Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We just came home from our first winter of RVing in the sunbelt to find that we can no longer legally park our new 5th wheel on our property. I’m so mad I could spit. Before I even unloaded it I was told it could not be parked in my driveway for more than nine days in any 30 day period. I thought this was the land of the free. I think I should fight city hall, but I would most likely just be spitting into the wind. Is this legal?
RV’s are changing the way we live in multiple ways. The same local ordinances that keep you from parking overnight in some Walmart parking lots can keep you from parking long- term on your own property. Local governments are cracking down on people living in their RVs on public streets, storing RVs in their driveways, and letting friends camp for short visits. Some municipalities will only enforce RV parking regulations if you have neighbors complaining.
Before buying any over sized vehicle, it would be wise to find out whether you can park it legally on your lot. Your community might have specific vehicle size, screening or lot location requirements for parking. This information should be available from your city clerk, township manager or neighborhood association.
Part of any RV purchase decision should include the cost of off property storage if that is going to be necessary.
Being able to park it today does not guarantee what regulations might be enacted to prevent it tomorrow.
These regulations are not all bad. If you are parking an RV larger than your neighbor's house in your driveway, it may not fit into the neighborhood decor. If your neighbors were long haul truck drivers would you want them to park their 18 wheelers in their driveway while at home?
RV parking and/or storing at home should be done with the objective of being a good neighbor and keeping a low profile so as not to call undue attention to your rig. By doing so, you may be preserving the rights of other owners to continue parking at their homes.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink