Wednesday, February 1, 2023


Will HUD make living in an RV or tiny home illegal?


Here’s a question from a reader of about boondocking. 

Hi Bob,
Is it possible that HUD will be able to make living in a trailer or RV or tiny home illegal? Where do they think all those folks will live – under a bridge? This doesn’t seem reasonable. Thanks. —Pamela C.

Hi Pamela,
One thing we can count on in today’s political sphere is that democracy does not move quickly when overturning norms that have been accepted by the population as a whole. Considering the millions who now live mostly fulltime in RVs, the presence of powerful organizations that support the RV lifestyle (Recreational Vehicle Industry Assn. [RVIA], RV Dealers Assn. [RVDA], RV Travel, Good Sam and Escapees clubs), and the hundreds of large and small businesses (RV dealers, parts suppliers, manufacturers, etc.) that provide thousands of jobs and employ thousands of workers, the outcry if HUD did attempt such a move – which would be seen as an attack on the RV industry – would at the very minimum tie up any HUD attempts at such decisions and policy changes in the courts for years to come.

But even though it may deter any immediate change, it does not mean that we should disregard such utterances which are aimed at testing the waters to see what to expect from the public and the media. If no one speaks up. If the media doesn’t cover it. It may be a signal to HUD to pursue the issue further and start to look for additional alliances for support.

But thanks to people like you, Pamela, who do speak out, we are less likely to wake up some morning and find the HUD police banging on our RV door to throw us out for the crime of living there.

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.

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Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .




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Susan Callihan
5 years ago

The property owner of the RV park or resort pays property taxes!

Dann Gravett
5 years ago

Just wondering what I missed and what brought up this question?

5 years ago

Speaking of HUD police. If you live in an area with a township or city might want to make sure that living in your RV more then 2 weeks might actually send out the ordinance dept to your door. We have a neighbor who causes muck and mayhem for all of us. I had an ordinance person knock on my door claiming I was living out of my RV. When it was parked on my driveway. Go figure. I had him look but he laughed and said we are good. So check out the code book otherwise we are all good to go.

Gene Bjerke
5 years ago

They already are collecting taxes on RVs. I pay more tax (personal property) on my Class B motorhome than we do on a 50-acre farm.

Lee Ensminger
5 years ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Gene, would you mind mentioning the state you live in? If you’re uncomfortable doing that, then please don’t. Thanks!

Bob Difley
5 years ago

Here is an article from the Goshen News that backs up the importance of the RV Industry, and demonstrates the economic costs if HUD made moves to negatively affect the RV industry.

“Indiana’s Elkhart-Goshen area has led the nation in the largest job percentage gain, and retaining that ranking requires filling roughly 9,500 open positions.

“The Goshen News reported that non-farm jobs in Elkhart and Goshen grew by 5.3% from November 2016 to November 2017, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“It’s certainly an exciting thing for our community to be able to boast that we have that many jobs being created,” Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said Friday.

David Hagen
5 years ago

My summer home in Idaho is a private RV park. FEMA has come in, declared we are in a ‘flood plain’ and says we can’t live in the park for more than 180 days a year. Many live year-round. 2 questions…1) Why weren’t we in a flood plain when the park was established 20 years ago? 2) Will the Feds send in ATF, FBI, or marshals to evict us on the 181th day? And who is counting?

Patrick Granahan
5 years ago

This may be all about loss of tax revenue.
RV living and the tiny house movement which relies on basic RV travel trailer style platforms do circumvent many tax situations. Being on wheels avoids the property taxes that homeowners must pay. Politicians are always looking for money and any loss of revenue upsets them. On thing for sure they will devise some way to tax your RV as if it was a regular home… will happen sooner than later.
Fact is politicians want all your money…they just have not figured out how to get it without another revolution !!!

Lee Ensminger
5 years ago

Patrick, I’m not denying that the government wants to get their hands on as much of your money as they can, but just because you decide to live in an RV doesn’t mean they’re losing property taxes. Someone bought the home you vacated, and they’re paying the tax. And new homes, which means even more property taxes, are being built at an incredible rate.

Glenda Alexander
5 years ago

RVers may not pay property taxes but we have other expenses that homeowners don’t have: safety inspections, registration fees, sales taxes when we buy an RV, camping fees (which includes all the same types of utilities required in houses), etc……

5 years ago

Amazing that in these days of a record number of people unable to afford a house or apartment that anyone would object to vehicle dwellers as opposed to sleeping on the streets. Until they have adequately addressed homelessness they have no rationale for outlawing vehicle habitation. Bob’s right, the outcry should such a move take place would be deafening, and they would quickly back off. Fortunately, people are starting to see through the current political era of selfish douchebaggery. Maybe basic human compassion will soon come back in style and no longer be derided as “too PC”. Too much to hope for?

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

They’re from the government, and they’re there to help you – said no one EVER.

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