There’s nothing quite like the sense of adventure and possibility that an RV gives you. Every adventure is just one drive away.
But when reality calls and your schedule won’t permit it, life will lead you back to your house, and the responsibilities and duties within it.
From time to time, you’ll need to settle down and handle affairs from your permanent home and put your life on the road on hold. When that happens, you’ll need to park your RV somewhere safe. The question you may be asking yourself at this point is:
Can You Park Your Travel Trailer in Your Driveway?
The short answer is yes. You can park your travel trailer on your driveway, but you have to examine certain conditions and variables which may impact your decision of leaving your trailer parked in your driveway.
Consider the length of your trailer, the rules for motorized versus non-motorized trailers, the length of time you’re planning to park your trailer in your driveway, the state where you are living, and most importantly, your neighbors. All these can influence your decision of whether or not you should leave your trailer parked in your driveway.
Rules for Motorized and Non-Motorized RVs May Vary
This is one of the first considerations that you have to understand. Depending on the state or city you live in, there are guidelines for parking motorized and non-motorized trailers in your driveway. It’s therefore important to know what kind of trailer you have.
- Motorized RVs are trailers with motors and are usually referred to as motorhomes.
RVs that fall under this category are further classified into classes A, B, and C.
- Class A – these are built using solid and heavy-duty frames set on commercial bus chassis, commercial truck chassis, or motor vehicle chassis.
- Class B – these are vans converted into RVs.
- Class C – this type is almost a cross between class A and B where the trailer is smaller than class A but bigger than class B.
- Non-motorized RVs are the exact opposite of motorhomes. These kinds do not have a motor. These too have their categories.
- Fifth wheel trailer – these need specially designed outfitted trucks to pull it.
- Travel trailer – a little smaller in area than the fifth-wheel trailer and can be towed by a larger vehicle.
- Tent trailer – this is camping on wheels. This can be towed by any kind of vehicle except for the Yugo. A tent alone doesn’t qualify as a tent trailer. There should be wheels installed on the tent.
- Truck camper – designed a bit like a house that goes at the back of the truck while still allowing you to tow your boat if you have one.
The guidelines for motorized and non-motorized RVs depend on your city. You have to research guidelines and regulations that might affect your ability to park in your driveway. Is it allowed? If so, what are the length and weight limits, how long can you leave it parked there, and are there special permits that you need to secure?
Length of RV and the Law
Depending on the city you live in, some cities might not let you park your trailer in your driveway if it is more than a certain length.
The standard length varies. While there are cities that allow 40-foot trailers and longer, it’s your responsibility to check if your RV is within the stipulated lengths. Other cities won’t allow anything more than 20 feet. If you live in one of these areas, you can forget about leaving your RV in your driveway.
There are other considerations that you need to take into account before parking your trailer in your driveway such as cars that may need to get in and out of your driveway as well as kids who usually play in the area.
Why Would You Want to Park Your RV in Your Driveway?
Aside from wanting to have your trailer close by where you can keep an eye on it, there are other reasons why parking it in your driveway is advantageous.
Here are some reasons:
To Save on Costs
All trailer owners face the unavoidable situation where they need to stay home and leave their trailers somewhere for some time. Parking your RV in your driveway can save you monthly RV storage unit costs.
RV storage spaces can cost you anywhere from $100 to $400 monthly. If you’re planning on leaving your travel trailer unused for one season or longer, the cost of leasing a storage unit can turn out to be a pretty hefty amount.
To Avoid Theft
There’s nothing like being able to quickly check on your trailer and seeing it safely parked in your driveway. This peace of mind may not be as easy to come by once your RV is parked in an outdoor RV storage facility. Even if your storage unit is insured, there is always the risk of trespassing and theft that you can’t completely avoid.
Not to mention, dealing with insurance claims can be tedious and frustrating. Having your trailer parked in your driveway removes all this stress.
To Keep Essential Appliances Running
With your trailer conveniently parked in your driveway, you have the option of keeping it plugged in or at least letting the motor and appliances run from time to time. Doing so helps you ensure that the appliances inside it remain in good running condition.
Electrical fixtures and appliances can waste away from being stagnant if they are not used for a long time. You may notice that they don’t run as well as before or that certain parts need to be replaced due to misuse. You also need to keep your batteries topped up. This is a task that you can easily do when you have your RV nearby.
If your travel trailer is just a few minutes away from your main house, you can run your appliances and keep an eye on them. It can also serve as additional bed space if you have guests.
Best Practices for Parking Your RV in Your Driveway
While having your RV parked in your driveway sounds like the best, cheapest, and most convenient option, you should check what the specific guidelines are in your area. Here’s a checklist of things you should look into as a responsible RV owner.
Be Aware of Local Laws
We’ve said this before, but we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to stay on top of the local regulations in your city. Reach out to your local government to find out if there are any parking restrictions for RVs
Since there is no overarching guideline in place, you’ll need to check local laws in your location. Some cities will allow you to park in your driveway but only for a limited time. Others require the entire neighborhood to agree on letting you park on your driveway. Others ban the idea altogether.
It helps to maintain a proactive attitude when it comes to researching the rules in your state, city, and neighborhood so you know exactly what your options are at the onset. You wouldn’t want to park your RV in your driveway only to have it towed later while you incur fines and penalties.
Talk to the Homeowners Association
If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association (HOA), it pays to talk to the head or one of the officers to get acquainted with RV-related rules in your community.
Again, the rules may be different from one neighborhood to the next. It all depends on local regulations as well as what the residents agreed on. Like city and state laws, they might decide to let you park your RV in your driveway for a couple of days until you find a more permanent place for it.
It’s also possible that your HOA will reject the idea altogether, particularly if RVs are not a top concern where you live. If your local association doesn’t like the idea of an RV parked in the neighborhood, negotiate to keep it there for a few days so you can buy some time to find a more suitable place for it.
The bottom line is, conversations with the homeowners association need to be initiated by you. Engaging with them puts you in a better position to anticipate and address any forthcoming concerns before they become issues. If RVs are not welcome in your neighborhood, they are more likely to hear you out and make concessions if you proactively seek their guidance.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Like it or not, your neighbors will inevitably have an opinion about where you park your RV. Even if your trailer is parked in your driveway and not theirs, they are still indirectly affected by your decision.
Start with your neighbors who are in view of your driveway. They will be the most affected by your decision to leave your RV there. Commit to hearing them out and checking with them. Share your immediate plans with regards to the RV and how long you’re planning to park it on your driveway.
Initiate a Dialogue
Similar to your homeowners’ association, it’s best to initiate a dialogue before going ahead and parking your RV. This will give them an opportunity to air out any potential concerns and assure them that you are also concerned about their welfare.
Neighbors who feel slighted and disregarded can be a source of problems and unnecessary tension down the line. Of course, it’s always more pleasant to be on good terms with others, especially if they live next door.
Watch for Driveway Slope
Don’t forget to consider the build of your driveway and if it’s safe and feasible to park your RV there. Note that parking your trailer is just half of the matter because you have to make sure that you can get it out of your driveway too.
If your driveway is rather steep, you may end up scraping the backend of your camper when you attempt to park it.
If you have a sloped driveway, back out slowly and carefully, preferably with someone guiding you as you do. If the back of your trailer drags, it will be easier and more practical to find an alternate place for your trailer. Parking your RV in an overly sloped driveway with the back scraping against the pavement can destroy your driveway and also your RV.
Keeping Your Travel Trailer Plugged In
One of the main reasons to keep your trailer in your driveway is so you can keep it plugged in.
If you’re able to park your RV at home, remember to use the least amount of electricity possible. It should be just enough energy to keep the essential functions of your RV going.
Run your heater to keep your pipes from freezing and to keep your batteries energized. You should also understand and make arrangements for the fact that your home’s electrical outlets are not designed to supply all the power to your camper.
Renting It Out to Make Some Money
If, despite all your efforts, your neighbors or HOA says disagree with the idea of parking your trailer in your driveway, consider it a money-making opportunity.
There are Airbnb camper rentals that allow would-be travelers to lease their trailers for road trips, and you can also use a service like RV Share or Outdoorsy.
If the thought of renting your trailer out on trips with strangers is too scary, you can opt to rent out your unit as a stationary camper and as a tiny home for guests. You can park your trailer on an Airbnb property where people go to stay and turn a profit from those months when you won’t be using your RV.
Alternatively, you can also rent out your trailer to someone looking for temporary housing in the area.
Parking your travel trailer in your driveway is a real advantage. It allows you to save on storage costs and have easy access to it while making maintenance much easier. As long as you understand the rules set by your state, your homeowners’ association, and come to an agreement with your neighbors, go ahead and enjoy having your RV just a stone’s throw away.