typical issues can be avoided (of course other issues pop up after you move into your tiny house because you can’t plan for everything). I’m hoping I take to it easily (living tiny that is). My biggest motivator for going in this direction is the overall cheaper cost of living. Single and looking at disability in the future, I need a way to live that I can afford so a I don’t end up homeless (like a lot of people with chronic Lyme disease).

  • Michael L
    July 20, 2019, 11:56 pm

    Has any one ever thought of dual modules or trailers. Seems you could pull one up next the other one and build
    a pass-through from one to the other. Seems you could greatly expand in that fashion. Maybe even utilize the space in between. I understand this would not work well for moving around frequently. I am fairly new to the tiny home concept but this seems to be
    a solution in some cases?

  • Jake
    July 21, 2019, 4:10 am

    7. Weigh Limitations on Trailer Axles …. Weight!

  • July 21, 2019, 5:18 am

    “People will judge you…” That applies to just about anything you do. There will always be someone who doesn’t like or approve of something you do. Be like a plant and water…let the judgments shed off.

  • Mahomer
    July 21, 2019, 8:07 am

    Most of those don’t apply to me because my house will be on a foundation. An HRV or just a good bath or kitchen vent would fix the smells. I also do not have many clothes, so there’s that.

  • kiko
    July 27, 2019, 7:50 am

    I live in a 480 square foot house on footers AND LOVE IT so some of these don’t apply but many are spot on! I don’t have a loft but my bedroom my is 7X9 and yes making the bed that is jammed into a corner every day is a chore. There will come a day when I’m older when I can’t climb ON the bed to make it! Yes the house gets dirty really fast but it’s also a breeze to clean.
    Here are some other things to consider:
    If you have hobby, storage is difficult. If you have more than one hobby it’s even harder. I like to can, hunt, sew, read, play musical instruments, garden and have to find a safe place for all of these things.
    We don’t have a television which is a deal breaker for many people.
    Cooking smells might not be an issue but if you live in the woods you have to worry about mildew.
    We entertain outside in the summer but if we have more than 5 people when it’s cold or rainy we’re in trouble. We do have a screened in porch that has held up to 9 people during a thunderstorm. I don’t know what we’re going to do when our grandchildren are older. I hope they like sleeping in tents! Lol!
    You better really love your spouse because sharing a tiny bathroom can be a challenge if you both have to get ready at the same time.
    The wood stove is great but when you get it really fired up it gets too hot, so be prepared to open the windows even if it freezing outside!
    You really have to be prepared to pick up after yourselves. One pair of shoes in the middle of the floor isn’t a big deal in a large house but can be deadly in a tiny house when you trip over them in the dark!
    You really don’t know if you can handle tiny living until you do it. We’ve been in out tiny cabin in the woods for 5 years and it’s an ongoing process of adjustment but I wouldn’t change it for anything!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.