- Kirsten and Devin Trout have lived in four trailers since moving into the first one in 2018.
- Although they love the tiny lifestyle, Kirsten told Insider that the couple has made some mistakes.
- From an accidental flood to buying a whole new trailer, here are the biggest things they think they've ever done.
In 2018, Kirsten and Devin Trout moved into a 350-square-foot trailer. Almost five years and four trailers later, they still love the lifestyle.
In 2017, Kirsten and Devin Trout decided to move from their Delaware home to Nashville, Tennessee. But expensive apartments and houses for sale initially made the transition impossible.
Then Devin stumbled upontrailer life. the couple couldBuy an RV, live in an RV park, and spend less than nearby apartments– Kirsten these.
They agreed to give the trailer a try and bought a used 350-square-foot trailer in January 2018 for $18,000, he said.
The plan was to live in a trailer for a year, save money, sell the trailer, and buy a brick and mortar house. "But we love the freedom we feel with virtual reality," Kirsten told Insider.
Nearly five years later, Kirsten said she had no plans to quit the RV lifestyle any time soon. In fact, the couple moved into their fourth RV last May after finding one with all the features they wanted.
Outsidereform to redecorate, Kirsten said she made each trailer a home. She continues to share her journey.Instagram,tag thank you, miFacebook, and while they love the freedom trailers give them, Kirsten said it wasn't without its challenges.
From flooding to buying small-size RVs, Kirsten told Insider that living in and renovating an RV has been a rewarding but bumpy ride with many lessons learned.
When Kirsten remembers her five yearsmotorhome trip, there are many moments of celebration. The couple watched as their drab, gray RVs were transformed into colorful and welcoming spaces. Kirsten said they can hang out with friends stress-free as the rent puts less financial pressure on the couple, and Devin has been able to further her music career by moving to a nearby town.
While there have been plenty of highs, Kirsten said the couple have had highs, too.he made a lot of mistakes growing up. Here are eight of the biggest mishaps they've ever had, how they were able to avoid them, and what life on the road has taught them.
In 2021, Kirsten's dog accidentally turned on a faucet and flooded her second trailer. Now she never leaves without turning off the water completely.
Kirsten and Devin live in their small trailer with three dogs. One day in 2021, Kirsten left and came home to a flooded trailer, she said.
“Actually, this trailer flooded because my dog turned on the faucet while I was gone,” he said.
The insurance company deemed the flooded trailer a total loss, and Devin and Kirsten responded by purchasing a new trailer.
But Kirsten said they learned their lesson. Today, when one of them is away for an extended period, they completely shut off the water, which is connected to a tap in the camp.
Regardless of whether you have pets, Kirsten said it's smart to do so, as a pipe could burst or a variety of things could go wrong.
"If something happens, there won't be a big flood like we had," he said.
The couple made the mistake of downsizing to 100 square feet after living in a 350 square foot trailer.
The couple's first trailer was about 350 square feet, and after living in it for two and a half years, that wasThe couple decided to downsize and move into even smaller spaces..
Kirsten said the hope is that a smaller space will allow them to travel more, as they can save money on gas and navigate to more remote locations with a smaller trailer.
"But we never travel," Kirsten said. "He was always doing things for work, so in this even smaller space, it was just me."
Reflecting on the decision, Kirsten said that she and her husband should have considered whether more traveling was feasible with their schedules and whether it was worth sacrificing the size of their living space.
"That was the biggest mistake, getting a trailer and not thinking about it," he said.
After a few years in the 100-square-foot trailer, when it flooded and they had to buy a new house, Kirsten says she knew right away that they were moving back into a bigger space.
Kirsten also strongly encourages buyers to inspect the trailer in person before purchasing, a tip she learned the hard way.
"One of our biggest mistakes was not seeing a trailer in person before buying it," he said.
For the couple's second RV purchase, when they decided to downsize, they looked at pictures of the model and layout online. Kirsten recalls that the model sold out quickly, so she and her husband decided to buy it before seeing it in person.
"We will never do that again," Kirsten said.
Kirsten said that the pictures online made the space appear larger than 100 square feet and that they had not had an opportunity to assess any issues with the RV that might have arisen during the manufacturing process.
Now Kirsten said that the couplebuy used mobile homesthat you can see in person before buying.
That way, Trouts can ask detailed questions about things like plumbing and water damage, and can "see what the trailer's previous owner went through," he said.
When Kirsten reviews potential new developments, she takes notes and records videos.
Kirsten said that when they purchased their first trailer, they looked at various floor plans with different amenities and features.
Kirsten said the experience was a bit overwhelming, especially since she didn't take enough notes on the walkthroughs.
He recalls that RV dealers and owners asked him not to take pictures of the RVs he visited. He compromised and forgot details about trailer amenities, hookups and features.
"It would have been nice to have that tour and be able to look back and understand what the different parts of the RV were used for," he said.
For example, if Kirsten had taken better notes on one of the tours, she wouldn't have spent hours searching YouTube for a video of how to empty and clean the black tank that holds all the sewage that was clogged on a tour, called .
Now he said he insists on keeping records or taking notes so he doesn't forget the details of a potential home.
Kirsten said that when she started living in a trailer, she hadn't perfected the ability to "drain".
in just onea few hundred square feet of space, clutter adds up quicklyKirsten said. Cupboards can overflow, kitchen cabinets fill up with groceries, and decor feels oppressive.
Kirsten said she originally thought she and her husband would have to do a one-time cleanup when they transitioned from an apartment to a trailer. They got rid of the vast majority of their furniture, sold household items, and downsized their closets.
But she said she quickly discovered that getting rid of items like clothing and decorations was a constant chore. Nearly five years later, Kirsten said she still regularly takes things off to maximize her space.
"I told my husband this week that we are going to do laundry when I get home," she said.
Kirsten now avoids permanent renovations and instead opts for tenant-friendly hacks.
Kirsten and Devin became importantRenovations on the first two mobile homes they lived in. They ripped out cabinets, painted walls, and made permanent changes to their homes.
But Kirsten said some of these big renovations were sometimes a mistake because they were expensive and time consuming. For example, when they were painting her second trailer, Kirsten remembers days of paint fumes in her house.
His last two RV renovations have focused on simple DIY projects, he said. For example, he traded wet paint for removable wallpaper and nails for command hooks. This allows you to constantly transform and refresh the space without damaging your home.
Kirsten said she will never buy an RV again that doesn't have conveniences like a washer and dryer.
The first three trailers Kirsten and Devin lived in didn't have thisLuxury of a washer and dryer.
But her current trailer has that convenience, and Kirsten has said she'll never come back to life without that perk.
"I don't know how I lived without a washer and dryer for so many years," she said.
Kirsten originally made the mistake of thinking that living small meant sacrificing features like a fireplace or laundry room, but now she knows it's all about compromise.
You may need a smaller fireplace or give up some storage space, he said, but that doesn't mean you can't have things like a washer and dryer.
Finally, I wish I had discovered and connected to the online trailer community sooner.
Today, there's no doubt that Kirsten is too scared to ask her VR TikTok followers or Facebook groups.
But when she started living in a trailer, she didn't know these groups existed. When she finally saw them, she said that she was sometimes afraid of looking stupid by asking simple questions.
"Now I have more confidence," he says. "I learned that you don't have to feel stupid. No question is stupid."
In addition, she said that everyone she has met, in person or online, is eager and willing to help.
"I wish I would have turned to these groups for support years ago," he said.