Tiny House Appliances & Amenities: Helpful Tips (With Examples)

Tiny houses are often favored over large campers because of their beautiful and often luxurious interiors.

These tiny homes on wheels offer all of the amenities of a traditional home so people can feel comfortable in them all year long.

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you should know about tiny house appliances and amenities.

1. Kitchen Appliances

Tiny house kitchens are often focal points, and many tiny house owners devote most of their living space to their kitchens.

We’ll go over the amenities you can typically find in a tiny house on wheels in the next few sections:

Stoves and Ovens

Most tiny house owners go with small RV stoves that run on propane.  These stoves usually have three burners on top and an oven large enough to fit a chicken but definitely not a turkey.

The benefit to a small stove like this is that it does not weigh as much as a residential stove.  A 22″ three-burner stove might weigh in at around 60 to 70 pounds.

Also, the three-burner design makes it much more narrow than a typical four-burner stove.  It is also shorter too so you can usually put storage underneath of it.

An alternative to the gas oven might be a convection oven that can function as a microwave.  Some people like to go this route since it gives them microwaving abilities without adding a microwave.

Some people opt to forgo the oven altogether.  These people might go with a gas stovetop or an induction stovetop.  This can cut down the weight significantly, which is important for tiny houses on wheels.

Microwaves

Practically every RV I’ve seen has a microwave in the kitchen.  With tiny houses, however, you don’t always see people using microwaves.  When you do see microwaves in the kitchens, they are usually built-in overtop of the stove.

This helps maximize space and allows for venting since a vent will usually be built into the tiny house just underneath the microwave.

When building a tiny house kitchen, it is important to decide whether or not you’ll actually use a microwave as they take up valuable space and add at least another 20 pounds to your tiny house’s weight.  Also, they require a lot of power, so you’ll most likely need to be hooked up to the grid or to a generator to use them.

Of course, you can get low-watt microwaves, but they take longer to cook, eliminating any benefit they may have had.

Refrigerators

The ideal refrigerator for a tiny house on wheels is a 3-way refrigerator running on gas, DC power, and AC power.  This gives you the ability to run your fridge on-grid power and gas power while on the road.  If you decide to add solar to your tiny house, you can even run your DC power fridge.

If you aren’t moving your tiny home on wheels very often, you might want to opt for a residential fridge.  A residential fridge will add a lot of weight to your tiny home, and you’ll need grid power to run it, but you’ll be able to store a lot of food.

Also, residential refrigerators are much less expensive than 3-way RV refrigerators.  You could end up spending twice the amount of money for a 3-way fridge as you would for a standard residential fridge.

Dishwashers

Most people with tiny homes on wheels do not have dishwashers in their tiny homes.  These appliances require a lot of water and electricity, and they take up a lot of space.  Also, a dishwasher weighs a lot to be a burden to some tiny homeowners.

Many people will opt to hand wash their dishes, and they’ll add some counter space for a drying rack.  This saves them room, weight, and even money as they have one less appliance to purchase.

If you ever decide to add a dishwasher in later, you can always buy a tabletop version.  These small dishwashers do not have to be plumbed into the system, and they can be installed and removed in just a few minutes.  They also weigh a lot less, so traveling with them is much easier.

Sinks

Since most people hand-wash their dishes, they must have large sinks.  Deep, double-sinks are often seen in tiny houses on wheels as they make washing dishes much easier.

Additional counter space should be added to the side of the sink so that dishes can be left out to dry afterward.  This counter space can be used for meal preparation, so it isn’t wasted when dishes are not drying.

Outdoor Kitchens

In some climates, it’s easier to go with an outdoor kitchen.  A grill and an outdoor sink could completely replace the need to have a kitchen inside.  Just get a small fridge and place it in your living area so you’ll have someplace to store your food.

Pack some folding chairs and a folding table into your tow vehicle, and you have a fully functional dining room to go with your outdoor kitchen.

For warm but wet climates, you may also want to pack an overhead awning so you’ll have some shelter from the rain while you’re outside cooking.

2. The Larger Appliances In A Tiny Kitchen:

While figuring out what smaller appliances to place on your countertop is important, there is a much larger choice to make.

Bigger appliances, like stoves and refrigerators, are a whole different ballgame.

So, how do you choose?

Here are some tips to make sure that you not only get what you need but what you want:

Set a Budget:

The biggest factor in selecting large appliances for your tiny home will be how much you can spend.  Putting together a budget should be part of your home buying experience.

Along with traditional home costs, furnishing your home will be your second largest expense.  This is why it is so important to stick to your plan.  If you want a top-of-the-line appliance, budget and save for it!

The Average cost of large kitchen appliances will run you anywhere from $450-$3000 apiece.

This doesn’t include state-of-the-art innovative technologies either.  Those types of products will be a grander expense.  As long as your budget allows for it, feel free to reach for the stars.

Environmental Impact:

These days it is hard to find kitchen appliances that are not backed by green energy.  However, it’s a good rule of thumb to look for appliances that are smart energy certified.  This will not only help you to keep your home expenses low but will help to reduce your overall carbon footprint.

If you are serious about protecting the environment, there are plenty of options when it comes to furnishing your house with larger appliances.  Energy Star appliances can save up to 50% of energy.

Not only that, they can save you tons when it comes to water usage.  This applies to appliances like dishwashers.

Also, it should be noted that if you are planning on using used or repurposed appliances, that they may not be as efficient.  This is because the technology around energy-saving appliances is changing daily.  So, what was best to use last year may be completely out of date now.

Be Kind to Space:

An important thing to remember is that furnishing a tiny house is far different from filling a traditional home.  A major tip is to work with the space you are given instead of cramming in large appliances.  Try to find large kitchen appliances that can have dual purposes to get the most out of your smaller space.

Look for range ovens that can have the stovetop easily covered with wood or stone.  This way, you have extra counter space when your stove is not in use.  Look for refrigerators that are sleeker and slimmer than larger ones.  This way, you can keep as much floor space in your kitchen as possible.

When it comes to fitting refrigerators into your limited space, you have options.

One option is to find small fridges that don’t have a freezer.  This will cut the space you need for a refrigerator in half.  Instead, consider purchasing a separate freezer that can be safely kept outside of the home.  This will help with limited space, but this can also help you freeze and store much more food, which can help cut down on grocery costs.

Gas Versus Electric:

Every homeowner goes through the debate of which type of appliances to purchase for their home.  This isn’t a choice that is only limited to traditional homes either.  Owners of tiny houses often debate about which is better.

While gas range stoves are better to cook with and offer more control, electric stoves are more cost-effective.

When it comes to putting in large appliances in your tiny kitchen, consider your power source.  While you will be using electricity in your home, you will also be working off of propane.  This way, you can still get the gas stove of your dreams in your tiny house with little effort.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.

You should never feel limited by your tiny house.  Instead of looking at your space with dread, think of it as an incredible creative challenge.  You also shouldn’t feel limited when it comes to the types of appliances to use in your smaller kitchen.

While the list of needed appliances is a great place to start, feel free to customize your space with what exactly you need.  Here are some option kitchen appliances that homeowners swear by and how you can make them work for your space:

Dishwasher:

If you have a family of three or more, you know how hard it is to survive without a dishwasher.  When you have such a small space to work with, it is important to remember to keep the areas free of clutter.  One thing that is sure to pile up quickly is dishes.  This is where a dishwasher comes in handy.

Fitting a traditional size dishwasher into your small kitchen might be out of the question for your space.  However, there are other options to consider.

A portable dishwasher is a great choice for a tiny house.

These types of dishwashers are small enough to fit into a closet when not in use.  Because they feature wheels, they can be easily rolled out of sight.  The best part about portable dishwashers is that they hook directly up to your sink, so there is no need for extra connectors laying around.

If you’re looking for something a little smaller still, consider purchasing a countertop dishwasher.

These types of dishwashers are roughly the same size as a compact microwave.  This means you can quickly use them right on your countertop and then store them away when you’re done.  However, because they are much smaller in size, you will only be able to wash smaller loads at a time.

Please also read our article with useful space-optimization ideas for tiny house kitchens.

Washing Machines:

The same logic that goes into needing a dishwasher can also be applied to washing machines.  The only thing that piles up quicker than dishes in a tiny house is laundry.  This is especially true if you have children.  While you can go into town to do laundry or do it by hand, you have other options.

Plus for the cost of visiting a laundromat a few times a week will add up quickly.

Stackable washers and dryers are a great option for tiny homes.  These types of appliances work well with your limited space by working upwards.  This way, you get two appliances for the space of one.

Remember that since these are combat styles of machines, you will be limited when it comes to how much you will wash at once.

If you are hoping to cut the costs of power and water in your home, consider using a portable washing machine.  Campers love these types of washers because they take little water and no power.

These machines are usually hand-operated or operated with a foot pedal.  This way you can spend less time hand-wringing clothes and more time enjoying your home.

Dual-Purpose Appliances:

No matter the size of the home, one thing is clear, people love their options.  If you are looking to expand your kitchen appliance collection, consider one that gives you options.  One appliance to look into is convection toaster ovens.

Toaster ovens have come a long way from just heating some bread.

Now you can find high-quality toasters that can cook pizza, grill fish, and even work as a healthy air fryer.  Even crockpots have come a long way.  You can find cookers that will roast, slow cook, sautee, and even pressure cook.

These multi-purpose appliances will do much more than save you some counter space.  They will also reduce the need to use your gas range or oven.  This means you can reduce your reliance on propane and gas.  Best of all, they help to make meals more convenient and time-saving!

3. Equipping The Bathroom Perfectly

Some tiny house owners go with off-the-grid bathrooms, while others choose more elaborate ones.  If you plan on full-timing in your tiny house on wheels, you may want to go with a more elaborate bathroom. Otherwise, it might be safe to still to a cassette toilet and small sink.

Toilets

There are so many different toilet options for tiny homeowners to choose from that it can be hard to decide on just one.  People looking to go off-grid can go with composting toilets, cassette toilets, and even incinerating toilets.

People looking to park their tiny homes at full hook-up sites might want to go with a standard RV toilet.  These toilets could be plumbed to a black water tank for areas that do not have full hookups.

For more information on this, check out our post titled, “Do RVs Have Water Tanks.”

Showers

Some tiny homeowners do not have showers in their tiny homes at all.  These people may use the showers at the campground or a local fitness center or truck stop.

Others go with small wet baths.  These wet baths also house the toilet, so no space is wasted.  You can only shower in a wet bath in most cases, but you save a lot of room by using one over a standard bathtub.

Large bathtubs with tile walls can be found in other tiny homes.  These are usually in tiny homes that do not often move and have access to water and sewer hoses.  Gray water tanks can be added for traveling so that these bathrooms can be used while on the road.

Sinks

Some small tiny homeowners have decided to leave the sink out of the bathroom.  Instead, they’ll use the kitchen sink or the shower to wash their hands.  This saves on space and reduces the weight of the tiny home.

The drawback to this is that you lose your ability to brush your teeth inside your tiny home’s bathroom.  Personally, I’d rather have a small sink with a mirror in my tiny home’s bathroom and save room and weight somewhere else.

Washers and Dryers

Some bathrooms even have washers and dryers built into them.  Tiny homes with washers and dryers will need a 50-amp power system, and they’ll need to be hookup up to the grid to run their machines.

In most cases, the washer and dryer are built into one combination machine to save space and weight.  Even so, a washer/dryer combination is heavy, so you’ll want to think long and hard before you decide to install laundry facilities in your tiny home on wheels.

4. Entertainment Centers

I know many tiny homeowners do not worry about having an entertainment system in their tiny homes.  They will often set their living rooms up with a comfortable chair or loveseat for reading and relaxing, and they spend the rest of their time enjoying the outdoors.

Other people take a different approach, and they make their tiny homes a great place for watching TV and listening to music.

Televisions

Televisions can be mounted to the walls to save space and to be viewed from different rooms.  This eliminates the need to have multiple televisions and cuts down on weight.

Other people decide to go with a projector and a projector screen instead.  This saves a lot of weight and reduces power requirements.  Also, the projector can just as easily be taken outside, and movies can be watched on the outside wall of the tiny home rather than inside of the tiny home.

Sound Systems

Car speakers are easy to mount into the interior and exterior walls, and a person living in a tiny home can run them off their 12-volt batteries.  These systems are built to withstand the elements, so they are great for tiny houses on wheels.

Alternatively, some people just use Bluetooth speakers attached to their phones or computers.  These speakers are small and portable to be used both inside and outside the tiny home.

Computers and the Internet

Many tiny homeowners can live a mobile life because of their ability to work from home.  For this reason, you’ll see many tiny homes with built-in offices that rival the offices you’d see in many people’s apartments.

Satellites can be installed on the roof to boost Internet signals, and laptops can be used in place of desktop computers.  Laptops have lower power requirements and can be used even when the tiny home is off-the-grid.

Bedrooms You Will Love

Many tiny homes make use of lofts.  These lofts are often above the bathrooms and kitchens, as lofts placed over living rooms can make the living rooms feel cramped.

Others turn their living rooms into bedrooms by using futons and dinettes that convert into bedrooms. 

Lofts provide more space and dedicated beds, but they can be difficult for some people to climb in and out of each night.

Large tiny homes can often get around having to climb into lofts by adding small staircases.  These staircases can double as storage, so space isn’t completely wasted.

Beds

Futons and fold-up beds are common in tiny homes.  Murphy beds are used a lot as well.  These beds are usually installed vertically, but they can be installed horizontally as well.

For more information on installing Murphy beds, look at the post titled “How to Install Murphy Beds.”

Alternatively, you could have an elevating bed installed.  These beds usually come down over the living area and can be raised back to the ceiling when not in use.

Many people are now turning to beds like this as they offer the benefit of a Murphy bed without using up valuable wall space. Also, since they aren’t being folded up, the bedding does not have to be tied to the mattress before it is raised back into position.

Beds built into lofts are usually the most comfortable because standard mattresses can be used.  Most tiny homes can easily fit king and queen size beds in their lofts.

The lofts not only provide an area for a big bed, but they also offer a separate space for people to hang out in when they want to spend some time away from their housemates.

Storage Space

Tiny homes on wheels can often be short on space, and bedroom storage isn’t always possible.  However, some tiny homeowners prioritize storage space in their bedrooms and even have walk-in closets built within.

If space is at a premium, overhead cabinets can be built into bedrooms and even into lofts.  Just be careful how much weight is stored at the top of the tiny home, as top-heavy tiny homes are more likely to tip over while in transit.

5. Luxury Items You Might Want To Consider

Many tiny homeowners like the idea of placing luxury items like granite countertops and marble floors inside of their tiny homes.  They often argue that because the space is so small, they won’t have to spend much to get the luxury materials that they’ve always dreamed about in their larger homes.

This thought is true, and it is much cheaper to furnish a tiny home with fancy finishes and luxury amenities.

Unfortunately, these items can often be heavy, and they aren’t always functional.

For this reason, tiny homeowners should think about the utility of the item before bringing it into their tiny home.

Here are some luxury items that you might want to consider for your tiny home.

  • Skylights.
  • Custom furniture.
  • Solar power.

One great luxury item that provides a lot of utility is a large skylight.

Skylights provide natural light, bring in passive heat and offer wonderful views of the night sky.  This makes the skylight one of the best amenities you can put into a tiny home.

Another luxury item to think about is custom-made furniture.  Custom furniture will fit better in a tiny home than furniture bought from a big box store, and it can be made to be functional, lightweight, and beautiful.

Many tiny homeowners have custom countertops, custom couches, custom tables, and custom chairs made especially for their tiny homes.  The addition of just a few custom pieces can make a big difference in how luxurious a tiny home feels inside.

Solar power isn’t often thought of as a luxury, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one.  Having a solar power system gives you the luxury of being able to go off-grid for longer periods of time without having to sacrifice the use of your electronics.

It also gives you the luxury of lower utility bills since the solar panels can help you reduce your reliance on the grid.

Final Thoughts

Tiny homes on wheels can have all the amenities of a standard home.  This being said, the more amenities you put into your tiny home, the heavier they will get. Heavy tiny homes can be difficult to move, and a larger tow vehicle will certainly be needed to do so.

When planning out a tiny home’s amenities, start by deciding on what you actually need.  If you don’t need something, don’t bother putting it into your tiny home. 

Even if the item fits, it will still unnecessarily weigh your tiny home down, and your gas mileage will suffer.  Also, it will make your tiny home feel smaller than it needs to as you’ll have less space to move around and less space to store the items you actually do use.

Also, think about buying appliances that serve more than one purpose.  For example, if you must have a washer and a dryer, get a machine that can wash and dry clothes.  If you need television, consider getting a laptop with a big screen so your computer can serve as a television as well.

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