I am an RV enthusiast with more than 50 years of experience owning, driving, traveling and living in recreational vehicles.
The land is yours. You want to live there in your RV, but can you? Is doing so legal and/or is this really something you should even be considering?
The answers to these questions, in order, are possibly, maybe and maybe. The reason is that taking this step will only work under the right circumstances and in appropriate locations.
Read the details here, and then decide for yourself whether this is a plan that can work for you.
Pay Attention to Zoning Laws
These days, it is difficult to navigate your way through the housing market, and many people simply do not want to do so. For some, the way out is to buy a recreational vehicle and place it on some land they already own or may want to purchase.
It is important 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. In fact, many do not even allow people to park their vacant rigs beside their homes!
I know of one area in Nevada that does not allow people to live this way anywhere within its limits; no exceptions!
Things to Consider
If you are bound and determined to fulfill this plan, you will most likely will have to consider moving to an area that is outside of town. Doing this requires quite a few sacrifices such as
- having to clear the land and place utilities on it
- doing without the best level of medical care and facilities
- having to drive long distances to shop and handle business affairs
- and worrying about security, especially when you must be away for any length of time.
A Plan That Went Wrong
Speaking as someone who followed this route, I can tell you that it has many caveats. In my case, the price was right and the spot was pristine, but the beautiful rustic mountain acreage my husband and I purchased resulted in the death of two of my dogs, damage to my travel trailer and the theft of major land-clearing equipment.
To find what we wanted, we had to locate 20 miles from the nearest town, which left our property and belongings vulnerable. The local thieves had a field day, and their hard work caused us to sell our land and move back home. When one of our friends saw that we had returned, he actually cried because this move had been our retirement dream, and now it was ruined.
We had put a lot of hard work and money into the property, and it sickened us to have to walk away, but we really had no choice because staying would not have been safe.
Based on that experience I advise people to find a nice deeded lot in a campground and live there instead, so that they can avoid the risk. The Pros and Cons of Owning a Deeded RV Lot gives more information about this option.
However, if you are dead set on buying acreage and placing your coach on it, try to locate as close to neighbors and a town as you can so that you can lower your security risks and increase your level of convenience.
Where Will Your Land Be Located?
If you are starting from scratch with this idea, the first thing you must do is find a piece of property that is properly zoned for what you plan to do.
Usually, it will be located in the country and is vacant, undeveloped and may even be off the main road or lack legal road access. If this is the case, you want to make sure that you have good access to the land and that it can be developed.
Road Access and Utilities
Even if the land is good for development, before you purchase it, you must make sure
- the water is potable and on your land and that you have the rights to it
- the entry roads are on your own property
- electricity can be run across your land, or if necessary, you can get a neighbor's written permission to run some or all of it across his
- your land will be suitable for putting a septic system in place
- and you will be able to access telephone, cell and internet service.
Choose the Best Possible Location
Never assume that any of these things are "givens," because each depends greatly on location, zoning and the willingness of others to assist you. Furthermore, if you are too far away from the closest city, it may cost more than you are willing to pay to gain access to some of the items on this list.
The closer you locate to town, the easier it will be for you to make arrangements for different things.
If your land is within city limits, you will not have to dig a well or install a septic tank or worry about accessing electricity, phone or internet services. This will save you a great deal of time, effort and money, but if your original goal was to be able to be more self contained, using standard facilities will undo that dream because you still will have those monthly bills to contend with for your utilities and other services.
Once you are certain you can access the services you need, you probably will have to clear at least some of your land. If you plan to do this yourself, you will need to purchase or rent equipment that can handle the job.
You should purchase the small items, like chainsaws, that you will have need of in the future, but rent the large ones, like ditch witches, that you will only use once.
Note: Before you do any of this, make sure you have the skills that you will need to tackle this job so that you don't wind up in the hospital!
If you hire professionals to do some or all of the work, make sure they are licensed, insured, bonded and know what they are doing. Ask around town for references before you employ anybody. Doing this will keep you from having problems and will save you some money, too.
Property Development Options
Once you have been assured that all systems on your property are a "go", you can make your purchase and have your utilities installed. You may want to build a cement pad and patio for your RV because they make for cleaner living.
However, no matter how you set things up, you must make sure that the spot you choose for your living unit will be close to your utilities outlets. Also, you may want to install more than one sewer, water and electrical hookup so that friends with motorhomes and campers can stay on your property with you when they come for visits.
This is an especially good idea if you will be living a good distance from the closest town or campground.
Inexpensive Land Clearing
You Pay Less Living On Your Own Land, But You May Get Less
Once the utilities are in place, you can move your unit to your property and start enjoying it. You will not have to pay taxes for your RV, but you still will have to pay them for the property.
You also will have to pay for electric, telephone and internet services, but there will be no water or sewer bills unless you were able to tie into the closest town's water and sewer systems.
If you are used to city living, you will find that moving a recreational vehicle onto your own property may not be what you originally thought it would be. Living on your own land is not the same as being in a campground, and generally will not have the same level of safety and convenience.
So while the monthly bills will be less, and you will have more flexibility and freedom, you may find you also are getting less in many ways. This is why you should really think things through prior to making this type of move.
One word of caution for those of you who are seriously considering this venture.
When you live in the country on your own land, you need to be very careful about protecting yourself and your belongings. As my story showed, you do not have the same safety levels that you may be used to if you lived in a city or town. Thus, you need to be more vigilant about what you do and how you do it.
Despite all of the issues mentioned in this article, many people are able to successfully live in their recreational vehicles on their own properties. However, these are the folks who are willing to do the work and make the sacrifices that are necessary to do so.
If you want to give it a try, remember what I've said here, and tread carefully.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: My neighbor rents a house. They have parked a trailer behind the RV gate, and they have someone living in it full-time. Can he live in it?
Answer: That depends on what the zoning laws are in your area. Call your county office and ask them that question and proceed from there.
Question: I live way out in the country; on my own land in a camper. How can the government come on to my land and tell me I can not live in my camper?
Answer: If your land is not zoned for recreational vehicle living, then you are living in your camper there illegally. You have to follow the zoning laws of the town your land is located in.
Question: I have a 39-foot Park Model Camper with three slideouts. I have it on land that belongs to my brother which was previously occupied by a single-wide mobile home. I have a septic tank but no electricity. The code enforcement tells me that they cant inspect it because it doesn't have a HUD sticker. Do you know of any way I can get around this?
Answer: If your park model isn't classified as a mobile home, I doubt you can get what you need. Check with your local HUD office and also your zoning office to see if they can help you to come up with a solution. Some park models actually are small mobile homes, but others are actually recreational vehicles with slides. It will depend on what you have.
Question: I'm thinking about buying vacant land with an RV and want to live there as a permanent resident. Do I need a permit?
Answer: You might. Before you buy the land, check the zoning laws for the land at your county's office.
Question: My sister lives in a house on her property. Can I live in my RV in the yard?
Answer: Possibly. You need to check with your county's zoning office as well as the subdivision where the house is located to see if it is legal for you to do so.
Question: Can you get mail delivered to your RV? I heard it was a federal law that if you put up a mailbox near other boxes, they are required to deliver mail to you. Is this true?
Answer: I believe you are correct, but call your local post office to make sure. You must have a legal address in order to receive mail, this I know for sure.
Question: Don't you think everyone should be able to live in their RV on their land no matter where it is?
Answer: No, I don't. The reason I say this is that zoning laws exist for a reason, which is to maintain the integrity of certain areas for people. For example, I wouldn't want to spend $500,000 or more for a house and have an RV parked on the lot next to mine because it would lower my property values. Also, sanitation can present an issue. Not every person who owns an RV parks it in places where they can dump their tanks! One person wrote that someone was living in an RV that was parked behind an office building that the RV owner also owned. Furthermore, while some RVs are beautiful and well maintained, others are pieces of junk that their neighbors would not want to be looking at!
Question: Behind my house is a medical building with a parking lot. The owners have been living there in an RV for about four months now. Is that legal?
Answer: Probably not. It depends on who owns the property and what the local zoning laws are. I'm wondering what they're doing with their sewer and gray water waste. If it bothers you, call your county zoning commission and tell them what the situation is. They'll take care of it from there.
Question: Is it legal for my mother to live in travel trailer on her daughter's property?
Answer: Yes, as long as the location of the RV meets all local zoning requirements. Contact your town's zoning department to find out.
Question: I bought land in Florida, and I lived on it in my RV for years with no issues. Is my experience unique?
Answer: No, it is not. Many people can do this. The point in the article is to make sure you meet all zoning and health requirements and prepare your land properly. If you do this, of course, you won't have any issues, if you are located in the right place.
Question: I am looking to move to Florida, but the cost seems high. With your experience do you think RV living would be OK to start with instead of an expensive apartment? Eventually, I would like to buy land and live on it also. I'm not much for city life.
Answer: You can find reasonably priced campgrounds in many areas of Florida but must be careful when purchasing an RV because they can be very expensive unless you know how to shop for one. If you find an inexpensive RV in good shape, you should be able to afford to live in an RV Park for now and later move your unit to land that you purchase that is located outside of the bigger cities. People are doing this every day down here!
Question: Do I need to register my RV with the DMV?
Answer: Yes. Your RV is considered to be a vehicle, and it must have a license plate and registration.
Question: If I just want to store my RV on my property in Reno. What kind of surface can I park it on? Are pavers acceptable?
Answer: Yes, pavers would be fine. However, make sure the city zones your property for doing this. I know that your area of the country is pretty strict about where RVs can be parked.
Question: I was thinking about buying land in Colorado to put an RV on. What issues do I need to be careful about before buying the land?
Answer: Before buying anything check with the location where you want to buy land to find out about zoning, utilities, access and water quality. You might also want to check crime rates in the area as well as property taxes.
Question: You mention how people don't like RVs because some are ugly or pull the prices down of homes. That doesn't seem like a valid reason. It's like not allowing someone to live because they don't have a nice house. You can argue that it's like discrimination. I understand why someone would be upset if they had neighbors they didn't like or didn't like the appeal of their home, but to say it's illegal?
Answer: Unless an area is zoned for RV living, yes, it's illegal for someone to live in one. Those are the laws in many areas!
Question: Is there a way to change these RV related property laws? I think they are unfair and the government has too much control over where people can live in their RVs.
Answer: If enough people complain to their local legislators, there's always the chance that these laws can change, but usually, there are good reasons for their existence. It isn't a matter of how nice and RV is, but rather how the zoning is set up.
Question: I have a park model that is registered with the DMV as an RV. Code enforcement just told me that because it's big and doesn't have lights it's too much like a mobile home and needs to be moved off the property. No one lives in it, it's not hooked up to any septic, water or electricity. I just use it as storage. Do they have the right to force me to remove it? They gave me 30 days
Answer: I believe park models are actually viewed as mobile homes because they generally are not used for travel. You may have registered this unit as an RV, but apparently the zoning people have caught up with you. If you fight this one, I think you'll lose. You might want to sell it and use the money to buy a storage shed instead.
Question: A small village in Michigan is having issues. Elected officials are now trying to force campers and RV owners to replace their units with only new (5 years old) ones plus possibly charging me the 100 dollars a year permit, to park a camper on my own property, No zoning is in place that says this. We feel the elected officials are overstepping their intended duties, especially when they haven't cleaned up the blite. How can they do this?
Answer: This is a question for a lawyer to answer. I would guess there must be a clause somewhere that allows people already situated with RVs on their own property that would "grandfather" them in, but you really need to seek legal advice on this one.
Question: My son has 3 acres on which he built a house. I want to buy a travel trailer and live on his property, am I able to legally do this?
Answer: That depends on the zoning laws where his property is located. You will have to check with his county to get your answer, and he will have to install a septic system, water and electric outlets for your RV if it is permitted for you to live there.
Question: Do you think it is wise to live in an RV in Florida? I thought that maybe due to guaranteed high winds, it may not be a good idea.
Answer: As long as you will be able to drive your RV, this won't be a problem. There are always plenty of warnings, so you can just hook up and leave if a bad storm is coming your way. Thousands of people full time it in FL without issues, but remember that there are weather problems all over the country, so no matter where you go, you'll have to pay attention to them.
Question: In South Carolina, can I put a park model travel trailer on the site where a mobile home was?
Answer: That would depend on the zoning laws and the spot where your mobile was located. Check with your county office to learn if your spot is zoned for a park model or RV.
Question: What zoning do I need to be able to live in my RV?
Answer: You'll have to ask your local city or county officials this question because each location has different zoning regulations. It all depends where your property is located. If you haven't purchased property yet, get this info before you do so you'll know for sure that you won't have a problem.
Question: Sondra, I have county approval to live in the RV. Where can I find info on how to connect to the septic system and city water line?
Answer: Your city and county utilities offices should be able to provide this info.
Question: Can I legally have someone living in a trailer on my property in Anne Arundel county in Maryland?
Answer: You'll have to check your local zoning laws to find out the answer to that question. Each city or county has its own rules about that.
Question: Is living in a crowded campground more expensive than renting an apartment?
Answer: It depends on the campground, and it can be any campground. Crowding has nothing to do with it. Many charge an annual fee of less than $600 per month plus electric, but some charge $l,000 or more plus electric.
Question: Will my Onan RV gas generator shut down if I disconnect the battery?
Answer: That depends on the generator's year and model. Check with Onan to get the answer you seek.
© 2013 Sondra Rochelle
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on July 10, 2019:
This happened in the area of the Smokey Mountains in TN. Thieves were never caught. Two dogs died as the result. We knew who did it but could not prove it...very tight knit community in those mountains.
Emmanuel Override on July 10, 2019:
Thanks for all the articles I see you have here. I can keep busy reading these for a while and learn a lot!
Not meaning to pry, but have you written elsewhere in more detail about the security debacle you reference at the beginning? Or can you give us an idea of what area this happened in, and were the thieves known, caught, or...?
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on July 13, 2018:
I assume you have checked the zoning laws in your area to make sure living on that property in an RV is legal. If not, I advise that you do this so you don't do all the prep work only to find you can't stay there legally in your RV. Otherwise, sounds like a good plan.
CoveredWagon on July 13, 2018:
I am planning to temporarilylive in my RV on my property. I recently purchased 34 acres of undeveloped land with about 500 ft frontage on a county street and 500 ft frontage on a river. The property is located less than 5 miles from a small town with larger towns 15 - 30 miles away. Although electric is available at the street, I plan to use solar power for my primary electricity with a generator back up. Hauling water will be an inconvenience for a while, but a well is in the near future. Security will be provided using a locked gate with a 12 gauge shot gun back up. We will build a house in the near future, but the RV will provide shelter until the construction is complete.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on February 13, 2018:
As I stated earlier, boondocking is not for everybody. BLM lands are definitely cheap, but that's because they have no amenities...like water, for example!
Casita Fan on February 13, 2018:
Anyone considering doing this should consider just boondocking on BLM land. Having tried both In my experience you have more rights in most places on land you don't actually own or at least fewer regulations, fees, permits fines etc to various local agencies.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on November 03, 2017:
This is great information that I'm sure will be useful for readers. Thanks so much. Let me add, however, that some of this info is more for a house than for an RV, simply because an RV is on wheels and can be easily moved. Normally, it is not attached to the property.
I would assume that anybody wanting to place a coach on private property would already have talked to their county zoning authority for info and guidance, but your comment certainly will help people. Again, thank you so much.
John Lee Bass from SANTA BARBARA, CA on November 02, 2017:
Great article, Sondra. Thanks for your guidance.
Also, here's some additional info I've researched/collected past year as I am also researching purchasing land for a "tiny house", an RV or a cabin.
I feel HGTV misleads viewers - -prospective "alternate dwellers" - such as we are - how easy HGTV shows make "tiny house" living "so easy", when they're SO MANY laws/zoning restrictions/etc!
Hope the below is helpful to you and your readers.
Check with County Planning/Zoning Commission – Get a "recorded deed" at: www.naco.org
Check with the County Assessor's Office who (legally) owns the property, and when was the property last sold to the existing owner (seller)?
Check with County Treasurer if property taxes are "current"?
Ask your realtor or city/county government agencies about land regarding the following:
What's the city's/county's 'time limit' for building completion? Does city/county have a square foot building minimum?
Is land zoned “A”? What is land "zoned"?
Are there "steep slopes"?
Is the land located on "wetlands" or at a "shoreline"?
What are the property's "easements"?
Is the property permitted for recreational use? Hunting permitted?
What restrictions must be adhered?
What's the cost of applying/obtaining a "building permit", and what "construction codes" must be adhered.
What is the city's/county's (legal) definition of an "alternative dwelling unit" (ADU) (i.e., RV, "tiny house", mobile home) to be placed/built on the property?
Is there existing water on the property? Need to install a "well"? Is a “licensed well driller” required?
Is "water harvesting" legal/permitted?
If property does have water, is the water potable and is its access on your property? If not, are there "rights"/permission from nearby property owner to access water?
Check if you have "rights" to oil, gas & minerals.
What was the land used for the last 100 years?
Obtain a "100 year flood zone report".
Is the property in a "tornado zone"?
Is the property in a "fire zone"? (FYI: CALIFORNIA has "roof [requirement] laws" / building / installation requirements b/o FIRES! California DOES NOT permit “shake” or “composite” roof materials, but it's permissible to have metal roofs or concrete roofs - in California.
Check with County Planning/Zoning Commission (www.naco.org) - -
Are there HOA fees/dues?
What's the condition of the property's "entry roads"?
If no electricity lines exist, if any, on property? If power line is not right on property, what's the distance and cost to run an electrical line? Is it permissible to obtain a neighbor's "written permission" to extend an electrical line from other property owner's existing line?
Is solar power permitted, and of so, does the city/state grant a tax credit? (California does)
Is land suitable for putting a septic system in place?
What is the current access for a telephone (land) line? Does property have cell and internet service/reception?
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on November 02, 2017:
Maybe a little article in the local newspaper or on your local TV newscast would shed some light on what the county is not doing? Just a thought!
trixietreasure on November 01, 2017:
Thank you Sondra. Actually, the county IS helping ( somewhat, but not in the way I think they should). At least there is a violation number on file, plus, at my urging and pleading, the county has gone out to talk with this guy twice. But so far, they haven't slapped a fine on this guy yet. And that is not right. If the county was being more aggressive with this violation, the RV would have been gone months ago. It does make me mad with the county, that they haven't done more, but I'm determined to keep at them about this.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on November 01, 2017:
trixietreasure: Yes, I can see that you are upset, but if your county is not helping you with this issue, I'm not sure what you can do about it. Good Luck.
trixietreasure on November 01, 2017:
Sondra Rochelle, this is concerning responses that you made to me 7 months ago. First of all, thank you again for all of your help and support. To update, it's been 7 and 1/2 months, and that RV is still there. To go back and explain... in March, the new homeowner, had just bought the house and property, and had put an ad on Craigslist to rent out part of his land. That section of land had been previously used , for 21 years, by the daughter of the homeowner who had lived there since 1960. In other words, it had been her parent's property since the early 1960's, and she put in a manufactured home on that small piece property in 1992, to be near her aging parents, and to help out with the family business. She had a well drilled, sewer put in, electricity hook up, etc. in order to have her home there. She went through the county to get everything authorized. When her father passed away in 2013, she moved her manufactured home off of the property. When her brother passed away in 2015, the family business closed, and in early 2017, she sold the house and property.
Now, this new homeowner thinks that he can do anything he wants with that small piece of land, because there is already a well and sewer, etc, hooked up there. He's been making money off of his land by renting it out to someone in an RV. He didn't even go through the county to get a permit. He just put an ad on Craigslist, and started making money. That is clearly against county law. There has been a case file number with complaints against this homeowner now since March. The county went out twice to talk with the homeowner, and he got around it by saying that he would come in and get a temporary permit for the RV. It took him one month to do that, but finally, in July, he got a legal 90 day temporary RV permit. Which expired in October. So 2 weeks ago, the county went back out and told him that he would have to remove the RV. And of course he's not complying. He is now saying that he will be hiring an attorney to see about keeping the RV there.
So this is where things are right now. The thing is, this guy thinks he's above the law, and I'm fighting this because he is clearly going against the law. Some of our neighbors out here in the country have lived here for 60 + years, and we all have to abide by county law. My parents bought this property, that I'm living on now, in 1941. They have since passed away, and I've been living back home here since 2001. None of us out here can put an RV on our land and make money off of it. Yet, this guy comes in, in early 2017 and immediately starts making money off of his land...without even going through the county first!
So this is where we're at. He's still making money off of his property, and I'm still trying to get the county to make him remove it. Thanks for reading. I'm sure you can tell that I'm still very upset.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on October 31, 2017:
Kelly Gonzales: I don't know of any. The best thing for you to do is to decide where you would like to live and then check the zoning laws for that area. You should be able to find them in your local courthouse.
Kelly Gonzalez on October 30, 2017:
Is there a website or way to find which states and towns allow the property to be used for RV living. Weve been wanting to do this for sometime but require additional information and realtor wont help
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on July 05, 2017:
Christie1978: Yes, you are correct. However, this article wasn't about saving money, it was about people's ability to be able to place an RV on land that they own. Solar is just one method they can use to save money if they live in an RV on their own property.
Christie1978 on July 04, 2017:
If you use solar power you can save even more money.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on June 26, 2017:
jojogrl: Trust me, you are not "stuck". Check around your area to see if there are any residential campgrounds and find out how much they charge to rent a site. Conversely, you can buy a Good Sam Travel and Camping Guide that will show you what's available both where you live and nationwide. There you will find phone numbers that will allow you to talk to park managers to see what kinds of deals they offer. You do live in an expensive area, but I'm betting you'll be able to find a park that will cost much less than what you are paying for rent. If you shop carefully,you'll also be able to find a small, previously owned RV for a reasonable amount that you'll be able to finance. Set it up in the park you choose, go to work and then use it for vacations, too! People do these things every day for the very reasons you stated. In fact, this is exactly how I became so involved in the RV lifestyle. If you check out my profile page (click on my name in the upper right hand corner of the article you read), you'll see lots of informational articles about RV life..some of which will guide you to the info you will need. Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions along the way, feel free to email me.
Jojogrl on June 25, 2017:
Extremely useful information ! And thank you.
I am so sick and tired of the rent that they're charging in Seattle I just want to get the heck out of here but I can't, I have to work! however, I was thinking what if I just invest in an RV. I'd just park somewhere near work and just go right to work and come on back and do my thing and go back to work the next day and do it again and not have the headaches of renting or buying her being part of the whole system and wouldn't be forced to succumb to the adventatious greedy developers and the rest of them. Of course this is my naïve impulsive thinking taking over and locally I know that. I was looking online to see what was being said about this and you got your article and signed up and joined this site and landed on your article which is very helpful and made me realize that I'm pretty much stuck in the situation that most people are. However, in about 15 years when I retire I will be in a better position to do this sort of thing and think that I can at least prepare now for that and start saving some of the money that the IRS doesn't take from my paycheck to buy an RV in the future and stay plugged in here . So thanks again for your articles.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on June 16, 2017:
BeaverMarquis: Why thank you kind sir. People like you are the reason I write these articles. If I can keep you from having to deal with problems related to the RV lifestyle, then I am doing my job! As with everything, RVing seems easy and wonderful from the outside, but it has many pitfalls, too. I think you'll be happy with a deeded lot...and you'll be a lot safer,too. BTW, I take it from your pen name that you own a Beaver Marquis? Beautiful coaches! Thanks for stopping by and good luck.
BeaverMarquis on June 15, 2017:
Your Life Experience of placing RV on Remote Land,
just Re-Awoke "Caution" in me~!!! We have discussed this
issue before, 9 months ago, according to your website~!!!!
I guess I had to stumble over your article and re-read it, again~!!!
I would have turned into RAMBO FIRST BLOOD~!!!! for them
hurting/killing my dogs~!!! Time Traveler2, I MUST SALUTE YOU~!!!! For not doing as I would have~!!! 50 Cal. BLAZING~! Ugh I go Ballistic in my mind, empathizing with your plight~!!!!
You are a credit, to us all, searching for the RV Dream~!!!!!
Yes~!!! A deeded lot in Campground~!!!!! That Works and the dogs get to live~!!! They are my Fur Kids...They go bananas, literally, when I return after being gone for an hour~!!! Real Kids don't do that~!! lol~!!!! Thank You so much and so kindly, for the site and your guidance expertise~!!! Saluting~!!!!
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on March 12, 2017:
trixietreasure: I'm betting the authorities will work it all out to your favor.
trixietreasure on March 12, 2017:
I appreciate that. Yes, this is quite upsetting. I hope it will be easy to get it resolved. Thank you.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on March 11, 2017:
trixietreasure: It's obvious that you are pretty upset, but I suspect the authorities will take action on this providing that your zoning laws have not changed. I actually looked at my article again and noticed that I clearly stated the importance of checking into zoning laws before taking action. I know exactly how you feel and hope this works out for you. Good Luck!
trixietreasure on March 11, 2017:
Yes, I agree, anyone with common sense would check with the county on what the zoning laws are before doing anything, but we're talking about those who have COMMON SENSE. My new neighbor who just moved into my neighborhood does not have common sense. I won't go into that, except I'll just say that I and one other person has filed a complaint with the county just this week. Those of us who have lived out here for 40 plus years ( my parents lived here for 56 years before they passed away), and who have abided by county laws, refuse to allow someone come into our neighborhood and do just whatever they want.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on March 11, 2017:
trixietreasure: I believe I addressed this issue in my article, albeit not in as much detail as you put in your comment. It would seem to me that anybody with a lick of common sense would realize they need to check zoning laws before doing anything with property they own, but that's just me! Thanks for the great comment.
trixietreasure on March 10, 2017:
Before setting up an RV or mobile home in the country on your land, you need to check with the county first to see what the laws are. Where I live, it's illegal to set up an RV on your land, PLUS, it's also illegal for you to make money from that. Meaning, you can't allow someone to just move onto your property and charge them rent.
We are zoned out here for strictly farm use, and the only way you can put another dwelling on your land is to file for a hardship case. That means that if you are elderly or disabled and can no longer keep up your home, you may file with the county a hardship case, saying you need someone there on the property to help you and to help take care of the land.
So before moving your RV or mobile home onto your land, you have to do it legally and check what the laws are. Otherwise, you most likely will find yourself in a lot of hot water.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on February 26, 2017:
Cook Contra: Glad this helped. One thing people who want to do something like this need to remember is that when you are away from civilization, you are mostly alone and have little protection against theft and other crimes. It's there, so you do need to consider it when making your plans. Good luck.
Shawn Stanley Cook Contra Contreras from California on February 20, 2017:
Thank you for this INFO. I have a dog and a cat, and was considering a place in the "Woods" so to speak. but now with your story, it has really opened my eyes. I'm following my dream of farming for myself and getting back to nature and the basics.
I have to find a plot, I have been researching for a year now, so many temporary options for bathroom and shower stuff from camping sites and stores. I am willing to rough it for a few months until I have built my cabin. I found a plan for a 14ftx20 foot that costs around $6000 to build from scratch. but that's paying full price for everything, lumber, insulation, drywall, electrical, plumbing, etc. but I have found many Lowes stores with Culled lumber for 1/2 the price and even less and there is always the Clearance section too. I have my background in construction and landscaping. I have 1 cousin who can help with Central heating and AC.
I just hope everything goes to plan.
Thanks again. Helped me out a lot. I didn't even consider theft being so far out
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on January 20, 2017:
John Lee Bass: Glad this article helped you. If you click on my name at the top of the hub, it will take you to my profile page where you can find more than 100 articles about RV living and travel, some of which may apply to your situation. Although we didn't get to live full time on our own property, we did live full time for a good number of years in an RV park and continue to travel regularly in our motor home, even though we're now in our 70's. Thanks for reading and commenting and good luck with finding the right property.
John Lee Bass from SANTA BARBARA, CA on January 19, 2017:
TIMETRAVELER2: Craziness the (BAD) experiences you guys encountered, and a shame it's what forced you guys out of living your dream. Stumbled on your write-up as I am looking for property in southern Oregon & found your info VERY HELPFUL. Thanks!
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on August 28, 2016:
BeaverMarquis: Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and great comments. I'm getting a swelled head! I hope I do hear from you again and that maybe one day we can meet up on the road somewhere! You may want to check my profile for other articles about RV living and travel to see if there is other info there that will also help you. Just click on my pen name at the top of any of my articles to see what's available. Keep in touch and let me know how things go for you.
BeaverMarquis on August 28, 2016:
Yes Sir, Yes Sir and Yes Sir~!!!!
Wow, I guess I need to really
delve heavy into this, research
and research and visit and ask, probe,
interrogate, before I buy the property~!!
Yes Sir~!!! Awesome Article, Awesome Website
and Thank You again for your time and info...
I will be in touch again, count on it~!!! lol~! : - )
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on August 27, 2016:
BeaverMarquis: To be honest, I wasn't civil. I actually took a box of matches and headed towards the dirt bag's home, ready to burn the whole thing down. What stopped me was the fact that I remembered there was an infant in that house...the one he had with his sister! I know, though, but for that, I would have burned them out, hopefully with him in it! Instead, we packed up and left...permanently. Sold the property, and that ended the adventure.
However, I will add, that we were too young and naive to realize that we clearly picked the wrong spot. People who live far into those mountains are very primitive, but this is not true of all country people. So, in a way, this was our own fault (and it grieves me deeply to admit it). Do not give up your dream! Keep your coach, Research the area where you want to live CAREFULLLY! Learn if there is corruption in the police force or whether you can trust them. There are many places in the US where good, decent, civilized people live where you can park your RV and allow your dogs to enjoy the great outdoors. The one we chose simply was not one of them. Good luck!
PS You can't hide anything from the people who live in small towns. Don't try it. You won't need to. Forget the barn, etc...just make sure you know where you will be and who lives there before you buy your land.
BeaverMarquis on August 27, 2016:
Oh My GoshTimeTraveller2, I have to Salute You, for remaining Civil about the matter, I'd of came unglued, blew multiple head gaskets, I'd of detonated, resonated, etc.....
I am so sorry to hear of this. I was really worried when I read this article, they had indeed met with foul play.
I'm also disheartened, reading this article, realizing the validity and correctness of it. You saved me many $$$ and Many Headaches and You both enlightened and learned me, in a serious way.
I am concerned now, what to do.?? If I was to purchase a Giant Metal Barn and park my 40' footer RV inside of it, would I avoid some of the HOA rules and their B.S., surrounding this issue ? Hidden, out of sight, out of mind ??? My dogs would be locked inside of the Metal Barn, inside of the RV, in my absence. Within my property lines, I'd have Bazookas and 50 Cal. Machine Gun Motion Detecting Sentry's, Guarding my Animals and the Barn...lol !!!!
Notice, I put my dogs, before the Barn and RV ? : -) 3 Shepherds, all rescued from situations, like you found with yours at the locals cabin... I'm devastated, to hear what happened to your dogs, I'd be in Prison or worse, had that of happened to me, this is what really really worries me~!!!! You are right, out there in beautiful God's Country, So too hides The Dirt Bags~!! Why must they hurt Innocent and Loving Animals, just to achieve their goal of theft and other worthless agenda's ?
I'm now worried I can no longer be an Axle Addict, as my dogs take precedence, over everything else~!!! I live for them, not the other way around, as do so many people say their dogs live for them!!!! Their dogs are merely amusement to them, If and only when, they are bored and can spare 5 minutes for their dogs, who'd willingly, give their lives, for their owners...
I guess I have to sell the 40', as I will not endanger them, my Dogs..
Oh my Gosh, let me know if you think hiding the Bus in a Giant Metal Barn, behind a grove of trees and Bushes, might work...
Once again, I Salute You, for remaining Civil, towards the Dirt Bags & Murderers!!!! You poor guy, that just rips at my very being!! I can now see that happening and I bet it does, allot more than we could know or ever want to hear about.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on August 26, 2016:
BeaverMarquis: It's a very sad story. We had three beautiful dogs with us on this journey. Our female German Shepherd always stayed close by, but our Blue Tick/Lab and Cocker Spaniel, both males, loved to explore. One day, they just did not come back home. We searched everywhere for them, but never did find the BlueTick/Lab. Eventually we found the Cocker Spaniel sitting in a cold rain tied to a post outside of a cabin that belonged to a local. We simply took him from them. However, someone had fed him glass. Eventually, it tore up his insides and killed him. At first we had no idea what had happened to him, but it didn't matter because nothing would have saved him. You have to remember that we were in Appalachia where the mountain people have their own codes and ways of doing things. We discovered that a young guy who lived behind us was growing Marijuana in the woods behind our place. Our dogs must have discovered it, and that's what caused the problem. When we told some of the locals what had happened, they got on their horses and trampled his marijuana patch to smitherines. It didn't bring our dogs back, but at least the dirtbag who killed them paid a price for doing so. We all knew who did it,but simply couldn't prove it. So, when I tell people in this article to be careful about where they buy their land, I mean it. I feel the same as you about my dogs, and if I had known I was endangering them, we never would have bought that land!
BeaverMarquis on August 26, 2016:
How did the 2 dogs become deceased, from trying to live on the property ? No mention of it, that I saw...That'd of made me go Ballistic~!~!! Take my tractor and chainsaw, Touch my Dogs and well, lol~!!! Nuff' Said~!!!
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on May 01, 2015:
Bryan Fullerton: I'm sure that what you say here is true, but I do know that there are many areas of the country where people can still buy land and place an RV on it for living. Why shouldn't they be able to do this? Good question!
Bryan Fullerton on May 01, 2015:
The laws in some parts of this country are ludicrous. Most of the ones directly infringing on our rights were made by and for richer people for their convenience. Of course as long as you pay tax you don't own any property, you just rent it from the government. Our forefathers that founded this country would be shocked and appalled at the laws we have allowed to be passed. Goldendale is a small town in south central WA state. You can buy property there out in the sticks where nobody can see your "house". Its just a pile of rocks with scrub oak and pine. But you cannot park an RV on it and live there. Its against county rules. Of course clever people have come up with all kinds of workarounds. For instance you can build a cheap pole barn/shed big enough to park your RV in. Is it legal? Probably not but it's the only way to circumnavigate the local government. Many people retiring no longer have the income to support the ridiculous taxes being charged on houses in or near towns. If they can Rv on their own land they can avoid being homeless. If you study local laws and the homeless you can see what appears to be the system trying to create homelessness. And lawmakers wonder why people are getting paranoid and turning into conspiracy nuts.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on February 15, 2015:
Junior Smith: What a GREAT story! You are proof positive that people can and do have successful, happy lives when they choose this alternative lifestyle. Not everybody can do it, but if you are young, strong and have good skills, there is no question that this can be a better way of life. Hats off to you, along with my wishes for many years of RV living happiness! Thanks so much for posting this comment...I think you have helped a lot of people with it.
Junior Smith on February 14, 2015:
My wife and I and three kids live in an RV full time. We have for well over a year. After 7 years of living in a house we slaved to pay for, we decided that we had had enough. Our kids were suffering spiritually because of public schools and corruption. We were both too tired and grumpy to be the role model parents. So after much research we decided to ditch the house and get a used travel trailer. We parked at my parents house next to their garage. Technically illegal. But we made it all look inconspicuous as if nobody lived there. And if anyone asked, we would just say we live in the house, not the camper.
Anyway. It was a year of living and learning. But honestly, I am kind of a jack of all trades. I know how to build, fix, and maintain a lot of things. We were fortunate enough to have a freeze proof spigot close by to keep the water tank filled as needed. We ran an RV outlet on the backside of the garage from its breaker box and plugged right in. For a first timer, things have gone pretty darn smoothly. We live in the country, which helps of course. But we still have had to be careful and try to not be seen hanging around the camper too much or filling it with water. This experience has taught us to make every drop of water count unlike the traditional life of wasting everything. And the best part of all is we are more of a family. Yes. There has been struggle. Nothing is like a fairy tale. And it isn't a romance. It's reality.
Recently we found some great undeveloped land in a different county where there is no zoning outside the city limits. And there is electric lines and a pole already on the property. We bought it to move our camper there amongst the trees and to work on building a homestead over time. Our families told us it could all never be done. They were wrong. As they always are. People usually live in fear. And that's what is wrong with the world. No courage. Just a bunch of cowards who like to play it safe. The laws are mostly created on behalf of political schemes to serve people who are already filthy rich. But you cannot legislate morality. And it is RIGHT for people to choose how they want to live. We live in an RV. And we have done it safely and successfully. This life is far more rewarding than paying a high stack of bills to live in a space that nobody really needs. A giant box all decorated in overpriced materials just to impress someone. I personally hate traditional life. It works against the true family unit. One where a parent always stays home and mentors the children to grow up and respect nature and to see through spiritual eyes instead of a pathetic material life.
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on April 04, 2014:
MariaMoonacre Most such properties are located outside of towns or in the country. A knowledgeable realtor can help you find what you are looking for. The less populated an area, the more likely you are to find the type of land you seek. Good luck.
MariaMoonacre on April 04, 2014:
I would be willing to move almost anywhere for property zoned like this so I could legally live in a "tiny house" on my own property, but I am having difficulty finding anywhere zoned like this. Is there a resource to find property like this?
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on August 12, 2013:
Hi Joe: For some reason you've started calling me Sue...senior moment? I'm Sandy!! And you are right, we are highly regulated, but the problem is that if there were not any rules, life could be pretty uncomfortable. Most cities, even smaller towns, have regs about RVs, and it's important to understand them before you make any plans.
Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on August 11, 2013:
Sue, this is an important topic for RV-owners. Although I'm not there yet, I'm filing this away for future consideration. I understand it intellectually, but on an emotional and spiritual playing field, it seems unnatural somehow that the city or county can regulate people's lives as much as they do even those citizens are living on their own land. Perhaps there are states that are more lax about these things in comparison to sister states. In any event, thanks for sharing a very intriguing subject. Aloha, and have a wonderful week!