Is it legal to live in a touring caravan?

​​In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is it legal to live in a touring caravan? For a free spirit, for those who do not like to have ties or simply for those who are sick of taxes, mortgages and bills, the idea of ​​living permanently in a caravan could really be considered. But is doing such a thing legal? And how can one obtain residency while living in a caravan or motorhome? We explain step by step how to do it.

Is it legal to live in a touring caravan?

Yes, it is legal to live in a touring caravan. No law prohibits living in a caravan but those who decide to make this choice as an alternative to a traditional home must know a few basic things:

  • You still need a place of residence, and a touring caravan cannot be one. And this is because it is not to be considered comparable to a traditionally understood house. In addition, no rest area or camping will ever give you the ok, as these are obviously accommodation facilities, just like hotels. A family member or friend can help you in this case.
  • Regardless of the nature of the accommodation, you will still have the right to residency. Although much smaller, you will still pay the bills. Precisely because the caravan will be fully considered as your home. However, to be truly compliant, your caravan must be connected to electricity, sewers and all other services.
  • If the caravan is placed on your property, then check the connection to the water and electricity networks. Alternatively, you will have to use the public ones. And then get the cadastral survey of the land and check that it is free from any slope.
  • The law prohibits the use of a caravan for permanent residential use if there is no building permit. The legislation applies to any type of land, whether agricultural or residential. In practice, if it is placed permanently, the caravan is considered to be a masonry construction and therefore subject to all tax obligations and legal obligations to authorize its permanence. 

To remedy this situation, it will be sufficient to have a building permit, which also has a relatively low cost, as we will see later.

Is it possible to put a touring caravan on my land without violating any laws?

The touring caravan can be placed legally (without incurring crimes) only provisionally as in the case of tourism needs but not permanently. After all, the very nature of these equipped trailers is for use other than the traditional residential one. It is used to move without staying overnight in a hotel and not settling permanently in a place. 

Even if the caravan is placed on non-owned land for a very long period, it can be entered in the register of suspects for the appropriation of public land.

The lawyers explain that the condition that the caravan, unlike classic buildings, is not firmly planted on the ground, but is only located on wheels, does not affect the cause of the complaint about building abuse. The building crime also takes place when transportable structures are installed, such as in the specific case of caravans, campers or even mobile homes that are not incorporated into the land and cannot be considered real estate.

You can not be reported if the caravan, camper or mobile home is positioned on wheels and is authorized to travel on the road. Just placement on mobile support that does not allow transport is not enough. It is illegal to place a caravan on land without a car or a suitable means of transport being attached to it.

In any case, the caravan, camper or mobile home must be used for temporary purposes and therefore must be immediately removable and transportable to another place. The caravan or mobile home cannot be permanently installed on the ground.

Is it legally possible to live in a touring caravan?

In the nation of prohibitions, the law exists, and it expressly says that you can live in a caravan for some time, but it does not specify how long, so it is very interpretable.

You can stay there, but only if the caravan or house on wheels still has wheels; in short, it is in working order with a lot of inspection done and road tax paid (insurance is not needed, of course),

If you buy a plot of land and put a house on wheels or a caravan anyway since the law is very interpretable, you can get a fine for building abuse if someone triggers a complaint. Certainly, it is an excellent solution in case of a serious economic crisis for a family, but it is still a viable solution if you have no other place.

If, on the other hand, you want to do things well then you have to:

  1. Buy a piece of building land
  2. Ask for permission (adaptation) to be able to make a permanent home 
  3. Buy a house with wheels or a touring caravan
  4. Wait a few months to get permission to build, then go and live there.

The cost for a building permit goes according to the municipality of residence, goes according to the square meters and goes according to the area. Still, for a touring caravan that has less than 540 sq ft, it should not in any way exceed the five thousand dollars.

How do you apply for a building permit to put a touring caravan on my land?

Even though you may need planning permission it is still possible to put a touring caravan or a static caravan on your land. You just need to follow these steps:

  1. First, you must confirm with your local council if you need planning permission. Each area is different and each project has its peculiarities. This is why you must always check first. 
  1. There are two types of planning permission: detailed or outline planning permission. It is best to discuss the caravan location and dimensions with the city council’s planning department. They will be able to advise you on which type of planning permission you may need. 
  1. After deciding if you need planning permission and which type, you can formally forward your application either by post or online. Besides the application form, you will also have to submit a plan of the site and a copy of the plan sketches. You will also have to pay a fee at this point. 

Although not a mandatory step, we advise you to discuss with your neighbours first, especially if the static caravan will be located close to their property. You always want your neighbours on your side!

Final advice and thoughts

Please make sure that you discuss with your local city council and HOA regarding full-time living in an RV. While there will be no issues with renting a space in an RV park, living on your land in a motorhome may be prohibited in some places.

If we can be of any help, or if you want to share your own experience with living in an RV, please let us know.

FAQ on Is it legal to live in a touring caravan?

Can you live permanently in a caravan?

You can live permanently in a caravan as long as you have a static caravan known as a park home. If the caravan is on private property, you will also need the local council’s permission. In the US, Texas, Florida, or South Dakota are all friendly to RV living.

Do I have to pay council tax if I live in a caravan?

Yes, you have to pay council tax if you live in a caravan permanently. If the caravan is considered your main home/sole residence, you will have to pay tax for it.

Can I live in a touring caravan?

Technically you can live in a touring caravan, but you need to prepare your route in advance. In most places, you can live full-time in an RV and spend up to twenty-eight days on one caravan site before moving on to another. Make sure you have space during high seasons or winter when most of the sites close. 

Can you live year-round in a camper?

Yes, it is possible to live year-round in a camper, but it is forbidden to make it your main residence and live there permanently. And if you are residing at a campsite, it is often difficult when they close in winter with the water and electricity cut off.

Can I live in a caravan on my land?

You can live in a caravan on your land, but there are a few rules to follow. Caravans and motorhomes can remain on the grounds of a primary residence, but only between uses. They must, in no case, lose their mobile nature. Otherwise, they will be considered as a fixed installation by the municipality.

References