Can You Live in an RV on Someone Else’s Property?

RV living is something that is kind of in a gray area. With that in mind, a lot of people are not sure about the rules when it comes to living in an RV. There are actually a lot more rules and regulations then people would normally think there were. Trying to figure something like this out can cause some overwhelming feelings.

That brings us to a commonly asked question, can you live in an RV on someone else’s property? The answer is yes, but it can be more complicated than just parking your RV and living in a friend’s backyard. Here are some tips and information to help you get started on your RV living journey.

Know Your Zoning Laws and Location:

It is important to know your zoning laws where you are located because it can save you a lot of time, money, and effort. Nobody wants to get into trouble or get a fine and knowing your zoning laws will help you avoid things like that. Some places do not allow you to live in an RV on someone’s property.

The best way to figure out your zoning laws and location is to get ahold of your local courthouse. Even if they do not have the information which a majority of them will then I am sure they will direct you somewhere that has the information. Another great idea is to do a search for the zoning laws and the area you live in and most of the time some sort of information on that will come up. Being informed about the laws can save you a lot of trouble.

Road Access and Utilities:

Having road access and utilities is very important. Wherever you decide to park your RV and live you have to make sure that you have access to the road and to utilities. The access to the road means that you are able to safely and quickly get to the road. This is important for safety’s sake. Not only is it important for you to be able to get out but it is also important for people to come to you in an emergency. If the ambulance or police cannot get to you in time it could be life-threatening. Always make sure that you have access to the road in a safe and quick way.

The next thing is the utilities. You have to have clean water and electricity. The best way to get your utilities when living on someone’s property is to hook up to the main house. This means hooking up to a hose from the main house and an extension cord from the main house. This way you can get the freshwater to your tank and your RV will have power. If your RV needs gas I am sure there is a tank on there already that you can fill up at a local store.

How to Find Someone Else’s Property to Live on:

When finding a property to live on it can be intimidating and awkward. There are a few ways you can find someone’s property to park your RV and live on.

  • Family: This is always the best option. It can be easier and less awkward when living on your family’s property. Ask your family for someone who is willing to let you stay on their property. Let them know how much you are willing to pay for living on their property and then all you have to do after that is work out the fine details and move on in.
  • Friends: If you do not have any family that is willing or able to let you move onto their property then you can always turn to your friends. Sometimes this can be a bit awkward asking your friends. Although if you are close enough and comfortable enough to go ahead and ask then it can also be something great. Again work out the details with them before you move onto the property and then it is usually smooth from then on out. Just make sure that it is a friend that you can get along with for a while because if you live in their backyard I am sure they will be wanting to visit quite often.
  • Ads: If worst comes to worst and you don’t have any member of your family or friends able to take you in then you can always turn to ads. Whether you write the ad or answer someone else’s you have to be careful of where you are moving to. Make sure the person who is allowing you to move onto their property is trustworthy and safe. Do not just move onto anyone’s property just because they were the first to allow it. Be picky and be safe.

Negotiating Utilities With the Owner of the Property:

Another problem you can run into is negotiating utilities with whoever owns the property. There are a few good ways to do it so that it is not so awkward or frustrating.

One of the ways to do it is to have a set amount they charge you. With a set amount it makes it easier for both of you to come to an agreement but it also helps you out every month by knowing exactly what you are going to owe and when you have to pay it by. The only problem is that some landlords may not feel comfortable with this because depending on the month you may use up more or less of your utilities than the set amount allowed for.

The next way is to do is month by month. Have your landlord subtract their average usage from the bill and whatever is leftover you will be responsible for. This can also cause problems by being an unknown. As well as again depending on the month you and your landlord may use more or less of the utilities. This can cause problems by yourself or the landlord not wanting to pay for more than what you used. The key to this one is, to be honest, and fair. That way it can stop a whole lot of unnecessary problems.

There is not a completely perfect answer to this problem. It all goes down to what you and your landlord are comfortable with. As well as what you both can afford. The best thing to do is to sit down and chat about what you guys can do to stay fair and stay away from problems.

Learn About Federal and State Laws:

Just like the zoning laws you need to learn about the general federal and state laws for living in an RV. Every state is different so you need to make sure you are learning about your specific state and sometimes even your specific county will have different laws. Learning about the different laws will help to keep your RV up to code and keep you out of trouble and a fine. Always make sure that you are following the law when it comes to living in an RV because the last thing you want is to get into trouble with the law.

Final Thoughts:

Living in an RV can be a unique and freeing experience. As long as you are following the laws. You are able to live on someone else’s property in an RV, but sometimes it depends on the state. In some areas, you are not able to and in others, there are strict laws you need to know and follow. Always read up on all of the laws in your area to keep up to date and to stay out of trouble.

The next thing is where you will live and how you will pay the utilities. Both of these things can be a little awkward and sometimes intimidating. Finding someone’s property to live on there a few choices like family, friends, or stranger. Your family and friends are the best options but if you need to there are people out there looking to rent out their backyard to people just like you.

All you have to do is make sure they are trustworthy and safe for your sake. With utilities, you can either pay a set amount or figure out the difference each month. Both come with their own issues and trust issues but as long as you and the landlord can figure out and stick to it there should not be any issues at all.

The most important thing is to stay safe and have fun on your RV living adventure. Don’t forget the tips and information you learned and make sure you are following the law.

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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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