Rent prices have increased in the past few years and people are getting more creative to find more affordable living conditions. Instead of living in brick homes, tied to one place, many of us prefer to live “rent-free” in a small RV. Living in an RV is great to explore the country and to save some money on rent. But, the main problem all of us facing is where to park for the night?
Available land is limited and expensive in most places, so where can you park your RV to live?
Where can I park to live?
Though there are several options to spend your nights in an RV, it’s always best to go for the safest and most convenient option. Keeping that in mind, I have gathered some information to help you out.
When looking for a place to park your RV, there are four things you should always remember:
- Safety is your utmost priority. Avoid homeless and dangerous areas.
- Noise is one of the most hated things. The noise from your engine, generator or even loud music can disturb people around you. Avoid camping near hospitals or schools you might get a knock on your door during the night if you do.
- Do your research and make sure you are not trespassing.
So without any further delay, let’s see where you can live in an RV.
Rent Out A Spot For Long-Term Parking
But where do you find them?
And how much does it cost?
I was renting a driveway for years in Burbank, CA which I found on Craigslist. The spot had hookups which was great. I wasn’t staying there all the time, I was out every other week but I spent a good amount of time there. Some Home Owner Associations would have a problem with you living in an RV on someone’s driveway, but if you are keeping it low profile, you probably can get away with it.
Noise is one of the most-hated things people have to deal with. You have to remember that you are living in a small RV, and it’s is not soundproof, you will hear outside noises louder but also if you plan to use your generator the noise might bother others. So make sure you place yourself in a place where the noise won’t bother you and you won’t bother anyone.
You can post your own ad or you can find listings for RV spots under HOUSING.
You probably know of this option. They’re probably one of the most popular options out there. RV parks provide you with your own space and maybe even hookups. But they can get expensive if you stay there often.
There are always RV parks and campgrounds in most areas. These are already established places, they usually have amenities and everything you might need.
Monthly rates are from $350-$1000 depending on the location and their amenities. If you sign a long-term contract you may have to pay for electricity separately.
All you have to do is find an RV park or campground near your desired location.
On The Web
There are websites where you can find RV lots for rent for example the RV Park Store.
Remember to do your research and be liable when searching for RV parking spots online.
I have joined many RV groups on Facebook. Boondocking, camping, stealth camping, other community groups are great resources. You may ask local community groups, mommy groups, or other Facebook communities if they have a driveway, or maybe if they’re willing to rent their backyard so you can park your RV there.
Once you’ve joined these Facebook groups, you can start by searching the group for similar posts. This way, you can find strangers that are willing to let you park in their backyard.
If you find a place, go see it first, and if you like it see if they’d be interested in a long-term relationship or long-term rental agreement. If you’re lucky, you might just find a good place to park your RV that’s best suited for your needs.
Boondocking is a true adventure for anyone who wants an escape from day-to-day life. It’s the best way to stay off the grid, be in one with nature, and get a true experience of the land. While some boondocking spots are often free, there are others that charge a small fee.
Boondockers Welcome is a great website that you can use to find places for an overnight stay. You can stay at people’s property for a couple of nights for free. You might even meet some really cool people that way too.
Try it and if you like a place ask your host if they are interested in a long-term contract.
Hipcamp and AirBnb
Those two sites have many listings that might work. You might be lucky to find a couple of hosts that would be happy to have you stay in their backyard for a few nights. You might be lucky enough to find a nice spot or rental that has a huge backyard space where you can park your RV.
Find alternative sites, backyards, lands, and lots, and if you like some go try it. If you like it, convince the host to rent it out for you. Remember to always ask if they are interested in a long-term relationship before committing.
Hotels, Motels, Local Business Parking Lots
Many times if you are in a city, it is harder or way more expensive to find safe long-term spaces to rent. But, your life might need you to stay in the city. One idea is to find places you like with parking lots and ask them if they are interested in renting a parking space out for you. It might just work!
Purchase A Spot For RV Parking
If you have plans on living in your RV permanently, then buying a spot for your RV may be the best option. Public storage units often offer RV spots as well as many other businesses. If it’s living at the same place but in your RV, buying an RV spot will definitely be a good idea.
It’s not really hip to rough it much in the city, and sometimes you just need a little bit of comfort. If you’re trying to set yourself up with an income while living in your RV, a spot near a business might be best for you until you find a permanent location.
Have a look at RV Lots For Sale to find out a permanent spot for your RV. There are deeded RV spots and lands you can find. Try Happy Vagabonds too.
Rent A Place From Your Friends & Family
If you know someone that has extra space in their backyard, then this could be perfect for you. Utilizing the place of your friends and family isn’t a bad idea. If they have some spare piece of land, you may ask them to rent you the extra space to park your RV there. Just make sure to know the local HOA or local rules for RV parking.
Can I Park On The Driveway?
Generally, there is no issue in parking your RV on the driveway. However, every state or city, or Home Owner Association may have different rules. You need to find out those rules. Many times you are only allowed to park on the driveway for a few nights but it’s ok to park your rig in the backyard that doesn’t show from the street. If you wanna avoid all the hassle, it might work to just park the RV in the backyard.
While considering the parking spot for your RV in the driveway, consider some important things:
It’s important to consider the length of your RV. Lengthy RVs can block the sidewalk. If it’s narrow and you live in a neighborhood, there is no issue legally speaking but if you park a big rig on it then people will complain even if they do not have the right to.
If you have an RV that is too wide, you wouldn’t be able to park the other cars along with your RV. It may also disturb your neighbors as well. Make sure that your RV is not causing trouble for others to park their cars.
Tall RVs can be troublesome sometimes. I’ve been to spots where the height of my RV was a huge problem. Trees scratched my roof but even powerlines or the roof gutter can be a problem if it is in the way of your RV.
Slope Of The Driveway
The slope of the driveway is also another important factor that must be considered. Of course, you wouldn’t want to sleep in an RV that is not level. Before you park the RV on your driveway, check out the slope and try to level it as much as you can. You can also use a leveling system or one of the many devices to level out your RV.
Lastly, safety is also extremely important. One shouldn’t park their RV in a way that causes accidents or any trouble for others. If there are kids in the neighborhood or any busy roads nearby, it’s just not a good idea but again, every state and city has different rules regarding this.
Next, consider your neighbors. You don’t want to disturb the peace of the neighborhood. While you can’t control the noise coming out from your RV, still, you have to be considerate about the noise while you are driving. Slow down near the neighborhood and make sure to not rev up your engine too much when starting it while parked on the street or in front of someone’s house.
Not everyone you live next to has the same thoughts about RV as you. It can be an eyesore to them, and they may not like to see it there. Therefore, it’s important to notify your neighbors before you park your RV for the long term to avoid further issues.
Do I Need To Get Permission To Install Hook-ups?
This is of course regarding your own property. It’s a tricky issue as some municipalities may consider your RV hookup as a second home hence, you may have to pay additional city and property taxes. If you are in a rented space, ask your host if this is possible.
Is It Cheaper To Live In An RV For The Long Term?
Depending on your lifestyle, living in an RV can be more cost-efficient than living in an apartment or in a home. But you may have to compromise on some luxuries. You have to live it and find the way that works for you.
I personally work remotely and live in an RV to go on adventures. For me, the RV lifestyle is cheaper, especially because now I travel slower, boondock with friends often and I stay in places for weeks or sometimes for months.
Being an RVer comes with its challenges and finding a parking place for the night is one of them. Be it your driveway, a rented place, RV park, a free parking spot, or a deeded RV spot; you’ll have to figure out your lifestyle and budget then choose the parking space that works for your needs.