Stash your RV inside a “fake house”?

Photo is for illustration It's not an example of a home as explained in the article.

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Hide your RV inside a house? It’s a concept being looked at by city officials in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Last week city council members got a presentation from the city’s planning director and an interested citizen of Golden, Colorado, Scott Jacobs.

Jacobs has been looking around Cripple Creek for property that he might develop with a unique concept: Hybrid “RV pavilions.” On the outside, the structures look like a sticks-and-bricks residence. But apparently, a motorhome or trailer can be slipped inside the “false front” (our term), and connected to a full utility hookup. The “pavilion” would then serve as an official residence.

The planning director envisions these pavilions used as vacation or second homes, with the potential of conversion over time to a regular full-time residence. He was quick to point out to city councilors that building and zoning codes would need a revamp to make the idea work. The council asked for more research into the subject and a report back.

With a common objection among property owners when somebody floats the idea of, say, a new RV park, such as “our property values will plummet!” and “these things are unsightly and attract the criminal element!” – perhaps Mr. Jacobs’ idea could shoot down some of the noise and make it possible for full-timers to have an established home base without the usual flack that’s raised.

Kudos to Cripple Creek for its open-mindedness. Of course, with its gold-mining town history, it may have a few existing “false front” stores even today. Maybe that’s what makes it a bit more open to old-new ideas. We’ll stay on top of this story and let you know if something more develops.

And just to clarify: No, we don’t think the proposed false-fronted houses look anything like the picture we’ve posted. It’s just a “gag” photo to catch your attention!


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Russ F
7 months ago

Mother Earth News had an article where the rv parked inside a shed and provided all utilities. The living room and dining room were on the same level as the rv entrance.
Since no living quarters were in the shed it was taxed as a shed rather than a home.
I thought it was brilliant, wife was considerably less impressed.😁

6 months ago
Reply to  Russ F

I helped on a building with that same concept just a few miles south of us here in Sarasota. I too thought it was a great idea.

7 months ago

I think this is a super idea worth much more discussion and evaluation. Exciting and innovative. Of course we’ll do it safely and we’ll be nice about it. Climate and natural critters come also to mind. The comment about the light is also an interesting consideration. I appreciate the freewheeling mindset.

7 months ago

The stock photo building would fit the style of an old West town. Great idea.

Vanessa Simmons
7 months ago

While address checking for the Census last year I had to do the airport in Pahrump NV. All of the houses there are hangers or have hangers. I went in one where the owners were building out their living quarters in the hanger. One of the first things I pinned in Pinterest was a “house” where the front including the porch raised up to expose an airplane. Great idea!

Al H.
7 months ago

Years ago, friends of ours built a large Morton building (pole barn on steroids) on a piece of property they intended to use for retirement. They came up on vacation with their truck camper which they setup inside the building. As they went along, they built in a shop, then an apartment structure. Eventually they built a house, after they retired. The building was large enough to house campers, farm equipment, cars, etc., and provided shelter, security and storage. Kind of the same idea as this story, except no effort to make it look like a residence.

Laurie De La Cruz
7 months ago

This already happening in some small towns and rural communities. It is a great idea for those that need a home base (Legal address and taxes for that community) Or people like me that love to travel but yet wish to hold on to some of my possessions with out paying rent somewhere for years. Florida has RV port homes – where you can see the RV from the Side. I like a place I can work on RV in any kind of weather – out of the weather. Metal buildings have been used also.

7 months ago

The article isn’t clear as to whether the intention is to hide the “unsightly” RV from officious neighbors, or to build a shell so you can live in your RV as you slowly back it out while building the ‘guts’ of a normal house? Either way, it seems like it would feel very strange having extra walls around an RV you live in…

Marybeth Almand
7 months ago

This idea is exactly what we’ve been talking about.

7 months ago

If we ever sell the house and move, the new home will have one of those 40 foot “RV garages” built in as part of the house. We both agree on that.

Phil Atterbery
7 months ago

Or, to put it another way, a “false front” casita to drive the HOA nuts. Great idea.

Seann Fox
7 months ago

Hmmm propane inside a structure I know our fire chief would go ballistic over that idea

7 months ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

That was my first thought too. But, what’s the difference of having a propane tank inside a structure or having the tank outside and running lines inside for stove, furnace, fridge, dryer, etc. Any leak, anywhere along the system could be disastrous.

7 months ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

I’d also be concerned about using propane devices inside without proper ventilation.

7 months ago

Photo is for illustration It’s not an example of a home as explained in the article.” I very much dislike “click bait” I did not bother to read the article after reading the disclaimer.

John C Jackson
7 months ago
Reply to  friz

Thought as you did at first but did read further on and it was fine.