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Why a caravan can be the perfect stepping stone to Tiny life

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Next month, it will be four years since I moved into my Tiny House!!

People say to me all the time “You’re so lucky!”

The truth is- I made my own luck.

After my last divorce five years ago, I was in a pretty diabolical financial situation. As a single mum of two, I was renting a unit I really couldn’t afford- even with government subsidies. I was on payment plans for all my utilities. I woke up every day dreading the postie. And I certainly couldn’t remember the last time my poor car had been serviced.

Sound familiar?

It’s at crisis points like this in your life that you have a choice.

Are you going to “just keep swimming” for the rest of your life?

How long can you keep paddling like hell beneath the surface, on the verge of a breakdown, while telling your friends and family “I’m ok”?

You. Have. A. Choice.

In my case, I knew the tell-tale signs, and that if I kept plodding down that path, my depression was going to come back with a vengeance.

I knew I wanted to live Tiny, but I had a black mark on my credit as a result of my marriage, so there was no way I could buy a Tiny House right off the bat.

It was a HUGE decision- but at the same time it was a no-brainer.

I sold literally EVERYTHING I owned (except the clothes on our backs) and bought a run-down piece-of-crap caravan for $2,000.

Over the next six weeks, I spent the same again gutting and renovating it til it was liveable.

It was a horrendously cold winter, and our heating was basically just blankets and extra clothing.

But it was the BEST thing I’ve ever done (bar leaving my second husband..!)

I knew I didn’t want to live that way forever, but it was a fantastic stepping stone for us.


It gave us a taste of Tiny living.

After living in a large 3 bedroom unit, it was a definite adjustment suddenly having the three of us living in 14m2 (only 10% the size of the unit). Learning to live in a small space is a definite eye-opener if you’ve never gone caravanning. I loved it and knew right away we’d be just fine in a Tiny House.

It got us out of the rent trap.

With rent and utility bills gone, there was an extra $1600 in my bank account every month!! This was MASSIVE for us. I paid off all my debts in the first month!! No more avoiding phone calls. I even made friends with the postie.

It helped us get into a Tiny House.

For almost a year, we lived very simply and I saved my pennies. It also meant I could take the kids out for lunch occasionally without checking my bank account. I even got my car serviced on time!

Less than a year later, I came across a beautiful pre-loved entry-level Tiny House online, and I was actually in a position to buy it!

Fast forward four years- and I now have two small Tiny Houses and a caravan. I could NEVER have foreseen the opportunities Tiny life could bring!!

I don’t understand why more people aren’t using caravans as a stepping stone to going Tiny, especially given the surge in construction costs of Tiny Houses on Wheels.

My only option at the time was the “absolutely bootstrapped it” version (100% would not recommend if you have an alternative…!) If my credit hadn’t completely ruled it out, I would have preferred to buy a better caravan.

You can get a really solid 2000-2010ish caravan with basic solar (the kind I now have) for under the $20k mark.

The repayments on that would have been under $100 a week!! I would still have been more than $1,000 per month ahead of what I’d been spending on my rental.

If you are thinking of going this route, you really need to have a chat with the guys at Great Escape Finance.

If you’ve followed me

for any length of time, you’ll know I only promote or publicly support businesses I 100% believe in. Great Escape Finance is one of the few. Link to check out more info is here:

Tomorrow I’m going to look at the question: “Could a caravan be a better option for you right now than a Tiny House?”


PS: pictured is the $2,000 beat-up caravan we lived in for almost a year that enabled us to go Tiny, complete with “at least I tried” paint job! It really is about the journey, folks! 🤣

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