RV Life Options
Where can I park my RV to live is the most challenging riddle of RV Life. Because you don’t know what you don’t know, and many RVers think the only place you can park an RV to live out of is at a campground or an RV park.
While that’s true, those are not the only options available to RVers looking to live out of their camper full time. From private land to public land, there are plenty of opportunities to live out of your RV full time. You just have to decide what type of RV Life you want to live. From transient traveler to destination enthusiast. RV life allows you options to enjoy RV travel through full-timing, part-timing, or even seasonal opportunities. There is no shortage of ways you can enjoy RV life.
Let’s explore the different RV life options available to you and answer the question, “Where can I park my RV to live?”
RV Life Longterm RV Parking
Most people looking to live out of their RV full time require a destination, and the easiest way to find longterm RV parking to live out of year-round is at a privately owned RV park, RV resort, campground, or mobile home park. Almost all of these optional destinations offer a monthly campground rate that is drastically lower than their daily RV camping rates, and you can expect to pay between $350-$700 a month. Some campgrounds will be much higher, and some will be even lower. It all depends on the location and the amenities they provide. Check out my campground monthly rate chart below. The exception to this rule is that state or Government-owned RV parks and campgrounds DO NOT offer longterm RV parking.
What Is The Difference Between RV Resorts, RV Parks, Campgrounds & Mobile Home Parks?
I get this question all the time. What is the difference between an RV Park and an RV resort, or is an RV park better than a campground? Can I park my RV in a mobile home park? Here is the difference in the simplest form once and for all.
RV Resorts are the most luxurious by offering full RV hookups, camper amenities, social amenities, and entertainment for their guests. RV parks and high-end campgrounds are middle-class accommodations that only offer full RV hookups and a range of facilities from showers, laundry, and pools. Mobile home parks border between middle and lower class RV accommodations because they offer full RV hookups with no other amenities in an undesirable atmosphere for RVers. Dispersed campgrounds are considered by some RVers to be the lowest class RV accommodations because they focus more on nature’s beauty, and may not have full RV hookups or any amenities at these destinations.
Can I Live in a Campground full-time in My RV
You can live in a campground or RV park year-round out of your RV as long as they allow it at that particular establishment. Plenty of RV parks in Arizona offer year-round living but only cater to people 55 years or older. I’ve lived in a campground in Ogden, Utah, McCall Idaho, and Winter Park Colorado for over 6 months. All three of those campgrounds had people living there year-round.
Where can I park my RV to live boils down to the necessities you require, and how available they are to you. Sometimes you need a break from the constant travel of RV life and want to check out campground life. Where you’re not always moving and have easy access to water, sewer, and electricity.
This is great, but be aware campground life will cost you money for access to those full utilities. So it’s a trade-off from spending your money on fuel to spending your money on full RV-hookups.
If you need something longterm or longer than a few days. The easiest option would be to contact any PRIVATELY owned campground or RV park in your area. They are licensed, permitted, and insured to offer that option for RVers looking for full-time RV parking. Most campgrounds welcome longterm RVers. Of the campgrounds, I have stayed during the winter months have all had year-round tenants living out of their RVs.
Monthly Campground Rates
Every campground will have their own rates. After traveling by RV for over 12 years, here is what the average monthly campground rates are in America from my experience.
Average Monthly Campground Rates in U.S.A.
5 Places you can park your RV to live
- RV Resort
- RV Park
- Mobile Home Park
- Private Land
Alternative Longterm RV Parking Option to Live Full Time
If living in a campground full time isn’t appealing to you, there are a couple of other longterm RV parking options, but they are limited to private land ownership. Given there are no laws in that area against it. Generally speaking, when you own land, you can park your RV to live out of anywhere on your property. If you know any friends or family that own land, you can always explore longterm RV parking with them. Click this link to see how I find landowners that allow me to park on their property through Facebook for less than $200 a month with full RV hookups?
Can You Live Out of an RV on Public Land
Public or Government owned campgrounds and RV parks DO NOT offer monthly rates or longterm stays.
Champion 3400 Watt RV Generator
Super Duty Construction
Portable & Quiet
Runs off of 3 fuel Sources
There are exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between. You can park your RV to live out of on public land. You just have to move periodically. For example, when camping in a National Forest or BLM land, you need to relocate 7 miles away from your original campsite every 14 days. Camping on public lands doesn’t usually provide power, water, or sewer. But these three essential camper accessories make public land camping much more feasible, and I personally own all three of them.
Norwesco 35 Gallon Water Tank
Heavy Duty Construction
Will work with any RV
Only 13 pounds when empty
I recommend these three camper accessories over anything else on the market because they allow me to setup camp anywhere in the country. The champion generator can run off of regular gas, natural gas and propane. When I need to refill my water or empty my tanks I can do so without having to move my camper. Both the water tank and blackwater caddy fit in the back of my truck, and are easily filled or dumped with very little effort.
Camco Rhino Blackwater Caddy
Super Duty Construction
Includes Hoses & Accessories
Where Else Can You Park Your RV to Live
This is how I have turned dispersed camping into full RV hookup destinations. If you don’t have water, power, or sewer on the property, you can always use the camper accessories I mentioned above. You can also rent a porta potty to be dropped at your location, or hire a septic company to come and pump out your RV holding tanks. Septic companies only charge around $40 a pump out, and port-a-potty companies charge a fee of about $150/month.
I’ve hired companies to deliver water and pump it into my RV for only $75. This last winter, while camping on public land in the middle of nowhere, I had a propane company deliver a 1,000-pound tank. With my generator able to run off propane, I had constant power, heat, and cooking fuel at only $1200.00 for the entire winter ski season.
Boondocking While Living Out of an RV
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pay expensive campground fees. Other times you can find cheap RV hookups on private residential property. Sometimes you just have to get creative and purchase the right camper accessories like the ones I mentioned above and personally own. Then there are times you just have to call a typical utility company, and other times you have to do a combination of all of these ideas. You can park your RV to live just about anywhere. As long as you have permission. It’s legal. Use a little common sense. Willing to compromise, and are considerate of others.
Overnight RV Parking
While traveling in your RV between destinations, you may not be aware of all of the temporary legal RV parking options available to you. Experienced RVers call this stealth camping, dry camping, ninja camping, or most commonly known as boondocking. I agree that boondocking is the most ridiculous name ever, but it is what it is, and I am a massive fan of boondocking, even urban boondocking.
Temporary RV Parking Options
In fact, it is my preferred method of RV life because it costs nothing! Any place I can fit my rig in is my home for the night. I have camped out in parking lots at Walmart, churches, movie theaters, warehouse parking lots, and just about every restaurant and business parking lot imaginable. Rest stops are fair game. Pull offs along the side of the road have hosted me many of nights.
Anywhere down a jacked-up dirt road is my favorite, and any forest service road always grabs my attention. Harvest Host provides a wonderful option for one night stays at wineries, breweries, golf courses, and dreamy farmlands. Even AirBnB offers private campground listings that you can see by clicking on this link. If you have never heard of hipcamp its the Airbnb of the camping world! Hospital parking lots provide overnight security. Hotels and motels offer free breakfast in the morning.
Truck stops are the easiest option for even the biggest RVs. My number one trick to finding RV parking in an area I am not familiar with is follow the river. There is always a place the locals have carved out alongside rivers next to roadways to access their favorite fishing holes.
One night stand RV parking is the easiest option to find when looking for a place to park your RV to live out of. And I can tell you without a doubt riverside camping next to a fire under a blanket of stars twinkling to the rhythmic sounds of rushing water always soothes the soul.
Where Can I Park My RV To Live
Longterm RV parking is a challenge RVers have been dealing with since the invention of the RV. It takes energy, time, and money to always answer the question of, “Where can I park my RV to live?” Whether you boondock or stay in campgrounds, you’re going to have to answer this question.
Sometimes even daily.
Trying to find a place to park your RV to live is an art you get better at with experience.
Is It Legal To Live Out of an RV
Right after asking yourself, “Where can I park my RV to Live,” the next questions people ask me are the legalities of RV parking and living.
This is a loaded question that sometimes frustrates me. Because there is no simple answer, and I need more information to answer it correctly.
Are you looking for a longterm or temporary place to park? Do you need full RV hookups, or are you ok with stealth camping and boondocking? As you can see from those two questions, the answer is going to drastically vary.
The answer to, “Where can I legally park my RV to live,” is not as simple as anywhere that it’s legal to park. Unfortunately, the real answer is a bit more complicated.
I say the word “legal” because some towns and even counties have absurdly outdated ordinances and laws against living full time in an RV and even sleeping in your vehicle. Different cities and different counties all have different rules. So you’ll want to check the requirements of the city or county you’ll be visiting to see if the risk is worth the reward. I’ll be honest, though, in the spirit of full transparency. I wouldn’t worry too much about the legalities of living in your RV full time.
Because the process of enforcing these infractions usually starts out with a warning, and most RVers don’t stay in an area long enough to make it onto anyone’s radar.
In 12 years, I have never ever checked with a town or county to see where I could park my RV to live.
Or if sleeping in my RV was legal, and I’ve never had one issue. However, in some cities, it’s illegal to live in any structure without a foundation. Other areas of the country it’s illegal to live in anything on wheels. To combat the tiny house movement, some cities and counties have gone so far as to make it illegal to live in anything under a certain amount of square feet.
Talk about being petty and first world problems. Right?
Legal RV Parking
The challenges of RV parking is a constant battle between society and travelers. I sympathize with the argument of “curb appeal” and “property values.” I fully understand some RVers have exploited and taken too many liberties. What I don’t understand is the instant “camp gotcha” individuals. I get it everyone wants to be a hero and come to the rescue, but initiating a police interaction for simply parking an RV is beyond melodramatic. Its superficial, materialistic and one might even be able to argue it’s a systematic division of class.
To the “Karen’s & Chad’s” of this world, how devastating is it really to have an RV parked within your site line for 24-48 hours? Would you rather have a tired driver behind the wheel of a 40-foot battering ram?
What if that RVer got lost in the middle of the night? While trying to find a friend or family member’s house in an unknown neighborhood? Are you aware that battered woman’s groups are urging women to live out of an RV full time to make it more challenging for their abusers to find them? There are all kinds of positive scenarios that make it appropriate for an RV to legally park on the street in a neighborhood full of houses. Unfortunately, because of the “Karen’s & Chad’s” of the world, I avoid parking my RV in neighborhoods unless it’s an absolute last resort, and even then I still prefer to take my chances in a business parking lot.
Cheap RV Living
I’ve been traveling longterm since 1998, and I prefer RV travel to any other form. Because you can move with all of your gear, including your pets to wherever you choose without having to pay pet deposits, or compromising which equipment you’d like to travel with. You don’t have to choose between your winter gear and your summer gear, or your climbing gear and your photography gear. RV life allows you to visit some of the most expensive cities in the country on a shoestring budget. The best thing about RV life is any legal parking spot that can act as your base camp while you explore your new destination is home.
Unfortunately, sometimes you need a break from “RV Life” as it can be exhausting. Always on the move, and saying goodbye to the people you just met. Constantly googling destinations, and previewing them through google maps. To see if your rig will fit.
Scouring the internet for things to do and sites to see. The constant daily research of trying to answer the aged old question, “Of where can I park an RV to live,” gets overwhelming at times. When you start to feel this way, it’s probably time to stay in one spot for an extended period of time. Slowing down and getting into a routine helps recharge the energy drained from you while continuously living a non-routine lifestyle.
Benefits of Slow Travel RV Life
When I begin to feel this way, I know its time to find longterm RV parking. This is what I call slow-travel, and I don’t consider it a negative aspect of RV travel. Because it allows me to explore the local area more in-depth. I get to know the locals and their secrets about restaurants, sites, and activities. My neighbors become campfire friends, and we host family dinners together. I don’t have to continually monitor my RV travel budget daily because I’m not traveling. The reasons travel is so appealing can sometimes be the same reasons that lead to RV travel burnout.
Traveling by RV is a wonderful option for curious souls to explore this planet one destination at a time without sacrificing any of the comforts of home. You don’t have to confine yourself to living out of a backpack or scanning booking sites for the cheapest plane tickets.
I love RV travel and the challenges of finding places where I can park my RV to live. For both temporary and longterm RV parking solutions. I love providing RV travel tips that help other RVers enjoy all that RV life has to offer. By providing you examples of how I find cheap RV parking destinations anywhere in the country. I love showing you cheap RV living opportunities and how to find cheap RV hookup destinations. So that, you can lower your monthly RV travel budget, and do more of the things that RV travel has to offer.
RV Travel Tips
It’s a good problem to have when others consider you an expert, but even the RV travel experts need the proper information to offer solutions to a question like, “Where can I park my RV to Live?” I love getting emails from you guys, but when they look like this I roll my eyes
Where can I park my RV to live in Georgia?
Do you know of any cheap RV parking?
I need a place to park my RV to live out of full-time.
At least one of these RV parking requests narrowed it down to one state out of fifty, but I’m kind of handcuffed when responding to the other two requests. I encourage you to email me at [email protected] or leave comments below for me to answer. But help me to help you by providing the necessary information. That way I can offer you the best advice I have instead of guessing at what you need. As always, enjoy your travels, and if you’d like to support this website, you can donate through this link. Or make your online purchases through any of the links found within this site, and that site will pay me a small referral commission. Love you guys. Happy travels.
My Favorite Travel Booking Resources: Most Affordable & Efficient Travel Booking Tools I Use Everyday
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are my two favorite “flight” search engines because they search through websites and airlines around the globe and offer a calendar view to find even cheaper flights for flexible travelers. Check out these UNIQUE destination deals or my favorite All Inclusive Booking Travel Tool!
Rent An RV
Find cheap RV rentals for your next adventure by using Outdoorsy or RVshare. These are my two favorite “RV” search engines because they allow you to rent from private RV owners, and offer a wide variety of chooses at affordable rates. Want to start making money by renting out your RV? List it with Outdoorsy or RVshare.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay elsewhere, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. Get a $40 credit for booking with AirBnb. Need to book a private campsite use my favorite RV booking site Hipcamp!
Looking For A Travel Community
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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong and will cover things like transport security, crisis response and medical transports such as Life Flight. Why go on any trip without a safety net that costs less than a case of beer? I’ve been using SafetyWings for years without any issues.
My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- SafetyWings (ONLY $35 & Covers USA Travelers)
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional travel insurance coverage like medical transport, travel security & crisis response)
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!
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