Can you live in a destination trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you live in a destination trailer? We will discuss the pros and cons of living in a destination trailer and the conditions you have to meet in order to legally live in a trailer in the US. 

Can you live in a destination trailer?

Yes, both legally and practically, you can live in a destination trailer. However, it must be able to be moved at any time. This means that the construction of an additional room for example, like any other arrangement in the floors, is not allowed. 

If the floor space does not exceed 430 sq ft, it does not require a building permit. In addition, not being considered as a construction, its inhabitants are exempt from housing tax.

You can install your destination trailer at your choice:

  • In a dedicated residential leisure park;
  • Within an approved trailer park;
  • On a campsite.

Destination trailers are perfect for four-season living. Compared to static caravans, for example, they are luxurious and have more amenities to let you live comfortably even during winter. Most destination trailers have refrigerators, full-size washers and dryers and are self-contained (it has its own holding, grey and black water tanks). 

What are the costs of living in a destination trailer?

To live in a destination trailer, different costs are to be expected.

  • The price of a destination trailer: To buy a new destination trailer, you must plan a budget of between $20,000 and $70,000. Make sure that it is comfortable and that it is sufficiently insulated so that it does not suffer from heat or cold, depending on the season. To reduce this cost, however, it is possible to buy it second-hand. 
  • Campsite contract: Before buying your destination trailer, if you do not plan to put it on private land, we recommend that you start by choosing the place where you want to install it and carry out a comparative study of the prices.

Depending on the campsite, water and electricity consumption costs may be included in a package or added according to your consumption verified by meter reading. Some campsites also charge entrance fees on your arrival, which can vary from $ 1,000 to $ 10,000. 

9 advantages of living in a destination trailer

In this section, we will discuss the advantages of buying and living in a destination trailer. We’ll go over some cons as well later. 

  1. The purchase price: The purchase price of a destination trailer is actually relatively low when compared to the price per sq ft of real estate. In addition, campsites located by the sea are often located in areas where the price of real estate is inaccessible to a majority of individuals.

Some sectors see the price of real estate approaching 8 to 10,000 $/sq ft, whereas the price of a destination trailer in the same sector can be around 2 to 3,000 $/sq ft. It makes a huge difference.

Do not forget either that the price of a destination trailer can be totally different depending on the campsite or the concession in which it is placed. 

  1. The freedom: Who has not dreamed of living in the great outdoors in a nice corner with access to structures that allow you to see everyday life quite differently? Camping, in this sense, can prove to be a real calming solution. I know hundreds of homeowners who didn’t change their new way of life for the world.

Let us not forget that the price of the rental of the site allows access to structures, activities and most of the time includes the various interviews around the destination trailer. I do not know personally if this lifestyle would suit me for several months but I fully understand that this appeals to many owners.

  1. Reduce annual costs through the sub-rental of the destination trailer: This is a point comparable to real estate, but it takes on even more importance with destination trailers. Often, owners do not want to have too many costs with their destination trailer, so it is important to offer the property for subletting to amortize the cost of the annual site.
  1. No risk for rental demand in a campsite: Even if the short-term rental demand exists in real estate, it must be admitted that in campsites, it is even more specific. Rental demand is very present in the high season and offseason. In addition, the activities and structures of the campsite allow you to sublet beautiful weeks.
  1. The sublet is easily managed: When you want to sublet your destination trailer alone, the campsite must obviously authorize it, but you also need a person on site able to make the entries/exits and/or cleaning.

These people are quite easily found camping since the number of owners or other people set up micro-businesses to provide this concierge service. This is often less expensive than a traditional concierge and provides you with a trusted person to manage your sub-rentals. 

  1. Making the whole family happy: Owning a destination trailer is obviously an excellent way to satisfy young and old. It is very rare that owners do not please their children and/or grandchildren by lending their destination trailer.

You will be sure to make people happy by owning a destination trailer, but be careful! It is also a “trap” to want to please because during this time the destination trailer is not sublet and the “lost” weeks will not help when it comes to paying the fees at the end of the year.

This point is to be taken seriously and measured according to the means and the price that one is prepared to pay each year to rent the site and the various costs.

  1. Changing your way of living: Buying a destination trailer allows some owners to change their lives considerably. By spending months in their mobile leisure home, some homeowners have decided to see the future in a whole new light.

Some rent out their main residence while respecting the 120-day rule and “live” while waiting in their destination trailer. It’s a lawsuit that allows some to easily reimburse expenses while being at the seaside (for example) 6 months out of the year.

  1. You can choose where to live and how often to move: This is another point that relates to the choice that each owner can have. We again choose the precise location where we want to be installed depending on the remaining locations of course. This correlates with the spirit of freedom and the outdoors that we find with destination trailers.
  1. Buying a destination trailer can allow you to travel: This point is a rather surprising concept at first glance and often overlooked. 

3 disadvantages of living in a destination trailer

Obviously, our article would not be too objective if we only listed the advantages, so let’s see the disadvantages when you want to buy a destination trailer on a campsite.

  1. Each campsite has its own rules: The fact that each campsite has its own rules requires an in-depth study of the contract. Indeed, there are a multitude of important points to check that we do not necessarily see at first glance.

This can be quite long and often leaves the unpleasant impression on the future owner that he does not know everything and is missing important information, not to mention the negative rhetoric of the current owners which negatively influences their thinking.

  1. Owner of a destination trailer but still a tenant: Once again, we must NEVER forget that an owner of a destination trailer placed on a campsite is ONLY the owner of the destination trailer.

This is a downside when you compare this “system” to an apartment, you can feel like you are not “in control” of your own destiny.  It is safe to say that when you own an apartment, you are not at the mercy of a rule change on the part of the state either.

  1. Do not rely on the resale of the destination trailer to earn money: The last downside I wanted to talk about in this article is that of reselling. A destination trailer is more like a car in terms of resale than an apartment.

Even if a destination trailer can hope to live more than 25 years quite easily, it is better to say that it will be worth nothing at the end of its life and thus avoid any unpleasant surprises.


You have understood that buying a destination trailer on a campsite, therefore, has advantages and disadvantages. We have tried to list the main ones so that you can better understand certain aspects.

Never forget that the chosen campsite must have the advantages that allow YOU to become a successful owner over the long term.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on the content. 

FAQ on Can you live in a destination trailer?

Is living in a trailer safe?

Living in a trailer can be plenty safe, it all depends on you and how well you prepare for it. 

Is it cheaper to live in a trailer park?

For many, living in a trailer park will be much cheaper than living in an apartment or house. Of course, there are several factors to take into account when making such a comparison: number of people living in the trailer, type of RV, plot rental costs, income, and so on. 

Can I live permanently in a mobile home?

Yes, it is possible to live permanently in a mobile home. It has its pros and cons, and it is a decision that one must think about well. The most important thing to consider is where you’re going to place the mobile home.

Other FAQs about Travel Trailers that you may be interested in.

Do most trailers have brakes?

Are toy hauliers built better than travel trailers?

Are there any travel trailers that don’t leak?


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