An RV, aka recreational vehicle, is often called a tiny home, even though it has wheels. In fact, many people prefer living in a travel trailer on private property to cut costs and pursue a minimalist lifestyle.
Of course, the attraction of living in a recreational vehicle is being able to move anywhere. You can travel somewhere, stay a few days, and leave without leaving anything behind.
With that in mind, you might wonder, “Can you live in an RV on your own land?”
It depends on your local laws. For example, it will be illegal for you to live in a camper on your own land in larger metropolitan cities. However, smaller towns and rural counties have more relaxed ordinances, and authorities usually will only notice you when they receive complaints from your neighbors.
Keep reading to see more!
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Can You Live in Your RV on Your Own Land?
In fact, you must adhere to specific zoning regulations and rules regarding how you use your land. This includes determining whether living in an RV on your own land is legal.
Your land is your property, and you ought to have the freedom to do what you want with it. However, that doesn’t mean living in an RV on private property is always legal. Each country and region will have different regulations on this.
For instance, under US law, it is possible to park and live in an RV on your own property. However, if you live in a recreational vehicle full-time, you may be breaking the law.
Even if it is your land, you cannot use the RV as a permanent home. This law is strictly applied in urban areas. However, rural areas are much more likely to allow you to live in a camper on your property.
So, why is it illegal to live in the RV in your backyard?
The issue stems from the government not accepting RVs as a permanent home. Instead, it’s more the same as a vehicle.
According to HUD (The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development), RVs are just utilized for camping, traveling, and entertainment. So, living in your camper full-time is not legal.
If you intentionally live in your RV full time illegally, you could get in trouble when officers patrol to look for violations or somebody reports you.
Even your neighbors can report you to the authorities for many reasons. They may report you in an attempt to prevent their property values from dropping or. because they feel uncomfortable when their view is prevented.
How to Live in an RV on My Own Property
If you want to be confident you are complying with the local laws, you should follow this step-by-step guide:
1. Check the Laws of State, City, and County
Let’s start by checking out state, county, and local laws, respectively. Does it mention you can live in an RV on your land? Are there any laws against it?
For some states or countries, it is legal to live in a camper on your own land. But you must buy a plot of land first. It is possible to find this plot of land in acceptable areas for camping, such as RV parks. In addition, some areas are licensed to park RVs for an extended period as long as RVers agree to move their vehicles a few times for a couple of days.
2. Check Out Permitting and Zoning Requirements (Optional)
For instance, in your area, you are allowed to live in a camper on your property. It is essential to determine if this property is zoned for recreational use RV living. If yes, you must determine if getting the permit is necessary as that is an important step.
If this is painful for you, you can always get help from the zoning employees at your county government office.
3. Choose a Peaceful Area
Many people prefer to live in their recreational vehicle to make traveling easier and find exciting places to camp. It sounds great, but you will face unexpected challenges and risks, which are difficult to overcome.
For example, parking and staying in your RV in a secluded place can make you a potential target for thieves and criminals who are willing to break in and take your possessions.
Hence, it is wise to choose an area near the town. It not only allows you to enjoy a quiet lifestyle but also allows you to take advantage of public benefits.
4. Take Care of Appliances
When choosing a location to park your recreational vehicle, we recommend checking if you have access to basic necessities. It includes freshwater supply, electricity, internet service, septic system, cell phone, road frontage, and more. If any of these items are missing, the land will not be worth owning as access and utilities are crucial for comfortable living.
Bonus Tips for Living in an RV on Private Property
1. Where to Find RV Properties
It can be difficult to find land for RV living near or in larger metropolitan cities. Thus, you may want to consider small towns that are located a few miles away from urban cities. Also, ensure the area you’re targeting is allowed for RVers who want to live full time on their own land.
Additionally, make an effort to find land in areas with temperate climates. In fact, such areas are considered the most desirable for RVers, although they are not easy to find.
The bottom line is that you should search and research well before deciding where you want to live and where you will be able to live with your RV.
Watch this video to know what to look for when buying land.
2. Comprehend The Local Culture
Once you’ve found your ideal spot, it’s best to take some time to learn about the culture, customs, and lifestyle of the local people.
Remember that life in small towns is very different from life in big cities. So, if you don’t find a way to mingle with the locals, you will encounter many inconveniences.
If the locals like and trust you, they will always help and support you whenever you need them. Their support can be critical to your safety. Hence, do not underestimate it.
On the contrary, don’t try to make a bad impression on them; even making comments can make you enemies. Moreover, the level of security of these places is often not appreciated. Therefore, do not expect the authorities to help you if you are in trouble.
3. Protect Your Health
Most small towns have poorly equipped hospitals. The main reasons are is limited funds and low professional qualifications of doctors. It is normal because if they are more skilled, they will land a job in hospitals located in urban areas.
Hence, when moving to a new area, you need to research “what is available” and “what your chances are” if you have a health crisis one day.
Many patients have to go a long distance to get medical care. Sometimes, that distance costs them their lives because they are not treated in time.
Some severe issues require immediate and professional care provided by highly skilled doctors with the latest and greatest equipment.
While we never want this to happen to you, you should ensure your property is close to trusted medical facilities or hospitals. That way, you will receive the best and instant medical care every time you face health-related problems.
4. Make Your Safety A Priority
When you live alone in an RV full time in an isolated area, you’re not nearly as safe as living in a densely populated area. So, here are the things you should do to protect your property and belongings when living in an airstream trailer legally in your land:
- Do not post “No trespassing” signs.
- Keep a trained dog in your land.
- Become well-liked in the community.
- Join a volunteer fire department or local church.
- Make friends and become close with your neighbors.
- Securing the RV to the ground.
- Never quarrel with anyone. A bad compromise is better than a good lawsuit!
Pros and Cons of Living in Your RV
- It’s a wrench to leave friends and family.
- It’s a lot cheaper than a house.
- No need to spend too much time on “house-cleaning.”
- Fewer chores,
- Fulfill dreams and see the world.
- Affordable parking fees.
- Fuel costs for the vehicle shouldn’t mount up If you don’t move around daily.
- New people and cultures.
- Variety is the spice of life.
- No fixed address can be complicated when getting the critical posts, paying bills, and getting a GP or dentist.
- Campsite laundry facilities can be expensive.
- It can be challenging to set or stick to a budget when costs vary in different places.
- Lack of space.
- Weather and seasons.
Can you live in an RV on your own land? The answer varies from place to place.
Living in your RV full time is a method to reduce the living space to get a minimalist lifestyle and lower your costs. Yet, it is still a new idea in some cities and states that may put you in legal problems.
So, if you really want to explore this lifestyle, it is wise to ensure your RV meets your city and state minimums.
Welcome to a new journey! I am Rober Clark, also a full-time RV-er and currently exploring the US with Dane. I have four years of working as a contractor, so building a home inside the RV is an extremely rewarding task for me. I find new challenges and new limits to break every day.