Can You Live in an RV Legally?

Are you thinking about living full time in an Rv? Many people are leaning towards RV life and I don’t blame them! Its cheap, its cozy, you own your own rig, what more can you ask for? Well…

That brings us to the questions at hand, can you live in an RV legally? Yes, you can. It requires due diligence on your part to find out the local rules, regulations, and zoning in your area…

Now I’m sure you’re wanting to know how you can live in an RV legally.

Along with what the rules and regulations are, the utilities, and other things to consider.

Don’t worry I’ll walk you through all that you need to know so you can start your new journey.

General Rules and Regulations:

When it comes to living in an RV there are certain rules and regulations to follow. The thought of these new rules and regulations can be intimidating. Here are some general rules and regulations to help you understand how to legally live in an RV.

  • -Height Limit: There’s usually a height limit of around 14 feet for all RVs. In some states, 13 feet and 6 inches can also be a common restriction to maintain.
  • -Length Limit: Most people don’t know that there is a length limit. Most RVs are around 40 feet to 45 feet. If you happen to have a separate trailer though then limits are generally 50 feet to 65 feet for the total length of everything combined.
  • -Safety Features: Besides the normal safety features of seatbelts and airbags one thing you probably didn’t know was that in most states they require you to have extra safety features. These safety features include a safety chain and a breakaway switch so that you can safely secure your RV. Another safety feature is separate breaks for RV weighing more than 3,000 pounds.
  • -Long Term Parking: Long-term parking for your RV in front of your home is not allowed in many states or local ordinances.

Check Your State and Local Zoning Laws:

Each state has its own rules and regulations that you need to follow. It’s important that you research each rule and regulation that the state you live in requires. Knowing the proper rules and regulations can help you to avoid getting tickets and fines.

Here are some great places for you to find your local rules and regulations:

  • -Courthouse: Your local courthouse has all the information you need to keep on track with your local rules and regulations to avoid a fine.
  • -DMV: Your local DMV may have the rules and regulations for legal RV living. All you need to do is give your local DMV a call and see what they have to offer.
  • -Online: Doing online research is always a great way to see what the rules are in your state. It is also the most convenient way to find what your local rules and regulations are for legally living in an RV motorhome.

Ask around or do some research on what the best ways to find your state and local zoning laws are for legally living in an RV. Each area is different in what the laws are and where you can find the rules and regulations.

Places to Park Your RV/ Choosing a Location:

Finding the perfect parking spot or location for your RV is crucial. Not only does it have to be legal, but it has to be somewhere safe and enjoyable. You also can’t just park and live on the street.

Depending on your local rules there are certain places where you can legally park and live.

Some of these places might include:

  • -RV Parks: RV parks are a great legal place to park your RV. You have to pay a spot fee but you get utility hookups and a great community to meet new people. These are the best spots because they are meant for RVs so it might make your journey a little easier. You won’t have to try to make anything work because it should all come into place nicely.
  • -Mobile Home Communities: These communities are great because you have all the necessities and utilities that you need. It isn’t quite meant for an RV but it will work perfectly all the same. Don’t be afraid to try this as a more permanent location and option because you will pay for the spot and the utilities and so it makes for a nice permanent parking location.
  • -Buying Your Own Land: This is always an option people tend to wish they had. Buying your own land is like buying your own house. You can do what you like with it and you don’t have to worry about landlords. The only problem is that sometimes getting utilities to your RV can sometimes be a pain. So if you end up going with this option make sure you can get your electric and water to your RV because that is obviously important.
  • -Staying in a Backyard: If you know a friend or family member who owns some land then this might be a good option for you until you find something more permanent. This is another one where you really need to check the laws in your area and make sure it is legal for you to park and live in the backyard of someone you know. Of course, I am sure you will still have to pay parking rent of a sort, but anywhere you go will have some sort of fees. This is a great last resort option if nothing else in your area is available.

Road Access and Utilities:

Road access and utilities are as important if not more important than finding a great parking spot and location.

With road access, you need to make sure that wherever you park you have access to the road so that you can get out. This is important safety-wise and just generally. You need to be able to get your RV out.

Utilities speak for themselves. It is important that you are able to get electric and water hookups. Unless of course, you plan to live entirely off the grid.

Things to Consider:

Some of these options for parking may not be legal where you live. It also might not be legal to live full time in an RV where you live. Always check with your state and your county to see if it is legal and to always check the guidelines as well as the rules and regulations.

Another thing to consider is that wherever you go you will most likely still have to pay for the land and the utilities. Living free in an RV doesn’t always mean living free from bills. Check around where you live to look for the best deals on spots to keep your monthly expenses to a minimum.

Final Thoughts:

Living in an RV and being free from a traditional home is a dream many people have. A lot of people tend to wonder if you can actually live in an RV legally and the best advice I can give you is yes but to always check and double-check with your state to keep out of trouble with the law. Doing this can save you money and time in the long run.

Make sure you do your research on a safe and legal place to park your RV in your home state. There’s usually more than one option so be picky and use the one that suits your needs the best. Also always remember to check to see if they have utility hookups for your RV.

Finally, have fun with it. Moving into an RV and experiencing that freedom is a fun and exciting new adventure. Figure out the rules, regulations, and guidelines and then start to enjoy your newfound freedom.

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Jenn at Camperology

Hey there! Jenn here, I run this website. I live full time in my 2005 27' Fleetwood Terry Dakota with my son, partner, cat and dog. I created this website to help make your camper feel more like home while living in it full time. I enjoy finding new ways to organize and makeover my travel trailer, blogging, and drinking coffee.

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