What is the difference between an RV Park & a Tiny House Community?

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

I get asked that a lot. But I think it is the wrong question. A better question is “What is the difference between a neighborhood and a community?”

Tiny Estates Community in Elizabethtown, PA

Typically, a neighborhood is built to improve the wealth of a developer or landlord. The ultimate goal is profit. On the other end of the spectrum is a people-based model, where the bottom line is maximizing the happiness index & meeting the needs of the residents. Many places fall somewhere in between.

Most of us are very familiar with a neighborhood already. Let’s outline a few commonalities.

  1. You don’t get to pick your neighbors.
  2. You might have an HOA, but even with that or perhaps because of it, you don’t really have much say in what happens in your neighborhood.

Now, onto the less familiar – a community. Well, there is no single correct answer, because there are many types of communities. So, lets focus on what is commonly found in an “intentional community”.

  1. Shared common values.
  2. Egalitarian decision-making model: Each person has an equal say.
  3. Select your neighbors
  4. Lower cost of living
  5. Lower carbon footprint
  6. More Free Time
  7. More interactions your neighbors
  8. Defined conflict resolution policies

Living in Community

So what exactly does a day in the life of a intentional community look like? Lets use Twin Oaks Community near Charlottesville, VA as a case study. 

NOTE: There are many flavors of intentional communities. Twin Oaks may not appeal to you.

Community is creating a space that meets the needs of the members, using your preferred combination of infrastuctures & tools to increase social cohesion.

At Twin Oaks, someone is cooking you two organic meals a day, growing your vegetables, doing your laundry,  grocery shopping  & personal shopping, fixing your cars, BUILDING YOUR HOUSE.

This sounds like I am describing Beyonce’s life. I can almost hear Robin Leach narrating this blog.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Twin oaks is situated on 450 beautifully wooded acres, with numerous buildings, including a professional restaurant-sized kitchen, dance hall & gathering area. The community, which consists of about 90 adults & 15 children, currently has 1.5 million savings in the bank.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S STILL MORE!

They have an 80% reduction in their carbon footprint. (Twin Oaks is really strong on logging paperwork, so they are an excellent place to track such data.)

How are they able to accomplish this? They take a 3 pronged approach:

1. A network of libraries.

Just as you would check a book out of a library, they have libraries to check out cars, bikes, tools and even clothes!

If that sounds like an uncomfortable or unusual idea, ask yourself which is more important to you? Access or ownership? Do you need a lawnmower to take up space in your garage all the time, only to use it once a week for 20 minutes? Coupled with all of the maintenance time & costs falling on your shoulders? Or do you simply need access to a lawnmower for 20 minutes a week?

Play Video

A video by BBC4 showcasing the Community Clothes Library at Twin Oaks Community.

2. Worker-Cooperatives

A worker cooperative is a for-profit business. But instead of profit being the bottom-line, the bottom-line is the happy index of the employees. And all of the employees are owners. Future blog posts will detail why this setup empowers employees and increases productivity. Twin Oaks has several worker coops, but the 3 main ones are a tofu factory, a seed business & a hammock business.

3. All Volunteer Economy

People select which jobs they want within the community and either work at one of the worker coops, or work within the community, or split their time between both. The person cooking you your meals? A volunteering fellow community member. The one fixing your car? Another volunteer. The one buying your groceries? You guessed it…another volunteer.

There is one caveat. For some reason, no one ever seems to sign up to wash dishes, so every week or two, each community member washes dishes for an hour or so.

Here, once you complete your work, all your remaining time is truly free time. You don’t need to run to the grocery store or cook dinner or take your car in for repairs or any of the numerous 2nd & 3rd shift chores/responsibilities that invade our modern lives.

A Nod to our Successful Roots

As a species, we lived interdependently until very recent history. Living communally is not a new concept. Along those lines, living in a small house is also not a new concept. Modern living leaves us stretched thin & stressed, particularly if you are raising children. The tiny house movement coupled with the intentional community movement is a nod to our successful roots.

Working together & relying upon one another creates a strong glue…a sense of togetherness. A true definition of community. Instead of not knowing your neighbors or building taller fences.

The approach that Twin Oaks takes is one of many. And you certainly don’t need to adopt all their methods in order to improve your sense of community. But to avoid becoming another neighborhood, you will need to take measures to grow the community “glue” & make the residents feel invested in and empowered within the community.

Future blog articles will outline additional methods & resources. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when blogs are added!

What Do You Think?

Do you agree? Disagree? Would you rather live in a neighborhood or a community? Comment below. 

Additional Resources / Related Blogs

Learn resources for forming your own community.

How to live interdependently in a world that promotes independence? Decision making models, conflict resolution & membership policies to the rescue!

Learn more about Twin Oaks, including their the maternity/paternity leave & retirement policies that far exceed anything you’d find in even the most progressive countries.

BBC4 video touring Twin Oaks

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!

Jill Kanto

Jill Kanto combined her background in Intentional Communities, living in her DIY Tiny House, her skills as a Front-End Web Developer and not being able to sit still to create SearchTinyHouseVillages.com. She travels to 1-2 Tiny House Festivals a month as a speaker. Learn more about her journey.

See all posts by cyfarian

37 thoughts on “What is the difference between an RV Park & a Tiny House Community?

  • January 11, 2019 at 7:03 pm
    Permalink

    I found a sense of community when I stayed in Sun City, Az . I think the developer got their Community just right . I’d like to see a smaller Community based on Sun City – that comprised of Tiny Houses …

    Reply
    • January 11, 2019 at 7:12 pm
      Permalink

      What was the name of the community you stayed in Charley? I would love to look into it! What specifically did you like about it?

      Reply
  • January 15, 2019 at 5:50 pm
    Permalink

    I would like to know if it might be posible to find a tiny house sorrounded by other tiny houses in the Villages.
    My sister lives with her husband in The Villages in other house a big one , in Amelia

    Reply
    • January 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Maria,
      When you say “The Villages”, do you mean the planned retirement community in Florida? I don’t know of any tiny houses allowed at The Villages, but that would be a fantastic idea!

      (Fun fact: my grandparents used to live there!)

      Reply
  • January 30, 2021 at 10:45 pm
    Permalink

    I was very happy to find this web site. I want to to thank you
    for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of
    it and i also have you book-marked to check out
    new information on your blog.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2021 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    Amazing! Its actually awesome article, I have got much clear idea about from this article.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2021 at 5:23 pm
    Permalink

    Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and
    would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2021 at 6:38 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just
    wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you protect against it, any
    plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so
    any help is very much appreciated.

    Reply
  • February 3, 2021 at 7:21 am
    Permalink

    My relatives all the time say that I am killing my time
    here at net, but I know I am getting familiarity daily by reading thes nice articles or reviews.

    Reply
  • February 11, 2021 at 9:51 pm
    Permalink

    I have been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article
    like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2021 at 2:25 am
    Permalink

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

    Reply
  • March 14, 2021 at 9:46 pm
    Permalink

    First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that
    I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how
    you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it
    just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
    Kudos! games ps4 185413490784 games ps4

    Reply
  • March 15, 2021 at 7:43 pm
    Permalink

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!
    games ps4 185413490784 games ps4

    Reply
  • March 18, 2021 at 10:27 am
    Permalink

    Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted
    to mention that I’ve truly loved surfing around your blog posts.

    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write
    once more very soon!

    Reply
  • March 18, 2021 at 7:15 pm
    Permalink

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to
    new posts.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2021 at 5:29 am
    Permalink

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at
    this site is really pleasant.

    Reply
  • March 21, 2021 at 7:02 pm
    Permalink

    What’s up mates, how is the whole thing, and what you want to say on the topic of this paragraph, in my view its
    actually amazing for me.

    Reply
  • March 22, 2021 at 3:28 am
    Permalink

    Hey very cool web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally?

    I am satisfied to seek out a lot of helpful information here within the publish,
    we’d like develop more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

    Reply
  • April 9, 2021 at 5:11 pm
    Permalink

    Right here is the perfect web site for anyone who hopes
    to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to
    argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has
    been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    0mniartist asmr

    Reply
  • April 10, 2021 at 4:42 am
    Permalink

    I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth
    enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.
    0mniartist asmr

    Reply
  • April 11, 2021 at 9:16 am
    Permalink

    Fantastic site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me
    know. Cheers! asmr 0mniartist

    Reply
  • April 13, 2021 at 3:19 am
    Permalink

    I am thankful that I observed this website, just the right information that I was looking for! .

    Reply
  • April 14, 2021 at 1:08 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there to all, it’s actually a fastidious for me
    to pay a quick visit this web page, it contains priceless Information. asmr 0mniartist

    Reply
  • April 16, 2021 at 3:35 am
    Permalink

    Hi everybody, here every person is sharing these experience, thus it’s pleasant to read this web site, and I used to
    visit this web site all the time. 0mniartist asmr

    Reply
  • April 28, 2021 at 10:13 pm
    Permalink

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject
    matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got
    an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following.

    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

    Reply
  • April 29, 2021 at 2:45 am
    Permalink

    Hi, I wish for to subscribe for this website to obtain newest updates, so where can i do it please help out.

    Reply
  • April 29, 2021 at 12:45 pm
    Permalink

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d want to find out more details.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2021 at 9:18 pm
    Permalink

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the best sites on the net.

    I am going to recommend this web site!

    Reply
  • May 4, 2021 at 1:26 am
    Permalink

    you’re truly a just right webmaster. The web site loading velocity is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Also, The contents
    are masterpiece. you’ve done a magnificent activity in this matter!

    Reply
  • May 7, 2021 at 5:30 am
    Permalink

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the plan of a user
    in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.
    So that’s why this piece of writing is great.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • May 7, 2021 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to go
    back the choose?.I’m attempting to find issues to enhance
    my site!I assume its ok to use some of your concepts!!

    Reply
  • May 9, 2021 at 1:15 pm
    Permalink

    Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading
    your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go
    over the same topics? Many thanks!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *