The tiny house movement is here to stay. Learn everything you need to know about living in a smaller home.
Once you build or purchase a tiny home, where are you going to park it? Depending on where you plan to live, it may be as easy as in your backyard. In most cases, that won’t be legally doable due to local zoning laws.
So what are my tiny house parking options? Here are some of the questions we will cover in this guide:
Let’s face it. Whether you are planning, building, or purchasing a tiny house, you’ve probably had this lingering question in your head: Where the hell do I park my tiny home?!
Luckily for us, there are so many options to choose from. Let us go over them one by one.
Although the tiny house movement is gaining momentum and being legalized in some areas, at most places, you aren’t allowed to park or live in your tiny home full-time due to local zoning laws and regulations.
Therefore, most tiny home dwellers including myself, live under the radar and park our tiny homes in less conspicuous spots.
Convincing potential landlords to park your tiny home on their land illegally is a difficult task. So begin your tiny house parking search by asking your family and friends first.
If you don’t have family hookups, then finding landowners who are willing to rent a piece of land for your tiny home is the next best thing. Landlords may not be aware of what a tiny house is so be prepared to inform them.
In most cases, they will be willing to let you park but you would have to modify existing utilities to get power and water to your tiny home. In our previous parking space, we had to hire an electrician to set up a 50 AMP outlet for power.
In general, your tiny house parking search is easier as you stay away from the city limits. Based on our experience, country folks are more open to tiny house living and have large enough land that will give you privacy for your home.
Tiny house communities are basically rebranded private RV parks that allow long-term tiny house parking on a monthly or yearly basis.
This type of parking space is great if you want to connect with other tiny home dwellers and want to belong in a tiny home community.
One downside to this option is that your tiny home needs to be Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) certified.
If you don’t mind living in a campground, you should seek out private RV parks and inquire about tiny house parking. At these parks, simply pull up your tiny house, connect to existing utilities, and pay your rent.
On the contrary, public campgrounds owned by the National Park Service (NPS) limit the number of days you can park at the campgrounds. At these campgrounds, you can only stay up to 14 days to 31 days. So focus your search on private RV campgrounds.
But what if you want to park your tiny home at a specific location? What if you don’t want to pay rent to landlords at all?
In that case, you should consider buying land and parking your tiny house on it. However, this option requires a lot of planning, working with the local building development officials, and lots of cash to pull this off.
It is not impossible but it is worth looking into if you’ve exhausted all other parking options. However, if you are seriously planning on doing this, I would suggest building a small home on a foundation instead. It’ll take a similar amount of work and cost about the same but creates equity on your investment.
If you’ve always dreamed of traveling with your tiny home, you can simply move from one parking location to the next and live a nomadic lifestyle.
However, although it is doable, towing a tiny home frequently costs additional money and will wear down your home faster.
If this is the route that you want to take, we suggest buying or purchasing a tiny home that is lightweight, compact, and designed for long-distance travel. You could also look into van life as it could be the better option for you.
You now know what type of parking spot you want but how are you going to find it?
Depending on where you are located, the difficulty in finding a tiny house parking spot will vary.
For example, if you want to live within the city limits, you will have a hard time finding parking spaces due to the local zoning laws and the lack of land availability. However, as you look outside the city limits (the countryside), you will find that there are more options to choose from.
That being said, here are all the ways that you can use to find your dream tiny house parking.
Ask your family members and friends if they have land that you can park on. Parking your tiny home on family and friends’ land will feel more secure than parking on a stranger’s lot.
If they don’t have any land to spare, ask if they know someone who does. More likely than not, they may know people who can help you out!
Local Facebook groups can be a great place to quickly connect with potential hosts. To find local Facebook groups, simply go to Facebook and look up the name of the city you are interested in in the Groups search box.
You can also try searching “(Your City or State) Tiny House” to connect with the local tiny house community group.
Create a simple post including a picture of you and your tiny home. Introduce yourself to the group and clearly list out what your tiny house parking needs are.
Similarly, look up local community subreddits on Reddit and create a post inquiring about tiny house parking. Make sure to click the “Communities” tab to find a subreddit that matches the area you are interested in parking your tiny home.
If the local subreddit doesn’t have enough members, that means your search is too narrow. In that case, we recommend broadening your search or finding another group that has more members.
Facebook Marketplace is a platform where people buy and sell items. However, you can find parking spots for your tiny home on this platform. How?
The trick is to search for listings that are advertising for rent. In addition, look for “parking for rent” listings as well.
People who are posting these listings are landlords who are looking to make additional income. But, they may not have thought of renting out their land for tiny house parking.
Reach out to these landowners, introduce yourself and communicate what your tiny house parking needs are. This was the method I used to find my tiny house building spot a couple of years ago.
Groups and subreddits are not the only places to look for tiny house parking. Instead of looking for parking spaces, why not increase your reach by advertising yourself to the potential hosts on the Internet?
You can do just that on Craigslist for free. Using this method, I’ve gotten several inquiries within a couple of days of posting an ad on Craigslist.
People who responded to my listing were mostly landowners looking to rent out part of their land. If you find a spot you like, make arrangements to see the property before you finalize.
If you want to park your tiny house in a specific area, the best option is to reach out to the landowners directly via mailbox drops.
Create a flyer including a brief description of yourself, your tiny home, and your tiny home parking needs. Then, drive around the neighborhood you are interested in parking your tiny home and drop your flyers into the mailboxes.
RV parks and tiny house communities are great choices if you want to live in a place with like-minded people. We did not explore these options because we knew we wanted to live in a private area with no neighbors.
However, in most of these places, you need a tiny home that is certified by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). So if you built your tiny home without RVIA certification, you may have to pull some strings or look for private campgrounds that allow DIY tiny homes.
If all of the above methods fail, you can create a Facebook Ad to make yourself be seen in front of thousands of people via Facebook Ads
One big benefit of using Facebook Ads is that you have the ability to show your ad to a particular region, age group, income, and control how many people you want your ad to be shown.
I tried this method in the past and I had people messaging me for additional information almost the same day the ad went live. Educate yourself on Facebook Ads and give them a try if you exhaust all options.
Tiny house parking costs will vary significantly depending on where you plan to live. Typically, you will pay anywhere from $300 to $800 per month. If you live in an area where the standard of living is high, expect to pay the higher end of the rent spectrum.
Currently, I am paying $500/mo for rent in Virginia with all utilities included. We are parked on a 10-acre farm and all utilities were set up for us by the landowner. We got extremely lucky and we are extremely grateful.
Since most homes and developed land will have water hookups, you will mostly only have to worry about installing an RV-style electrical outlet for your tiny home. The cost of the outdoor electrical installation will range from $800 to $1,500.
To reduce your initial setup cost, simply ask your landowner if they want to pitch in and keep the electrical outlet when you move. Otherwise, you will have to uninstall it when you move but at least you get to keep the outlet with you.
Here are all the places you can park your tiny home: Family and friends land, private land, tiny house community, private RV parks, your land, or simply travel and camp.
Depending on where you live, expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $800 per month in rent.
Internet is your best friend. Look up established tiny house communities or private campgrounds near you. If you are looking for more privacy, you create an ad on local online community inquiring about tiny house parking spaces.
You can find tiny house parking for rent by doing any of the following: asking family and friends for hookups, creating an ad on Facebook, Reddit, and Craigslist, doing mailbox drops, and reaching out to private campgrounds and tiny house communities.
No. You need to do your research and find out if your local zoning laws allow it. If zoning does not allow it, you will have to find creative ways to live under the radar.
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