There are 1 million Americans who live in campers. There are a lot more regulations, codes, and rules than people think.
Living in a camper can be a freeing experience, we just have to make sure we are following the law.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Travel Trailer (TT), Old outdated camper, temporary stay, full-time living, RV long-term rental, just for fun, etc.
Here we talk about “Is it legal to live in a camper in your backyard?”, time frames of how long you can live on your property or someone else’s property, the law, and city & county regulations.
Related: How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for an RV?
Is It Legal to Live in a Camper in your Backyard?
Yes, it is legal to live in a camper in your backyard. As long as you are abiding by codes, have septic tanks or access to city sewage and electrical cables.
The government does not classify RVs as permanent dwellings so you can’t live in them forever.
Ulimitatly, check your state, city, borough, or county ordinance.
Again, there’s no federal law prohibiting you from parking your RV in your backyard, but you may have to check with the HOA and the local regulations regarding parking an RV, camper, or a motorhome in your land and know about the law about can you live in an RV.
You don’t want to in a situation like this man (video below) who bought land, was planning to build on it but was kicked off because RVs aren’t allowed to occupy space without there being a house on the in his county.
The good news is that you can get the best advice from an HOA Lawyer on this matter. Some cities have requirements to keep it away from view, while some only allow you to park it overnight.
How Long Can You Live In A Trailer On Your Property?
6 Months is the running average you can live in a trailer on your property.
In a lot of places, you can live in an RV legally for 6 months – summer, winter (see: can you live in an RV for the winter), fall, and spring. After that 6 months, you need to take the wheels off and establish it as more of a permanent resistance.
City, county, state, and federal rules for different locations. What matters most is how it is inforced revenue generation.
Because it’s called an RVing which means Recreational Vehicle, it’s meant to be used for recreation, and it’s a vehicle.
It is not a house so it does not meet HUD’s (Housing and Urban Development) requirements.
Related: Is it legal to live in an RV with a Child?
Can You Live In An RV On Someone’s Property?
Yes, you can live in an RV on someone else’s property.
In almost every US community where zoning laws exist, they will consider an RV a temporary shelter for only 30 consecutive days of occupancy.
If your land isn’t zoned for RV living, then it’s illegal for you to live in your TT on the property.
Other Options (Backyard Dwelling Alternatives)
- Neighborhood With RV Allowance
- Rural Land Homesteading
- RV Co-op Parks
- Mobile Home Parks
- Free Overnight Parking
- Walmarts, Crackerbarrel, BLM lands, Federal Public Land, Check Campedium app
- RV Clubs (Overnight and More)
- Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Host
Related: Best Coffee Maker for Boondocking
So, Is It Legal to Live in a Camper in your Backyard? Yes, but it depends on a few other factors you can hash out quickly. Do the same research if you’re planning to rent to people.
Be safe out there!