Category: Tiny Home Parking

Tiny Houses Legality: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny Houses Legality: Everything You Need to Know

Mobile tiny house. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of mobility and pure adventure. No need for special authorizations, only a decent car to pull this tiny house and off you go.
Tiny houses aren’t just tiny houses. They are following rules and regulations that each state has made.

About 10 years ago, tiny houses became popular. Since then, a lot of people have embraced minimalism through the tiny house lifestyle. Much more than a simpler lifestyle, tiny houses have helped people save money while saving the environment as well. 

Due to its increasing popularity, states across nations have developed building codes and zoning regulations specifically for tiny houses. These building codes and zoning regulations have a direct impact on the construction and placement of tiny houses. 

Whether you are planning to build a tiny house right on your own property or move into a tiny house community, you must know the tiny house legalities in your area. 

Before you finally move into a tiny house, it pays that you carefully review the state and local regulations. Knowing so will help you get the most out of your tiny house right at the moment you step foot on it. 

Here is everything that you need to know about tiny houses’ legality.

Building Codes for Tiny Houses

The following standardization for tiny houses are made in compliance with the International Building Code (IBC)

Ceiling Height

The ceiling of a tiny house in common spaces must have a minimum height of 6 feet 8 inches. Bathrooms must have a minimum of 6 feet 4 inches while lofts are allowed to be less than 6 feet 8 inches. 

Windows

There is no existing law that requires how many windows a tiny house should have. However, the law requires tiny houses to abide by the standard requirement, which is to have at least one window that can be used as an emergency exit. This is important so that you can easily escape in case an emergency happens. 

The bottom of the opening of the window shall not be located more than 44 inches above the loft floor. 

Plumbing

One separate bathroom is required for each tiny house. This is required for sanitation purposes. It would be unhygienic to place your bathroom right inside your tiny house without a wall to keep it separate from the rest of your tiny house. 

Mobile tiny house interior. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of space and pure adventure.
There are parts of the tiny houses which follow certain standards as some codes require.

Lofts

The code does not include the loft in the maximum floor area that a tiny house can have. However, the code requires a minimum floor area and dimensions for a tiny house if it will be used for living and sleeping. 

According to Section AQ104 of the IBC, lofts shall have a minimum floor area not less than 35 square feet and shall not be less than 5 feet in any horizontal dimension. 

However, there are portions of the loft that are not included in the minimum floor area and horizontal dimension that is required. If a portion of a slope is less than 3 feet from the floor to the ceiling, then this is not included in the minimum area required for a loft. 

Stairways

Tiny houses are required to have stairs in order to reach loft areas. Stairways above the handrail height shall not be lower than 17 inches while the stairways below the handrail height shall not be less than 20 inches in width. 

Risers shall not be less than 12 inches in height and not more than 7 inches in width. To get the accepted riser height of a certain tiny house, the following formula is used: 

15 inches – ¾ of the Tread depth = Risers Height

Tread depth, on the other hand, is calculated using this formula:

20 inches – 4/3 of the riser height = Tread Depth

 A landing platform shall be built from the top tread and the riser of the stairway accessing the loft area. The landing platform shall have the following measurements

 and dimensions:

  • 16 inches to 18 inches in height from the landing platform to the loft floor
  • 18 inches to 22 inches in depth from the nosing of the landing platform to the edge of the loft

The handrails and stair guards of tiny house stairs follow the same dimensions that are required in a full-sized house. 

Ladders

The rung of the ladders that are used to access the loft area of a tiny house shall have a width that is not lower than 12 inches. The rungs shall have 20 to 14 inches spaces in between. 

It is required that a ladder could support a 200-pound load and shall be installed at a 70 to 80-degree horizontal incline.

When it comes to Alternating Tread Devices or Ship Ladders, the required is 20 inches and above below the handrail height. Loft guards shall be placed on the side of the loft that is open. The minimum height for loft guards is either 36 inches or ½ of the height to the ceiling.

live big in a tiny living space - tiny house interior with brown and white hues

Zoning Regulations

In as much as you can’t build a full-sized house anywhere, tiny houses have restrictions when it comes to where you can build or park them. To find out if it is legal to park or build a tiny house to where you are planning to have one, consult your local zoning department. 

There are federal laws and local zoning regulations that a tiny house should comply with. However, you are allowed to build outside of the existing codes by applying through your local planning commission. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how tiny-house friendly a place is. 

Variations in Tiny Houses

Generally, there are two types of tiny houses – tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on a foundation. The rules and regulations that govern each of these types of tiny houses vary drastically. Take a further look at the things that each of these types has to abide:

Tiny House on Wheels

Legally, tiny houses on wheels are called recreational vehicles or RV. This means that you have to find a legal place where you can park your vehicle. RVs are required to be registered with the state’s motor vehicles department. 

While there are a lot of campsites in the States, most of the states do not allow an RV to serve as a full-time residency. Not unless the campsite has a designated RV parking area. 

In most cases, these rules are not followed not unless you give your neighborhood a reason to complain against you. 

Tiny Houses on Foundation

Tiny houses on a foundation are legally referred to as an accessory dwelling units or ADU. This type of tiny house may be site-built, or it may be transported to your lot and permanently attached to the foundation. They often come in the form of cottages or granny flats.

Due to the regulations which prohibit purchasing lands for tiny houses alone, most owners opt to build their tiny house beside an existing residential dwelling. 

Codes and Regulations for Tiny Homes in Some States

USA map with states - pictorial geographical poster of America, hand drawn lettering design for wall decoration, travel guide, print. Unique creative typography vector illustration.
In the United States of America, laws, and requirements from each state vary.

Whether you own a tiny house or plan to have one, you will surely come across the problem of where you can build or park it. Finding a place where you can legally have a tiny house is not as easy as it sounds. 

Finding a place where you can home your tiny house starts with knowing the codes and regulations that each state has. Here are the codes and regulations that each state has when it comes to where you can build or park your tiny house:

Alabama

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

In Alabama, tiny houses are not that accepted. The building codes and zoning requirements drastically differ from one country to another. In fact, some cities in Alabama have their own set of limiting and unique requirements, which makes it hard to make tiny houses.

Thankfully, Alabama has not totally closed its door to tiny houses. Some areas in the state have accepted it. In Jefferson County, ADUs are allowed in certain areas, given they do not exceed 200 square feet. 

Alaska

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

Alaska is more open to tiny houses than it is in Alabama. But, there are still considerable differences between counties and towns in the state. In the Anchorage metropolitan area of the state alone, around 40 percent of the state’s population lives there already.

Tiny houses on a foundation are required to secure a conditional use permit and have to meet certain building codes. On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs, which makes them restricted to R – 5 zones. Also, the state requires tiny houses that are built on municipal properties to be connected to sewage and water.

A point to remember is that Anchorage’s suburbs have specific requirements that vary from unincorporated areas. In addition, Anchorage and the communities that surround it do not have official building codes that are specifically made for tiny houses. 

Arizona

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Arizona is more tiny house friendly than other states. Just like any other state, it does not have statewide tiny home building and zoning requirements. Due to this, tiny houses are subjected to city and county regulations and laws.

In Piman City, which is located on the southern border with Mexico, building a tiny house is legal. Pima City is the second most populated county in the state of Arizona. Tucson and its suburbs mostly compromise this county. 

In this county, a tiny house on a foundation can be built on any lot allotted for single-family detached houses. On the other hand, a tiny house on wheels is considered as a factory-built home given that it is located on a permanent foundation, and its suspension and axles have been removed.

The county has building codes that are specifically made for tiny houses. Such building codes include the following:

  • Tiny houses with loft areas should have stairs or ladders as access. 
  • Tiny houses with lofts must follow standardized safety requirements. 
  • Tiny houses must abide by the special electrical circuit requirements.

The building codes in the county do not have any specific requirements when it comes to the number of windows, doors and emergency exits. It does not also require any specific ceiling height. 

As of now, the county places second as the most tiny house friendly area in the state, which is followed by Coconino county. Unluckily, other areas in Arizona do not still have tiny house regulations. 

Arkansas

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

It is not a secret that the housing cost in California is expensive. This makes it very thrilling to know that somehow, California is open to tiny houses. Tiny houses are considered to be accessory dwelling units or ADUs in most jurisdictions which means that they are allowed yet with certain restrictions.

The destructive fires in Sonoma County have made it possible to build tiny houses without building permits. It also has permitted the fire victims to build tiny houses without compelling zoning. 

Tiny homes on wheels are allowed as a secondary dwelling in San Francisco and Fresno as long as there is an existing residential house in the lot. 

This means that tiny houses are only allowed in a residential neighborhood and can’t be built as a permanent house. 

One thing to keep in mind when planning to have a tiny house in California is that RVs are not allowed to serve as a permanent house. But this isn’t exactly an issue. Besides, California has one of the highest numbers of nomads. 

Nomad is the general term used for people who travel trailers or even their car or the ones who live in RVs. They are the ones who do not have a permanent address. It is advised to reach out to local jurisdictions since laws and regulations vary from one suburb to another in California. 

Colorado

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

In Colorado, there is no such thing as national laws or regulations specifically for tiny houses. The good thing is many counties have welcomed people who want to live in this lifestyle. 

There are already established site-built tiny house codes in Park County. To be more specific, tiny houses in this county must have a private bathroom and a separate closet. The private bathroom must have a lavatory, a water closet, and either a shower or a bathtub.

Moreover, if the tiny house is for one or two occupants, then it should at least be 220 square feet. An additional 100 square feet is required for an additional occupant. 

Tiny houses in Park County should also abide by the standard residential building codes for life safety features, mechanical equipment, ventilation, and lighting.

Also, the kitchen counter’s work area should be at least 30 inches long. If a modular or manufactured tiny house is your choice, then it should at least be 600 square feet. It should also follow local Land Use Regulations.

Walsenburg has a specific regulation when it comes to tiny houses. Tiny homes are required to compel to a lot of building code requirements just like residential houses do. However, the city has certain requirements when it comes to exit door width, stairways, and minimum square footage.

Connecticut

Tiny House Friendly: 0/10

Connecticut is considered as one of the strictest cities when it comes to tiny houses, be it an RV or on foundation. Despite the fact that the city needs affordable houses, the topic of tiny houses is not yet unveiled yet. This is because its zoning regulations aren’t compatible with tiny houses.

Delaware

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

There is no specific regulation for tiny houses yet in Delaware, but there are already advocates who are bringing out the topic. Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs in Delaware. This means that the owner should secure an ownership title 30 days after purchase. 

If a tiny house is greater than 400 square feet, then it is qualified as a mobile home. Thus, it has to abide by existing laws and regulations. On the other hand, if a tiny house falls less than 400 square feet, then it is considered as a trailer. 

Florida

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Most parts of Florida have openly welcomed tiny house dwellers. In Florida, there are already existing tiny house hotels and rental communities which allow everyone to experience the lifestyle. This indicates how open the city is when it comes to tiny houses. 

Tiny houses on wheels in Florida are required to be properly registered as RV at the Department of Motor Vehicles. On the other hand, laws and regulations on tiny houses on foundation vary from one area to another. 

In St. Petersburg, accessory dwelling units or ADUs that are between 375 and 750 square feet are only allowed in specific zones. 

While in Orange County, it is required that an accessory dwelling unit should at least have footage of 400 square feet. Lastly, in Sarasota County, if you plan to stay in the same RV park for 45 days or more then you should build it on a foundation. 

Georgia

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Just like Florida, Georgia has widely accepted tiny houses too despite the lack of statewide regulations and requirements. This is because tiny homes are more affordable compared to traditional houses. Most areas in Georgia have not addressed the issue yet between tiny houses on foundations and tiny houses on wheels.

In most cases, tiny house owners are required to abide by the 2012 International Residential Code. Furthermore, accessory dwelling units or ADUs are not legally available for rent. 

Particularly, there is no minimum square footage requirement for accessory dwelling units in Decatur since 2014 under the Unified Development Ordinance.

On the other hand, Atlanta has classified accessory dwelling units as a tiny house that has a kitchen stove. Tiny houses with full-time occupancy are also considered as ADUs. Such tiny houses are only allowed in R-5 zoned areas. 

Tiny houses without full-time occupancy or gas stove are considered as a guest house. Guesthouses are allowed to stay anywhere from R – 1 to R – 5 zoned areas. 

Hawaii

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Unlike other states, regulations, and requirements of tiny houses in Hawaii is statewide. Tiny houses are allowed to be built anywhere in the state. Tiny homeowners wanna-be can freely buy land and build a tiny house. But, tiny houses are not allowed in places that are ruled by restrictive covenants. 

Hawaii has a unique requirement when it comes to tiny houses on wheels. This is because tiny houses on wheels are considered as ADUs in the state. This means that they have to abide by all relevant zoning restrictions. They are also considered travel trailers so they must be registered to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The Hawaii Tiny House Initiative has greatly contributed to accommodate the affordable housing needs of the state’s agriculture workers. Building a house in Hawaii is expensive due to the booming tourism industry that makes it hard for residents to build a home which makes tiny houses a perfect option for them. 

County codes have been changed through the Hawaii Tiny House Initiative. Such codes have allowed tiny houses (less than 220 square feet) to be built as special farm dwellings. These special farm dwellings should have a bathroom and a separate living room and kitchen. 

Idaho

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Different types of tiny homes have different definitions in Idaho, which serve as the basis for regulations going forward. Tiny houses in Idaho must comply with one of the following options:

  • Modular Tiny House – This is a type of tiny home that has been mostly or entirely prefabricated in another place before it has been transported to its intended location. A modular tiny house must follow everything under the HUD construction and safety standards created for manufactured housing. A modular tiny house should at least have a floor space of 150 square feet.
  • Site – Built – Site built tiny houses are the ones that are built where they are really intended to be placed.vThey are not meant to be moved or relocated. It should also have a floor space of 150 square feet just like the modular tiny house. 
  • Recreational Vehicle – A recreational vehicle in Idaho is defined as a travel trailer, camping trailer, motor home, or truck camper that is designed for emergency human habitation or for recreation. Their maximum width is 8½ feet.

Illinois

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Most areas in Illinois have not yet accepted tiny houses. Besides, there are areas which really do not accept tiny houses. Chicago and other cities, for example, have not allowed tiny houses to be built in their respective areas at all. 

Yet, there are still places that have accepted tiny houses. In these areas, tiny houses are allowed to be built or parked in private properties as well as in mobile home parks and campgrounds. 

Whether you can build a tiny house or not on your own land depends on the county-specific rules. If what you own is a tiny house on wheels, then it is classified as a recreational trailer that compels you to register it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Indiana

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Building codes for tiny houses in Indiana vary from one place to another. The residential building codes in the state are not applicable to tiny houses that were built for personal use. This is known as The Log Cabin Rule. The Log Cabin Rule is only applicable to tiny houses that are fixed on lands and not on wheels. 

You can, however, find tiny home neighborhoods in Indiana. Some residential neighborhoods have also been allowed to build tiny houses near or beside residential homes. Also, the tiny house rules vary in Carmel, Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Bloomington, and others.

Iowa

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

A lot of communities and counties in Iowa can’t build tiny houses because of the set minimum square footage requirements for residential dwellings. This requirement hinders residents from building their own tiny house in their desired area. One particular place with such a rule is Iowa Falls.

In Iowa Falls, the minimum size requirement for residential properties has been adjusted to 500 square feet. So, the city can only allow larger tiny homes as of this time. But actually, the 500 square feet minimum is a downgrade of the 600 square feet requirement before. 

Other parts of Iowa greatly discourage tiny homes. In Des Moines, a proposed tiny house development was not approved. This means that people who want to have a tiny house near Des Moines should look for land in rural or outlying areas surrounding the city. These places have less stringent zoning regulations.

Kansas

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Kansas is more open to tiny houses as long as it is on a foundation and not on wheels. There are county-wide and state-wide regulations in the state when it comes to tiny houses. The minimum square footage for tiny houses on a foundation is 170 square feet. 

The 170 square feet floor space should have one room and a second room which can’t be either the bathroom or kitchen. The second room should at least be 50 square feet. 

Furthermore, all tiny houses on foundation should be built on a lot with an area of at least 3,000 square feet. RS3 is the smallest zoning district that allows tiny houses. 

Accessory dwelling units are not allowed in RS3 or RS5 zoned areas. They can only be built on single dwelling residential zoning areas with the likes of  RS40, RS, RS10, and RS7. Composting toilets are banned regardless of where the tiny house is built. 

But, propane gas and solar panels are allowed based on IFC regulations. A small wind generation system that does not exceed 35 feet is also permitted. 

Tiny houses on wheels are not allowed to park in private lands and parks. They can only be parked on designated campgrounds. 

Kentucky

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Most tiny houses in Kentucky are built in Louisville because of how large the city is. There are specific rules in restriction in the city but all in all, tiny houses are allowed in the entire metropolis. 

Site-built or permanent tiny homes are allowed only if they are built on a foundation. And, the process of securing building requests for a tiny house on a foundation is the same as acquiring other residential construction requests.

In Louisville, a modular tiny house is considered as a house with components that are made off-site that will be assembled on a fixed foundation later on. In order for a tiny house to be considered as a modular home, special tiny house construction kits should be used. 

Louisville is very open to tiny houses but a special review process is necessary before a permit may be granted. The applicant may also be required to submit additional documentation to secure a building permit. 

On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are required for the zoning restrictions of Louisville. Keep in mind that manufactured and assembled off-site tiny houses are considered as pre-manufactured homes in the state. Pre-manufactured homes in Louisville are subject to special state approval. 

Louisiana

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

A lot of tiny home designs are not conducive to Louisiana’s building regulations. This is because compliance with the 2012 International Residential Code is mandatory in the state. 

The code requires ceilings of tiny houses to be elevated to at least 7 feet. This includes lofts and all other areas of the structure. Stairs are more preferred than ladders in loft areas. A window that serves as an emergency exit is also required. 

Furthermore, one of the rooms of the tiny house should at least have a floor area of 120 square feet. Doors, hallways, and staircases must be 3 feet or wider. The city is open to tiny houses but its restrictions make it hard to build a tiny house. 

Maine

Tiny House Friendly: 9⁄10

Maine is one of the few states that has approved requirements when it comes to the construction of tiny houses. To begin with, a tiny house should not exceed 400 square feet. Sleeping lofts with ladders as access are allowed. Skylights in loft areas that serve as emergency exits are also allowed. 

Tiny houses on foundation must comply with the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code requirements. These guidelines for tiny houses are statewide, but cities have the power to deny a construction request. 

There are areas in Maine too wherein boat houses are converted into an accessory dwelling unit following the time home’s construction guidelines.

Tiny houses on North Yarmouth are considered as camping if it is in the same exact location for more than 120 days of the year. If it exceeds 120 days, then it must comply with the established building codes for tiny homes already. Tiny homes that were built before the effective date of the ordinance are exempted. The same goes for land areas that are more than 30,000 square feet.

Maryland

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

There is no specific definition of what a tiny house is in Maryland. This means that there are no existing tiny house laws or requirements yet in the state. But generally speaking, they consider tiny houses on wheels as recreational activities or RVs. 

Since tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs, they can only be parked on designated RV parks. It is the management of the RV parks too who establishes specific rules for the tiny houses. 

Tiny houses on a foundation are allowed in most areas in Maryland. That is, as long as zoning restrictions in urban and suburban areas permit. But since such zoning restrictions do not confirm with tiny houses, most tiny houses then are in rural areas. 

Massachusetts

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Living in a tiny house that meets the requirements for an accessory dwelling unit is an easier option than living in a tiny house on wheels in Massachusetts. Most of the towns in the state allow accessory dwelling units. But, the building requirements vary from one town to another. 

They are very open to tiny houses that certain towns allow up to three ADUs with the condition that the third tiny house should not be more than 550 square feet. However, the state has no definite definition yet of what a tiny house is. But certainly, tiny houses do not meet the requirements for accessory dwelling units.

Tiny houses on wheels are allowed for camping purposes in the state as long as they are parked on an RV park. Certain problems may arise for people who want to permanently live on tiny houses on wheels. 

Michigan

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

In the entire state of Michigan, zoning restrictions and building requirements are set in order to accommodate tiny houses. There were campaigns before for accessory dwelling units to be allowed in all residential areas as well.

As a matter of fact, Economy Efficiency Dwelling was introduced in Briley Township. An Economy Efficiency Dwelling is a house that has an area between 240 and 500 square feet. The exterior of this dwelling should be between 20 to 30 feet wide and 12 and 20 feet tall. 

In addition, it also has to abide by the state’s sanitation and building codes. Economy Efficiency Dwellings is also required to meet all requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy. 

They must be built on a permanent foundation. Such houses are only allowed in areas zoned for Residential 2, Agriculture and Forest Rec.

Minnesota

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

For zoning purposes, Minnesota has defined tiny houses in two ways. The first one is, tiny houses on wheels are Recreational Activities or RVs. The second one is, tiny houses on foundations are considered as accessory dwelling units. 

This is because ADUs in the state are required to be built on a foundation. Furthermore, ADUs also have to comply with the same building codes for traditional houses. 

Finding a place where building or parking a tiny house is legal is very hard in the city. Thankfully, a lot of towns in this state are becoming more open to tiny houses as a more affordable option for seniors and disabled residents. 

Mississippi

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

After Mississippi was hit by hurricane Katrina, the state has used tiny homes as emergency shelters. But, the use of tiny houses as a permanent home is not yet allowed in most cities of the state. Generally, Mississippi has not yet officially accepted tiny houses since there are no defined rules and requirements yet. 

However, there have been a lot of efforts in order for tiny houses to be fully accepted and be legalized in the state. Tiny houses on permitted places typically measure between 100 square feet and 900 square feet. 

Some of the places in Mississippi which have accepted tiny houses include Southaven, Jackson, Vicksburg, Biloxi, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Gulfport, and Tupelo.

Missouri

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Tiny houses on wheels are considered travel trailers in most parts of  Missouri. This limits the place where tiny houses on wheels can park. Travel trailers are defined in the wheel-mounted portable temporary shelter platform. 

Travel trailers are not allowed to be parked on streets and in any public place in the entire state. They are also not allowed to be used inside the boundaries of a city. Tiny houses with a living area that is less than 220 square feet are not required to secure special permits. 

The cities Saint Charles, Branson, St. Louis, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield have permitted site-built tiny homes on foundations. However, zoning restrictions and construction guidelines vary between cities. 

Montana

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Montana is in great need for affordable housing solutions but has not yet recognized the existence of tiny houses. This makes it important for tiny house owners wanna-be in the state to do thorough research on laws and permissions which might be needed when building or parking a tiny house. 

Tiny houses on a foundation are allowed while tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs or travel trailers. Thus, it must comply with relevant restrictions and regulations. 

Nebraska

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Nebraska has a formal definition of tiny houses. It also has specific building requirements and zoning restrictions when it comes to the different types of houses in the city. 

A manufactured or mobile home is an assembled structure based on the regulations of the HUD Federal Manufactured Home. These are the tiny homes that have successfully passed the HUD inspection which qualified them to receive an approval label. 

Modular home refers to tiny houses that are constructed under the guidelines and codes of the National Electric Code and the International Residential Code. These tiny houses have received a label that approved their status as a Nebraska Modular Housing Unit.

The last type of tiny house on the list in Nebraska is the tiny house on wheels. Tiny houses on wheels are required to comply with the Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard, the National Fire Protection Association Code 1192 or the NFPA Standard on Recreational Vehicles. 

Tiny houses on wheels in Nebraska are classified as to how travel trailers and motor-homes are classified. 

New Jersey

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

Due to how affordable tiny houses are than traditional houses, a lot of residents in New Jersey are getting interested in it. But, there are no zoning regulations and requirements yet when it comes to tiny houses. Besides, there are cities in New Jersey that have totally banned the building of tiny houses.

The Land Use Board did not allow tiny houses in a community that would be used by military veterans. Other areas have passed laws allowing restricted uses of tiny houses. For example, Haverstraw allows you to build a tiny house on a foundation if it will be used by a property caretaker and only if the parcel of land meets acreage requirements.

In Rockland-area communities, a tiny house on wheels that is classified as a recreational vehicle and that is not occupied can be stored on an unincorporated parcel.

North Carolina

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

The legality and acceptance of tiny houses is a hot issue in North Carolina. This is because some netizens think that tiny houses have a negative value on the impact and appeal to their houses. 

Others consider tiny houses as an excellent solution to overcrowding in high-density areas and are a good alternative for people who can’t afford a full-sized house. 

In the county of Wilmington, a tiny house that is occupied by a single person is to at least have a floor area of 150 square feet. If there will be another occupant, then another floor area which is around 100 square feet should be added. 

Tiny houses in North Carolina are subjected to local housing ordinances too. Just like in Winston-Salem wherein accessory dwelling units are allowed to be built on single-family residential lots given that the occupant is the caretaker or a relative. 

There are still other restrictions on tiny houses in the entire state so make it a habit to check first before doing something. 

North Dakota

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Tiny houses are of increasing popularity in North Dakota. But there are no specific laws in the state yet when it comes to tiny houses. The requirements in each city and county generally vary which requires a thorough understanding of each of them.

In Burleigh County, residential homes are required to at least 965 square feet floor area. This is too large for a tiny home. 

Due to this, tiny houses are only allowed on agricultural lots throughout the area. This requires tiny houses to comply with the Burleigh County Ordinance and the North Dakota Century Code. 

Tiny houses are also allowed on lots that are more than 40 acres. In the same county, all residential structures are required to meet all local building codes. 

Tiny houses are also required to be connected to public utilities for water, electricity, gas, and sewer. 

On the other hand, tiny homes on wheels that are meant to stay one place must be mounted to a permanent foundation. Accessory dwelling units are not accepted yet in Burleigh County. Only specialized granny suites that have met the specific requirements are allowed. 

Ohio

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Ohio has no specific classification system for tiny houses yet. This means that there are no laws and regulations for tiny houses yet in the state. 

For example, in Cleveland, residential homes, regardless of their size, are required to at least have 950 square feet floor area. There are no local ordinances yet for tiny houses alongside its unique building requirements. But, accessory dwelling units are allowed in the area as long as it will not serve as a primary house. 

On the other hand, other areas have grouped tiny houses with other structures known as a variance. The confusion on the residents is the primary reason why tiny houses are not yet fully grown in the state. 

Oklahoma

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

The state of Oklahoma has no specific definitions and regulations yet for tiny houses. But this did not become the hindrance to tiny house owners to spread the lifestyle in the entire state. Besides, there are already tiny house communities in the Wheeler District and in the northwestern region of the state as well. 

Tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs in the state. This means that they should meet all necessary requirements. Due to the unaddressed specific requirements of tiny houses, a lot of Oklahoma residents prefer to have their tiny houses in a rural area which is not under the strict zoning regulations of the state. 

Oregon

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

The state of Oregon already has established laws and requirements for tiny houses. There are already existing housing construction and zoning requirements due to the popularity of the state’s Tiny House Hotel. 

Tiny houses on wheels across the state are required to secure required documents from the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, the permits and inspections for tiny homes on wheels are not yet under the control of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. 

This means that tiny houses on wheels residents must use a commercial hauler. They should also have a special trip permit whenever they want to transfer to another area. 

Pennsylvania

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Pennsylvania is open to tiny houses. Generally, some cities are more accepting while others are not. 

The largest tiny house community in the entire USA is located in Elizabethtown, which is a county in Pennsylvania. On the other hand, there is no minimum house size requirement for tiny houses in Philadelphia. But, they should follow the requirements of the International Residential Code 2009.

The tiny house should also have at least one room with a floor area of 120 square feet and above. In addition, another room with a floor area of 70 square feet and above is also required. Unless it is the kitchen of the tiny house, all rooms should be 7 feet and above in length, width or height. 

Rhode Island

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

There are no laws and regulations yet for tiny houses in Rhode Island. However, there are passed laws already for accessory dwelling units. The law allows ADUs to be built if the primary home is used by the owner or if the ADU will be occupied by a family member that is 62 years old and above. 

South Dakota

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

South Dakota has gone through a lot for tiny houses. Communities across the state have passed different ordinances for tiny houses. For example, tiny houses on wheels are allowed to stay at a commercial campground for a short time. 

While tiny houses on a foundation are required to comply with the local zoning restrictions and building codes. A tiny house that will be occupied by one person only should at least have 187 square feet of living space. 

If there will be an additional person, the tiny house should expand by around 50 square feet. The tiny house must have a width ranging from 8.5 feet and 20 feet.

Texas

Tiny House Friendly: 9⁄10

Tiny houses are not yet that popular in Texas but there are established regulations already. These codes and regulations are based and determined by local jurisdictions. 

In Breckenridge, tiny houses should be permanently fixed on a foundation. They should at least have a floor area of 320 square feet. While on Spur, there is no required floor area. Tiny houses on wheels are also allowed as long as the wheels have been removed and the home is anchored to the ground. 

Conclusion

Generally speaking, the laws which authorize tiny houses vary from one state to another. This makes it a must for you to check the existing laws and regulations in your target location. In as much as possible, avoid areas that are very strict when it comes to tiny houses to avoid any problem from arising. 

Related Questions

Do you need council approval for a tiny house?

If your tiny house is registered as a trailer, then you do not need council approval. But if your tiny house is on a foundation, then you will have to secure DA approval. 

Do you need planning permission for a tiny house?

Mobile homes that measure around 65 x 22 ft in size can be placed on a property without planning permission as long as members of the household use them as additional living space.

Tiny House Security: Ways to Protect Your Tiny House from Theft

Tiny House Security: Ways to Protect Your Tiny House from Theft

tiny house miniature with key
Keeping your tiny house safe and protected is as important as keeping your full-sized house secure.

Stolen tiny houses are not something new. This is because of how mobile tiny houses are that burglars can easily pick them up. The necessity to put the security of your home on top of everything is very important. 

The question is, “How do you keep your tiny home secure?” Well, this awful situation can be avoided if you are well prepared and you have the right tools with you. Remember, it is not just your stuff that you are protecting from being stolen. You are protecting the entire house as well. 

Thus, a simple door lock won’t do the trick. An additional door lock can’t even keep your trailer from getting stolen.

Here are some of the things that you can do to make your tiny house as secure and as easy to find as possible:

1. Make Your Tiny House Immovable 

If your tiny house is immovable then, sure enough, thieves can’t take it with them. Making your tiny house immovable is one great way to prevent your tiny house from getting stolen. To make your tiny house immovable, you have to remove the wheels. 

But of course, you have to secure the wheels too. You can’t just put it anywhere. If possible, lock the wheels up somewhere that isn’t just around where your tiny house is located. This is because thieves will surely look for the wheels first to where your tiny house is parked. 

If your trailers come with an adjustable coupler, then remove it. It is even better if you replace the bolts that hold it with a security bolt. There are a lot of different security bolts available in the market today.

Some are simple while others will require you to use a special keyed wrench just to remove it.  Otherwise, thieves can get around the locks by replacing the locks you have installed. 

Thieves are geniuses but not enough to bring their tires or couplers with them when doing the crime.

2. Lock Up Your Tiny House

Locking up your trailer has never been more convenient with the number of products designed for such function. There are heavy-duty chains that you can run through the walls of your tiny house.

Wheel locks are also available. Plus, you can use a coupler lock to prevent the trailer from being attached to a tow vehicle. 

With such wide choices, choosing the best among them is kinda hard. Each of them claims to be effective, but do not simply rely on what they say. You have to do your very own thorough research to make sure that what you will get really works. 

Do not get blinded with their offers. It will help if you watch videos maneuvering such products and read articles about these products. This will help you get the most out of what you are paying.

tiny-house-security-lock-home
Locking up your tiny house will ensure that thieves can’t easily steal your home.

3. Lock the Doors and Windows

What is good about the windows and doors of tiny houses is that they are stronger and of better quality. This is the reason why thieves can’t easily break-in into tiny houses. 

It is very essential that you secure the door of your tiny house with a high-quality door lock. For example, you can use bump proof locks for deadbolts to secure the door of your tiny house. Just be sure that you do not put anything in your door and windows that will stop you from coming out in case of an emergency. 

Securing your doors and windows with good locks are very important. After all, these are the passages where thieves can sneak in. If possible, install double locks for better security. Here’s a durable and reliable double lock for your window. Check out Barn Door Latch, 2 Pack 4” Barn Door Lock Heavy Duty.

Another good option is to install a keyless deadbolt. Aside from keeping your doors secure, this door locks will also make it easier for you to open the door from time to time. You no longer have to fumble around to look for the right key. And, keys can easily get lost or are even hard to use when you are in the dark. 

For the best keyless deadbolt lock, we recommend Kwikset 92640-001 Contemporary Electronic Keypad Single Cylinder Deadbolt.

4. Install LED Outdoor Safety Lights

A motion-activated is an easy yet good way to prevent thieves from sneaking in. This LED lights will just light up if it detects any motion around it. 

What is good about these lights is that they are solar-powered and waterproof. This means that your electric bill won’t actually rise because of using them. Ideally, these lights should be installed in the corners of your tiny house. 

Each unit of these LED lights come with a battery and a small solar panel. The battery stores power during the day which will be used at night. 

These LED lights work by staying on a very low output level when it’s dark. Then it brightens up if its motion sensors have detected any movement. When they are turned on, the lights can still light up the way. 

LED lights are a good option not just to help you secure your tiny house but to help you see what is happening around during the night as well.

For heavy-duty outdoor lights, choose Upgraded SANSI LED Security Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights.

tiny-house-security-outdoor-lights-motion-sensor
Having motion-activated LED lights make it easier to find out if someone tries to sneak in your tiny house.

5. Have a Security System for your Tiny House 

Finding a security system that perfectly fits your tiny house is very easy nowadays. This is because of the availability of all kinds of security systems out there. A security system is very helpful most especially when you are near other households. 

But if your tiny house is located in a far-flung place, a security system won’t work as effectively as using it in a populated area. After all, a security system needs someone to hear it and respond to the emergency. But this does not mean that you can’t install security systems just because your tiny house is located in a remote area. 

Security systems will always be of help. Thieves can get uncomfortable with an alarm that just doesn’t go off. With this, they will be forced to go away. 

If your tiny house is equipped with an internet connection, you can opt for an alarm that will notify you through your phone in case someone is trying to break in. With this, you can have others check your tiny house in case you are not around. 

The downfall of these security systems is that routers don’t have a backup. So, if the burglar is genius enough to unplug your house first, then you are done. Your Internet connection will go down and you might just find out what happened to your tiny house once you see it. 

To prevent any of these awful events from happening, an alarm that uses the cellular signal to notify is a better option. Just pray that the thief is not that patient to wait for the battery of the alarm to die. 

This Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit (1st Gen) – Home Security will add a layer of protection to your tiny home.

6. Install Security Cameras 

Security cameras are very held full and are highly effective. You have two options when it comes to security cameras. You can choose a security camera that uploads videos to “the cloud” or go for a security camera that stores their video locally to a digital video recorder (DVR). 

The advantage of using a camera that locally stores that store the recorded video is that they produce a higher quality video. Also, an internet connection is not needed in order for it to work. The thing is when a thief tries to break-in, the DVR might be stolen as well which means that the recorded video would be useless to you. 

On the other hand, security cameras that require an internet connection allow you to store videos offsite. This means that the videos can’t be stolen or destroyed as well. This security camera is connected to the outside world through the internet or cellular network. But these cameras are more expensive. They will also need you to have a separate data plan for each of them. 

Heimvision HM241 1080P Wireless Security Camera System is a security kit that allows you to monitor your home through your mobile phone. Or, you can opt for the more popular Ring Spotlight Cam Mount HD Security Camera.

Generally speaking, security cameras are a better option when it comes to the protection of your tiny house. This is because they do not just simply secure your tiny house but they can show you who the burglar is.

Conclusion

Securing your tiny house is a very challenging task since it is not just your belonging that you are protecting. You are protecting the entirety of your tiny house at his. That is why it is very important that you do everything you can to secure your tiny house. 

Do everything you can to make sure that your tiny house is safe. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. It is better that you prevent your tiny house from getting stolen than looking for it once it is lost.

Why are tiny houses illegal in some states?

Why are tiny houses illegal in some states?

Living in a tiny house is the ultimate goal for many American families today. Yet, that aim might be a mountain to climb. Why? Well, some state governments have rendered tiny houses illegal in their residential zones.

Now, why are tiny houses illegal in some states? Tiny houses are not legal in several US states primarily because of their building codes. If a state doesn’t recognize a tiny house as a legitimate structure in its construction code, then it’s very likely that it’s illegal. Although, there are states that allow tiny houses—however, it comes with restrictions. 

We listed several reasons why tiny houses are legal in a few US states. 

Why are tiny houses illegal in some states?

Did you know that the demand for downsizing has been stronger than ever? People, especially young families, are exchanging their American dream houses for smaller, cuter, and energy-saving mobile abodes. 

Apparently, they have been realizing that all they need can fit in less than 400 square meters. And best of all, they can drive it anywhere they want to! That is why, despite the fluctuating costs and prices and minor legal obstacles, the tiny house movement is all the rage in the United States. 

Despite this huge exigency, some states still look down on tiny houses. Now, to answer the question “Why are tiny houses illegal in some states?”, here are the main issues. 

1. The state’s building code does not allow it.

house plans with a miniature house and pencils
Building codes vary by state in the U.S.

No national building code considers tiny houses as legitimate residential structures. States’ regulations, meanwhile, can vary; that’s why some states are more lenient with tiny houses and others are not.

As for those states that prohibit tiny houses, the reason is that their building code does not allow it. This might sound too much of an Occam’s razor, but it’s true. 

The state government might have refused to acknowledge the tiny houses’ practicality yet. It could also be that they lack the resources to validate the movement’s sustainability.

Although, if a community is passionate and relentless enough about advocating for tiny houses, that restriction might eventually loosen up. Connecticut, especially, is known to be very uptight with tiny houses—but they are apparently scouting for advocates for the movement.  

Some states also allow tiny houses but pose strict limitations. Other states such as Alabama, meanwhile, don’t also have a state-wide construction code. The sliver of hope, perhaps, is that the state is on its way of legalizing tiny houses. 

RELATED: The 7 Best States For Living In A Tiny House

2. HUD is against tiny houses. 

white tiny house on wheels.
Tiny house on wheels are considered RVs

There are two prominent kinds of tiny houses in the US: tiny houses with foundations and tiny houses on wheels. 

The federal government has always been stringent with the former. However, lately, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a federal agency, has been proposing to outlaw tiny houses on wheels and RV living in general.

With this looming circumstance in the future, the increasing number of tiny houses, and some states’ dependence on the federal government aid, state governments might find it harder to legalize tiny houses. 

If that proposal takes flight, thousands of families and occupants will stop having their right to own and live in tiny houses. Ultimately, the tiny house movement will lose its legs.

3. Tiny houses are not easy to regulate.

Many licensed professionals and firms in North America build and offer tiny houses. These experts have years of construction experience behind them. 

Regardless of the manufacturers’ credibility and compliance, some states are still on the fence about tiny houses, particularly tiny house living. That’s because tiny homes are tricky to regulate when talking about zoning, security, and privacy. 

For a house to become a viable place in which one can permanently live, it must pass certain standards. Unfortunately, tiny house designs are not conventional enough to check all the boxes. 

This does not mean tiny houses are not safe abodes for living. They are not just equipped with the ideal specs for standard house living in America.

Particularly, tiny houses, despite being well-designed, will inevitably have ventilation challenges. Tiny houses have limited space, making indoor airflow high-maintenance. If a family is not savvy enough, it will add to their home-related expenses, considering they might add HVAC systems and dehumidifiers.

That safety issue alone is why some state governments find it hard to regulate, and ultimately, approve of tiny houses and tiny house living in general. 

4. To prevent greedy landowners from taking advantage. 

an abandoned shotgun house in New Orleans.
A shotgun-style house in New Orleans

Apparently, because of the demand for tiny houses, some greedy landowners in the US have taken advantage. 

For instance, some landowners in 2017 have built many rental shotgun houses in residential land, going beyond the required number of properties built in a land. 

Shotgun houses are tiny dwellings, with widths measuring less than 12 feet. Minorities, such as African-American families in Southern parts of the United States, mostly live in shotgun houses. 

Having more than the required number of houses in a residential zone brings many issues. Besides that it’s illegal, it will also compromise the quality of life of the residents in that area, especially the children’s. 

The danger doesn’t end there. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing has a significant impact on a child’s development. Along with constant moving, this inconsistency might cause a behavioral problem in the kid. 

5. They are strict with recreational vehicles (RVs). 

white RV with extended porch.
RVs have stringent regulations in some states as well.

Finally, some states are stringent with tiny houses because they are the same way with RVs and towing. 

Since tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs, the same strict rules also apply to them. Other RVs such as campers and travel trailers also fall under the same roof. 

We’ve mentioned here that states are likely to be less uptight with recreational vehicles. However, it’s the opposite for a few towns. The concern lies in the dwelling disengaging from the SUV or any car that hauls the tiny house.

Some states don’t also allow parking in some areas, but the aim is to make sure the occupants in the RV won’t be in harm. 

Therefore, if you’re planning to invest in a tiny house on wheels, it’s best if you check the enforced regulations for RVs in your town and neighboring cities. 

You should also study the required lane usage, trailer lights, parking rules, and even required safety items. Not only will studying those protect you from theft and accidents but will also save you from paying penalty fines. 

Final thoughts

There you have it. The next time someone asks you “Why are tiny houses illegal?”, you can share these five main issues.

It’s unfortunate that some money-hungry capitalists are taking advantage of the tiny house movement. Because of this, tiny houses are becoming not so tiny and even pricier. 

Nevertheless, there’s good news and bad news. 

The good news is that some states have become looser with their restrictions, making zoning laws beneficial to tiny house residents. The bad news, however, is that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) might be out to get the tiny house movement. 

Related questions

How to start a tiny house community? 

First, you have to study your town’s zoning and construction codes regarding tiny houses. You need to find land in a residential zone. After that, you still have to deal with an endless barrage of legalities. Expect submitting requirements, meeting with town officials, and, of course, estimating how much everything would cost. 

Why are tiny houses on wheels? 

Most people choose to build a tiny house on wheels to exempt themselves from construction codes. Tiny houses on wheels have looser regulations since they are not defined as structures but as recreational vehicles (RV). Also, people who own these types of dwellings like to move around. They love the feeling of not having a permanent home. 

Exactly Where Can You Park a Tiny Home Legally?

Exactly Where Can You Park a Tiny Home Legally?

Parking sign for tiny homes

Tiny houses are a new housing option that often falls in the grey area of many local laws. With that in mind, is there any place where you can park your unit without breaking the law?

There is no definitive answer to the question, where can you park your tiny home legally? After all, tiny houses, especially those on trailers, can be considered as a temporary residence, an RV, or even both. Consequently, some jurisdictions require tiny homes to follow the building code, while others don’t. 

Furthermore, laws and regulations regarding tiny homes usually differ from one state to another. The difference even goes down as far as the city or town level, which further complicates the issue of parking. 

However, there are still some guidelines you can follow to determine if it’s legal to park your mobile home in a particular area. Thanks to the input of pioneering tiny home owners, we have come up with an article that addresses your parking woes. 

parking a tiny home legally

Can you Park a Tiny Home Anywhere?

Definitely, no. There are only a few places where the law allows you to park a tiny home. One of the reasons is because of the combined size of the trailer and the towing vehicle.

Much like cars and other vehicles, tiny homes also have their parking designations. Often, RV parks allow them to settle in their grounds because their sizes closely resemble RVs. 

It’s also important to note that there are different types of parking depending on the amount spent on the parking space. 

  • Short-term parking may last only for a few hours up to one day. 
  • Long-term parking could last for more than a day up to a few weeks. 
  • Permanent parking has the intention of staying there for a few months and even a few years.

Parking in a spot not designated for recreational vehicles or tiny homes usually results in a stiff fine of $10 or more. The fine often depends on the parking laws of the city or municipality. 

In some states, it is illegal to live in a tiny house permanently. In most cases, it’s unlawful not because there is a specific law against it, but rather the rules are quite unclear how to classify tiny houses. 

Living permanently in an RV or any mobile home is illegal in most states. Most jurisdictions only allow people to dwell in an RV or tiny house on wheels (THOWs) for a couple of weeks up to one month. 

tiny home village parking

Legal Classification of a Tiny Home

To further understand where a tiny home can park, we must first establish how it is classified. Aside from being “small” to meet some of the building codes, tiny houses can also be considered as a home and a trailer cargo.

The treatment of tiny houses also varies depending on the state or jurisdiction. Some states like California, Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan are more lenient about the Tiny House Revolution. 

Generally, there are two classifications of tiny houses — first, tiny house on wheels, which sits on a trailer and can be mobile anytime. Second, small homes that sit on a foundation and is treated as a residential structure and thus follows the building code. 

Below are three classifications of a tiny home which directly affects where you can park the unit:

1. Trailer

In some jurisdictions, tiny houses are often treated simply as trailers or something that is being towed by a vehicle. However, some municipalities or cities have strict guidelines for the dimensions of what can be considered cargo. 

When a tiny home is considered as a trailer cargo, it has to follow the guidelines under the road usage law. Hence, the trailer’s dimension has to be limited to 40-feet long, 8.5-feet wide, and 13.5 feet tall. Furthermore, it must also have other safety devices such as tail lights and turning lights. 

2. Recreational Vehicle

You can register your tiny house as a recreational vehicle and have it reaped the benefits of an RV, including parking. The process usually involves getting a certificate from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Furthermore, your tiny house will be inspected by a person from the city regulatory board to ensure everything is in place.

You also need to pay a certification fee, which varies from city to city. Once the process is through, your home is no longer just a tiny home that sits on a trailer but technically an RV. The main benefit of RV certification is that you can now park in RV parks with ease by merely showing them the certificate. 

However, there are also disadvantages of registering your tiny house as an RV. For example, you can only live anywhere between two weeks to one month inside an RV.

3. Accessory Dwelling Unit

The easiest way to define an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is that its a smaller housing option within a property. For a tiny home to be considered an ADU, you need to settle it in a property that has a larger traditional house.

However, once you register your tiny house as an ADU, it must be placed in a foundation and comply with the local building code. Furthermore, there are but a few jurisdictions that allow this type of setup.  

One of the loopholes that you can look into the local zoning laws is if they have ADU provisions. Some states also allow tiny houses as ADUs, if a resident of the tiny home is taking care of someone from the primary residence. 

tiny house on a foundation

Best Places Where You Can Park a Tiny Home Legally

1. RV Parks

RV parks are one of the best places to temporarily settle your tiny home. These locations usually have facilities such as water and power that can significantly improve your daily life. In some cases, these places may also have WiFi access and recreational amenities such as swimming pools. 

However, not all RV parks allow tiny homes into their vicinity for several reasons. If you are planning to park your small home unit in an RV park, make sure you check out if they allow it or not. 

Furthermore, very few RV parks allow permanent residence in their vicinity. Often, they only allow tiny homes to park for a few weeks or months. Rents also vary depending on the season that you visit these places. In some areas, parking fees could spike during seasons with lots of tourist activities such as in the spring or summer. 

2. Campgrounds

Some campgrounds allow tiny homes to park within their vicinity, especially if you have an RV certification. However, very few campgrounds offer the same amenities as RV parks. For this reason, campsites are often seen as a temporary parking option. 

tiny house parked near lake

The great thing about parking in campgrounds is it gives you direct access to nature or the closest tourist attraction. Campgrounds also bring a sort of community among people who are currently parked in the area. Here, it’s natural for people to share their stories about travel, current events, and life in general. 

Not all campgrounds, however, are the same. Some camping areas only have necessities such as a well and bonfire area. The general rule is the further the campsite is from the nearest city, the fewer its amenities. 

tiny homes park in campground

3. Private Property You Own

There are a few jurisdictions that allow you to park your tiny home in a piece of land you own. However, there might still be provisions that restrict this type of parking arrangement. For example, some towns only allow parking on private property if the tiny home has a foundation.

In some townships, they may require you to have a septic tank or well within the property. If you plan to live outside of a county, then most township require you to have these structures.

Before you purchase a piece of land or park your unit to the one you already own, do your research first. Look up in the city or municipality’s website for their zoning laws. You can even download some of these documents , but prepare for a long read.

If you don’t want to read the zoning laws, you can contact the town’s office directly and ask for advice. Some jurisdictions also entertain variance, which is a kind of exception for building a “unique” structure.

4. Your Backyard 

Permanently parking a tiny house at your backyard is generally illegal. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Some jurisdictions have loopholes or provisions that may allow you to pull this off.

For example, some states allow you to register your tiny home as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). However, most jurisdictions only permit such an arrangement if you’re going to live part-time on your tiny house. In some cases, you also need to register your tiny home as an RV so you can take advantage of such loopholes.

Another exception to parking your tiny home in your backyard is if the zoning law has a caregiver provision. Under this stipulation, some jurisdictions allow people to live in a smaller home on the same property if they are taking care of someone in the main household.

Furthermore, some states also allow such an arrangement if the tiny home owner or ADU resident is a property or commercial sitter. In such cases, the residents are employed to secure the business complex or estate. 

5. Tiny House Communities

Over the years, some places have been rezoned to accommodate tiny house owners. From these areas emerged tiny house communities that allow tiny house parking for reasonable prices.

Some tiny house communities also allow renting a piece of land where you can park your small home for months or years, depending on your contract with the owner. Furthermore, most tiny house communities also allow small houses on wheels and those that are built over foundation. 

So far, these communities are the best place to park your tiny home, especially if you intend to stay or reside in the area for an extended period. Many of these communities also have amenities that you can find in RV parks such as power, water, on-site laundry, sewage access, and recreational activities. 

Below are some of the popular tiny house communities in the country:

  • Lemon Cove Village near the Sequoia National Park in California
  • The Sanctuary Minnesota Village in Minnesota
  • Whispering Aspen Village in Colorado
  • Orlando Lakefront in Florida
  • Tony Hsieh.Tiny House Community in Las Vegas

If you want to search for a tiny house community near your area, you can visit TinyHouseCommunity.com. 

tiny house hotel

Other Places Where You Can Temporarily Park a Tiny Home

Surprisingly, other establishments allow you to park your tiny home, albeit only for a short period. Many of these places usually have free parking, but some require some flat or per hour fees. 

1. Friend’s or Relative’s Property

If you register your tiny house on wheels as an RV, you can temporarily park it in a property owned by a relative or friend. Just make sure that you get their consent first before settling your tiny house on their land. 

However, most states only allow this type of arrangement for 3-5 days. Hence, once that period expires, you need to move your tiny home out of their property. If you are traveling around a friend’s area, you may want to inform them in advance of your intention to park in their lot. Just make sure that doing so doesn’t violate any zoning laws. 

Some homeowners also allow RVs and tiny homes to be parked in their property for a fair price. However, before you book the place, make sure that what you are doing isn’t going to violate any local laws or regulations. You can check out properties that allow tiny home parking at these websites:

2. Truck Stops

Truckers aren’t the only ones welcome in these establishments. Tiny homes on wheels and RVs can also park in them and enjoy the different shops around it. Truck stops are also great places to do your basic hygiene care and to stock up on supplies.  

However, because you also need to follow the regulations of the parking spaces that are usually meant for truckers. You also need to be mindful of your surroundings, especially because other large vehicles like oversized rigs and tractor-trailers even stop here. 

Furthermore, make sure you lock the doors of your tiny home and don’t leave any valuable items while you are away from your unit. 

3.Casinos

If your tiny mobile home is on the shorter side and registered as an RV, some casinos will allow you to park in their lot. Las Vegas casinos, for example, enable temporary parking as long as some available spaces or slots can accommodate your rig. 

The NASCAR circuit in Las Vegas also has an RV exclusive parking slots which charge a small fee. However, do take note that these fees can rise, especially during holidays, weekends and if there are events nearby. 

Consequently, not every casino allows tiny homes into their property. Hence, before you park your unit there, make sure to first check with the casino management if such an arrangement is possible. In most cases, RV parking lots are separated from the regular parking spots for smaller vehicles. 

4. Walmart

This might surprise you, but some stores of Walmart allow RVs and in extension, some tiny homes to park in their area. The chances of them allowing such arrangement is better on states that are deemed small home friendly. 

However, some stores are quite strict as to what type or size or RVs their parking lot can accommodate. Regardless, parking at Walmart while you shop is an efficient way of shopping for your supplies. 

To ensure you aren’t violating any rules of a particular Walmart store, ask the management first if they allow such an arrangement. Take note also that most branches only allow short-time parking or until their store closes. 

tiny house parked in RV parking

Where to Find the Best Tiny Home Parking Spots Online?

Whether you are looking for a short term or permanent parking for your tiny home, you can find most of them on the Internet. Many of these websites that post small home parking and communities were also started by people who support the Tiny House Movement. 

Below are some of the websites where you can find your next tiny home parking spot:

1. TryItTiny.com

Originally, TryItTiny is a property listing website which posts tiny homes for rent across the country. In recent years, however, the site has also begun listing properties that can host tiny mobile homes. Among the services offered by these hosts is parking, power, water, and other amenities.

The website also has a minimalistic and classy layout which sticks to how most tiny homes are designed. Furthermore, they also show reviews, ratings, and feedback of past customers about a particular listing. This feature is going to be quite handy when you are trying to make your decision about where to park. 

Furthermore, it also has Google map integration which helps you to navigate the location of the listing. TryItTiny has even listed down the events and celebrations near the host’s site to ensure you won’t be bored while you’re there.

2. TinyFriendly.com

If you want to park in a tiny home community, then look no further than TinyFriendly.com. This website jots down all of the known tiny house communities in the country. Currently, there are over 20 locations on the site, but this could grow more in the coming years.

The cool thing about TinyFriendly is the number of details you can get about a particular tiny home community. Each listing gives a clear description of what you can expect once you live or park in these communities. 

Additionally, it also mentions other opportunities available in the area, such as if there are lots for sale or rent. It also tells readers if they can bring their own tiny home or if they need to rent one. The site also has its own Facebook group where you can reach out to fellow tiny home owners.

However, the website is still relatively new, and the number of listings is only a few. That is quite understandable as there are only 10,000 to 12,000 tiny house units in the US, according to tiny house manufacturers .

3. TinyHomeClassified.com

This online platform was created by GiveBig and GoTiny, two of the known brands in the tiny house space. It’s meant to be a website that caters to the micro-housing community. Here you can find listings of small houses for sale, pre-built homes, and other services related to the industry.

More importantly, the website also has listings of tiny home communities and parking spaces across the country. Consequently, it also listed lands where you can place your tiny home be it on a foundation or still on its trailer.

This online classifieds also has clear photos of the property or land, which you can review before you decide to avail the parking services. However, because tiny homes are a relatively new concept, there are only a few parking spaces listed on the site.

Regardless, TinyHomeClassified is still a great website where you can strike good deals related to tiny homes. They also have a blog page that has a few articles about the Tiny House movement. 

4. MyTinyHouseParking.com

When you are looking for the best parking spots for tiny houses, this website is an excellent online resource. MyTinyHouseParking is part of the Tiny House Network, covers everything related to the Tiny House Movement. 

Here you can find different parking options such as RV parks, tiny house communities, and private parking options. Their listings also have Google map function so you can quickly tell the location of the parking space.

Furthermore, the website also describes in detail the parking space, including the amenities that the management offers. The site also tells you how many lots of spots are still available in the particular parking listing. 

The monthly parking fee for most of the listings here ranges from $225 to $700, which also reflects the average price on most tiny house listing sites.   

5. Craigslist

Craigslist is the largest classified ads website in the US. As such, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see posts related to tiny house parking. Some homeowners or establishments list their properties here specifically for RV and mobile home parking purposes. 

If you need a place where you can temporarily park your tiny home while visiting a particular area, Craigslist can help. Most of their listings have pictures that can help you determine if that parking spot fits your needs.

However, before you contact the person who posted that listing, makes sure that the jurisdiction allow parking of tiny homes . If the city or township has a website, you can research if the existing zoning laws allow such a setup.

Additionally, you can also check with the lister if their neighbors won’t mind seeing a tiny home parked on their neighborhood. 

family in a parked tiny home

Conclusion 

Finding a place where you can legally park your tiny house can be quite challenging, especially for new owners. Fortunately, the Tiny House Movement is slowly gaining traction and support from different parts of the country. With this renewed interest in tiny houses, many parking solutions are coming out of the woodwork. 

We hope that this article has helped you understand where you can park your mobile tiny home without having to deal with the law. 

Related Questions

How much does it cost to park a tiny home?

Tiny home parking fees can vary depending on the period you are going to use the spot, the area it is in, and the time of the year. Short-term parking may cost around $10-12, which lasts only a day. Meanwhile, monthly rents on tiny home communities range between $600 to $1,200 depending on the amenities within the facility.

Can I put my tiny house on my property?

Yes, but there are some rules you need to follow, depending on how it is classified in your jurisdiction. If it’s an ADU, then you have to comply with the building code and zoning laws in your area. However, if you register it as an RV, you may not live in it for a long time, and it needs to be next to temporary residential housing. 

Why are tiny houses illegal in some states?

The idea of a tiny home is entirely new, and legislation in some states hasn’t caught up with this development. Hence, it is quite difficult to regulate them if the local government will use the building codes and zoning laws meant for larger traditional housing options. Furthermore, the design of tiny homes sometimes doesn’t comply with the safety provisions of residential building code.  

The 3 Best Toilets For Tiny Houses

The 3 Best Toilets For Tiny Houses

composting toilet for tiny houses

A home without a toilet?

I’d be doomed. 

I can’t call a place “home” if it doesn’t have a spot for me to relieve myself. When I was living in a traditional home, I have never given that much concern about my toilet. It’s there when I need it, and it does its job with no fuss. 

But when I started to think about participating in the tiny house movement, the toilet has become a rather big deal. 

I started to ask myself A LOT of questions. I even find some of the questions a little ridiculous. Right there, right then, I realized I will make a lifestyle transition different from my status quo. 

Why are tiny house toilets such a big deal? Well, for one, if you want to live off-grid, then you need to utilize an alternative to the traditional flush toilet. 

Most tiny house owners are also concerned about the environment and are looking for energy and cost-efficient options. 

Below we have listed the three best toilets for tiny houses. 

Composting Toilets for the Environmentalists

Tiny homes are environmentally-friendly, and because of this, many have chosen to join the pro-petite home movement. 

If you share the same advocacy with them, then a composting toilet might just be the best toilet option for you. 

Composting toilets are cost-effective and help reduce your carbon footprint. This type of toilet breaks down the waste into a product similar to traditional fertilizer. 

What is a Composting Toilet?

A composting toilet takes the waste and breaks it down by composting it. It doesn’t require plumbing and doesn’t need running water. 

Composting toilets is being praised for its environmental impact as the compost can be used as a fertilizer. 

If you’re looking for a durable composting toilet that can serve you for years, this Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is up for grabs!

is up for grabs!

The Benefits of Using a Composting Toilet

The average American uses 280 liters of water per day, one-third of which is used to flush the toilet. Older toilets may use up to 27 liters of water per flush. 

Composting toilets can help save water. In fact, it can save around 25,000 liters of water per person per year. 

Different Types of Composting Toilet

There are two types of composting toilets, each has unique features. 

A. Central Composting Toilet

A central composting toilet is the most popular toilet system among tiny house owners. 

It has a simple and environmentally-friendly two-piece system. The collection tank of a central composting toilet does an excellent job of keeping your waste out of your sight and mind.

What’s really great about this toilet system is that the central composting unit can be placed anywhere, provided that it is directly connected to the main toilet. 

It is in the composting unit where the waste is being broken down. 

There is a kind of central composting toilet that allows you to use 1 pint of water per flush. This is the best option if you still prefer using minimal water to ensure your toilet is clean. 

The best-selling central composting toilet on Amazon is the SUN-MAR composting toilet. It’s perfect for both tiny homes and RVs.

B. Self-Contained Composting Toilet

Unlike a central composting toilet, a self-contained toilet is only a one-unit system. Composting will take place, not in a separate composting unit, but in the toilet unit itself. 

A self-contained composting toilet could be electric-powered. Some version uses heat and air pressure to move waste through the unit. 

This composting toilet doesn’t require plumbing or extra space for the composting unit. There is no still water in the toilet, which makes the pot easier to clean. 

For a non-electric self-contained composting toilet, we highly recommend Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet.

Do Composting Toilets Make Your House Smell?

Of course, no one wants to live in a home that smells like poop. 

Fortunately, composting toilets have their ways of sealing the odor. Composting toilets work by using air pressure. The constant air pressure makes the poop move instantly to either a separate unit or a self-contained tank.

If you use a composting toilet and smell something strange (perhaps, poop), then there must be a problem within the system. 

To ensure your toilet is always smelling fresh and clean, one great hack is to use an air odor eliminator.

The Pros and Cons of Composting Toilet

Composting toilets have their merits and demerits. 

PROS:

  • Cheaper than a traditional toilet system
  • Much faster to install
  • Minimal impact on the property
  • Space-saver
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Most brands offer lifetime warranties
  • Lower monthly water bills
  • Conserves water
  • Generates nutrient-rich fertilizer

CONS:

  • May be difficult to use
  • Most composting toilets are larger than their traditional counterparts
  • There is an upfront cost of buying ready-made toilet
  • You need to handle human waste material directly
  • Potential problems with insects, odor, and poor composting
  • You may need to acquire a special permit to install it

Dry Toilet for the Minimalists

The limited area in your tiny house makes it challenging to add utilities and furniture that won’t eat too much space. 

And when it comes to your toilet, finding a space-saving system is an important thing. 

Dry toilets are a non-flushing toilet system. What’s really great about them is that they are far smaller than traditional toilet systems and are easy to use and install.

What is a Dry Toilet

Also known as a bucket toilet, a dry toilet has a simple yet sleek design. The toilet doesn’t need a back tank. It also doesn’t require a large seat tank, which means you can attach it directly to the ground. 

The main highlight of a dry toilet is that it requires little space, something you’d really appreciate in a tiny house setting. 

Some dry toilets can double as composting toilets. These kinds let you enjoy the best of both worlds; save space and the environment. 

Dry toilets can be hooked to a composting unit or to your black water tank.

It works by pulling waste away using air pressure and gravity. Yes, no water needed. 

As the waste gets pushed through the bowl, it will be moved to either your black water system or a composting unit. 

This SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet with Carry Bag dry toilet has received loads of positive feedback from real customers. Or if you’re looking for a much affordable alternative, try Reliance Products Hassock Portable Lightweight Toilet.

The Benefits of Using a Dry Toilet

Like a composting toilet, dry toilets don’t require the use of water. 

And because there is no still-standing water, there is less chance of bacterial growth in your toilet. This also means no spillage when transporting your tiny house on wheels. 

Plus, there is no chance that the groundwater or the ground can be contaminated. 

Environmentalists believe that the use of dry toilets is the only acceptable substitute for getting sustainable sanitation.

The Pros and Cons of Dry Toilets

Dry toilets can be appealing and impressive, but they also have a fair share in user error. 

PROS:

  • Much more affordable than composting and traditional toilets
  • Doesn’t require too much space
  • Easy to install and straightforward to use
  • Reduces your water consumption to a substantial level
  • Perfect for off-grid living
  • Low operating costs
  • Can be built using locally available materials
  • Doesn’t require a constant source of water

CONS:

  • Unlike composting toilets, dry toilets don’t have a water seal, which results in the toilet to smell. You can use an air purifier to remove foul odor.
  • Vectors like flies are hard to control unless you use fly traps and appropriate covers
  • The excreta pile is visible

Note: squatting is the most acceptable position when using a dry toilet. 

Traditional Toilet Systems for the Conventional

conventional toilet for tiny houses
A conventional toilet offers comfort and simplicity

We understand that some tiny house dwellers still prefer to do a relaxing number 2 in a fancy regular flush toilet. 

Traditional toilet systems work very well in tiny houses built on a foundation. When placed permanently in one spot, you’ll have the freedom to hookup to freshwater and septic tank or sewer. 

Tiny houses on wheels can still have a regular toilet system (at least, it looks like it). A “normal” toilet in a tiny house needs to be connected to a septic tank. There are small-scale septic tanks that can be easily installed. 

Another thing to consider is connecting to a water source. Since your tiny house may not be hooked up to water every day, you will need to have a separate water tank solely for your toilet. 

Most tanks for tiny houses and RVs can only load up to 10 gallons of water. If you install a regular toilet that uses 1/8th of a gallon of water per flush, then you’ll be wasting a lot of water!

What is a Traditional Toilet System?

A traditional toilet system uses water to flush waste. They need to be constantly connected to a water source. It also has to be hooked up to a sewer or septic tank; this is where the waste will be flushed away. 

When purchasing a regular flush toilet, don’t forget to consider the size. Remember, you’re buying for your tiny home, not for a traditional house. 

Select an eco-friendly toilet that uses a minimal amount of water for flushing. 

For a traditional toilet, try this eco-friendly toilet from American Standard.

The Benefits of Using a Traditional Toilet System

Let’s face it… not everyone is a fan of the idea of composting waste. 

Many still prefer relieving themselves and flushing away the waste in one push of a button. It’s like a flush and forget experience. 

Regular toilets have still water to seal the odor, keeping your home smelling good even after pooping last night’s burrito (gross?). And to ensure your toilet is always clean, you may use an automatic toilet cleaner.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Traditional Toilet System

And you think a traditional toilet system is perfect, eh? No. 

PROS:

  • No composting is needed
  • Easy to use
  • It takes one simple push of a button to flush away everything
  • A lot of designs are available in the market to suit your place and your needs

CONS:

  • Requires your toilet to be connected to a sewer or septic tank
  • Needs to be hooked up to a constant water source
  • Plumbing is required, which can add $$$
  • Costs more than the other toilet options
  • Toilets in a permanently-affixed tiny house can be tied directly into a septic system. This means your tiny house won’t be transported
  • Regular flush toilets use a plentiful amount of water for flushing

Other Toilet Options For Your Tiny House

Fortunately, you’re not stuck with only three options. There are other toilet system choices that you can choose that may just meet your requirements. 

Incinerating Toilets

Incinerating toilets are perfect for off-grid tiny houses that have power but no access to a septic system or sewer. It’s also perfect for owners who aren’t ready (or willing) to start a humanure compost system. 

Incinerating toilets work by, as the name implies, burning the waste and turning it into ash, which you can get rid of quickly. 

A toilet like this requires no water, though it uses a lot of power to burn waste. This may not be a good option for tiny houses that rely on solar power. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality incinerating toilet, consider this TinyJohn Incinerating Toilet by EcoJohn. Alternatively, if you want a cheaper option, choose Villa 9215 AC/DC.

Pros and Cons of Incinerating Toilets

PROS:

  • No water needed
  • No composting needed; doesn’t require additional installation of composting unit
  • Ash is space-saving, generating as little as one tablespoon of ash per use. 
  • Simple to install and easy to use.
  • It can be installed in remote areas. 
  • Odorless compared to other storage-in-disinfectant portable toilets
  • Doesn’t need to be hooked up to a sewer or septic system

CONS:

  • Incinerating toilets are expensive. The price can go anywhere from $1,200 to $4,000. 
  • Incinerating toilets use bowl liners that cost $18 for 200 liners. Again, it’s costly. 
  • Incineration destroys the nutrients in the waste, making it a not-so-effective fertilizer. 
  • Requires energy, which could result in higher average energy cost. Solar power is not recommended. 
  • Produces air pollutants
  • Some models cannot be used while the incineration is in progress. 

Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of incinerating toilets? Read this handy PDF from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. 

Macerating Toilets

Macerating toilets. like the INTELFLO toilet kit, break up waste and toilet paper into a fine slurry. It is then stored in the black water tank and will be expelled into the septic tank or sewer. 

The flush mechanism is powered by electricity. The user experience is much like using a regular flush toilet. Poop. Flush. Water comes out from its chamber. And voila!

High-powered blades liquefy the waste before it goes through a pipe that’s directly hooked up to the main drain line. 

Macerators, however, are intended to be used as an added 2nd toilet only and is good enough for a minimal amount of traffic. A macerating toilet should last up to 15 years (depending on the use). If used as the main bathroom, it would last about 10 years only.

The average cost of macerating toilets goes anywhere from $800 to $2,000. The make and model, however, are factors that come into play when it comes to the cost. 

Pros and Cons of Macerating Toilets

PROS:

  • Installation is easy and can occur almost anywhere in the tiny house
  • Most macerating toilets are highly portable. Most brands require zero diggings. 
  • They can last as long as other toilet systems in the market. 
  • Macerating toilets use less energy compared to incinerating and standard toilets
  • Water-efficient; doesn’t use too much water compared to a conventional toilet
  • Doesn’t require excavation or underground drains

CONS:

  • Macerating toilets are noisier than a conventional toilet
  • They tend to get clogged more often
  • They can be costly
  • You cannot use the toilet if there’s no power
  • You may need to follow local building codes and get a special permit before installing a macerating toilet

DIY Composting Toilet

diy composting toilet
A self-made composting toilet

A pre-made composting toilet can cost up to a thousand dollars. So instead of shelling out a huge amount of cash, you can make your own, saving you money. 

The composting toilet can be made easily without spending top dollar.

Place a toilet seat on top of a large bucket. Add sawdust to the waste after each use. 

Then, empty the waste into a compost pile where it will be broken down naturally. 

You can use a funnel when urinating. It’s best to keep your urine separate from the solid waste to cut down the odors within the unit. 

The process takes a little getting used to. You will need to maintain a good supply of sawdust to seal the odor as well as a suitable spot outside for the composite pile. 

This is an inexpensive option that doesn’t require plumbing or sewage hookups. It also allows you to recycle the waste once it turns into a composite material. 

As an alternative, you can buy a portable toilet on Amazon. Check out this portable luggage loo from Reliance or this outdoor toilet set from Stansport.

Related Questions

Can you pee in a composting toilet?

Some choose to separate their urine from solid waste. For most people, though, neat urine is relatively sterile. They choose not to separate urine from the solid waste as the Nitrogen and moisture from the urine are essential for the composting process in the unit. 

Can you use an RV toilet in a house?

Tiny house and RV toilets are intended for campers. Toilets for mini houses usually use a minimal amount of water per flush. The wastes are generally being held in a tank within the unit. 

A dry toilet, for example, isn’t convenient to use in the city. 

What are the toilet brands I can use for my tiny home?

The market is practically bombarded with various toilet types and brands. 

For composting toilet, we recommend purchasing from Separett. Laveo is a great brand for dry toilets. Any brand for the conventional toilet will do.

Incinolet is a famous brand for incinerating toilets, while Saniflo is the leading brand when it comes to macerating toilets. 

Are Tiny Homes Allowed In RV Parks And Campgrounds?

Are Tiny Homes Allowed In RV Parks And Campgrounds?

Tiny Homes in RV Parks and Campgrounds

Parking is one of the daily challenges of mobile tiny homes. Many long-time tiny house owners suggest parking your unit in Recreational Vehicles (RV) parks and campgrounds of national parks. However, can you legally park your tiny home in these places?

The answer is yes- you can park your tiny home in RV parks and campgrounds provided you follow the rules and regulations of the facility. Most parks and camp areas allow short-term parking options which range from a few days to several months. However, you need to pay a fee of $50 or more a night to park. 

Some RV parks and camping areas may have restrictions on what type or size of tiny homes are allowed on their premises. The classification of tiny houses also varies depending on the jurisdiction that oversees the RV park or campground.

Tiny House Camping at Night with Lighting

RV Parks and Campgrounds That Allow Tiny Homes

Before you decide to park in these areas, first check the prevailing zoning laws in the area. You can also contact the RV park and campground administrators to check if they allow the parking of trailers with tiny homes. 

If you happen to need a quick stop on these facilities, look for any signages in the entrance of the facility that says “RV night parking.” There is a good chance that they permit RVs, then they, too, allow tiny homes with trailers.

However, it’s a different story if you want to entrench your tiny home unit in a piece of land. The concept of tiny houses is still new as far as laws about them are concerned. Most states are still unsure if they will allow such arrangements.

Only a few RV parks and campgrounds in the country allow tiny homes to form a small village within their lands. The Park Delta Bay in Isleton, California, is an excellent example of such a place.  

RV Park Space for Tiny Homes

Below is a list of states that are said to be friendlier towards the Tiny House Movement and will likely allow tiny home communities:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado  
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont

Note that some of these places require tiny homes to be registered as RVs before they allow you to park in their facility.

Amenities that RV Parks and Campgrounds Offer

The most compelling reason why a lot of tiny home owners choose to park in these facilities is because of the amenities they offer. On top of that, if the nearby national park or nature reserve is part of your itinerary, then you can also save time and money on your journey.

Most of these places also offer several conveniences besides water and power, such as:

  • WiFi– which is vital if you want to be connected to the Internet and send emails or update your social media accounts
  • On-site Laundry– some facilities also allow people to wash clothes. Take advantage of it to clean your bulky bedding.
  • Sewer Access- some parks and campgrounds allow dumping septic tank content on their sewer system as a paid service. 
  • Recreational Activities- most of these facilities offer numerous activities to ensure their guests always have something to do aside from the area’s main attractions. 
Tiny Home Village in Auburn, California

Several RV parks also allocate an area-specific for tiny home parking. This setup creates a sort of community among small home owners who are currently parked in the facility. 

Furthermore, other amenities, such as basketball courts and children’s playgrounds, offer opportunities to meet other people.

How Much Do Tiny Homes Pay for Parking?

Most RV parks are privately owned and operated. Hence, the owners can set the price based on several factors. Some of the things that can dictate the cost of your parking fee include:

  • Size of the RV Park
  • Location of the lot
  • Amenities  offered
  • Water access
  • Sewage access
  • Cable and WiFi

Smaller RV parks without water and electricity can charge you as low as $15 a night. Those with power and water has an average parking fee of $45, while parks with complete amenities can charge up to $80 or more. 

On the other hand, campgrounds usually charge a bit more than RV parks. The prices can also change depending on the season of your visit with autumn and summer being the most expensive. 

Camp Gulf in Destin Florida, for example, charges $90 to $120 a night during spring months and an additional $10 during the summer. Some states also impose higher taxes which also influences the parking fees. 

How Long can you Park in RV Parks and Campgrounds?

Many RV parks and camping areas only allow short-term parking arrangements that usually last for only days or a few weeks. However, if you are a frequent user of their facilities, you can get an RV park membership which could cost around $900 a month. 

Campgrounds also allow only a few days of parking on their facilities. However, a number of them allow parking up to two or three months, especially if the nearby tourist destination has activities specific only to that season.

Consequently, it’s quite rare to find an RV park, more so a campground, that allows year-round parking. 

Contact first the administrator of the place if you plan to stay longer than a few days. You can even ask for discounts if they allow parking longer than most of their regular clients.

Benefits of Parking Tiny Houses in RV Parks and Campgrounds

What Are Things Not Allowed in an RV Park or Campground?

Different RV parks and camping areas have their own rules and regulations. Hence, some facilities may allow one thing, but another one may prohibit it. Below are some of the things that an RV park or campground may ban:

  • Unlicensed vehicles
  • Some breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls and rottweilers
  • Repairs and maintenance of the tiny home during the stay period
  • Downloading or Streaming when using their WiFi
  • Setting up your campfire (use the communal campfires, instead)
  • Bringing your appliances outside of your mobile home

Before you enter an RV park or camping area, look for signage of what is allowed and not allowed in their premises. You can also ask their staff for the rules and regulations of the place. 

Pros of Parking in an RV Park and Campground

There are other benefits in parking your tiny home in an RV park or campground that you don’t usually get from anywhere else. If you are also there to visit the nearby tourist attractions, then you can fully immerse in the place without having to worry about the security of your tiny home.

Below are other advantages of parking your tiny home in these facilities:

  1. You can save a bit of money on gas if the RV park or camping area is near the tourist destination you wish to go. 
  2. Parking in these areas gives you “peace of mind” since the premises are entirely secured. Thus, allowing you to enjoy your nature tripping, hiking or other outdoor activities.
  3. Most RV parks and campgrounds with overnight parking also authorize bonfires. It’s an excellent way to share stories while eating delicious smores. 
  4. Some campgrounds and RV parks also have tables and chairs you can use. You can use them to have a more roomy dining area.
  5. If you are quite lucky, your tiny home may be parked in the perfect spot that overlooks the nearby mountains or lake. Imagine waking up to such beautiful scenery. 
Tiny Houses Fee in an RV Park or Campground

Cons of Parking in an RV Park and Campground

While there are numerous benefits when parking in these areas, you can’t avoid having disadvantages. Some RV parks and camping areas have premium parking fees which are double or triple that of cheaper parking alternatives.

Below are some of the cons of parking your tiny house in these spaces:

  1. Several parks and camp areas offer “unnecessary” amenities that add cost to your parking fee. Sometimes these exuberant fees don’t translate to quality service.
  2. Most RV parks and campgrounds are usually far from towns and cities. Hence, you might have to drive quite a distance if you need to shop for groceries or other items.
  3. Some campgrounds also require parking reservations before your visit. Hence, you need to secure your spot first, especially during peak seasons.

Conclusion

Most RV parks and campgrounds allow tiny homes within their premises provided they obey the rules and regulations of the place. The next time you worry about parking, you can research or ask around if there is one of these facilities in the area.