Sounds inviting, yes? Being allowed to take your beautiful tiny house to a well-manicured, utilities included, pavement padded, spot in a community friendly RV park. Well, before you start packing you might want to become a bit more familiar with what these extended stay RV parks truly allow. I found out first hand this weekend as we were traveling from Georgia to North Carolina with our tiny in tow.
We chose to split our travels into two days stopping in Lexington, NC overnight to rest and to give highway traffic a break. It was well worth it! When we pulled in about 11am on Saturday the associate behind the desk first complimented our rig, asked quite a few questions about how we built it, and then added that we would not be able to stay long term in their park should we want to. I quickly asked, “Why?” The answer I got was, “I’m not sure.” So I decided I need to know more. I asked about manufactured RVs, park models, DIY trailers, etc. I was told that in order to stay long term you had to have a manufactured RV, trailer, motor home, or bus. That was good enough for me at the time because I was tired and was ready to just get to our site and set up.
I woke up the next day vowing to find out more. So I put together a list of some rather large RV parks situated across the United States to ask the same questions about the same topic: can my tiny house stay long term in your park!
Barnyard RV Park
The only rule for extended stay is that the unit must be manufactured, have a valid VIN number, be registered in a state, and be self-contained. There is no formal inspection but by signing your contract you grant permission for an inspection to take place under suspicion.
Destin West RV Resort
Fort Walton Beach, FL
A member of the Good Same chain, Destin West RV Resort is situated on the beach, offers long-term stays, and even includes Ramada Inn amenities (pool, spa, workout facility, washers/dryers, etc) to guests. However, their personal park rule is that they prohibit long term stays for pop-up campers, tents, park models, or home made RVs. They also don’t allow campers built prior to 1989 for aesthetic reasons. To be considered for extended stay a unit must be manufactured, have a valid VIN number, be registered in a state, and be self-contained.
Maple Grove RV Resort
(just North of Seattle, WA)
While they would fully consider a tiny home or a smaller park model they do maintain a certain standard of appearance wherein Maple Grove RV Resort has a limitation on vehicle age for extended stay guests. Without prior management approval, RV vehicles manufactured before 1989 are not permitted on an extended stay basis. (NOTE: Not sure what is so magical about 1989 although I think it has to do with that year being the first to offer commodes/showers in pop-up campers)
River Road RV Park & Horsecamp
Chapel Hill, NC
While they have no real rules for extended stay they do close their bath houses and restroom facilities from December to March which means that an extended stay camper would need to have its own facility. And this is where it all started making sense!
The Shoreline RV Park and Campground
Crescent City, CA
And here is where the answer came to light.
Shoreline is a city owned and operated RV park situated about 20 miles south of the Oregon state line. They welcome extended stay campers but have both private rules and state mandated rules. By state law (California) no RV may be inhabited more than 190 days in succession or may remained parked in any one spot other than private or residential. The reasoning? Well, that is a bit more shady. It then falls into disaster relief and emergency responder protocol. For an RV to be considered for extended stay the unite must be 100% self-contained. It must have a minimum of a 150-gallon water holding tank. It must have a grey water and black water system. It must have an emergency generator. And it must be full functional and approved by the states department of transit. The city figures that if an emergency were to take place and utilities were to be lost all persons should have some means of self-sufficiency. This extends into the RV world.
I think it is safe to say that while tiny houses are not yet standard for extended stay RV resorts or communities they would be welcome provided the owner spoke with the campground owner or manager and provided a sort of proposal including photos, schematics, and insurance information.