Many folks come to us asking for vacant land where they can park their recreational vehicle (RV). They want to live on their land and an RV is an affordable way to be able to do that right away. Sounds simple right? Unfortunately, RV living usually comes with restrictions and requirements that local county planning and zoning departments have put in place. Living in your RV is generally frowned upon by county health departments and if you attempt to live on your RV without the required permits, you will be hearing from code enforcement with a request to remove the RV and/or pay fines and fees for violating the county code.
Some counties do allow RV living with the proper permits, but finding those can be a challenge. They are usually in rural areas that are less densely populated. Sometimes, counties will allow RV living for a limited amount of time or for only a certain number of days throughout the year. This may work for those who travel frequently in their RV and don’t need to stay in one place all year. RV living is often permitted on land while a permanent structure is being built on the property. In those cases, building plans are required to be submitted before the RV living is permitted. RVs are not viewed as permanent housing by counties.
If you wish to purchase land and live on it in your RV, it’s important to first do your research with the county before purchasing. Find out if it is allowed and, if so, what permits need to be filed for it to be legal. With the growing popularity of tiny homes and other alternative home building methods, over time counties may have to change their zoning codes to allow for these affordable housing options. Of course, this could take several years to come to fruition. You may want to consider a manufactured or mobile home instead of living in your RV, as they are more widely accepted by counties as a housing option. They are more expensive than most RVs, but are still very affordable when compared to traditional, stick-built homes.