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

People in the camper house

Published Date: September 5, 2020

Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Camper Front

Living in an RV full-time might be a dream to some, given the fact that they are cheaper than paying rent for traditional houses. It also gives you all the freedom to just pack up and travel whenever you deem fit.

However, full-time RV living comes with its constraints. But can you live in an RV on someone’s property? The general answer is yes, but it comes with some rules and regulations, and that’s what we’ll be talking about.

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

Like I said before, you can live in an RV on someone’s property if you fully observe and strictly adhere to the rules and regulations governing the neighborhood.

There are several things to consider before deciding on your parking location, and we shall discuss a few of the important ones here.

What to Consider Before Leaving In a Camper on Someone’s Land

Can You Live in an RV on Someone’s Property

So, if you have decided to park your RV on someone’s property and live in it, here are a few things you must consider before choosing where to park.

Availability of Utilities and Road Access

Utilities: You need electricity and clean water wherever you want to be – and you want to ensure you’ll get easily get that where you are. When living on someone’s property, you can effortlessly get your utilities by hooking up to the main house.

This means connecting a hose and an extension cord from the main house to your RV. This way, your RV will have electricity, and you can get fresh water to your tank. And if your camper needs gas, you can always find a tank around where you can fill up at a local store.

Road access: Having road access wherever you decide to park your RV and live is also of utmost importance. Having access to the road means that you can always get to the road safely and quickly.

This is imperative for the sake of your safety. It’s not just vital for you to be able to easily get out whenever necessary; it is equally crucial for people to quickly come to you in a time of emergency.

For example, it could be life-threatening if the police or ambulance cannot get to you quickly when you need them. Therefore, you want to always ensure that you can access the road safely and promptly.

Read Also: How to Heat Up and RV Without Electricity

Know Your Zoning Laws

Before making a leap of deciding to stay in your RV full-time on someone’s property, you want to note the zoning laws in the area you are planning to stay. Remember that zoning laws and regulations differ from region to region.

Zoning is basically the way cities and counties divide their space into areas that are approved for different uses. Like approving a particular area for commercial uses or residential uses.

Putting a commercial office in a residential area will lead to problems with noise, parking space, and even safety.

So zoning laws are put in place to prevent that. They also change from time to time to accommodate community-changing needs. So, it is crucial to know your zoning laws where you intend to stay to avoid wasting your time, money, and effort.

You don’t want to get into trouble or get fined due to ignorance of the zoning laws governing the place you want to stay; we all know ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to the law.

It is essential to take great care when taking this step because most cities do not allow full-time motorhome or travel-trailer living on property located within city limits.

The best way to find out your zoning laws in that location is to visit their local courthouse. Even if they do not have the information, which is highly unlikely, they will direct you somewhere that has the information.

You can also do a search for the zoning laws and the area you live in, and you are likely to come up with some useful information. Knowing about the various laws governing where you’ll park can save you a lot of trouble.

Learn About State and Federal Laws

Just like knowing the zoning laws is important; learning about the general state and federal laws for living in an RV is also vital. Every state differs when it comes to camper living, so you must ensure that you know about your specific state. Your specific county will also have different laws sometimes.

Knowing about the various laws guiding a specific state will help to ensure your RV is up to code, thereby keeping you out of trouble and a possible fine.

You want to always ensure you are adhering to the law when it comes to living in an RV on someone’s property (and even on your own property). The last thing you want is to get into any type of trouble with the law.

Parking Your RV on Someone’s Property

What to Consider Before Leaving In a Camper on Someone’s Land

Finding a place to park your RV for a short period of time is not that difficult; it is long-term parking that is almost impossible to find.

Now you can’t just drive to anyone’s property and park; you have to get permission from the property owner unless it’s your own property or property designated for mobile homes and RVs.

Again, your state’s laws still apply here, so be sure to review how your state regulates and treats the classification of mobile homes and where they can be parked.

Below are the easiest ways to find a suitable place to park your RV on someone’s property.

Read Also: How Much Does a Motorhome Weigh?

Family and friends

Family first, eh? You can actually talk to family members or close friends with space in their backyard that can accommodate your RV and are willing to allow you to stay there.

You can also negotiate how much you are willing to pay as rent for the available space. Things like utility bills will also have to be sorted out.

But before making that decision, ensure that the family member or friend is someone you get along with because you will basically be living with them (whether in their backyard or not). Again be sure to check your state’s and county’s laws.

Because in some zoning laws, living full-time in a mobile home on someone else’s property may be prohibited.

Running an Ad

If you don’t have family or friends willing to let you stay in their backyard, another option is to run an ad or answer someone else’s.

But before you move in with anyone you want to make they are safe and trustworthy; you don’t want to put your life and probably that of your family at risk by moving in with someone sketchy just because you are desperate for a parking space.

How to Negotiate Utilities With the Property Owner

Parking Your RV on Someone’s Property

You may also find it challenging to negotiate utilities with the owner of the property you’re parking in. Luckily, there are some easier ways to achieve this, which we’ll be discussing below.

One of the best ways to go about this is to have them charge you a specific amount. Not only will paying a specific amount for utilities will make it easier for you both to reach an agreement, but it will equally enable you to know exactly what you’re going to pay each month and when to pay it.

The only problem, however, is that some landlords may not be happy with this arrangement because, some months, you may end up using more or less of your utilities than the amount you’re paying.

Alternatively, you can also do it every month. What it means is to ask the property owner to subtract your average utility usage from the bill, and you will be responsible for whatever is left over.

But again, depending on the month, this option may also cause some problems as you and your landlord may use less or more of the utilities. You or the landlord may not want to pay for more than what you used, which is precisely what everyone will do.

That said, the only solution here is to be fair and honest. That way, a lot of unnecessary problems will not come up.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this. Remember that what worked for you may not work for the next person.

So, what matters most is what you and your landlord agreed on – and what you both can afford. This is why it’s crucial for you both to sit down and discussed things properly.

Read Also: What is The Weight of a Pop Up Camper?


So, can you live in an RV on someone’s property? I bet you already know the answer to this. While living in an RV full-time has its own uniqueness and freeing experience, it comes with its setbacks as finding a place to park full-time can be a hard nut to crack.

But with proper research and information, you will able to find a space for your RV on someone’s property.

Good luck!

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