Tiny House Parking: Where? How? & Resources

Tiny House Parking: Where? How? & Resources

Tiny House Parking…. where can you park the darn thing? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The legalities of Tiny Homes are constantly changing. Below I’ve tried to provide as much information as I can on the subject. Before you read, pour us both a drink…

Legalities, Categorizing, and Certifications

So you want to park your Tiny House legally? Okay, that’s possible, but maybe not in your desired location.

For the most part, Tiny Homes on wheels are legally categorized as RVs.

The easiest way to find out if you can legally park a Tiny Home in a certain location is to check local RV parking regulations. Every county is different. Some places allow for full-time living in RV parks. Some do not. A few areas (usually more rural) allow for full time camping on your piece of land. Many places require a home with a foundation (and permitting… and taxes). You have to do your research.

My Tiny House is classified as a Recreational Trailer in the state of Illinois. This classification was given to me by the DMV. When I registered my house in California, they classified it as a Coach Trailer. Basically, the DMV representative will classify a Tiny House however they see fit. It’s subjective.

RVIA certification, what is it?

RVIA certification is the legal certification for RVs. Some manufactured Tiny Houses will receive an RVIA certification. This certification will make financing, insurance, and parking in certain RVIA only RV parks, an easy task.

It’s important to note that only a company that is RVIA certified can slap the certification sticker on your bumper. You can not get the certification if you build your own Tiny House.

Bottomline: Either buy a fully built Tiny House from a certified company or forget about the certification.

RV Parks

If you’re mobile and moving around often, you shouldn’t have trouble finding campgrounds that will accept your Tiny House. I traveled with my Tiny House for one year, and I have only been turned away once or twice. Here is a list of campgrounds I stayed at from 2014-2015. Please note that these campgrounds may no longer allow for Tiny House Parking. Call first.

For full time living, you have to do a little bit more research. Currently, I am parked at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. I signed a lease and pay for rent/utilities. What’s the problem? I still need to have a “permanent address” for income tax, health insurance, driver’s license, etc. For this reason, I use my parent’s address as my permentant address. I do not actually live there, so, this is not ideal (or totally legal). I’m not telling you what you should do, or what is right. This is not an article on ethics. I’m just telling you one way to get around the problem.

I’ve heard of some RVers using P.O. Boxes as their permanent address in more rural states. I don’t have experience with this, so if you do, please enlighten us in the comments.

FYI: Many RV parks have requirements that you must meet before they will let you sign a lease – such as RVIA certification and insurance.

Tiny House Villages

Legal Tiny House Villages and Tiny House Hotels are almost always classified as RV parks or mobile home parks from a legal standpoint.

Some Tiny House Villages fall into a gray area when it comes to legality. In some counties, Tiny Houses can be classified as “Additional Dwelling Units,” which means exactly what it sounds like: structures meant for additional dwelling, not primary or permanent. If you are caught living permanently in an ADU you may be served an eviction from the local authorities. Although, evictions are usually caused by neighbor’s complaint. Be kind to your neighbors!

Parking “Under the Radar” on Land/Backyard

The majority of Tiny Housers today are living “under the radar,” on a piece of land that they own or in someone’s backyard. Often, this means they are technically illegal. At least for now.

Things are changing. More municipalities are embracing Tiny Houses as legal dwellings. 

Parking Resources

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Tiny House Parking

What is your experience with Tiny House Parking? Have you ever been issued a Tiny House Eviction? I’d love to hear your stories and add more links to the above resources.

Add your Tiny House Parking advice and experience in the comments!

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4 Comments

  1. Mark M
    June 7, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    St Brendans Isle. Google it. Great service, you can be a resident of the state of Florida without ever stepping foot in Florida. You get a real mailing address, not PO box, this is important sometimes. In rural Florida so you get great insurance rates too.

  2. Lance
    May 18, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Check out TravelingMailbox.com. Highly recommended!

    They offer reasonably priced monthly/yearly rental mailboxes online for those who travel/move often and need a permanent address. I’ve used them for a few years now and find it to be amazingly convenient. You can choose from a growing number of major cities for your address. They scan the front of each piece of mail and send an email notification. Just login for the option to scan the entire contents to a pdf, forward, shred and/or delete each piece of mail. Other services that I haven’t tried are available, such as check cashing and a fax service, to name a few. The actual location is usually a UPS store, at least that’s where my Portland address is located. Your mailing address will be a typical street address followed by a seven digit number, i.e…123 Main St #333-1234, Portland, OR 97204. The only drawback that I’ve encountered is that it’s quite expensive if any packages are sent to the address. They’ll charge a $10 fee for handling each package and then you’ll have to pay postage for the forwarding. This happened to me once by accident.

    Happy travels!

  3. May 15, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Just this past winter we chose to head to the Southwest for the winter. We also chose to go off the grid which included adding Solar Panels. During our stay in the area of Quartzsite, Arizona while driving around the LTVAs we passed at least three Tiny Houses that were set up for the Season. With available water, dump-out and trash disposal all for $180.00 for seven months I was surprised not to see more Tiny Houses in the area.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  4. Kate
    May 15, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    You can also buy an rv lot if the park allows tiny homes. This can give you a permanent address

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