According to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, you can park your recreational vehicle on your own land. However, before you do, make sure that it conforms to the local zoning laws.
These laws are set by not only the state, but different cities and towns can have local regulations that must be adhered too. These rules can be as confusing as they are detailed.
But can you REALLY park your RV on your own land – and does your RV need to be registered?
As a general rule, you can park your RV on your own land. Many states will permit this, but local zoning laws for each borough, town and city may require you to meet certain regulations to do so. If you live in an urban area or a mobile home park, you may not be able to park your RV at your home.
Red tape yes, but a necessity if you don’t want to end up with a ticket and a fine.
How parking an RV on your own land is different from state to state?
If you own land, and you love the outdoors, you might have considered buying an RV.
However, there’s no doubt that an RV is a big investment, and if you are making a decision to purchase and live in an RV on your own private land, you need to familiarise yourself with the legal position first.
We couldn’t cover every city and every state in this article, but we looked deeper into this regularly repeated question to compare the requirements and information available from the states of California and Oregon.
Parking an RV on my land in California
For example, the fact sheet provided by the City of Murrieta in CA states quite clearly that an RV can be parked anywhere on your land or property as long as the are screened from view.
Essentially meaning you need to keep your RV out of view.
Street parking is possible, for only for 2 days – so not a long time option by any stretch.
Parking an RV on my land in Oregon
In Portland for example, you need to follow the legal requirements set out by the city (which aren’t shown in full detail) but a motorized RV will need to be parked on a paved surface.
You can’t simply leave in the yard, or on wooden timber on your lawn.
How do I apply for an RV parking permit if I need one?
This will vary again, I’m afraid, from state to state and city to city.
It would be so much easier if one blanket rule existed for everyone to follow, but we know this rarely the case.
The best approach is to contact your local city council or parking and zoning department for the full details. You will almost always need to apply directly to these departments in order to obtain the necessary permit you need.
Before though going through the process of permit applications, it would be really useful to ask yourself whether you have the space to store your RV legally.
As we saw in Portland, you must park your RV on a paved surface.
Sure, you may have plenty of land, but do you have enough paved space to store your RV?
There may be additional expense to you which you will need to take into consideration, so find out all the rules and regulations first before you start the application process.
Can I live in my RV if I have a permit or agreement to park on my land?
You may not need a permit to park your RV on your land, or have the necessary permit, but can you live in your RV on your land?
The law unfortunately is perhaps even more confusing here, although the general rule is that you can live in an RV in most states.
An RV is considered legally to be a residential property
A residential home is considered somewhere you can sleep, cook food and has a bathroom.
An RV ticks all three of these, so is legally considered to be possible for residential. This may require a further permit, so check with your local county department for clarity.
Are you covered by your RV insurance?
As much as RV, tiny home and off grid living is becoming immensely popular, it’s always wise to spend some time checking those insurance policies.
Your RV insurance policy may not include cover for residential living.
You may either need to increase your cover or look for alternate RV insurance if you plan to live there.
Just remember, using your RV as a residential property pushes you in to a different category, usually outside of a simple parking or storage permit.
What type of RV can you park on your land?
The type of RV you own can be the difference between obtaining a permit or being refused for one. While many states are accepting of most all types of RV, there are some exceptions.
The ‘No Parking Permit’ is an example of such a permit that allows you to park your RV on residential land.
In order to obtain one of these you will need to make sure your vehicle meets the following criteria:
– Must be manufactured before 1987;
– Must have 4 wheels
– Must be under 2500 pounds;
Again this is an example. As mentioned, each state has their own rules and regulations, but this should serve as a guide to stipulations currently in place.
How long can you live in an RV on your own land?
Perhaps your intention is not a short term stay between properties but perhaps a long term plan and view to buy land, or use existing land, and set up residence for the long term.
It is an exciting prospect for some, and a must and need for others.
Either way it’s important to stay within the letter of the law.
Check RV Residence Regulations
You will need to check with your city and county to find out if you need any permits and how many RV hook-ups are allowed in your area.
In many states once you have an agreement or permit to store your RV and live within, you can stay as a residence within your RV for as long as you own the land.
In other states or cities, they may be clauses stipulating just how long you can live in an RV on your land, 2 years for example.
You do find the larger and more open space the state, the more relaxed regulations are – but almost every large city has some kind of rule or stipulation you must follow.
Sceptic System Cost Considerations
You also might need to get a septic system installed and approved. This can be costly, so it’s wise to do all of your homework first before making your decision.
Paving, permits, sceptic systems and more comprehensive cover can cost.
This needs to be factored into your own permanent residence plan.
That being said, with your own land to put your RV on, you may need to pay for nothing more than the occasional visit to the pump. (This is a big advantage over mobile homes, which can cost thousands of dollars a year in lot rent.). And if you’re handy with tools, it’s easy to do any necessary repairs yourself.
Buying Land to Park and Live in an RV
Maybe your dream is to buy yourself some land and live a simple off-grid life.
The world is online crazy right now and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Living the free and happy life isn’t a new trend, but it sure is appealing.
There’s a sort of freedom that comes with owner your own residency on your own land. No mortgage payments, a noticeable and welcome lack of surrounding neighbourhood.
You and nature join forces together and a lifetime of connection.
The rules around buying some land to park and live in an RV on are the same as whether you already own the land.
Research is key. It’s essential you look at all local regulations, and the land stipulations to make sure:
- It is approved by the local county offices
- The land agreement and land deeds do not have any rules of such activity
- The land is suitable for residential habitat
- Security and safety – look at local crime in the area
Top Tip: For safety considerations, visit the ADT Crime Map for an interactive view of the US and crime rates per state and city – especially if you are looking to move state or area and in to somewhere you are less familiar with.
Most RV Friendly States for Parking your RV
It is of no surprise that the most-friendly states to park (and potentially live) in your RV tends to be those states with wide open spaces, and plenty of room around.
Here are some of the most-friendly, RV loving, states in the US:
- Washington (State)
If you live in one of these states, you may find the regulations work in your favor.
A great example from this list is Florida. Not only is it a state with PLENTY of room, it is also one of the best states to live in your RV.
Why? Because Florida allows you to park indefinitely. This means you can park your RV in any city or town within the state, if you plan on staying there for a long period of time.