Is It Legal to Live in a Camper In Your Backyard?
If you have a camper, there may be a number of reasons that either you or people close to you may be tempted to live in it on your property for a period of time. You may want to live in it while you are undertaking renovations on your house, save money by living in a camper on someone else’s property, or just allow your family member to stay in your camper while they get back on their feet. But is it actually legal to live in your camper? This article is meant to provide general advice; it is important to note that laws can differ between states, counties, and even cities. Housing Associations may also provide additional rules that may affect the legality of living in an RV on your property.
So the laws are rather complex regarding RVs, campervans, and mobile homes. It is perfectly legal in most places to permanently park your RV or camper on your property. It is also perfectly legal to live in your camper temporarily on your private property as long as HOA laws do not state otherwise.
However, a campervan is not considered a permanent dwelling in most cases; therefore, you cannot use it as such. Having a family member camp out in your RV while they are in town for a week is fine, but if it becomes a long term situation, it may not be legal.
Campervans and RVs are considered vehicles, not permanent dwellings, so the law does not allow for them to be used as permanent residences except in specific circumstances. When it is legal to live in a campervan, it must comply with the same laws as other permanent dwellings.
If you are considering living in an RV as a long term solution or as a permanent residence, then check your local laws to see if it is allowed and what regulations may apply.
What Are My Options If I Want to Live in My RV?
There are a few options for people who are considering living in an RV permanently. They should closely check local regulations to ensure that the actions they take are legal in their jurisdiction.
- Park your RV in a garage, so it is not clear that you are residing in the RV. You can still register it as a recreational vehicle.
- Register your RV as an accessory dwelling vehicle. Check your local laws regarding the requirements.
- Register your RV as a dwelling and park it at correctly zoned campgrounds and RV parks.