Is it legal to live in an RV in Oregon?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is it legal to live in an RV in Oregon? We will explain what are the rules of parking an RV and give you a few options for legal parking camps near Oregon. 

Is it legal to live in an RV in Oregon?

Yes, it is legal to live in an RV in Oregon, as long as you are not parked on public roads or in a residential neighbourhood in Portland. While it is not illegal to live full-time in an RV in Oregon, the HOA could prohibit parking the vehicle in a yard or driveway for more than 48 hours. 

Here’s where you should start if you want to live in an RV in Oregon:

  • It is best to rent or buy the land where you want to park your RV.
  • Contact the country building office to enquire whether you need a permit.
  • Get an address assigned to your lot and make the RV your official place of residence.

Check below for more tips on how to live legally in an RV in the US.

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.

Can I register at a campsite with my RV?

Living on a campsite is something that, in practice, quite a few people do. There are different categories and those of the highest category offer services classified as luxury: one more temptation to add to the list! 

At this point, the following questions are mandatory: can you stay at the campsite indefinitely? Could you, if necessary, get to register in it? The issue is not trivial: keep in mind that you will need the registry to access public health, educate your children, apply for aid or scholarships, among many other basic steps.

The legislation on campsites is an autonomous competence, therefore, it is different in each autonomous community. In any case, there is something that they all have in common and that is that it is considered (regardless of what sometimes happens in practice) that the campsites have only a tourist purpose and, consequently, the stay in them is limited to a certain number of days or months. 

If this period is exceeded, it is considered that your stay is residential and you will be committing an offence.

The conclusion is that it is not possible to establish a residence in a campsite and, therefore, to register there. This means that if you have a caravan, you will not be able to register in it.

You may have heard of exceptions to this rule since, indeed, there are and they apply to people without resources who, with the intervention of social services and a judge, can register in the vehicle in which they reside. In all other cases, as long as the legislation does not change, the registration must be carried out at a fixed address.

The best RV Parks near Oregon

  • Elaine’s RV Park
  • Ana Reservoir RV Park
  • Agency Lake Resort
  • Jack’s Landing RV Resort
  • Junipers Reservoir RV Park
  • Bike Friendly Business
  • Fish Lake Resort
  • Rising River RV Park
  • Western Star RV Park
  • Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
  • Ashland’s Creekside Campground and RV
  • Diamond Lake RV Park
  • Gold ‘N’ Rogue KOA
  • Seven Feathers RV Resort
  • Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
  • Country Hills Resort – RV Park
  • Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association

The bottom line

Living in an RV in Oregon is legal, as long as you follow the rules regarding parking. Some people are drawn to the idea of ​​living in an RV full time, but the decision to pack and live in an RV should be made carefully. You will need to consider the financial changes that come with making such a lifestyle decision and all the other pros and cons.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on Is it legal to live in an RV in Oregon?

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. 


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