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FALSE! – HUD is NOT Making it Illegal to Live in Your RV…It’s already illegal!

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FALSE! HUD is NOT Making it Illegal to Live in Your RV…It’s already illegal! A few days ago I wrote a post about HUD making it illegal to live in RVs and tiny houses. It seems I might have jumped in the shallow end of the pool without checking the depth of the water first. My mistake. However, I’ll expound on this in detail below.

Look. For all those quoting the Snopes page which says this is “false”, it is false. THANK YOU for letting me know.

As far as HUD is concerned they are NOT making it illegal to live in your RV or tiny home. Snopes (the reputable debunking website) did a good job of showing that it’s not really about making living in RVs and tiny houses illegal nationwide, it’s more about redefining the verbiage of the law to extend and include some of the larger (more than 400 square feet) RVs.

Tiny houses didn’t have much to do with it other than people thought tiny houses would be included, mainly and probably because tiny houses have wheels and are much like an RV.

Illegal to live in RV

Here’s a link to the full text of the HUD proposal:

FR–5877–P–01 Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations; Revision of Exemption for Recreational Vehicles

Here’s an excerpt from Snopes:

This proposed rule would modify the current exemption for recreational vehicles in the Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations. Under the current exemption, questions have arisen regarding whether park model recreational vehicles are regulated by HUD’s manufactured home program. These park models are being produced with patio roofs, screened in porches, and other extensions that exceed the 400 square foot maximum exemption in the current regulations. Additionally, some of these models are being marketed as suitable for year round living. ~Snopes

Illegal to live in a tiny house?

Image Source: MiniMotives

However, the point Snopes ignores (or rather does not address directly) is that an RV and tiny house, or travel trailers, and even camper trailers are perfectly suitable for living in permanently. That’s where the problem is.

We still have a problem with this language in the proposal “designed only for recreational use, and not as a primary residence or permanent dwelling.” and “…designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy,…” This is more about federal law and categorizing RVs as permanent, which probably won’t happen.

As far as living in an RV though…

Yes! It’s ok to live in an RV for weeks or months. People do it all the time. Millions of people do. We don’t hear about people dying in RVs all over the place because they are unsafe to live in. We don’t hear reports of RVs going rogue and swallowing up people in RV parks. We never hear about the “Great RV Wars” where evil giant RV robots wage war against their human enslavers.

RVs, and tiny houses, are perfectly safe for year-round living. It’s also possible to live permanently in a tiny house, camper, travel trailer, yurt, or other smaller structures deemed by the government to be “temporary”.

So what’s the problem?

The government (usually local municipalities) is the problem. They want you to build a permanent dwelling; usually a big house on your land. So the local government says it’s illegal to live in an RV permanently. Even on your own land. The federal government says that these are not designed for ‘permanent occupancy’. In addition, local governments don’t want people living in their RVs permanently, and some even cite they are unfit or unsafe for permanent dwellings.

Excuse me, but sure they are. If you maintain your RV or tiny house it will last a lifetime, therefore, it’s perfectly safe to live in permanently. What’s the deal?

This is where the rub is. There is a growing number of people who are being forced –due to current economic and sociopolitical issues– out of their current homes and onto the streets. RVs and tiny houses are affordable alternative shelters to live in without being on the streets. It’s also a way of life for many.

Tiny houses illegal

The problem goes much deeper than a simple Snopes article saying HUD is NOT trying to make it illegal to live in an RV.

Although legally and technically true, it ignores the deeper societal, cultural, and arguably a constitutional issue of freedom.

It’s about the government’s overreach of power into the law-abiding lifestyles of people who choose to live a nomadic life. There needs to be something in place that allows us to live that life with minimal interference from overly restrictive ordinances and rules.

However, this is frowned upon. We’ve been conditioned to think it’s “normal” to live in cookie cutter suburban housing or apartments and to follow the “civilized” world in their lifestyle and rules. Get a job, work 9 to 5 for 30 years, make babies, raise your kids, retire, conform, comply, do what you’re told, follow the rules, and everything will be ok.


There are those of us who do not adhere to the status quo nor do we wish to ‘keep up with the Jones’. We actually have no interest in what the Jones’ are doing, we couldn’t care less about the Jones’, and would much rather live a simpler lifestyle being free and independent. We don’t need people telling us how to do things or dictating to us how we live our lives.

That lifestyle includes living in RVs, tiny houses, campers, travel trailers, and any other small shelter. Portable housing with easy transportation to new locales.

We’re explorers, adventurers, travelers, risk-takers, independents, and we’re self-sufficient. We love to see the world, explore, go places, and do things.

We do not need to be attached to the umbilical cord of society. We do not adhere to a preconceived notion of how life ‘should’ be lived. It’s not up to the government or anyone for that matter to tell us who we are, much less how we are supposed to live our lives.

Illegal to live in RV

Is It Legal To Live Off Grid in an RV on Your Own Land? No! Yes…Kind of.

It’s mostly about local ordinances.

RVs and tiny houses, campers, and travel trailers might “legally’ be defined as temporary. However, that is where the problem lies.

Living in an RV might be all someone can afford. Millions of people all over the USA live in some kind of shelter that’s considered temporary. For years. There’s nothing wrong with that.

At the very least, living in an RV or tiny home is a choice, and a choice we make freely.

It’s not up to anyone to tell me or you how we live as long as we have clean water, sanitary conditions, and a safe shelter (i.e. an RV, tiny house, or other small self-sufficient shelter). Beyond that, the government has no say over where we stay and how we live.

This is what Snopes and others do not understand, or choose to ignore. This is not about some BS about the government making it illegal to live in an RV, it’s about the overreach that is making our lifestyle illegal.

We are against the absurd overreach that makes it illegal to live in an RV permanently. Sure people do it, and we will continue to do it, but if the government really wanted to say no, they could. They could take our stuff and throw us in jail.

We’re not hurting anyone. We’re law-abiding citizens. We do not wish harm on anyone. We simply want to be left alone to live our life the way we see fit.

Stop trying to control things that are none of your business. Butt out of our lives and stop trying to tell us how and where to live. We do not conform. We do not “obey”. We will never be that kind of people. We are independent. We are self-sufficient. We are people. We are human beings.

Stop ignoring the facts. This is not about a proposal, it’s about the absurdity of making it illegal to live a self-sufficient lifestyle in a shelter that’s perfectly fine for any given period of time, as long as it’s “recreational” and “temporary”. There’s no difference between 1 year of traveling and 50 years of traveling. If you take care of your equipment it will last, and it’s perfectly safe to live in.

Living in an RV

This is not about recreation or legal language. It’s about living our lives. Allow us that freedom.

This is America, isn’t it? Land of the free, home of the brave…right?

So we need to tell the government to back off and work at uniting people. Stop alienating people by making laws that make it illegal to live our lifestyle.



Thursday 23rd of July 2020

But being totally homeless is perfectly ok with the Gov. This is ridiculous.


Monday 2nd of December 2019

I personally don't prefer to live in rv...very cold and not enough water pressure to shower...but cheapest rent l could afford in this rv park..l am a displaced senior, disabled on oxygen in Seattle area.My beef is that because government considers this transient or mobile living, they don't or won't deliver mail here - even though 95% have made this their permanent residence whether by choice or necessity. So...l have to pay for a p.o. box for the privilege of getting mail - that everyone else gets for free! This is important because it is the only way l have to get my medicines. Anyway, seems to me if l am here a year or longer, l should get mail delivered or qualify for a free po box like some outlying towns get.


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Well, well, well. I have recently been inspected and informed that I cannot live in my motor coach! I am on a mobile home lot where I tore down a old mobile home. The land owner contacted the county and they told him it is a mobile home site and he owns it he can put an rv there if he wanted. So he rented me the spot. Well it obviously isn't ok and because some snot nosed socialist nieghbor could not get on the back side of his fence to spray and kill 3ft of my side he reported me. So here comes the battle. I need good info: for my fight I am not going down easy. The codes need to change! I am hooked to power, water, septic. The code enforcement guy said was that it is not state inspected ?????? What. For safety of life or some crap like that. He is a good man though helping all he can. Sorry but most motor coach's and travel trailers are built to a higher quality standard then a mobile home because they are always in motion. Wires secured better piping secured better. And too be honest I have seen the so called state inspection flunky work in some mobile homes coming out of the local plant. I have lived in my coach for over eight years. Not had a issue until now. I am in the Knox county area of Tn. I need good info: and help from anyone that has it. I am going to try and change the rule. If you are on a lot rented or owned and you have water, power, septic. What is the problem. If you are in my area and would like to join forces please contact me. All because some wiener couldn't get to the back side of his fence and kill 3 ft of grass that is not his to spray! So if he wanted to be legal he should have built his fence four feet from his property line so he could maintain it without trespassing. My point too that is if you want to be legal be legal. Any way that's enough from me. Thanks too any and all that can help.


Monday 3rd of February 2020

Hey I’m in Knox county & have had code enforcement called 3 times on me, twice now while living out of Knoxville in the county. I live off of Asheville highway now. I’d like to discuss this with you. Send your info to my email address as I don’t want to put my phone number on here. I need to discuss with you what I found out from the last code enforcement inspector who is a really great man. Mark Whitley

John Connell

Thursday 2nd of January 2020

How did you make out with your issue.

John Connell (330)962-7517


Wednesday 20th of February 2019

They'd almost rather see us homeless than see their precious investment in property go to waist. Here's the scenario. Retired person has 130k to live on, along with social security. Living standards dictate that retired folks must spend 2000k a month to live, either that or live in a bad neighborhood with gangs and criminals (Most people would rather live in a tent in the woods). Then comes the health problems, and lo and behold, at age 75, retired folk is completely broke. But here comes the calvary....salvation....a two acre piece of land in Pennsylvania for 9 grand, an 18,000 dollar RV, and a $7,000 septic system. Homelessness is now impossible, even if you live to be 101 years old. But here comes Satan himself, to kick you off your land, you stupid poor person. What do you need the land for? Let someone with money build a home on it so we can get more money in taxes. That's the logic of government. It's all about greed, therefore, to get that tax money they want so bad........... damn your homelessness, should've worked harder, and sorry you couldn't fly first class.


Sunday 13th of January 2019

Ive been researching laws and codes in my state. Best I can tell, the reason living in an RV or a tiny home on your own land has been made illegal has nothing to do with how suitable they are, it just that the government wants to force you to build something they can tax. If your house has wheels, its not a permanent structure, so they cant tax it. The law is in place to keep their revenue streams in place. That is the beginning and end of it.