Category: Tiny Home Parking

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 that look like the one that towing companies use in securing the towed vehicles are also available. Moreover, there are hitch locks that you can use 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.

selective focus of miniature tiny home with red pin and sold tag on wooden floor, Image for real-estate management concept.
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. 

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. 

You can find the types of locks that you can choose from.

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.

Outdoor LED lamp with motion sensor working above the door that detects movement. Safety concept.
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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 environment. 

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

A dry toilet 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. 

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.
  • 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. 

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?).

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. 

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 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. 

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.