Living in an RV On Your Own Land

Living in an RV On Your Own Land: Is It Legal or Not?

Most people think that an RV lifestyle is all about traveling throughout the country and camping on the designated campsites. But, not everyone can travel full time, yet many people dream of downsizing and enjoy the bliss of minimalistic RV life. Living in an RV on your own land may sound odd but not implausible considering people’s various life situations. You may have a regular job and need to attend an office every day or you may have kids that go to school. In that case, living in your backyard is a nice option. But, is it legal to live in a camper in your backyard? Follow this guide to get the answers to all the questions you have regarding living in an RV on your own land.


Living in an RV on Your Own Land: Is It Legal or Not?

If you want to use your own land as your personal RV camping base, you have to know your city or regulations about legally parking and living in an RV. Every jurisdiction has their own set of rules regarding living in a camper.

Depending on where you live, it might be illegal to lead a full-time RV lifestyle. Sometimes, your county won’t give you permission without a permanent foundation and sometimes the rule will bind you to square footage. For example, some cities may require that a residence cannot be less than 1,000 square feet. It is totally illegal to live on wheels in some areas. So, it is better to inquire and know about the requirements of your county and city before deciding on living an RV lifestyle and making the purchase.

is it legal to live in a camper in your backyard
Full-time RV-ing could be illegal in some countries and cities.

>> See more: Best RV Mattress Short Queen 2018 | Top 10 Picks for RVers

How to Live in an RV on Your Own Land

Without some experience, it is tough to navigate through the housing market. It is also a big financial decision and many people struggle to collect the down payment. A home purchase also comes with a monthly mortgage to keep up with.

Living in an RV on your own land gives solutions to these problems. Besides, the RV lifestyle is a relief to those people who want a simple life and find their peace in a small living place. Unfortunately, most cities are not open to full-time RVers. You cannot park your empty rigs or live there for 365 days a year within city limits, even if you are the owner of the land.

If you have planned for such a lifestyle, you have to purchase the land in an area where full-time RV-ing is allowed by the authority. These land pieces will be located outside the city, so try to find a spot that is properly zoned, provides road access, and has scopes for development.

You have to set up the electrical, water and sewage systems in your newly purchased land. Be careful to follow the municipality rules regarding these systems. For example, the building department of a city may require a working restroom or two exits for a habitable structure. It’s rare for any city to have particular guidelines for the type of residences. So, you can live on your camper upon fulfilling the habitability requirements.

Unfortunately, there are some areas where you won’t get the permit for installing water, sewer, and power systems without building a proper house, even if you are ready to pay for everything. Also, some land pieces are not just suitable for installing these systems. Avoid these areas and go for a land that already has utilities or has the right infrastructure to install them. Otherwise, be ready to live off-grid.

living in an rv on your own land
You have to take authority’s permission to live in an RV on your own land.

There are plenty of ways to score such a land outside the city. However, if you want to do it yourself, the easiest way is to use some online tools. Many renowned real estate websites have inventories of land and properties. You can customize your searches by setting area, reviews, size, and many other parameters. Some of the websites providing such services are Realtor, Trulia, and Zillow.

>> Learn more: 9 Most Popular Myths about RVs Debunked

The Disadvantages of Living Outside the City

It is clear that living in an RV on your own land is possible but it is unlikely to be within the city limits. It should not be a deal breaker if you have an adventurous mind and ready to deal with the hassles that come with an independent, free RV lifestyle.

Nevertheless, it’s better to be aware of these disadvantages of living in city outskirts before spending a handsome amount on a travel trailer. Even if it’s your land, the sacrifices that you need to make are:

  • Cleaning trashes and waste materials from the land. You also have to develop the route that links your property to the main road if it’s still underdeveloped.
  • Installing the utility systems according to the rules and regulations set by the respective authority.
  • Be prepared for emergencies because medical care and other facilities will not be easily accessible.
  • Be ready to drive long distances for shopping groceries and other necessities.
  • The security is going to be a big issue. No matter how beautiful the views are, you have to be alert for burglary and even for armed robber too!

Why Living in an RV in Your Backyard Is Better than a Campsite?

Although living in an RV on your own land has some caveats, it offers some unique advantage that you won’t get in a campsite.

how to live in an rv on your own land
Living in your own land enhances your freedom.


It’s not like that RV camps don’t have any privacy but camping on your own land saves from the worry of people seeing you whenever you open the windows or blinds. You can leave the door and windows open when the weather is nice. Besides, you can use the entire land as you like without worrying anybody objecting or breaking any campsite rule. This is even better if you have children. They will get plenty of space for playing zero chance to bother other children or families.

The Campfire

All RV sites have a fire pit but it might not on your side of the park. How annoying will it be if you have to visit the other side of the site to enjoy the campfire? If it’s your land, you can light a fire whenever you want.


The camping life is all about freedom and living in an RV on your own land makes it manifold. You can choose your own lifestyle without thinking of other people’s judgment. Use the land the way you want – cultivate a vegetable garden, grow some flowers, or even domesticate some chickens!

Last Updated on August 26, 2018

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