How to Find Tiny House Parking Spots - 4 Legal Ideas
Ashley here! In today’s video, I am going to talk about how we found a place to park our tiny house. Tiny house parking seems to be the biggest question for a lot of people interested in going tiny, so let’s hop right into it!
1. Loophole the legal issues
You’re thinking of going tiny, and you’ve started looking into it, but you've probably found that one of the hardest things about going tiny is where to park a tiny house on wheels.
Because I live in British Columbia, for us it was a lot easier, maybe, to find a parking spot, because we kind of live in a place that is more forward-thinking towards these types of lifestyles. But, it’s still tricky. A tiny house on wheels is considered an RV, and legally you are not allowed to live in an RV 365 days a year here.
If you live in a city, you probably won’t find somewhere convenient to park, unless you know someone with private property, and even then the municipality might not let you live in it year-round.
The gray area is that you can’t live 365 days a year in your tiny house. So, as a loophole, stay somewhere else for a week, travel, rent out your tiny house as an Airbnb for part of the time.
2. Find an RV park
Living in a tiny house on wheels isn’t for everyone and you have to think outside the box to make it work, but it is worth it. You can park a tiny house in some RV parks that allow them, so if you find an RV park that lets you stay that’s a great option.
What worked for us
But, what I’ve done in order to find us somewhere to build the tiny house, and live while we built it, is that I put out a wanted ad. When we first decided to go tiny, I ended up finding a property where the landlord had a huge, 63-foot machine shed shop thing where we could build our tiny house in.
And, he had an RV that he rented out to us for a monthly fee. It took us a year to build the tiny house, so we lived in the RV during that time. We knew we didn’t want to stay there forever, especially because it was in a municipality.
The second time that we searched for somewhere to park our tiny house, I put out a wanted ad in Vancouver Island. We found this property where we are right now. It's a private property with a landlord.
I don’t know what the bylaws are like in other places, but here, if you have a farm or agricultural property and you have someone living in the property who helps with the land in some way, you are allowed to have one dwelling for the helper. That’s how we are legally allowed to stay here year-round, because my husband, Chad, does handiwork around the property in exchange for a place to park.
The best way I would say to find tiny house parking is on private property, where you are the only tiny house there.
3. A tiny house community
Another option would be to live in an approved tiny house community. I don’t know too much about those, because that was never something we were interested in. We always wanted land and space. A tiny house community is like an RV park for tiny houses, and you can park there year-round. It probably already has hookups and things like that.
4. Finding a private property
Regardless, both times we tried to find somewhere with tiny house parking, I put out a wanted ad looking for somebody who was looking for us. We enjoy living in a place where we can grow our own food, be around farm animals, live a sustainable lifestyle, and lend a hand to the property owner.
There are a lot of people out there who need extra help with their property and that’s the best way to find somewhere to park a tiny house. I swear by it.
You need to rethink how you want to live tiny. It will be more challenging to find where to park a tiny house within city limits, so it helps if you are open to living outside the city.
I don’t want to discourage you from living it tiny. It is possible and you can do this if you are willing to think differently about how you go about it. There are websites that I used that connect people who have a property and space to rent, and people looking for somewhere to park their tiny houses or their RVs, and it is a great resource.
It’s not easy; It took us months of searching and communicating and talking with people until we found where we wanted to park long-term here. It didn’t happen overnight; It took persistence and being open, and compromising with people.
Another thing that might make it easier to find somewhere to park is being willing to live off-grid, so the property owner doesn’t have to create hookups for you.
Our wanted ad
In my wanted ad, I explained who we are: a young couple looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle and park somewhere where we can contribute the property, or the land, and where we can exchange rent or a portion of the rent for work on the property. In your ad, tell them who you are, and why they need you, why you are an asset to the property.
How to find a tiny house parking spot
In summary, these are the four best places for tiny house parking: your own property, a private property, an RV park, or a tiny house community.
Let’s all advocate for more tiny house communities. Join groups and become a part of the tiny house community. Let’s sign petitions, talk to our local municipalities, and work together, so we all have more sustainable places to live in.
Where did you find parking for your tiny house? Leave a comment and let us know.