Why Smaller Can Be Better in an RV

Bryanna Royal  |  07.09.2017

When we first made the decision to travel in an RV full time, our general consensus was the bigger the better! “45 feet? Heck yeah! Look at all that space. I mean, we are going to be living in this thing.”

Fast forward about two years on the road, and we really started to realize that bigger isn’t always better. Yes, there are certain ways of traveling where something larger makes the most sense – like if you are going to be going to one place for months at a time.

If that is the case, and you are basically setting up a home base, I am all for a bigger rig because you won’t have to move very often. However, if you plan to travel and move around a lot, I would highly recommend something smaller.

A couple months ago we transition from our 39-foot diesel pusher motorhome into a 23-foot Winnebago View. This is with my husband and I, 4 kids and 1 dog. Yup, 6 people in a 23-footer!

Here are my reasons why smaller can be better when RVing.

1. Finding Campgrounds

Since moving into the smaller rig, we can always find a campground. With our 39-footer, I always held my breath when they would ask the size over the phone. I knew with a larger rig, many campgrounds couldn’t accommodate something of that size.

With the smaller rig, it is much easier to find a place and less of a hassle to get into our spots! Not to mention, when you try to stay in National or State Parks (which we like to do), a lot of them have size restrictions of 30 feet or less.

2. Driving

Man, in that big diesel pusher it sure felt like every time we drove by a semi our windows were going to hit! Now in the smaller rig, we are more like a car driving down the road and there is more room all around us.

3. Getting Gas

Getting gas with the diesel pusher was always a headache. “Is there a truck stop close by? No? Now what? Well that one has diesel, but who knows what size station it is. If it doesn’t work, is there somewhere for us to easily turn around?”

Getting gas in our larger rig often turned into a logistical nightmare. But with the smaller rig, we can pull into any gas station that offers diesel with ease. It definitely is less trouble than trying to find the right gas station for a bigger rig.

4. City Driving

We always got a kick out of people asking us where our rig was when we were in Key West or some other city. We never felt comfortable driving the diesel pusher in those areas. We wouldn’t fit, and even if we did, it would be way too stressful.

With the smaller rig, we can drive around pretty much anywhere with ease. Yes, we have to be aware of the height of bridges. But for the most part, we can pull in and park on the street or in a lot right in a downtown area. We can also fit in any parking lot, even the small ones.

5. We don’t need to tow a car

There are reasons why having a car is nice. But on the other hand, it simplifies things when we don’t have to worry about towing a car and we can just take our rig.

It also means we don’t have to pack a lot when we go out for the day because our whole rig will be with us! No more packing lunches or getting extra clothes ready. It is all there with us.

6. You can’t carry the extra junk

Yes, we felt it was close to impossible to downsize from 2,700 sq. feet into a 39-foot motorhome when we first moved out of our house. Now that we are in a 23-footer and space is even more limited, it has really made us evaluate each item we have with us.

That means we aren’t keeping the extras we never used. We are also aware of EVERYTHING that we have with us. There are no little hiding places or extra room to misplace something.

7. We are organized

We are more organized now than we ever were. Why? Because we have to be! There isn’t room not to be. By being organized, things are more simplified and add less stress. It is easier to stay on top of groceries and laundry, since everything has to be taken care of right away.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I wish I could just let things pile up and be lazy. However, I also love the idea of being organized on a level that I don’t think would have been possible in a larger space with more things.

Is a smaller rig right for everyone? No. But if you are having the itch to go smaller and simplify your life even more, I highly recommend giving it a go!


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2 Comments

  1. Chris Posted on 07.14.2017

    I see people posting with personal information in pictures all the time. Your license plate is clearly visible in your pictures and even though some might not think so, it is a security risk. Please be safe when posting pictures on-line everyone.

  2. Roger Coleman Posted on 07.14.2017

    I enjoyed reading your article, even more so since tomorrow morning I am going to pickup my new Spirit 22R! A few years ago, I lusted for a big beast of an RV, but I’ve changed my thinking. The whole point of traveling is to get outside and explore when you get to the destination, in our opinion. My girlfriend, two dogs and a blue and gold macaw will be out there soon! Who knows, maybe we will see you out there too!