RV Zoning Laws In FloridaElijah White
Zoning laws usually vary from county to county, and in the most popular RVing state, there is no shortage of an abundant number of confusing RV zoning codes.
Whether you want to travel through Florida, are considering living there full time, or just want to use it as your home state for paperwork reasons, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with some basic zoning laws regarding RVs.
Florida has a huge RV culture and plenty of laws regarding them depending on the county. In general, expect to stay at paid campsites and park within designated areas. The state also has some of the best laws for RV inspection and taxes, making it a popular domicile.
If you plan to live year-round in your RV in Florida, you may have to prepare more than many other states because of the number of regulations in place to keep up with the heavy RV traffic. Below I’ll go over details that will help you whether you plan to keep your RV on your own property, move between campsites, or are searching for boondocking sites.
Zoning codes are confusing legal texts sandwiched between countless other unrelated ones on government websites. To help save you time I have done the digging for you to provide an overview of what you can expect from RV life in Florida.
Can You Live In an RV in Florida
Florida is actually the most popular state to RV in and has the most RV-based infrastructure in the United States. The RV culture there is rich and dense, with sites available to stay at in every vacation spot you can think of.
While it may sound great to find a state that is so deeply invested in RV culture, a lot of infrastructure and traffic also mean a lot of regulations. Florida has strict and detailed zoning codes in every county pertaining to RV parks and RV living.
One disadvantage of Florida’s RV scene is that almost nothing will be available for free. On the west coast and throughout the Pacific Northwest states boondocking on land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management is a free and abundant option. In Florida, expect to stick to paid RV sites even if they are on BLM land.
While you absolutely can live in an RV in the state of Florida, it might be one of the worst states to do so in if you do not prefer paid RV campsites. Some States offer a wide infrastructure surrounding their free camping in dispersed areas, but Florida sees too much Rv traffic to offer a lot for free.
Advantages of Choosing Florida for your Home State for Full Time RV Life
Why Do So Many People Use Florida As Their Home State for RV Life
Florida is a very popular state to choose as your home state for many full-time RVers, along with Texas. The reason for this is that Florida has many laws that are advantageous to RV owners.
In Florida RVs do not require an annual inspection to continue being used. This means that if you plan to be away from the state for more than one year you will not have to return to dot T’s and cross I’s on your RV paperwork.
Florida also offers monetary savings to RV owners. There are no annual vehicle taxes on RVs in the state, making it a popular choice for registration.
Does Florida Have A Lot of RV Sites
Florida is packed full of RV sites to accommodate the huge number of people traveling there. Most RV sites in Florida also take advantage of the State’s weather by staying open year round.
Can you Stay In An RV In Florida State Parks
Florida is known as the sunshine state for a reason. Most of the state consists of huge natural areas outside of the major travel destination cities. The State is home to a whopping 175 state parks and is one of only eleven States home to more than a hundred of them.
Florida’s state parks offer beautiful scenery and most house campgrounds, with the majority of them built to accommodate RVs.
Can You Live in an RV on Your Own Property In Florida
The zoning laws that allow for the use of an RV as a permanent dwelling structure will be different from county to county. In general, Florida may be one of the worst states to try to establish an RV homestead for a few reasons.
Because RVs are so popular in Florida the state has many more rules and regulations regarding them. In most counties you will not be able to park an RV on your land with the internet to live in it full time or indefinitely.
Exceptions to this rule do exist are more likely to be found in rural counties than close to the major cities. In most counties there are some exceptions to these regulations such as the ability to stay in an RV while a permanent structure is being built.
Using an RV as a Permanent Residence in Florida
Claiming any structure as your permanent residence is a separate thing from simply living in it. A permanent residence is defined by the IRS and used for tax purposes. You can only claim one single residence as your primary residence, whether it is a brick and mortar home, a travel trailer, or a self built cabin.
Because the Internal Revenue Service controls definitions for a permanent residence the state of Florida follows the same laws as other states. If you plan to RV full time and claim your RV as your permanent residence it won’t matter what states you travel between.
Can You Camp for Free on BLM Land in Florida
Many people are surprised to find out that Florida has free dispersed camping areas maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These areas are referred to as “BLM land” and they are available for public use including camping.
Most BLM land is located in the western region of the United States, but, although scarce, many other states have them. Florida does not have much in the way of dispersed and free camp sites but does feature some paid BLM campsites.
Dispersed RV Camping In Florida
Dispersed camping on BLM land means wild areas that are free to camp in. These areas have no established campsites or amenities but are usually free.Unfortunately, in FLorida free dispersed camping is rare to find.
Paid RV BLM Camping In Florida
Florida’s BLM managed campsites are mostly paid areas. The advantage of this is that the fees are much lower than RV parks while still offering some state-upkept amenities. These types of sites are your best bet to find affordable camping areas close to natural areas.
Tips For RV Travel in Florida
Here are some extra tips regarding traveling and parking in The Sunshine State.
- Avoid major travel destination cities like Orlando and Miami
- Winter in most regions of Florida is still fairly warm and less crowded
- The “offseason” for RVs is still a great time to go to Florida for cheaper prices and less crowded campsites.
- Florida’s State Parks may be a better choice for many RV goers than privately owned campsites.
About THE AUTHOR
My wife and I bought a broken down 1984 Chevy A-Class 26ft RV and restored it back to working order. Now we both work remotely and live in it full time with our pet cats with the freedom to explore.Read More About Elijah White