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Old 09-06-2021, 04:24 PM   #1
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New member with a question about long-term parking on private land

Heyas everyone! I've just begun to dip my toe into the realm of bus conversion and I had a major question up front that I can't seem to find much clarification on despite having seen it having been asked a couple times but the answers didn't seem that clear.

At the moment I haven't even bought my bus yet, I'm saving up for it and the conversion while doing my research on what it is that I want to buy. Currently I live in Wisconsin and I can't stand the winters here so I badly want to move south, probably looking at Texas but I'm open to any state that doesn't get snow. A stretch goal of mine is to own a small piece of land in the south and north that I would use to park my skoolie on and bounce back and forth between seasons.

But from what I understand you can't just park a skoolie on a piece of undeveloped land for long periods of time. But what if the land was out in the country and far away from other people and even towns? Could you do it if you bought unzoned land? Are there resources other than just Google to look up what zoning restrictions are for areas of certain states?

I would like to add that at some point I would like to put in a small septic system on each piece of land and a slab of concrete for which to park my skoolie on. I don't know if that might be considered enough for the land to be developed or not to abide by zoning laws. Any and all advice for this particular situation would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!

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Old 09-06-2021, 04:57 PM   #2
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I think you can pretty much park your RV on your own property for as long as you like if remote. Ya, do some more research on the states you might want too stay in. I'd like to own a parking space on a river in Montana or Wyoming.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:28 PM   #3
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We're in the Blue Ridge mountains of SW Virginia and there's lots of travel trailers parked on rural land. Some with power, well and septic. I don't think they're full-time residences so that might make a difference (although there's a guy down the road living full time in a travel trailer). We saw a lot of similar properties when we were looking in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. I gotta imagine you'll find properties like these in any southern state.
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:57 PM   #4
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Yeah. I know a couple in Medical Lake, WAnthat have lived in their 5th wheel for years. It seems like it’s a Tenants In Common situation. There’s different rules everywhere. You’ll have to research individual areas.
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:04 PM   #5
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Do not call it "parking" if you mean people are living in it completely different scenarios.

Yes each land use jurisdiction varies

not only in what the codes are on paper

but especially in what is enforced.

Even the neighborhood makes a huge difference, people afraid of their property values falling are the worst.

Best to rent/lease if you can, then buy later on if you find you like the area.
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I think you can pretty much park your RV on your own property for as long as you like if remote. Ya, do some more research on the states you might want too stay in. I'd like to own a parking space on a river in Montana or Wyoming.
As usual, useless misleading comments.

You can't live full-time in a RV legally, they are except from housing codes because you don't live in them full time. Can you break the law? of course.
Designing your life around doing something illegal is a horrible decision.
But if you want someone to tell you its ok, someone will (see above)
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:48 AM   #7
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Land use is generally governed by the State and Counties. Most states, not all, preempt the Counties on environmental regulations like septic and water. Sometimes the Counties have environmental regulations that are more strict than the State. Any State / County that has large finances is generally very aggressive about enforcement. They take your money and use it against you. Poor States / Counties generally don’t aggressively enforce regulations and tend to look the other way until someone complains. What the original poster wants to do may be possible for a while in some places, but, in the long run it may be problematic. This is going to take a lot of research on his part. Look for states with lots of land and small populations, that equals less bureaucrats per square mile. That will narrow it down. Then look for states with relaxed emission / environmental standards. Then look for states with lower per capita income and low overall tax rates. Then research the counties in those states for the same criteria, and check their land use regulations. At that point you may be able to buy land and use it as you see fit. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:21 AM   #8
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As usual, useless misleading comments.

You can't live full-time in a RV legally, they are except from housing codes because you don't live in them full time. Can you break the law? of course.
Designing your life around doing something illegal is a horrible decision.
But if you want someone to tell you its ok, someone will (see above)
Was it misleading to say "Ya, do some more research on the states you might want to stay in."
Long term, and full time are 2 different things. I could live the rest of my life in an RV if I want and no one tell me I can't . Base your response on facts. Show me one law that says I'm wrong.

Seriously, do you have anything positive to add to this forum, or do you piss on your own cornflakes everyday?
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:09 PM   #9
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I could live the rest of my life in an RV if I want and no one tell me I can't.
Only if you keep moving, live as a nomad.

In a single permanent location will only work if it is in the 0.0001% of parcels where the authorities allow it.

They do exist, but are not easy to find, and of course situations are constantly changing.

Lots of places you are not allowed to even park an RV on your own land, even if not visible from the road.

Some places you can't even park a work truck.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:16 PM   #10
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Land use is generally governed by the State and Counties.
True for most. But in some states each township has its own regs and varying enforcement levels.

>Most states, not all, preempt the Counties on environmental regulations like septic and water. Sometimes the Counties have environmental regulations that are more strict than the State. Any State / County that has large finances is generally very aggressive about enforcement. They take your money and use it against you. Poor States / Counties generally don’t aggressively enforce regulations and tend to look the other way until someone complains. What the original poster wants to do may be possible for a while in some places, but, in the long run it may be problematic. This is going to take a lot of research on his part. Look for states with lots of land and small populations, that equals less bureaucrats per square mile. That will narrow it down. Then look for states with relaxed emission / environmental standards. Then look for states with lower per capita income and low overall tax rates. Then research the counties in those states for the same criteria, and check their land use regulations.

All true, but

It is also possible to just ask for suggestions in online fora and SM for suggestions from a practical POV where communities are OK with shacks, tents whatever long term.


> At that point you may be able to buy land and use it as you see fit.

The actual regs as written, and enforcement issue can of course change, sometimes quickly. So best to find places where that is less likely, and where new incoming foreigners are more welcome.

Such Wild West style cultures, outsiders are hated, the locals are thieves and violent as well, and you won't find protection from the law.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:43 PM   #11
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Only if you keep moving, live as a nomad.

In a single permanent location will only work if it is in the 0.0001% of parcels where the authorities allow it.

They do exist, but are not easy to find, and of course situations are constantly changing.

Lots of places you are not allowed to even park an RV on your own land, even if not visible from the road.

Some places you can't even park a work truck.
At most all I would need to do is drive and get groceries once a month, or twice a year.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:58 PM   #12
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You miss the point.

Are you talking about a specific jurisdiction, with no house/septic/water,

where you think you are sure that

you will be allowed to just live in an RV

full-time

forever?

If so, do you already own land there?

My point is, there may be hundreds of such places, but no one can guarantee how long that level of freedom will continue, in that jurisdiction.

And it varies a lot with how you get along with the neighbors.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:06 AM   #13
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"from what I understand you can't just park a skoolie on a piece of undeveloped land for long periods of time. But what if the land was out in the country and far away from other people and even towns? Could you do it if you bought unzoned land? Are there resources other than just Google to look up what zoning restrictions are for areas of certain states?"

I assumed he was referring to land he would own. I don't know of anywhere like described above, not talking in any city or town, but land out in the country away from people and towns that I could not park my RV and spend the night, or the next , or the month, or forever. If you know differently, post a link to the denial. I don't think anyone could tell me I can't live full time in the RV parked in my driveway right now.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:34 AM   #14
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I don't think anyone could tell me I can't live full time in the RV parked in my driveway right now.
You may well be surprised

but the key difference is, there is a permitted house already built there.

Unimproved raw land is very different.

And the neighbors can cause laws & regs usually ignored, to be enforced

most especially rich vs poor

and newcomer vs long-established members of the community

where the mayor is cousin Bubba and Chief of Police is Uncle Rufus

and you're the only CNN watcher in the county.


Again, nothing to do with just parking an RV and living elsewhere.

Nor just visiting say for weekends.

The regs will usually restrict you from **living** in the RV, without at least septic installed

often building a home grants more leniency, put in a foundation one year, a slab the next, dig a well, show progress is all

and you can live fulltime for years and years.

If unincorporated land, the county might let you, but then the state can step in and override.

So really no such thing as "unzoned" dealing with the human waste as permitted onsite is very often the bare minimum. And no, composting is rarely allowed to substitute.

> land out in the country away from people and towns that I could not park my RV and spend the night, or the next , or the month, or forever.

Sure THERE ARE PLACES for that, but they are very hard to find without someone who knows suggesting one

nothing is guaranteed to be for more than a few years, certainly no such thing as forever.

Those places allowing "Tiny Homes" may well be a good way to find it
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:24 PM   #15
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Heyas everyone! I've just begun to dip my toe into the realm of bus conversion and I had a major question up front that I can't seem to find much clarification on despite having seen it having been asked a couple times but the answers didn't seem that clear.

At the moment I haven't even bought my bus yet, I'm saving up for it and the conversion while doing my research on what it is that I want to buy. Currently I live in Wisconsin and I can't stand the winters here so I badly want to move south, probably looking at Texas but I'm open to any state that doesn't get snow. A stretch goal of mine is to own a small piece of land in the south and north that I would use to park my skoolie on and bounce back and forth between seasons.

But from what I understand you can't just park a skoolie on a piece of undeveloped land for long periods of time. But what if the land was out in the country and far away from other people and even towns? Could you do it if you bought unzoned land? Are there resources other than just Google to look up what zoning restrictions are for areas of certain states?

I would like to add that at some point I would like to put in a small septic system on each piece of land and a slab of concrete for which to park my skoolie on. I don't know if that might be considered enough for the land to be developed or not to abide by zoning laws. Any and all advice for this particular situation would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!

You are not going to find a one size fits all answer. You will have to narrow it down to at least a county and state and possibly a city. Then contact the county/city building and zoning department. What the land is zoned for makes a big difference. A septic system is usually required to park an RV or build a house.


Then there are the thieves and vandals to consider. Unless you have some one to watch over it, anything left for extended periods of time.........
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:27 PM   #16
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Private land parking for long term

If there’s no HOA pricks or no laws against parking your RV/Motorhome on private land, and as long as it is LEGALLY REGISTERED, then private land is just that.

PRIVATE LAND.
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:30 PM   #17
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True for most. But in some states each township has its own regs and varying enforcement levels.

>Most states, not all, preempt the Counties on environmental regulations like septic and water. Sometimes the Counties have environmental regulations that are more strict than the State. Any State / County that has large finances is generally very aggressive about enforcement. They take your money and use it against you. Poor States / Counties generally don’t aggressively enforce regulations and tend to look the other way until someone complains. What the original poster wants to do may be possible for a while in some places, but, in the long run it may be problematic. This is going to take a lot of research on his part. Look for states with lots of land and small populations, that equals less bureaucrats per square mile. That will narrow it down. Then look for states with relaxed emission / environmental standards. Then look for states with lower per capita income and low overall tax rates. Then research the counties in those states for the same criteria, and check their land use regulations.

All true, but

It is also possible to just ask for suggestions in online fora and SM for suggestions from a practical POV where communities are OK with shacks, tents whatever long term.


> At that point you may be able to buy land and use it as you see fit.

The actual regs as written, and enforcement issue can of course change, sometimes quickly. So best to find places where that is less likely, and where new incoming foreigners are more welcome.

Such Wild West style cultures, outsiders are hated, the locals are thieves and violent as well, and you won't find protection from the law.

A lot of truth in this post.
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Old 09-11-2021, 04:46 PM   #18
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You sound like you plan what has been my dream for years! I'm almost 70, was a bus driver throughout the Southwest and California for 30+ years, now living in Vermont which I moved to with friends because we got a cheap house. I don't have my bus yet, either, but I've seen some Thomas HDX 31-footers that have a wheelchair lift for under $10k... I can drive, but to get very far outside, I use a wheelchair. I've had plans in my head for several years, and I follow Skoolie groups on Facebook... some great ideas, and some people who have no clue... but I know I can do it! I am considering properties in both Nevada and New Mexico. There are 20-40 acre parcels (way off grid) for around $10k. I'd build in a septic system OR use Humanure (that's a real thing), but getting water in would take trips to town with a tank. Anyway, I like being way-out. I've found that zoning regulations vary. Humboldt County (Winnemucca, NV) has trailer/RV limitations, but Pershing County (next county over, Lovelock) has no restrictions. You can expect taxes to be less than $100 a year on 20 acres. Right now we have an old, decrepit house in Vermont, and taxes are $3,000 a year! I hope all your plans and dreams work out.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Only if you keep moving, live as a nomad.

In a single permanent location will only work if it is in the 0.0001% of parcels where the authorities allow it.

They do exist, but are not easy to find, and of course situations are constantly changing.

Lots of places you are not allowed to even park an RV on your own land, even if not visible from the road.

Some places you can't even park a work truck.
YEP they call those places CITIES. They suck for the most part.
Not all cities are equal however. I live in a town of about 80,000 and while it's "illegal" (a civil infraction) to park an RV in the driveway or on the street for more than a couple of days...... along with a whole lot of other laws like can't park on the curb or mow strip, can't live in an RV, etc....... there are lots and lots of vehicles doing just that and nobody is saying anything. On the 4 blocks of my street closest to me there are 5 other RV's and 2 boats in the front (one trailer is even on the street and not connected) and this is about normal except in the poorest sections of town where they're just parked on the sidewalk and such.

God help them if they tag my rig...... I'll be documenting with photos and videos, every such rig I can find and submitting the complaint. When that many people get pissed....things change.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:11 PM   #20
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There are many places in Texas where you can live in whatever you want. When I got out of college and was starting my own business, I did not know if I would make enough money to live "normally". I found an 1/2 acre outside of Houston not too far that was owner financed for 8k. This was 20 years ago though. In some areas that price hasn't changed too much. I was able to live in a non running school bus there on blocks without wheels. The key is finding a place with NO restrictions to what you have to build. Of course these type of places can be a little rough but not all of them.

I had an outhouse to begin with until I had time and money to install a septi which I did myself. Since it was semi rural, I was able to buy up the lots around me and had 5 acres total for pretty cheap. I was able to buy some of the quarter acre lots around me for an average of $1200 each with the cheapest at $200! Over time it started to get more crowded than I liked as Houston grew outward. I sold it for a good profit and went to a rural west TX area in another unrestricted place with BEATIFUL land
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