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Old 03-17-2013, 09:32 PM   #1
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new to this and living in an rv with questions.

Would any body by any chance know where I would find information on laws on using our RV as a full time homestead on private property?
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:17 PM   #2
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Maybe check with the County Auditor. My guess, and this is just a guess, there is a building code that you can not do this.

Wait - probably can if you take the wheels off it and put it on a footer and follow the building codes. There may be a code on min. sq. feet.

My guess is based on the fact you do not see people living in RV's as you drive down the road.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:25 PM   #3
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Hi and

I agree with previous poster check with the county.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:35 AM   #4
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In Tennessee there are a lot of counties allowing it, generally in rural areas. Some technically don't but no one cares. As long as you have electric and sewer and water life will be good.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:26 AM   #5
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I have seen a lot of residential single wides in Tenn. but no RV type trailers. Now this was 4 years ago around the Cookeville area. I would see an occasional abandon old trailer sitting in a field but nobody living in it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
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About four years ago, we looked at buying land and setting up our own rv pads in TN, IN, and OH near where grandkids live, so we would have a place to park while visiting them. In each of the areas we were interested in, living in an rv on private land was not allowed. IN and OH almost nowhere allowed it, and TN counties that allowed it were very rural, and too far from where we wanted to be. You will need to check with the county. Even rural areas are tightly regulated in many areas today.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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Jzick - I wonder if you had 3 pads on private land in various states and would stay only two or three months then moved to the next pad. Do you know if that was allowed?

I think being permanent will be an issue. But a month or three would not be an issue.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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Jzick - I wonder if you had 3 pads on private land in various states and would stay only two or three months then moved to the next pad. Do you know if that was allowed?

I think being permanent will be an issue. But a month or three would not be an issue.
In each case, we were denied permission to do exactly that. Each county (and we checked several) would not allow overnighting in an rv, no matter whether it was for one night or 365. Utility companies were not allowed to run electric service, except for a construction temporary hookup, and driveway access could not be allowed. I am certain you could live off grid or hide, but we were not interested in doing something like that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #9
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Lots of nannies in government, especially back east. In Texas we don't have any such silly Nanny-state rules outside of some of the cities. Because of the current oil boom, there is a severe housing shortage in most of Texas, so there are numerous folks living in RVs. Granted, most are in trailer parks or RV parks, but many new RV parks have sprung up with no landscaping- just electricity, water and sewer connections. Ugly in the desert with no landscaping. Reminiscent of the Okies of the 1930s. There are no zoning laws in rural Midland County. When I built my own retirement home, the only zoning law I had to meet was the state law that regulates the size of the septic tank.

And if you drive around west Texas, you'll see lots of RVs on an acre or so of land. That's probably allowed because nobody wants to live in an RV except as a temporary home while they build their real house. But the housing market right now means lots of working people have no choice other than to live in an RV. They don't want to build a house or move in a mobile home, so they just live in the RV on their one-acre "ranch".

But yeah, to be sure, check with the county zoning commission, even in rural Texas. There are nannies in Midland that would love to tell you what to do, but they don't have the political wherewithall to get a law passed to restrict how others live.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:53 AM   #10
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I understand your comment about the "nanny state", but many of these restrictions are done for tax reasons: residents fear an increase on students coming from RVs that pay little or no property taxes.

Others are concerned about having "trailer trash" move into their neighborhood of "nicely kept homes".

I am not endorsing these strategies nor do I condone it.

I live in western Oregon where we have few rules. It is not unusual to see a quite expensive home right next to a rusty travel trailer that has a tarp over part of the roof. There are few areas in this country that are willing to put up with such diversity of housing.

There are states that seem to be much more welcoming of RV's. Arizona comes to mind. I have seen photos of entire neighborhoods that are cement pads with full hookups, each with a mailbox. During the summer, they are empty and look like a housing development where they forgot to build the houses.

We have friends who, every winter, move to AZ and live off the grid in the wilderness.

It would be nice if we could just plop our stuff down wherever we want to. However, I think our friend will be limited to staying long-term in a RV park.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #11
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I agree that there has to be some kind of zoning to help protect property values and to produce tax revenue. I would flip out if someone moved an RV trailer in the lot next to my house.

Where is this place in Arizona? That is something that might interest me. Especially if that area is zoned for RV's.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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Where is this place in Arizona? That is something that might interest me. Especially if that area is zoned for RV's.
BLM and Forest Service land throughout the arid zone - and in surrounding states. Campers are allowed to "boondock" for a coupla weeks at a time, then have to move on to a different camping spot. Very crowded in the wintertime as snowbirds flock to Arizona (and south Texas and other warm locales).

There are also campgrounds in the National Forests, but you must plan ahead and have reservations to get a spot in one. And you're limited to a coupla weeks in each one.

Look at a good map of Arizona and you'll see several National Forests. Look southeast around Tucson and you'll see some that don't get very cold in January. But usually if you see lots of pine trees, that means there will be snow in the wintertime. Such as the Kaibab National forest "up north" around Flagstaff. Not many snowbirds camp out in the Kaibab in January.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:24 AM   #13
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I was looking a campgrounds in Flagstaff. So I am looking at what time they open in June...lol, found some open all year!!.

The rate does drop in January.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
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I live in WA State I know some of the Trailer Parks with single and double wides around here actually have areas where people are living in their travel trailers and 5th wheels. They seem to have been there awhile seeing some have built little sheds to hold mowers etc next to them. I'm not sure though what laws are here either as far as where you can do this but apparently there are some areas out there that allow it maybe depending on what type of land your on. Just my two cents.
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