Where Can I Park My RV to Live?
Though some might have a hard time understanding the decision to live in an RV, it can be extremely beneficial, offering a great way to save money while enjoying a level of freedom that few people get to experience. This type of lifestyle does pose some interesting issues that you’re unlikely to deal with in a more “standard” living situation.
One such complication is figuring out where to park an RV to live. There are many options available to you, but if you’re new to the lifestyle, you may not have considered most of them.
So, where can I park my RV to live? You can live in your RV on your own property, someone else’s property with permission, an RV park, or you can live more temporarily in places like BLM land or state trust land. There are many regulations you’ll need to be aware of in order to stay legal, so read on to learn about the best places to park your RV to live.
Parking Your RV On Your Own Property to Live
Buying land for your RV is a dream come true for many. It’s a permanent solution that offers plenty of security and freedom.
No longer will you have to figure out where to park your RV each night. You’ll have accommodations 24/7, with plenty of space to enjoy.
On your property, you can park other vehicles, let your dogs run around, work on your RV, run your generator, build a shed, or do whatever else you want, within reason.
You’ll also likely have the most privacy on your own property, and if privacy is a priority for you, then you can choose a property that has no close by neighbors.
Before purchasing property to park your RV on to live, however, you’ll need to consider the following.
Legal Requirements and Zoning Laws
Not all land is zoned for RV living. You could get kicked off your own property if you fail to follow local ordinances regarding RV living.
Not all counties allow you to live in an RV full time, even if it’s on your own property. Other counties are more lenient. In some places, you’ll be able to stay up to 29 days per month, having to vacate the property for at least one day monthly.
Some municipalities will allow you to live in your RV full time on your property if you have septic or grid-tied electricity, and some counties require both.
Research local zoning laws, building codes, and consult with local authorities to ensure compliance before you purchase a property. Don’t rely on the seller for information; many will claim that RV living is acceptable, even though it’s legally not allowed in that area.
Costs and Investments
First, you must figure in the cost of purchasing land. In some places, this could cost you tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands. Having said that, it’s also possible to find much more affordable land in more rural areas where you might only have to spend a few thousand or even be able to purchase your property with just a couple hundred dollars down.
The cost of your property won’t be your only expense though. You must also consider property taxes, utility hookups, and ongoing maintenance.
For instance, If you have to get a septic tank or a well installed, it could become prohibitively expensive to purchase property for your RV, and some counties will require these things before you can legally live in your RV on your property.
Renting a Space in an RV Park
RV parks are more than just parking lots; they’re communities filled with like-minded people who all enjoy a similar lifestyle. Similar to apartment complexes, RV parks come in many varieties, from the barebones budget-priced offerings to luxury RV Resorts, you can find an RV park to fit any lifestyle.
One of the best things about living in an RV park is that all the amenities you’re likely to need are right there for you.
For example, instead of having to make a trip to the laundromat on laundry day, most RV parks have laundry facilities onsite, saving you time and hassle each time you do laundry.
Many RV parks also have wi-fi available, which means you don’t have to go through the hassle of figuring out how to stay connected.
You’ll also oftentimes find entertainment amenities as well, such as swimming pools or clubhouses that could have TVs and pool tables.
Furthermore, RV parks often foster a sense of community through events that are meant to help residents and travelers meet each other to socialize. These include barbecues, pot lucks, and other types of get-togethers.
No matter where you want to live, you’re likely to find an RV park that will allow you long-term accommodations. However, there are some downsides of living in an RV park to be aware of if you’re considering going this route.
One of the most glaring issues is the overall cost. Even at a budget-priced RV park, you’ll be paying hundreds of dollars per month, and electricity will often be charged on top of your space rent.
Not all RV parks even allow long-term renters, so you’ll have to first find a park that will let you stay long-term, and then hope that they offer affordable rates on a monthly basis. If you had to pay the daily rate, the costs would add up substantially!
At many RV parks, rates go up during the travel season, so you might find yourself paying more for your space some months than others.
Also, consider that privacy is very hard to come by in an RV park. Your neighbors will be parked in close proximity and RVs have pretty thin walls, so you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot of activity all the time.
RV parks also might not be an option for anyone in an older RV. You’ll often find restrictions regarding the age of RV allowed at many RV parks, though if yours is in great shape they might make an exception.
Parking on Someone Else’s Property
Many people have room for an RV to park on their property and are willing to allow you to rent that space for a monthly fee. This can be a great option for anyone looking for a mid to long-term parking solution to live in their RV.
The great thing about renting space on someone’s property is that you have the security of a safe place to park without the commitment of purchasing property. If you decide you want to leave, it’s not difficult to do so.
Most often, you’ll be able to get amenities like electricity and water from your host, which makes this a very convenient option.
You can look on places like Craigslist or OfferUp to find people that have space to rent out for an RV. Once you find them, make sure to negotiate all of the terms ahead of time, including the price of your lodging, what amenities you’ll receive, and when you need to make your payment each month.
Alternatively, you can ask your friends and family if anyone has space for you to park your RV to live. You might get lucky and find that someone you’re close with has room to accommodate you. Then, you get to be closer to your loved ones while probably also saving some money on the overall cost.
Don’t forget to check the legal requirements in that area before agreeing to any terms. Just because they’re offering a space to rent for RVers doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually legal in that locale.
Unless you have a very non-traditional source of income that you can do from anywhere, the hardest part of living in an RV full time is often making money. But with Workamping, you can make money and get a place to park your RV to live, all without spending anything out of pocket.
So, what is workamping? Workamping is when you work in exchange for accommodations.
A great example, and an excellent option for parking your RV to live, is being a campground host. As a campground host, you’ll have a safe place to park your RV full time, usually a small amount of income, and even amenities like electric and water if you’re in the right campground. All of this is in exchange for a few hours of work each day, keeping the campground clean and ensuring that everything runs as it should.
Of course, being a campground host is far from the only workamping option.
Many places need additional help, including farms, vineyards, orchards, and more. Lots of these businesses will allow you to park your RV there to live in exchange for some of your labor.
One of the biggest hurdles to workamping is finding a suitable place that is looking for workampers! Thankfully, the RVer Job Exchange exists to connect RVers with companies that will hire them in exchange for parking. Here, you can look for many work gigs such as tour guides, groundskeeping, handyman, pool operator, housekeeping, and more, depending on your skills and preferences.
Where Can I Park My RV to Live for Free?
The low cost of many RVs compared to other forms of housing is a major attraction to many who are considering living in one. Of course, paying each month for a place to park that RV will increase your expenses exponentially.
So, let’s discuss a few places you can park your RV to live for free.
You do have quite a few options here, but there is a caveat: you’ll be able to stay at each place for only a limited time before you have to move onto the next spot. For some, this makes for an adventurous and enjoyable lifestyle, but others might get anxious at the lack of security, never knowing exactly where you’ll be living each month, or possibly even each night.
When you’re searching for places to live in your RV for free, you’ll need to become well acquainted with boondocking. Boondocking is the art of camping without any amenities. There won’t be water, sewage, or electricity available at these free parking options, so you’ll need to have all that covered first.
If you’d like more information about parking your RV overnight at the following locations, check out my comprehensive guide on overnight RV parking.
Here are a few of the places you can park your RV to live for free:
- BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Land: These public lands offer stunning views and solitude but are usually limited to 14-day stays. Research specific areas and follow the “Leave No Trace” principles.
- State Trust Land: Similar to BLM but may require a permit. Rules vary by state, so check local regulations.
- National Forests and Grasslands: Free camping is often allowed, but there may be restrictions on length of stay and location. Always follow guidelines and respect nature.
- Walmart and Other Retail Parking Lots: Some stores allow overnight parking, but it’s best to ask the store manager and follow any posted rules. Check out this article for a full discussion of what stores allow overnight RV parking.
Finding the perfect spot to park your RV is a personal journey. From owning land to embracing the boondocking lifestyle, there’s an option for every RVer. Explore, experiment, and find what fits your unique RV lifestyle. And remember, the road is always open, and adventure awaits!
Can I legally live in my RV full-time on my own land?
It depends on local zoning laws and regulations. Always consult with local authorities to ensure compliance. Some municipalities allow you to live in an RV full time on your own property, but others do not.
What are the best resources for finding free RV parking spots?
How do I ensure safety when parking on someone else’s property?
Communication is key. Discuss expectations, have a written agreement, and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to look elsewhere.
where can I park my rv to live for free?
There are many places you can park your RV to live for free, though you’ll find short time limits at most. Some of the best options include BLM land, state trust land, national forest land, free campgrounds, or workamping such as being a campground host or working on a farm in exchange for a place to park your RV.
Can You Live at RV Park?
Yes, you can live at an RV park. Many RV parks will even offer long-term discounts by the week, month, and sometimes even annually. However, not every park offers discounts or invites long-term residents.
Where Do You Park When You Live in an RV?
There are many places you can park when you live in an RV. For full time living space, your best options are RV parks, purchasing property, or renting space on someone else’s property. For shorter-term arrangements, you might consider BLM, state trust, or National Forest land, or you might try workamping, where you can work in exchange for a place to park your RV to live.