Florida Counties That Allow RV LivingAnthony Day
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You've finally decided to transition to full-time RV adventure, but now wondering which Florida counties allow RV living?
Waking up in the middle of nature, having breakfast under the trees, and returning to your RV after a day's hike sounds like a wonderful idea, but it isn't as appealing if you're living under constant fear of your RV being towed away because the county you parked in doesn't allow RV living. Considering the possibility that your home might be towed away due to improper parking, one has to wonder, which Florida counties allow RV living?
Florida has 67 counties that allow RV living, but the laws vary by county. There is no state law governing RV living on your own property. Instead, you need to check with your local government. The RV should also be connected to a source of power, water, and an adequate sewage system.
RV occupancy in Florida is subject to local zoning codes. There’s a court case from the 1970s that establishes that.
However, RV life is not as simple as hooking up your RV to a power outlet, especially if you're traveling/living with children in your RV. You have a ton of other requirements you're legally obliged to fulfill, not to mention regulations imposed by the HOA. Luckily, none of those rules and regulations are so strict as to deny you parking, at least for one night.
We gathered and cross-referenced information from various RV-enthusiastic websites and forums to present you with the best possible answer and help you make an informed decision about whether full-time living in an RV is something you would consider.
Florida Counties That Allow RV Living
Florida has 67 counties, all with their unique set of laws dictating specific sets of rules, including but not limited to social arrangements and relationships, business agreements, and crime. Some of them might even have specific laws regarding living in RVs.
Recreational vehicles must also be licensed and insured. But there is no universal state law that states you can live in your RV on property. These decisions are made at the local county level based on strict zoning codes and requirements. This should not be confused with RV camping, which has Florida law requirements to operate that are determined at the state level.
Many local ordinances and HOA rules require your RV to be connected to utilities — power, water, and sewage systems. But the state laws do not override any county or local ordinances. All Florida counties are free to allow RV living in accordance with their own individual laws.
There are also certain conditions that have to be met, and depending on where you live. You might have to comply with local Home Owner's Association (HOA) rules. An RV park operates a little differently with more friendly rules for guests than when you park on your own property too.
In general, it’s legal to live in your RV full time in Florida if you meet some or all of the following requirements. But always remember to contact local authorities or the local government first to find out their individual requirements.
- The RV must be connected to utilities like power, water, and sewage.
- RV owners can park no more than one RV vehicle on their private property.
- The parked RV has to be owned or rented by the owner, or at the very least a tenant of the property used for parking.
- The RV can be owned by a visitor who is a Florida non-resident and is granted parking by the owner of the tenant of the property. However, the parkin period in those cases can't exceed 14 days.
- The RV must be kept or parked in the rear or on the side of the residential home, behind the line from the building's front that's the furthest away from the street, but no further from the line of the front of the building that's nearest to the street.
- The RV must be at least as far from the property's sidelines as the main building must be from its side, and it must also be no closer than 10 feet from the back property line.
- The parking lot, as well as any camping equipment, must be kept tidy, well-maintained, and presentable. They must also always be in working order.
- The RV must have a current license plate at all times. Additionally, significant repairs and restorations on a property, regardless of whether it's a private residence or not, aren't allowed.
- The equipment may not be used as a place to live or sleep or as a place for chores, a household, or storage when it is parked on the property. It may also not be linked to a service line, with the exception of those that may be required to maintain the equipment and its accessories on an as-needed basis.
- The equipment's maximum height is 10 feet, its maximum length is 30 feet, and it has to be securely fastened so that it doesn't pose a risk during hurricanes or strong winds.
In simple terms, RV living is legal in Florida. But the requirements you need to meet for it to be legal in your local county vary widely across the state. There is no state law, only local government laws for this too. You can contact a lawyer or a local government to get more information for your county.
You can buy land and live in an RV that's parked on your property, but the legality of this largely depends on the local regulations. For example, you can buy land and park your RV, but you can't live in it if the vehicle isn't connected to power, water, and sewage systems.
What you can do, if you have already decided to live in your RV, is to make it your primary residence. This is possible as long as the vehicle has a bathroom/kitchen, toilet, and a bedroom — which practically makes it a home. But check the local zoning requirements too.
However, you'd also have to link with a municipality where you're registering an address, such as a place of stay on the date the request was made, professional activity, and any family ties within the municipality.
HOA RV Parking Rules
The Home Owners' Association has several rules regarding RV parking, mostly preventing you from parking your recreational vehicle:
- In front of a fire hydrant — which is a more-than-reasonable rule
- In alleys
- In driveways or backyards for longer than 48 hours
- Next to a parked vehicle
- In one place for more than 72 hours
Depending on the area, the HOA may restrict roadway parking, or parking on your driveway or in your backyard for more the 24 to 48 hours, or outright forbid it if it prevents access to your pathway.
Can I Live in an RV With My Kids?
Of course, but as with everything else, there are a couple of regulations that you'd have to adhere to in order to be able to live with your kids in an RV.
- For example, your RV must have a separate place for sleep for each child;
- Each child has to have a seatbelt enabled;
- The children must have access to various hygiene facilities and other essential amenities;
- The children must attend a local school or be registered as being homeschooled;
- You must ensure doctor visits and the children's safety at all times.
Additionally, you must be able to cook meals, always have essentials on hand, and provide access to an outdoor playground. These are some arrangements that you'll have to make when living with children in your RV. Most RV parks allow children for short-term stays too.
How Does RV Living In Florida Work?
While it's legal to live in an RV on your property if you meet local zoning codes and requirements, obtaining a permit to do so implies jumping through a few legal hoops which were previously set on fire by the HOA. However, Florida is easily accessible by RVs and motorhomes, and there are numerous RV parks and State Park, which are well equipped with everything that would enable you to comfortably live in an RV.
The only downside is that most of them usually allows you to park the RV for 10 or 11 consecutive months, and some may even enforce a 10-year rule. It's highly advisable that you call in and reserve your location at least 24 hours in advance.
With everything said, some people are intrigued with the thought of permanently residing in an RV, even if they have children. However, making a choice to load up and live in an RV should be carefully considered. The financial implications of such a lifestyle choice must be taken into account, but your primary concern should be your children.