Can Someone Live In a Camper On Your Property?

No one can legally live in a camper on your property without your consent.

But what if they have your consent? That’s where it gets tricky. There are many factors that can make or break whether you can legally allow someone to live in a camper on your property.

In this blog post, we will discuss all those factors to help you figure out whether you can let someone stay in a camper on your property — and if you can, what are the legal requirements?

So without wasting another second, let’s dive right in!

The Legal Requirments

Knowing Your State Laws

The laws for allowing someone to live in a camper on your property vary from state to state and sometimes even between cities in the same state. For instance, if someone is allowed to live on a property they don’t own (or rent) can be different depending on whether it’s agricultural or nonagricultural land. So it’s best to check both your state and local laws.

Knowing the Zoning Laws

On top of state laws and local laws, you should also familiarize yourself with the zoning laws in your area. 

There are two you can go about that:

  1. Perform your own research. You can go online or ask around to gather useful information.
  2. The second method is far easier and more accurate: get ahold of the local courthouse. Even if they don’t have the exact information you’re looking for, which is highly unlikely, they will refer you to someone who can help you.

By familiarizing yourself with the zoning laws in your area, you can confirm what you plan on doing won’t result in a lawsuit.

Getting a Permit

In the vast majority of states, cities, and zones, people need a permit to live in a camper.

So how can you get a permit?

The entire process is far too complicated to be discussed in a single post. But what we will tell you, which is actually the only thing you need to know, is to contact your county building office. They will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about living inside a camper.

Now that you know how to figure out whether you can let someone stay in a camper on your property and how you can do it legally, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about living in a camper.

FAQs About Living In A Camper

1. Can I Live In an RV On My Own Land?

This is a great question but can be hard to answer.

The first thing you need to do is check your state laws and zoning regulations. There are some states that allow people to live in RVs on their own property without needing a permit or permission from anyone else. However, there might also be certain conditions such as the size of the RV that can be used and the distance it can stay from neighboring homes.

Although you can also check your local laws, we recommend starting with state laws first for more accuracy on living in an RV on your property.

2. Do I Need a Well or Septic for My Camper?

This can vary from state to state as well. In general, you will need septic if the camper is going to be on your property for more than 30 days in total during any one-year period.

However, there are some states that require it even after only seven days or less of staying on your land! You can check your state laws to be sure.

If you can’t find the answer in your local or state laws, it’s best to contact a company that can help with both septic and wells. They can also give you advice on which one is more suitable for an RV since this can vary depending on where they are located as well.

3. Is It Possible to Get an Address for an RV?

Yes, it can be done. You can either get a P.O box or have the mail delivered to your house and then pick it up from there.

This can offer many benefits for people who don’t want their address associated with an RV on your property since that can be hard sometimes depending on where you live.

All that being said, some states can make it difficult to get a P.O box address for an RV. So you should check the regulations in your area to confirm whether getting an address is worth the hassle.

4. Do Manufactured or Mobile Home Laws Apply to RVs?

That depends on your state.

Manufactured homes can be placed on a foundation or tied down to a permanent site. The rule is generally the same for RVs since both are going to be considered as part of your property and can’t just move around at their own will. So it’s best to check for any particular requirements in your state before setting up a camper on your property.

5. How to Claim an RV as a Permanent Residence?

When filing taxes, you can use your RV as your permanent residence. But to do that, you first need to visit the IRS who consider an RV to be a home when it provides the following facilities:

  • Sleeping
  • Cooking
  • Toilet

Broadly speaking, taxpayers are allowed to designate their RV as the primary residence for purposes of deductions, even if your RV doesn’t have a permanent location or is not parked on a property.

6. What States Have Friendly RV Living Laws?

Here are the best states for living in an RV full-time:

  • Washington State
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Florida

Why those states? There are two main reasons. First, it’s far easier to get domicile status in those states as compared to the rest of the country. Second, those states have no income tax, which makes life much easier for people living in an RV.

7. Can You Charge Rent for Allowing Someone to Live In a Camper On Your Property?

Yes, you can charge rent for allowing someone to live in an RV on your property. However, it can be difficult to do this since there are some restrictions that can make the process quite complicated.

For example, if you’re going through a lease agreement with a tenant, then they will need certain provisions such as the right to sublet and the right to assign. This can be hard for some tenants. So it’s important that you go over this with them before they sign the contract.


Since the laws on living in a camper vary from state to state, the first thing you should do is check your state laws.

If you can’t find the answer there, then check your local laws. In case your questions aren’t answered there either, you should go down to your local court for help — or better yet, contact a lawyer.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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