Where Can You Legally Live in an RV? (Incl. 10 Examples)


Where Can You Legally Live in an RV

You may be an RV enthusiast who has moved around or visited many times in your RV.

You enjoyed your RV trips so much that you are now considering living fulltime in it, but where is it legal? Are there laws that could stop you from living out your dream?

It is one thing to move around or visit in your RV, and it is another ball game when it comes to putting down your roots.

You can legally live in an RV on campgrounds, mobile home parks, RV Co-Op parks, RV resorts, national parklands, where you can either rent or buy plots of land. They are either government-owned or privately-owned.

To relieve you of the stress of finding out on your own, we have compiled a list of places you can live permanently in your RV without having to face the law.

But what if you have own your own land? Let’s talk about that first.

Related reading: Is it Illegal to Live in an RV in California? (RV Law in CA)

Living in an RV on Your Own Land

You might have your own land where you’d like to park or live in your RV permanently, but not all locales permit it.

If your area allows it, there are a number of things that you still need to consider, like:

  • Figuring out the zoning laws,
  • Complying with building and safety codes,
  • Having access to utility hookups. For example, a septic system, power, potable water etc.

But if you don’t meet the requirements or your location doesn’t allow living in a camper, then it is illegal to live in an RV on your property.

You can consider other places that have been prepared for permanent RV living. Below is a compilation the places where living in an RV is legal.

Related reading: Can You Live in an RV Park? Here’s Exactly What To Expect

Places Where Living in an RV is Legal

If you’re planning to live in an RV and your location doesn’t allow it, there are a few places that are zoned for living in an RV legally.

The table below shows places where you can live in an RV with examples of many others.

Places Where You Can Legally Live in an RVExamples
CampgroundsKOA camps
RV Co-op parksRainbow ParksSKP Co-Op Parks
National parklandsDenali National Park, AlaskaGrand Canyon National Park, ArizonaLake Mead National Reserve, NevadaHot Springs National Park, Arkansas
RV Resorts for over age 55Phoenix Metro RV ParkCaliente Springs ResortBay Bayou RV Resort
Rural homesteading-zoned land 

Consider RV Campgrounds for long-term camping

RV campgrounds have sites where you can park your RV. They provide basic amenities or full hook-up services depending on what you want.

Some campgrounds are also located near popular tourist centers so that you can have fun beyond the camp.

A good example of an RV campground is the KOA campgrounds. KOA is an excellent place to camp.

They are the largest privately-owned campgrounds, and they are also located in about 500 locations. They also have three types of campgrounds that you can choose from, which are:

  • KOA Holiday
  • KOA Journey
  • KOA Resort

You’ll have access to simple, basic, and convenient amenities, which make long-term easier. They have;

  • Playgrounds,
  • Laundry facilities,
  • Stores,
  • Dog parks, etc.

Live full-Time in an RV Co-Op Park

If you are looking for a place to live in an RV legally and permanently, then buying a plot in an RV Co-op park is an option you should consider.

A Co-Op, Co-Operative, is an organization that is formed for the benefit of its members. One becomes a member by buying a share in the corporation.

A Co-Op can have living units like houses, mobile homes and even RV sites. So if you are a member of the Co-Op, you have a right to occupy, not own, one of the RV sites.

You can occupy this RV site for as long as you own the share. Your RV is the only property that you can own and control; however, there are still restrictions as to the specifications of the RV that can be held.

At the Co-Op park, you have access to basic amenities like;

  • Water,
  • Electricity,
  • Sewer system, etc.

The park could also have activities in which you can participate.

If you are planning to live long-term or full-time, then Escapees RV Co-Op park is an excellent place.

There are about 18 Escapees parks located in the US, and these parks give unique options to its members. They have two groups of parks:

  • Rainbow Parks– There are seven rainbow parks, and they have different discounts depending on your RV parking option.
  • SKP Co-Op Parks – There are eleven of them. These parks are only available to Escapees members. You can also buy a lot if you choose to. You are entitled to the use of the lot until it is sold back to the cooperative.

They also partner with more than 800 RV parks that offer discounts.

Related reading: Can You Live in a Motorhome on Your Property? Here Are The Facts

Camp at a National Park

You should consider going to a national park if you are looking for an environment where you can take time out, have fun, relax while at the same time, enjoying the beauty of nature.

However, not all states in America have national parks that provide the opportunity for RV camping.

Examples of states and the national parks that offer RV camping opportunities, among many others, are:

  • Alaska
    • Denali National Park and Preserve

There are three out of the six campgrounds in Denali National park that allows RV camping and also tent camping.

You can choose from either the Riley Creek, Savage River, or Teklanika River campgrounds.

Each campground has good amenities: laundry, toilets, hiking, fires, etc.  

  • Arizona
    • Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited tourist centers in the world.

It has two campgrounds, one on its South rim, which is the Mather campground, and the other on the North rim.

The Mather Campground is open all-year-round, and you have to make reservations up to six months in advance because the campground gets booked up quickly while the North rim is only available for about six months in a year.

  • Chirichua National Monument

Bonita Canyon Campground, which is known for its rocks, is located in Chirichua national monument.

The campground is a good atmosphere for relaxation, and the campsites are well-shaded.

It also has excellent amenities, and some of the major activities are hiking, birding and stargazing.

  • Nevada
    • Lake Mead National Reserve

This reserve is a place where you will be able to engage in activities like swimming, cycling, fishing, boating, hiking, etc.

It has beautiful scenery due to its sparkling waters and unique landscape.

  • Arkansas
    • Buffalo National River

This beauty, located near the Western grove, has four campsites where you can lodge.

Activities that you can engage in at Buffalo are wildlife viewing, camping, fishing, hiking, and paddling.

  • Hot Springs National Park

What makes Hot Springs unique is its cultural heritage. It has historic bathhouses, which is what draws people there out of curiosity.

Its nearby activities are hiking and camping.

Check RV Resorts for People Over 55

  • Phoenix Metro RV Park

This RV park, located in Arizona, is a good way to try to start out the RV lifestyle. Many retirees make it a permanent home.

They have luxurious amenities which include a fitness room, game room, picnic tables, heated pool and spa, a library, local newspaper delivery, etc.

  • Caliente Springs Resort

Caliente Springs resort is a good place to consider if you are planning to live the full-time RV life in Southern California.

They focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle for people who are 55 years or more.

They have RV sites for vehicles of all types and are well equipped with great amenities.

  • Bay Bayou RV Resort

Bay Bayou resort is one of Florida’s finest RV resorts. They have a spacious clubhouse, a heated pool, and they offer clean facilities.

At Bay Bayou, there are so many activities you can enjoy ranging from sight-seeing to swimming in their heated pool.

Consider a Rural Homesteading-Zoned Land

If you are looking to live in an RV for a while, you can consider homesteading in a rural area.

These rural areas may be outside zoning laws; however, you must be aware of possible zoning laws.

You might not have neighbors within miles, and this makes it suitable for you if you enjoy solitude.

The disadvantages are:

  • You are more vulnerable to danger because you are isolated.
  • You may not have easy and fast access to basic amenities like the sewer disposal system.
  • It might be challenging for you to reach facilities like hospitals, stores, etc.

Read also: The 4 Best RV Insurance for Full-Timers: A Dollar-Saving Guide

Living in Your RV

Your dream of living in an RV can come through without having to face the law, be it at a national park, an RV co-op park, a campground or by homesteading.

Whatever your choice, you can have the best experiences while living in your RV.

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

Recent Posts