A Tour of 400 Square Feet

You’ve asked so I’ve obliged and today I’m sharing pictures of our little house! If you haven’t read the series yet you might want to catch up on our Fulltime RV Living Journey so far first. We put a lot of thought into the rv we wanted to buy before making our big purchase. We chose to go with the rv that had everything we wanted and needed since we are unsure of how long we will be living here and we wanted a comfortable home that we wouldn’t get sick of quickly! Our home seems to fit us perfectly so far and we are very glad we didn’t compromise in our decision.

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We will start the tour in the main bedroom. The one thing I do wish was different was if this bed could be a Murphy Bed! As much as I love the King size it takes up so much room. We don’t use this room but for storage and sleeping though so it’s not too big of a deal. The dresser is built in and the mirrors are one large closet. There is room to hang things up and we also installed shelves for folded items. Oh and Hi! There I am πŸ™‚

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A different view of the bedroom. We have a little shelf above the bed that I put a few Willow Tree figurines on. You can also see the hallway in the picture with another mirrored closet. This closet holds my husbands hanging clothes and our washer/dryer and laundry hamper. In that hallway is also the main bathroom.

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Oh exciting…a picture of a bathroom! LOL. Pretty basic. Sink, shower, full size tub (that was a must have for us with a baby!). Not much for storage in here so I have a few plastic containers with some things stacked. The sink looks pretty but I’m not a fan of cleaning it!

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The best part! My kitchen. I really love everything about this kitchen. The island is movable and I like it crooked like that to have maximum usage. I have a double fridge which I’ve never seen in a camper until we found this one, but let me tell you, when you order your food once a month it’s awesome! I have my Berkey set up next to the sink so we always have fresh clean water. The door you can see in this picture leads into the second room.

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The other side of the kitchen/living room area. We have a real wooden table instead of a dinette with cushions and it even has 2 leaves to sit more people. The couch folds out if we would ever need to sleep someone staying over.

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A different view of the living room from the kitchen. We have a recliner and the couch. And here you can see the 2 stairs up to the hallway and the bedroom. Next to the outside door there is a second door to the bathroom which we don’t use. So instead we use the stairs for a shoe rack and we put up some of those Command Hooks by the door for a coat rack. Our monthly calender is above the coat rack so it’s easy to see. I also added a large area rug that we had in our big house to the living room floor to make it more homey and to help insulate the camper a little better from the cold. (Our camper is heated underneath but the floor is just linoleum in the living room and still gets cold.)

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In the back is the second bedroom, the baby’s room. The room actually has a large loft area where we store extra blankets, bulk foods, and some other things. There is a bathroom and closet in this room (behind that chair) but we don’t use them, just for storage so they don’t need to be accessible. The chair used to be in the corner where I put the little white table and chair. It makes more sense to have something useful!

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The other half of the room. This used to be a couch and a bunk bed. We took them both out to install the crib and dresser. On top the dresser is my diaper station.

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There isn’t much going on outside since we are parked at a campground for the time being but I though I’d shoot a few pictures anyways! This is our pad. It also has a picnic table. I found the big rug at Walmart (water can go right through so I don’t have to dry it when it gets wet!). We have 2 chairs and a few toys for our loves-to-be-outside baby. We are within walking distance of playgrounds.

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My tiny garden is in the back of our pad. I have a container of beans and a trellis for when they get larger (they are pole beans). I have only one lone cucumber plant hanging up since my other one drowned (need to find something else to put in there!). And then 2 tomato plants on the sides (grape tomatoes). I put some little solar light flowers out there for fun. I will be dependent this year on produce from friends and family and the farmer’s market. It will be different but I’m ready for the challenge!

merissabio

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117 Comments

  1. What a nice home, thank you for sharing it with us. LOVE your kitchen! We rented an rv at a campground a few weeks ago and loved it.

    1. That kitchen is something else! Love it! Wow! Everything looks super pretty and nice. I could never afford such accommodations but am sick of “city” living and was trying to find some kind of best-solution alternative. This set up looks to be just as expensive as a conventional home. All I can say is, Wow! WOW! WOWeeeeee!

  2. Merissa ~ for the gardening, check out verticalveg.org.uk they have wonderful vertical gardening ideas going on there!

  3. Merissa! You have done a lovely job making this RV feel like a home! It’s so well thought out and beautiful.

  4. A very lovely RV, Merissa!! It has everything you need. You have decorated it so well. Your patio is adorable too. I hope you 3 have a wonderful time living there as long as you need to.
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  5. Looks great Merissa! I had envisioned something much more cramped. Glad that you were able to find that fridge too πŸ™‚

  6. I love this! You have done such a great job maximizing space. I’m not gonna lie part of me is a little bit jealous cause I love the idea of living minimally. Not having a garden would be hard though!! Thanks for the tour.

    Blessings,
    Missy

  7. We lived in our airstream for a year. Frankly, you get used to the space. Your RV is very nice and has all the comforts of home. Just think of it as a studio apartment!

    1. Thanks! We’ve collected them since we got married and I brought a few with us in the camper to have just a bit of familiar decor πŸ™‚

  8. Love it–the fridge is nice!! But as for our family of 9, I don’t think our 12′ kitchen table and 6 beds plus crib would fit in 400sf!!

    1. Ha!ha! I was thinking the same thing. We are a family of 9 too and I was trying to imagine us all in that space even with just the basics. I do love the simplicity though and you’ve done a beautiful job with it Merissa! Thanks for sharing your ideas. They are inspirational even to those of us who can’t fit into 400 sf.

        1. Hey There!! Love the tour, looks amazing.. I know this is an old post but I would love to know what the make and model of this trailer is. πŸ™‚

          1. Yes I would love to know what the make and model is as well!! We are getting ready to be full time RV’ers!

  9. i had no idea an RV could be so much like a house inside. this is so impressive! thanks for sharing.

  10. THANKS FOR SHARING HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR STORY AND YOU HAVE MADE A LOVELY HOME I AM A BIT JEALOUS LOL WOULD LOVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT GOD BLESS YOU AN YOUR LITTLE FAMILY.

  11. I love your RV! We just started living full time in a RV too. We are loving it! It is easier when your kids are small and all 3 of mine are under 5, so they think it is cool πŸ™‚ What kind of RV do you have?

  12. Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to live the way you are. The simplicity is so inviting and uncomplicated. For now I’ll have to settle for living vicariously through you. You’ve done a wonderful job in transforming your RV into a lovely home.

  13. I love absolutely everything about your house! You did the miraculous. =-) I have SO enjoyed your RV posts.

  14. What a great well thought out floor plan. I always felt that I needed more outdoor space than indoor space. I am finding with my own home, that I tend to “fill” that extra space I may have with knick knacks that I may or may not use.

    But if I had the space outdoors, the endless possibilities.

  15. Just stumbled onto your website. Your little home is lovely. How I long to have your simplicity!! We have a huge home and although I would miss having my chickens and goats, I would trade for a tiny home in a SECOND! Life just seems less complicated in a smaller space. Great job.

    1. I definitely can’t wait to move our rv out to some land in the near future and have all the regular outdoor things we are used to again while we build our homestead πŸ™‚

  16. Merissa, that’s a great accomplishment! The hubby and I have talked numerous times about doing something like this and living on a huge amount of property while we build our home. We just haven’t got the nerve up to downsize yet. Our two younger kids are 12 and 10 and we’re not sure how that would work out for us. But your posts are very inspiring!

    1. It’s definitely a leap of faith but we’ve found that we are SO happy we just dove in and made that leap, we know it will be best for us in the long run!

  17. I live very close to the RV capital of the world (where most RV’s are manufactured) Elkhart Indiana…….what make is your RV ??

  18. This living option is very high on the consideration list for my hubs and I, so I have been anxiously awaiting your updates! Moved to Texas a year ago and rentals in the city we are in are so expensive, makes it challenging to save up for a home. We have been concentrating on the same type of option in a trailer. Taking this next year to make our decision, so keep those updates coming! Love the white cabinets, too, very cottage-y.

  19. I so like your home. We significantly downsized almost two years ago and I still continue to rid myself of clutter. After viewing your home I know I have more work ahead of me. Congratulations on being wise.

  20. It looks so nice Merissa! You and your husband have done a wonderful job organizing everything, and choosing furniture. I also believe in carefully chosen and arranged trinkets and artwork. It is important when living in a small space to make sure it feels like home – we did the same thing!

  21. This is really nice! I never thought such a small place could look so homey and organized. Great work!

  22. Beautiful! I had to keep reminding myself that it was actually an RV since it looks so much like a house! I hope you have an amazing time with your portable home!!

  23. Thank you for all of the pictures. You have made an absolutely beautiful home in a small space. It was nice to see your outdoor space too.

    Good to know your opinion about cleaning that type of bathroom sink too. It is beautiful but it does seem like it would be more of a challenge to clean (and would probably need to be cleaned more often).

  24. Did I miss what make/model of RV your family is in? If not, could you share that (or let me know what page that info’s on & I’ll check it out myself)? Thanks! πŸ™‚

  25. Thanks for all the updates on RV Living! My husband and I are disabled and living with family and that wont last too much longer. I have been trying to figure out a better living situation and with all your knowledge I am thinking this may just work! We are a family of 3 but our child is 16 and homeschooled. Well actually she will be taking her proficiency test to graduate 2 years early and start taking college classes so she can go where ever we go! LOL
    We have been thinking of moving from the state we are in and until my husband gets approved for disability we wont have any money to move. If we did this things would be much easier! We have had our stuff in storage for 2 years and it is killing me to waste that money but we were holding out cause we thought we would be getting our own place soon but we won’t need furniture if we go to RV living. I am so excited now! Thank you!

  26. Stumbled across your site while looking up how to make teabags for another blogger. So excited to meet another full timer, even tho’ we’re old semi-retired folk and you’re a young family – I will definitely “follow” you to compare adventures! Ethel and Everett (www.EthelAndEverettGoRVing.com)

  27. Wow! that is a mansion compared to what i am living in. a 22 ft. motorhome. For one person it works, but i need your organization skills. Drives me nuts sometimes how crowded i feel. I am living this way out of necessity and health reasons. I have done it now since June but the weather is getting colder and i need to come up with a winter stradegy as it might still be another month or two in the motorhome. I like your site and your helpful tips! Is their more on how to winterize while living in cold climate. i am a montana boy.

  28. i love your home! your bathroom is bigger than my spare bathroom in my house! hubby has the main bathroom, i had to move to the smaller bathroom due to my disability. he has a garden tub and nowhere for me to hold onto anything when i get out. i have a snapped spine, though i can stand and walk, i am unsteady due to i cannot feel the lower half of my body. garden tubs are good when you get in, but the thick edge getting out is a no-no. πŸ™‚

  29. I love, love, LOVE your RV! I wonder if you could take out the 2nd bathroom altogether and enlarge the baby’s room? I am in love with your kitchen!!! I’ve had plenty of small apartments where the kitchen wasn’t nearly as nice and spacious looking!

  30. That’s the best rv I’ve ever seen in my life… Nice and roomy… I wish I too could break free from my prison of poverty and debt… πŸ™

    With that said, I am happy for you and your family! Hope you don’t have any more disasters like in the electrical fire post. :-0

    πŸ™‚

  31. OMG. Thanks for sharing! We are looking at purchasing an rv to live in while we build a home and this page popped up on google! This is exactly what I was looking for. I really want a full size tub as we have an infant and 3 year old so that’s kind of a must but they co sleep still so for us a king size bed would be great

  32. What kind or rv is that that is exactly what I’ve been looking 4
    please im looking 4 long term travel that is it.
    thank you.
    Andy

  33. I saw that you said you order your food once a month. Where do you order from and do they deliver it straight to you r do you have to pick it up somewhere? What about the water you use for the shower, laundry, and toilet? Do you filter that as well? If you are not at a campground how do you handle the toilet? I have never stayed in a RV, but am thinking about doing this. Thanks!!

    1. I order from Azure Standard, we pick it up at a designated drop sit in a nearby town. We have a whole camper filter so all the water is somewhat filtered, I only cook and drink the water from our Berkey though. And since we don’t have sewer hookups here with have a portable “Mr Buddy” manual sewer draining tank.

  34. Merissa my family and I are about to embark on a very similar journey. ..with three kids and a dog. I desperately need to find us an rv home. Where did you find yours? What brand/model is it? Thanks for any help you can offer.

    1. Hi Samantha, our rv is an Open Range 413RLL. We searched locally but then search nationally to find the very best deal possible and actually ended up buying ours from Michigan and the rv dealer we bought it from shipped it for free. It’s worth spending some time searching for a good deal!

  35. We are about to make this transition as well with a 14 month old. Our camper is not as big but I’m pretty hopeful that this will work for us. Its nice to know that we are not the only ones who have decided to do this πŸ™‚

  36. HI We are planning to ft rv sometime in the future and I love your layout, can you tell me the year and model of your rv. you have it fixed up so nice and homey too. LOVE it!!!

      1. Love it and the white cupboards too… I showed hubby and he said where is the tv. and lol didn’t see in pics had to go back to the layout look then we found it.
        Enjoy your time and I know it will bring you many happy memories!

  37. I’ve been searching online for decorating ideas for fifth wheels & came across yours. I love the way you’ve made it a home. My husband & I are saving to retire & live in an rv full time. Yours has inspired me! Thanks for sharing!

  38. In what type of place do you have this parked? For me that seems like a big issue. Could u talk about what you have learned from searching out places to “dock”?

    1. Matthew, you will want to check out the entire RV Living series I have posted here. We started at a campground, moved to someone else’s land, and then finally onto our own land. There are many places to park an rv, it just depends on your situation, your rig, and where you want to be.

  39. My husband and I have lived this way for almost six years. It’s amazing how comfortably we live in such close quarters. We have taken out all the “built ins” and replaced with regular sofa, chair, side tables, baby chest of drawers (for storage), and also an area rug. I’m quite a container gardener now, growing tomatoes, lettuce, onions, herbs and of course, flowers/shrubs.
    I hope someday I can get out of my RV and live in a real home, but for now, it’s for the best. I have been unemployed for about 7 months – this makes living with a one person income – doable.

    I count my little living space blessings every day! πŸ˜‰

  40. I stumbled upon your blog while doing a google search for other people who have done this. I have to say I love your fifth wheel!! It is just gorgeous. Last week, I purchased a 37ft fifth wheel to do the same. I love it to pieces and I am very excited about making the transition, but I am getting nervous because my rv plans are actually becoming a reality!!! I am around your age, and instead of kids, the fiance and I have two dogs that will be rv’ing with us. My main concern is weather. I am in south Fl and I am curious as to how well the ac will be able to manage against the summer heat. And of course with the dogs being home alone while we are working, say if the ac goes out, will the insulation be able to protect them until we come home at night? Anyway, I will keep reading πŸ™‚ Love your fifth wheel!!! Have a great day

  41. Hi there! My husband and I just purchased our RV to be lived in full time! We have a 6 month old and are eager to learn how to make this work for us. Our RV is without a tub, however so that’s a big bummer, but super awesome that you have one! Any suggestions on how to bathe him without a tub? Also curious where you do diaper changes, I’m so used to my changing table, so that will be an adjustment! Also, WHERE do you get an adorable mini crib? Awesome!
    Thanks for being so helpful!

    1. We had a motor home for fun before we had this rig and it did not have a bath tub either and our son was much younger then. I had a small bath seat that I would put him in and bring the shower sprayer down and use it like we were just pouring water over him. It actually worked pretty well! Diaper changes were just on the bed πŸ™‚ The mini crib I found used at a local consignment store but if you search “mini crib” on Amazon some will come up. They are roughly the size of a pack and play but much nice of course πŸ™‚

  42. Hello!
    Im looking for a the model of your home? Im searching and searching for something to suit our family of 3 and it’s really hard! They seem to be catering to retired people…..
    Could you tell me your the model? thanks!!

    1. It was an Open Range 413RLL. Open Range has a couple different models with 2 bedrooms that are built better for families πŸ™‚

  43. I LOVE this post! My husband, nearly 7 year old son, and I are currently living in one small bedroom in my parent’s house as we wait for our missions funds to come together. After the tight quarters and no longer being tied down by a house or debt we have been thinking about doing this. It would feel huge after living here. I can’t wait to read through all your posts with my husband as we think through this decision and maybe implementing it in about a year and a half (after our mission trip of 15 months).

  44. Hi,
    Nice blog! It was not clear to me if your small home was motorized or not . There was no photo of the exterior. How many feet is it in length? if it is a trailer/caravan, how powerful a truck do you need to pull it? Can one keep warm in one in ice cold temperatures?
    Thanks for an answer in advance
    Liana

    1. It was a 5th wheel camper so we needed to pull it with a truck. This particular camper required a one ton truck, all campers are different though and may need a different vehicle. It was 39 feet long. We kept it warm inside in -30 degree temps but it did go through propane very quickly, especially when the wind was blowing.

  45. We are full timers and just found out we are expecting! What model is your 5th wheel it looks absolutely perfect. We will need to upgrade as of now we only have one room.

  46. Very nice HOME!!! I noticed your comment about the floors being cold. I recently redone the floors in our camper at our hunting camp using the paper bag method. It really helped seal things up.

  47. Don’t you just love the Open Range? We live full time in a 398RLS, as we have for the past 4 ish years and love it. Yes space is challenging, but most people, if they are honest, learn that it isn’t about having too little space, it is about having too much stuff.

    You’ve done a great job finding space. Have you used the space under the head of the bed yet? We but extra hinges in to access that area.

  48. Just curious as to what kind of RV you guys have? It’s Beautiful and I love that it has a king sized bed! My husband and I will be chasing our careers and moving into an RV within the next 3 weeks.

  49. Dear Merrisa,
    You are such an encouragement! I stumbled stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest but I will definitely be coming back. Thank you for sharing your family’s journey, and your recipes, and everything!

    Peace and Grace,
    Catherine

    1. We had a Chevy 1 ton Dually truck. At the time we had this camper we did not want to have a tow vehicle and wanted maximum living space.

  50. My husband and I will be selling our house and moving into an RV. Up until I saw your site today I was concerned that I would have to give up baths. I had been told that a full size bathtub was impossible now I know it is possible.:)

      1. This blog inspired me to minimalize and live a simpler life. We are so much happier now! I hope this is ok to post but we have a 2013 Open Range 413RLL available for sale (located in Missouri) if anyone is interested. πŸ™‚

  51. Thanks for sharing!
    We just made the jump from a huge 3000sqft home to a 38ft camper O_O we picked ours up cheap and are “glamping” it out now πŸ˜€ big move is on the 28 th!

  52. What is the make of your RV? I absolutely love it. I have never saw one with a kitchen so big. I am looking to start RV living soon, so I’m just curious! Thank you πŸ™‚

  53. I see your willow tree figurines and pictures, wondering how they stay put? We are retired and ready to buy a rv and travel full time. So thanks for the post

  54. So so beautiful I have 3 fur babies in our 38 ft fifth wheel. It’s can be challenging but I love it. I love y kitchen as well it seperates the living with French doors and it’s the biggest room in the camper I spend most my time there lol

  55. You have done such a great job maximizing space! and organizing! How many square feet is the master bedroom?” and what is the rug from walmart? would love to have one like it!

  56. Absolutely love it!! So pretty and cozy and you all rocked the utilization of space! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!

  57. We’re picking ours up this weekend. Same make and model as yours in a 2011. We’re super excited. We’re a full timing homeschool family and this space is going to be so much better than the smaller RV we’re currently in. Thanks for sharing pics! It totally gives me ideas on how to utilize my space. ?