Last Updated on March 24, 2021 by Tanmay Sarkar
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A common question among RVers is “where can I park my RV to live”. When you are far away from home and known locality it always feels uneasy till you park the RV in a secured location.
There are places available where you can stay in the RV for overnight or for a longer period of time.
Here is the list of 11 ways to make it possible.
1. Stores, Parking areas, Truckstops
The places such as stores, parking areas, truck stops, pull-offs, and rest areas permit overnight RV parking and stay.
Stores and shops such as Walmart, Cabela’s, and Flying J’s are among the favorite of RVers.
Walmart does not provide electrical service or accommodations that are generally needed by the RV owners but they provide overnight RV parking.
The store manager has the authority to give permission based on the availability of parking spaces and local laws. For this, you have to contact the management of the store concerned. You can know more about it here.
Of course, you need permission which you can get if you arrive sooner at the parking spot because during the camping season they are usually full.
2. Bureau of Land Management Public Lands or BLM
BLM provides staying in an RV at a highly developed campground or you can also park an RV in the backcountry.
The campgrounds on the BLM-managed sites offer a variety of facilities such as potable water, restrooms, electrical hookups, picnic areas, garbage cans, tent pads, and group shelters.
Not all of them have the amenities so, you have to check their website for more information.
BLM-managed lands are good when you are in the west as there are 264 million acres of public lands available. Boondocking on this land is free.
Apps such as US Public Lands can help you out in locating free public lands campsites.
There are also campsites with less to no amenities that can be found with the help of State Fish & Game or Agricultural websites.
3. Camping Club Memberships
Camping Club memberships are a good option when you are trying to find a place to park the RV.
These club memberships do not cost much when you look at the benefits. You often get free camping and discounts.
Some of the clubs are Passport America, Good Sam Club, Escapees, and Boondockers.
4. Exchange Sites
Some membership sites offer you to park your RV at farms or vineyards for an overnight or longer stay. You may have to buy some product in exchange for parking.
5. National Parks
If you are near a National Park then you have a site for parking as there are many campgrounds, RV resorts, and RV parks around or inside National Parks.
At peak season you may not find a spot to park. Before you head for a National Park campsite check the ideal RV length.
6. State & Local Parks
Like National Parks, the state parks also offers campgrounds and RV parks. You can also park your RV in city parks as they offer low-cost RV camping per night. The amenities can add up to the final cost.
7. RV Lots & Sales
RV lots are places for rent from individual owners some of them are good as RV resorts. There are also long-term RV stay lots that are available at a very low cost.
The amenities may include electricity, water, sewer connection, and others. RVProperty.com is one such service to locate a suitable RV parking spot.
8. Long Term RV Parks
Do you know that you can live in an RV park for an entire season or more!
Yes, many RV campground and Parks offer long term stay with discount. The longer you stay the cheaper your stay becomes on average.
The longer stay comes with better amenities that are not available for others. These RV parks offer better amenities as people used to stay longer than usual.
The term “Workamping” was first coined by the founder of Workamper News. Workamping is when you stay at night in an RV and work day or night in exchange for something valuable.
Another way of describing is when a person is working and camping.
These people work to make their expenses so that they can enjoy RVing full time.
An individual can work at a campsite in exchange for free perks such as free utilities and campsite.
Most of the casinos allow free overnight parking for exchange for a small fee. You may not get amenities such as water, electricity, and sewer but there will be the peace of mind because of the security.
Although during any large event you have to securely lock the door and windows for extra care.
Online apps and services such as RVParky, Overnight RV Parking, AllStays, and Park Advisor are available where you can locate places for overnight stay.
Most of the services can be used in detail by applying a filter which makes it easy.
RV Parky: RV Parky is an RV Park directory to help fellow RVers on the road. You can easily find information, images, and reviews of the campgrounds and RV parks in the US and Canada.
The apps are available on both Android and iOS.
Overnight RV Parking: It has the largest database of free RV parking locations in the US and Canada. At the time of writing, it contains 15,525 RV Parking and No Parking locations. Available in both Android and iOS apps.
AllStays: it has all the information that an RVers needs and can be used offline with Google Earth. The filters are easy to use and it is only available for iOS.
Park Advisor: You can find a campground rating and reviews which can be used to know more about the park. You can know about the gas stations, rest areas, and stores easily. The apps are available in both android and iOS.
Can I live in an RV on my own property?
Before answering the question look at this fact “ more than 1 million Americans are living in their RV full time”.
That means these people do not live in homes that we live but they live in homes on wheels.
So, is it legal to live in an RV in your own backyard?
The answer is both yes and no as living in it on your own land is not illegal but living full time maybe.
Many laws prohibit living in an RV full time. Even if you own the RV and the land.
The problem is the law that does not classify an RV as a permanent dwelling. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, RVs only have recreational, travel, or camping purposes. A manufactures house is only a permanent residence.
So, if your RV meets the required standards of a manufactured house as they have electricity, plumbing, and other amenities they are not permanent residence according to the law.
People still use it as a permanent residence as long as they do not encounter law enforcement agencies or are in rural areas where law enforcement agencies are not strict.
So, if you want to live in your RV full time on your own property you have to look at the local laws.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What states allow you to live in an RV?
A1. The states that allow you to live in an RV for an extended amount of time are:
- Washington State
- South Dakota
These states have wide-open areas that equate to more space and less restrictive zoning. You can live in your RV legally in these states.
Q2. How much does it cost to live in an RV park?
A2. The cost of living in an RV park depends upon the amenities provided, time of the year, and availability of spots.
Depending on the amenities the cost of living in an RV park will generally range from $500 to $1750 per month. As you will add amenities the price will go up.
Q3. Can you claim an RV as a primary residence?
A3. Yes, you can claim an RV as a primary residence if it meets certain requirements.
The IRS has included all the following as homes:
- Mobile Homes
- House Trailers
The above mentions properties should also meet the criteria to be considered as a primary residence:
- Designated Sleeping Areas
- Bathroom Facilities
- Designated Cooking Area
Q4. Is living in an RV cheaper than renting?
A4. Yes, living in an RV is cheaper than renting. I am taking account for a mid-size average price hotel.
The taxes such as state tax, local tax, and others are included in the price of the room for renting, which is not the case with the RV. Hotels also cost you more than what they offer.
In RV you will not pay taxes and money on unnecessary things.
Q5. What does Boondocking mean?
A5. Boondocking means to camp off-grid that is camping far away in remote places without basic amenities and services.
While you boondock you do not get water, electricity, and sewer connection as camping in a campground.
Generally, camping in wild with your camper is known a boondocking. It is generally free but sometimes you may need permits on where you will boondock.
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