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Is Living in an RV/Camper Van Legal in California?


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Is Living in an RV/Camper Van Legal in California?

  Class B RV Rental

July 10, 2024 Is Living in an RV/Camper Van Legal in California?

California is one of the highest cost-of-living states in the U.S. Naturally, those looking to live in this beautiful sunny state will search for ways to do so more affordably, such as living out of a camper van (also known as a class B RV). 

Is living in an RV or camper van legal in California? We’ll cover everything you should know in this article, from guidelines on living in an RV legally in California to the best California class B RV rental options available to do so affordably. 

Introduction to RV Living in California

Many people choose RV living in California since it’s affordable, convenient, and provides flexibility to travel more often, there are some pros and cons of campervans. With a mobile vehicle, you don’t have to feel tied to one location forever. Instead, you can explore many of California’s popular cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, and more. 

That said, California’s legality can be tricky when living in a mobile vehicle. Let’s review how you can maintain this lifestyle permanently. 

Can You Permanently Live in an RV in California? 

You can live permanently in an RV in California under certain conditions. 

Since an RV or camper van is considered a vehicle, you can’t register it as a domicile with a permanent address under California’s state laws. However, you can stay in local RV parks and maintain long-term residency there legally. 

Individual RV parks will have different rules regarding residency durations. Many parks have a maximum stay limit where you can only live there for six months. However, you can find some in California that will let you stay for a year or longer. 

With those maximum stay limits, permanent residency in one spot in California isn’t necessarily possible. But if you move around a bit to different local RV parks, you can easily sustain this lifestyle for the long term. Plus, if you’re living in an RV, you probably want to take advantage of the opportunity to travel around and explore a bit anyway. 

Is it Illegal to Live in an RV on Your Property in California? 

In some cases, you might have a house or plot of land where you want to park an RV and live in it for a long time. However, property laws in California often prohibit this, especially in smaller residential areas. This is because it potentially violates building codes or community planning regulations. You’d need to check zoning laws in your area to determine if it’s possible. 

Navigating Sleeping Locations in an RV/Camper Van in California

When traveling in an RV or camper van in California, it’s important to remember that you can’t just park it anywhere and stay overnight. However, there are several sleeping locations you can choose from. Here are some good options: 

  • Rent a campsite: You’ll find many great campsites across California that you can rent for relatively affordable nightly fees. Some campsites even allow you to reserve them for a longer time, such as one month or more. 
  • Find public rest stops or truck stops: Many areas throughout California have public rest stops where you can park RVs overnight for free for a single night.
  • Big box store parking lots: Several big box stores, such as Walmart, Cabela’s, and Lowe’s, allow you to park overnight for free if you stay for one night. 
  • RV parks: If you want to stay in an area longer, reserving a spot in an RV park is a great choice. 

Rent from Escape Camper Vans

Escape Camper Vans has you covered if you’re planning a trip through California or want to reserve a long-term van rental to embrace van life. Our camper vans provide a reliable and affordable transportation and sleeping solution. They come with helpful features, such as: 

  • Queen size beds
  • Foldaway tables and benches
  • Refrigerator
  • Propane stove
  • Sink with a water tank
  • Extra storage

We have campervan rental in California locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you have any other questions, contact us to learn more. 

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