Is it legal to live in an RV in Arizona?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Is it legal to live in an RV in Arizona? We will discuss where it is legal to live in an RV in Arizona and for how long. We will also explain as best as  we can how to live legally in an RV in the US.

Is it legal to live in an RV in Arizona?

It is legal to live in an RV in Arizona as long as you are as long as you respect the laws and rules imposed by the city in which you are residing. It is important to know that some campsites in Arizona offer full-time lots to rent for RV-ers and that in some places you can even park on your own land. See the table below for more details. 

Arizona CountiesLegal to live in an RV: Yes/NoWhat does the law state
Maricopa CountyNoSection 1114 of the Maricopa Zoning Ordinance states:
At no time shall the mobile home, travel trailer, aircraft, boat, camping trailer, truck camper or motorhome be occupied or used for living, sleeping or housekeeping purposes.
Mohave CountyYes, temporarilyMohave County Zoning Ordinance:
Travel trailers are permitted as temporary residences for one (1) year in conjunction with the construction of a permanent residence or commercial structure (as evidenced by obtaining a Zoning Permit) in any zone.
Coconino CountyYes, temporarilyCoconino County allows temporary occupancy of an RV for no longer than 100 consecutive days per calendar year.
Navajo CountyYes Navajo County allows living in an RV for 30 days without a permit and up to one year with an RV permit. 
Apache CountyPossiblyThere is no mention of this, please contact the county and consult the HOA.
Yavapai CountyYes, temporarilyYavapai County Zoning Ordinance Section 571 states that you are allowed to live in an RV up to 10 consecutive days, no more than three times per calendar year and with a minimum of 30 days intervals between stays.
La Paz CountyYesAccording to La Paz County Zoning Ordinance you can live in an RV as long as you have the minimum required for living (wastewater and wastewater disposal are mandatory). 
Gila CountyYes, in some districtsProhibited in Residential One Zoning districts; allowed in rural and suburban ranch zoning. 
Greenlee CountyNoAccording to the Greenlee County Zoning Regulations:“Mobile homes and recreational vehicles shall be prohibited as permanent dwellings within the Single Household Residential, Multiple Household Residential, and Planned Residential Districts.”
Yuma County PossiblyThere is no mention of this, please contact the county and consult the HOA.
Pima CountyYesYou can live in an RV in the Rural Homestead and Rural Residential Zone.
Graham CountyYes, under one conditionYou can live in an RV on your lot only if your main house is undergoing maintenance/repairs/is being built.
Santa Cruz CountyYes, temporarilyYou can live in an RV for 30 days/year only.
Cochise CountyYes, temporarily You can live up to six months in an RV as long as you have a permit. If you are staying less than two weeks, you do not need a permit from the council.

How to live legally in an RV in the US

Well, it is clear that living in an RV is possible. But can it legally be done? We are going to see the two main possibilities that exist.

Option 1: Try to register

The first option is to try to make your van, motorhome or RV your official address. That is, officially register in it. It is possible, but very difficult, and only for certain situations. 

First of all, you have to know that the legislation regarding these issues is largely transferred to the autonomies and municipalities, and although they all follow more or less the same main guidelines, the details may vary from one community to another.

To register and have your home vehicle as an official residence, the essential thing is that it has a certificate of occupancy. And it is practically impossible to get one for a van or motorhome type vehicle. That is, you can have your own land and have your caravan continuously parked on it. 

Well, if you do not have a certificate of occupancy, it will be very difficult for any city council to give you a registration form. And what’s more, if a neighbour is a bit of a jerk and exposes you, you may even be fined for residing in a place without the happy habitability certificate.

Another option is to “move” to a campsite and reside there with your RV. Well, even if you are paying for your plot, all communities establish a maximum time that you can spend a year in a campsite. And they range from 6 to 11 months a year. Although the number of months varies, the idea is clear: You cannot live continuously and register at a campsite either.

Option 2: Live like a nomad

The second option is to live in a “nomadic” way. That is, without looking at a specific place. If you don’t “settle” in one place, your chances of getting into trouble with the authorities are reduced.

Living nomadic means that you can move and live anywhere in the world without too many ties. The only limits are those that you impose on yourself, such as climate issues. You can live moving around your same province, country or even around the world.

This living around the world may sound a bit like “science fiction”, but really, with a good mobile data connection, you can do any kind of telework from any corner of the world. Or you can also start a business or professional activity and live as a digital nomad. 

The advantage of living with almost constant movement is that the authorities will treat you as just another traveller, and you will not have coexistence problems of any kind.

On the other hand, if your idea is to stay for long periods in the same area, you have two options: either move every three or four days from the place of the night or try to find a place where you do not attract attention or “turn out to be annoying” for no one. Being discreet you can surely stay in one place without too much trouble.

The bottom line

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 own 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 an RV in Arizona?

Can you buy land and live in RV?

Yes, you can buy land and live in an RV, but the legality of this will depend on the state you reside in. Most places do not allow one to live in an RV parked in their backyard, for example. 

Is it legal to live in an RV full time?

It is both legal and illegal to live in an RV full time. It all will depend on where you keep your RV parked and if you managed to make it your full address. You must speak with the HOA or/and the local council and ask whether you need a permit for it. 

Can you claim an RV as a primary residence?

In most states, you can claim an RV as a primary residence for tax purposes. As long as your RV has a bathroom/toilet, kitchen, bedroom – it is considered a home. 

References

Leave a Comment