Will your RV be banned from your neighborhood?


By Chuck Woodbury

When I am not traveling I keep my motorhome parked by the side of my house on a level gravel surface created especially for it. It’s behind a solid wooden fence, which conceals all but the top of it from passersby on the sidewalk and street. I love having the RV there, to escape to when I want some quiet time or to write.

The reason I bring this up is a TV segment aired in Palm Beach, Florida, the other day about RVers who store their RVs in a similar fashion now being told they can’t keep them there anymore.

John Baker of North Palm Beach keeps his RV in his back yard. He received a letter recently telling him it was not in compliance with a village ordinance. At 11 feet tall, it’s too high. The maximum height allowed is 10 feet.

The ordinance says the RV needs to be completely concealed on all sides, even though fences can only be eight feet tall. Baker has a solid fence surrounding the RV, but you can still see the top of the vehicle from the street. “I don’t know (how I’m supposed to comply with this),” Baker said. “Move it. That’s what they want.”

He took his concerns to a village council meeting. Another 15 RVers were on hand.

Village manager Andy Lukasik said there had been an ordinance about RV storage on the books for almost 50 years, but it was only occasionally enforced. He said they began enforcing it after receiving complaints from other residents.

The village council ended the discussion by saying it would take Baker’s concerns, and those of other RVers, under advisement. For now, Baker’s RV is parked illegally.

For RVers who can’t keep their RVs on their property, an RV storage facility is often the only option, like this one near Seattle.

When I hear something like this I wonder if the same thing could happen to me. It would be a big deal. RV storage is hard to find in the Seattle area, and it costs $150 to $200 or so to keep it in a place if you can find one. I might have to store it 10 or 20 miles away.

As more and more low-income people move into old, beat up RVs to live, and then park them on residential streets, the chatter in city governments is increasingly louder about placing RV parking restrictions in place. I can envision something like what has happened to John Baker happening to me. I would not be a happy camper.


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7 months ago

Reading the comments here has made me very grateful that I live in a neighborhood with no HOA. And while the city recently made it so I can’t park the RV on the street for more than 48 hours, I still have the luxury of being able to park it in my driveway and check on or maintain her whenever I want to.

7 months ago

One of our HOA covenants states that RVs are allowed as long as they are “screened” from view. However, the covenant does not define “screened”. I did received a violation notice, and I told the HOA to go away until they came up with a reasonable definition of “screened” as well as a plan for how to equally and continuously enforce the requirement on all of the other “violators”.

Haven’t heard back from ‘em…

7 months ago

I am an independent insurance adjuster-investigator. I investigate insured losses caused by storm, earthquake, fire, flood, wind, and mudslides throughout California. I wanted to buy a Class C motorhome so that I could travel throughout the state and investigate and handle losses for those needing my service. Communities and Law Enforcement will not allow me to park my motorhome anywhere!

Earl Balentine
7 months ago

We have a strict HOA in our Mesa Arizona neighborhood. Several people have RV’s and occasionally try to get away by storying them in their backyard. Some get away with it for weeks and sometimes months before the HOA says it has to be moved out. Some RV’s have gone to extreme measures to hide the RV in their backyard by using RV covers to help blend with the color of their house. They may back up the RV in the far corner of their backyard between some trees for coverage. My friend had only a enclosed utility trailer he used for his business. It stood a couple feet above the side yard gate so the HOA told it could not exceed 2 feet about his front side yard fence line (block). So he decide to raise his front part of the block fence which was mostly the 10ft gate with steel frame and boards.
So now you could not see the top of his trailer. Solved one problem but created another. He was not compliant with the fence could only be 6ft tall and now it is 8ft tall. He had to take his fence enhancement down and he sold his utility trailer and bought another trailer that was 2ft shorter in height. It appears not matter what rules HOA’s have on the books, it’s all about who enforces them or not. When we moved into this neighborhood 9 years ago when when the neighborhood was just starting the HOA were for strong and probably drove around the neighborhood looking for infraction of any kind. I once got a email with pictures and all that my grass was too tall. Turns out I don’t own a lawn mower and don’t have a blade of grass, its all granite desert landscape. Once my new shed with approval from HOA was too tall after the fact and I was asked to cut 6″ off the top. Well that never happened and the HOA finally approved of it.
Years later it seems the HOA has calm down a little. It really boils down to is on the board of directors of the HOA, maybe some of them own RV’s and are a little more fore giving. I have heard that the HOA here will look the other way as long as a neighbor doesn’t complain. That’s the key here, be nice to your surrounding neighbors all it takes is one phone call to the HOA to complain about you.
HOA’s are hit and miss the best thing if you are going to want your boat, utility trailer or RV on your property it’s best to find a neighborhood that is still good shape and without a HOA.
Today after 9 years, I see trampolines, 2-story play houses, bating cages, ramada’s etc in backyards, but no RVs.

John Emery
6 months ago
Reply to  Earl Balentine

You are correct about who is on the board of an HOA that determines how strict things are enforced. My neighbor got a letter because she had pumpkin in her garden in December and they told her that she had to take down her Halloween decorations..

7 months ago

In 1996 I bought a gently used Southwind. It was about 27 feet. Class A. I was a single Dad with custody of 2 young sons. I (am a retired) musician. I played in many popular bands in Northern Arizona, especially Sedona (before it became a nightmare). Many work nights, I would park at whatever venue I was performing at, put my young sons to bed, lock up, and go inside to play. I would always give the door key to the RV to a very trusted friend, who would check on my dear sons while I was performing, and when I had a break, I would, myself, check on them. At the end of the night, we would stay there until morning. Most of these venues would allow me to plug in. When I didn’t have a performance, we would head out into the desert. There was National Forest land, BLM land, and state land, where a person could camp for free for up to two weeks in the same location. As a long time resident of the area, I was familiar with quite a few choice locations to camp, and was never in the same place for more than 4 days. Of course, that has all changed. It changed when the califonication of the area happened. Those who came and built multi million dollar homes, did not want to share the spectacular views and great climate with anyone who was not in their habitat price range. The wilderness nazi’s, (otherwise known as forest rangers) were subsequently charged with denying these choice camping locations to anyone. I view the nightmare which Sedona has become, as the result of those with high incomes, in their self deluded sense of entitlement, ruining what was once a wonderful place to live and visit. After living in the area for 15 years, I am reluctant to ever go there again. My sons are now grown, and both college graduates. They are leading fulfilling and productive lives. Their experience living for a while in an RV, and being allowed to explore the wilderness canyons of the the American Southwest is indelibly inscribed upon them. I feel sorry that this experience is no longer available. I now live in a very nice mid mod home, in the heartland. I hope the money people never discover my new oasis. My wife and I own a nice tag a long, and last summer visited 10 states in 7 weeks. I would never seek to deny to anyone the opportunity to live wherever they want, with no interference from those who wish to push their money around.

John Padgett
7 months ago

Our small town in S. IL. Is like most. It’s who you know etc. Can park 1 rv on your property. Live in it for 2 weeks. But must be licensed and insured. Same with all vehicles.

Colin Flagg
7 months ago

Problem with RV location
The two times I’ve had problems with the city over my RV a neighbors house went on the market. How many city councils do you think have real estate people on them?

Harry Milosavljevic
7 months ago

Bought my trailer Jan 2017. They changed the ordinance in march 2017. I have a problem with people telling me what to do with my property. The village trustees allow empty boat trailers of any size in driveways all summer long , but make no allowance for my Airstream. Which is way better looking than any empty trailer, I can only imagine that some of the village trustees own boats, exempting them from the ordinance.

7 months ago

In Cape Coral, Florida, No RV’s except to load and unload. Also, in this city with massive canal structure with quick access to the Gulf of Mexico, no boats in the yard, or driveway. Oh if you own your own company, or work locally, don’t even think about parking your work truck with the company name on it in your driveway.

Pia Low
7 months ago

A year ago we sold our S&B home and set out on the open road. But 3 years before we bought our RV class A. 39 feet. We had room on our property to park it. Our neighbor had no problem what so ever with it being parked on the side of the house. The city of Sunrise decided no more RV’s by the house. Would cost you a $500.00 per day fine. However we were aloud to load our things. We had to find a storage place sharpish. Found one a 30 minute drive from our house in Deerfield Park. $320.- a month. We then after a year found one closer to our house but it cost $340.00 a month. I wanted to cry. I must add this was a city ordnance and nothing to do with the community we lived in. Actually chose that neighborhood because many had RV’s.

7 months ago

If they can add a tax – problem solved, it always end that way.

Capt. Tom
7 months ago

In my neighborhood if you want to keep your RV on your property for more than two weeks it must be in an enclosed garage. So that’s what we built, a 40×60 building for our RV and horse trailer


Tommy Molnar
7 months ago
Reply to  Capt. Tom

Then they pass a law saying “no out buildings allowed”.

Howard Malpass
7 months ago

The Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana {other States have Counties} have decided to exclude the parking of Motor Homes and 5th Wheel Campers in the neighborhoods.

This is being fought whole heartily by the homeowners who have parked their RV’s at their residence for years!

As you can guess, the people who are having the “control” over we homeowners DO NOT own any RV’s!

This will be played out in the courts during the first 6 months of the year and I truly hope they resend their “edict” in doing so!

Howard Malpass
Shreveport, Louisiana

Ken Richardson
7 months ago
Reply to  Howard Malpass

I agree with you….its why mine is currently in storage in Blanchard area.

7 months ago

I park our 29′ class A behind our house and it cannot be seen by anyone. However, a few streets over a guy parks a 38′ motorhome in his driveway…..it actually encroaches an inch or two onto the sidewalk. This is a beach community and by this action he blocks the view of the ocean for several neighbors. The city has ordinances that a fence or even shrubs cannot exceed 6′ (4 feet at the curb) in height yet this clown parks his RV there about 4/5 of the year. If he can afford a $200,000 coach then he can afford to park it in a storage yard.

7 months ago

The first step is to separate this issue from the issue of “homeless folks” parking on the streets. This isn’t an HOA, but a city (ok a village). They stated is was on the books for 50 years but “rarely enforced”. There might be some leverage to get the ordinance repealed or rewritten because of lack of consistent enforcement.

Earl Balentine
7 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

Here in Mesa Arizona our HOA rules says you can park your RV on the street or driveway for up to 48 hours during a 14 day period. That gives you 24 hours to load up and leave and 24 hours to unload and leave. You can not park your RV in your side yard even though its gravel, that’s considered landscape and you can’t park on your landscape. To covert your sideyard from landscape to a drive way has to be defined by borders and certain material and can’t exceed a certain amount of concrete. In most cases it’s not worth the money for the short period of use. My motorhome is 37 feet and would cover the sideway because my driveway is only about 34ft. I pay $165 per month to store it 8 miles from my house. To me the 48 hours is too short. Moving in or out is like moving in and out of a small apartment. Sometimes getting back home you are to tired to start the unload process. You still need to do cleaning before and after and the maintenance, not enough time. I think 5 days would be better than the 48 hours. It turns out that some of these rules with the HOA are along sided with the city rules too.
In our HOA the only way to change a rules is a 75% yea. The problem is the ballots are sent out by mail service to each home owner and some probably throw them away as junk mail. The HOA say if a ballot is not returned it is consider a no vote. Getting a 75% yes vote to allow a change in rules is very difficult.

7 months ago

HOA’s are one thing. Already hated. But if an entire city or community retroactively changes the law or the enforcement of the law this RV restriction is absurd. What’s the motivation? To prevent homeless people from living in an RV? If so, this really points out the hypocrisy of those who claim to be concerned about the homeless. Where are they supposed to live? Maybe in parks and business doorways? Oh yea, that’s where they have to sleep now.

7 months ago

HOAs in Arizona restrict RVs all the time . Arizona legislature is reviewing the constitutionality of these rules and the HOA contracts as a whole, but for now Arizona residents get even worse treatment

7 months ago

Lower the gravel parking surface so the motorhome sits below the 8′ fence line

Earl Balentine
7 months ago
Reply to  bounder

That would only create a mud hole and you will probably need an approval from the HOA to do that. My son just recently had a visit from the city about a neighbor behind complaining that his daughter could not sleep because my sons flood lights covering his pool area were too bright. It wasn’t;t like he would go on vacation and leave flood lights on all night. He was forced to adjust his lights more downward and change them out to spot lights instead of flood lights. It’s best to be good friends with the HOA folks if you want special treatment. Or you could become a board member.

7 months ago

We have a concrete pad with hookups beside our house. It is permitted by the county and our HOA. We intentionally bought our home in a neighborhood with no restrictions on parking your RV on your property. Our baby is backed in, plugged in and stocked for a fast exit if needed. We do have neighbors who are open in their dislike of seeing RV’s parked – even when the RV in question is valued higher than their house. We are just as open in suggesting they read the rules before they purchase their next home.

Harry Milosavljevic
7 months ago
Reply to  Goldie

I read the rules, but they were changed 2 1/2 months later

7 months ago

Even if they are concerned about homeless living in RVs, all they have to do is make exceptions for homeowners who park it on their own property. Sounds like neighbors with a rod up their rear.

Earl Balentine
7 months ago
Reply to  Cindy

I can’t believe my close friend what she told me. She isn’t on the HOA Board either. She said she takes a clip board and goes on a walk every morning thru out the neighborhood to check out all the house for infractions on their trash cans being left out too long. She took me into her den and on your computer she pulled up a excel spreadsheet of all the neighborhood address’s that had issues with leaving their trash can out beyond the 24 hour limitation. She needs to get a life.