Many people would live a minimalist lifestyle if they were given the opportunity. However, tiny home builders get asked one question more than any other. “Where can I park my tiny house?”
The issues have shifted from Why would anyone want to live tiny? To I want to live tiny, but how?
There are dedicated people and organizations who have devoted their time to furthering legislation to make tiny living legal in all 50 states, but we aren’t there yet. So research remains your best tool. We aren’t your local municipality or state government so it is important to know your zoning and coding restrictions and regulations.
If you are one of those who are sold out for tiny life but feel held back by parking restrictions and state by state illegalities, here are four options for parking your tiny home.
A Tiny House Community
Tiny house communities are becoming more common across the United States as those pioneers of the tiny house movement continue to push for the legislature to legalize tiny homes. These communities are hosted by a diverse group of landowners who lease spaces–some full-hook-ups and some boondocking–to tiny house owners. Many are designed like a typical campground, though most are focused on sustainability so they may have a shared spaces such as a garden. Others are more wooded and offer much more privacy and seclusion than a typical RV park.
Not all tiny house communities are RV friendly much like not all RV parks are tiny house friendly. However, legally, if your tiny home has been built by a manufacturer who certifies them with an RV or RVIA certification, an RV campground should be an option for you. There are, however, other stipulations to research such as your size. For instance, most national parks will not allow any rig to park overnight if its length exceeds 42 feet.
On Residential Land or Agricultural Property
This can be shaky ground, so tread lightly and do your due diligence with researching your local area. Every municipality is different. However, many people are parking in a friend’s back yard, or renting a spot from someone looking for extra income. While the situation may not be permanent if local officials decide to make an issue, this kind of space can be a great option for an extended period of time.
In states that frown upon tiny houses, folks get around that by parking on land that is zoned agricultural. Because many farmers hire seasonal help who might pull and RV or have small campsites or cabins for them, not much has been said to disrupt these more full-time parkers.
So the answer here is clear: Do Your Research. Start at the top within your municipality and ask questions. Otherwise, check out the other options for where to park your tiny.
Anyone who lives tiny will always tell you that parking is the biggest fear for potential buyers. However, they will also attest that they know very few folks who have been asked to move their tiny house. As long as you do your research, and be mindful of your location, living tiny can be the dream you’ve always hoped it would be for you.
Please note that nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. Because every municipality is different, it is critical that you do your own research and make your own decisions about parking a tiny house.
Nancy tice says
Does anyone know who buys appliances and windows and other parts after I’ve scrapped a 5th wheel trailer. I’m located in Puyallup w. Nticesales@gmail.com
Hi, I understand you’re wary of giving specific legal advice on this topic, but where would you recommend I go to find information about the rules on where I can park a tiny home in the city of Seattle? I heard they recently changed to differentiate tiny houses from RVs. Any direction would be hugely helpful, thank you!
Myka Meogel says
I love living in Washington State. However, this state needs to make it legal to park tiny homes. PRETTY PLEASE
Annie Q Crowley says
I have been planning my tiny home for retirement for several years & am ready to start looking for a site I can construct a tiny home on wheels, probably over 9-12 months. I noticed that a lot of people are able to use land that is in the family or to bargain with a home owner about offering gardening or meal prep or something else to find the land to build it on. Does anyone have any other ideas?