What to Do If Someone Parked an RV in Front of Your House

What should you do if someone parks their RV outside of your home? If you find yourself in this scenario you may be scratching your head, wondering what your rights are. Having someone park their RV outside of your home can feel frustrating and be inconvenient. What to Do If Someone Parked an RV in Front of Your House? Will help you address your concerns and learn your rights.

Quick Answer

Varying local and state laws address the rules and regulations regarding where you can park an RV and for how long. Standard rules are:

  • An RV cannot block the sidewalk, road signage, or a fire hydrant, but can be parked on the street for a limited amount of time.
  • On average areas that allow RV parking state an RV can only be parked on a street for 1-2 days.
  • Many cities also require an RV to have a permit for parking.
  • Some neighborhoods have home owners associations that have rules against parking a motorhome or RV on the street.
  • To determine your areas rules you can contact your local law enforcement on a non-emergent number, or visit your cities website.
  • RV’s that do not meet the local and state parking regulations will receive a citation and be at risk of towing.

An RV parked outside of your home can be annoying, but there are steps you can take to fix the problem. Understanding why and RV may be parked outside your home and what the standard city regulations are will help solve your problem.


Step-By-Step Instructions on What to Do If Someone Parked an RV in Front of Your House

If someone has parked their RV outside your house follow these step by step instructions. Note the vehicle information, determine your local rules, and report the problem.

Note the Vehicle Information

When an RV is parked outside of your house the first thing you should do is note the vehicle information. You will use this information later on when reporting the illegally parked RV. Here are a few simple steps for recording the vehicle information:

Step 1: Note the License Plate Number- The license plate number will be the first thing requested when you report the RV to your local authorities. I would recommend either writing the number down or taking a picture. If you write the number down make sure to include all characters and the state.

Step 2: Describe and Record the RV Model – RV manufacturers place the model on the body of the vehicle. For example, Fleetwood puts the model number on the vehicle’s exterior door. Another popular place you may find the model is on the back of the RV.

Step 3: Determine and Note the Make of the RV- The make of the vehicle is the manufacturer’s name. The manufacturer’s name can most likely be found on the exterior of the RV towards the front. Some popular makes are Gulfstream, Airstream, American Coach, and Newmar.

Step 4: Record General Characteristics- The last thing to record are general characteristics of the RV including color, pattern, size, and condition.

Determine Your Local and State Law Regarding RV Parking

Once you’ve decided to report an RV parked in front of your home you might be wondering where to begin. Reporting the RV to the correct party is essential to removing the RV. Once you have gathered the information you will need to report the RV, refer to these frequently asked questions to understand who to report it to and your legal rights.

Who should I contact when there is an RV parked outside of my house? Contact the police or local city code enforcement if there is an RV parked outside of your house. They should provide you with information regarding your local code.

Why is an RV parked outside of my house on a public street a legal matter, as opposed to a private one? RV’s that are parked on a residential street may be in breach of city ordinance, and practicing illegal street parking. They may also pose a safety concern. For example, an RV that is blocking a fire hydrant, or obstructing drivers view.

Are my local and state laws regarding RV parking always the same? In short, no. Local communities must follow the state laws, however they can have their own laws too.

Are RV permits transferable between cities if my own city does not allow RV street parking? It depends on the city. If the city does not allow RV parking then no, an RV cannot park on the street. If a city does allow RV parking then possibly a permit is transferable. Not every RV will display their permit somewhere you can see.

Is it legal to live in an RV that is parked on a residential street? RV living is popular in city where cost of living is expensive. Most cities have parking rules, however only some have laws in place preventing people from living in an RV.

Report the RV to City Code Enforcement

City code enforcement is your local city government’s authority that acts in property owner compliance issues. They have the power to handle nuisance complaints, and issues of property that jeopardize the safety of citizens. Follow these easy steps to report the RV to city code enforcement:

  • First, you can call, email, or stop in your local city code enforcement office. Determine which method of communication you want to use.
  • Remember it is important to use non-emergency contact avenues.
  • Contacting your city code enforcement by phone is our recommended method.
  • To look up these different methods of communication you can use a search engine and type in “city code enforcement” with your zip code, or you can refer to your city’s directory.
  • When you make contact request your cities policy on RV street parking.
  • Alert your city code enforcement of the RV parked in front of your house and provide them with the information you have gathered.
  • The city code enforcement may ask you additional questions like, how long has the RV been parked there or have you seen the owner at any given time. Be ready to answer these questions.
  • Stay informed and follow up with your city code enforcement if necessary.

Notify Law Enforcement Using a Non-Emergency Phone Number

To notify your local law enforcement team of the RV parked outside of your home you want to use a non-emergency phone number. The difference between a 9-1-1 call and your law enforcement departments standard 10-digit phone number is that 9-1-1 is purely an emergency hotline number. Here is how you use your non-emergency phone number to report an RV parked outside of your home:

  • There are a few different places you can locate your local non-emergency number. You can look in the directory, run a web search requesting the non-emergency number for your zip code, or go to your local sheriff’s office website.
  • Once you have located a contact method, gather the information you have built on the vehicle. You will need it when reporting the RV.
  • Make contact with your local law enforcement and provide them with the vehicle description.
  • Request a follow up method so you can keep communication flowing and stay updated.

If there is an unfamiliar RV parked in front of your house there are steps you can take to solve the problem. Determining your local rules and noting the vehicle information prior to reporting can help ensure your report is taken seriously.

Ten Common Reasons Why an RV May Be Parked Outside of Your Home

There are many reasons an RV might find itself parked in front of your home. Having an unfamiliar RV parked outside of your house can cause unease. There are many common reasons an RV may be parked outside of your home. Here are the top 10 reasons an RV might park in front of your house:

  • The owner is attempting to avoid a parking ticket on a public street.
  • The local parks that accept RV’s are full.
  • The RV’s owner may be from out of town and not know where to park and stay for the night.
  • The owner is living in their RV because they have nowhere else to go. Financial trouble and housing problems are a common reason people will live in their RV.
  • The owner is choosing to live in their RV to forgo city expenses. This practice is becoming more and more common in cities that have a high cost of living.
  • The RV is owned by a neighbor who cannot park it outside of their own home. For example, your neighbor has a fire hydrant in front of their house.
  • They view parking on a residential street for the night as a safer alternative to parking at a local camp or large vehicle spot.
  • They have an expired permit and are hoping to avoid a permit request.
  • The owner left their vehicle there in hopes of it being less likely to get towed as opposed to a public street.
  • The vehicle is stolen and/or has been abandoned in front of your home.

How to Identify an RV Versus a Trailer Camper?

The large travel vehicle world is abundant with options. Rules and regulations can be different for different types of vehicles. RV’s are a type of trailer camper. If you wake up one morning to find an unfamiliar vehicle parked in front of your house understanding their differences can help you determine what type of vehicle it is.

Towing: Like a trailer camper a RV can be towed behind another vehicle or driven. However, fifth-wheel trailers can only be towed.

Living quarters: RV’s have living quarters, including beds, kitchen, and bath. Trailer Campers have beds, and sometimes have kitchen and bath.

Size: On average RV’s are 10 to 14 feet tall and 20 to 45 feet long. Trailer campers that are often smaller. 8 1/2 feet wide is a common standard for all motorhomes, RV’s and trailer campers included.

Rules and Regulations: Some laws specific not by type of vehicle but by the size of the vehicle. The width and height of a vehicle are commonly present in rules and regulations.

What Are Standard City Regulations for RV Parking?

Different states and cities have their own regulations regarding RV parking. However, there are standard regulations that are commonly seen. Knowing what these standard regulations are can help you determine if an RV parked in front of your home is there illegally. Here are some frequently asked questions concerning standard RV parking rules.

Is it legal to park an RV on a residential street? Most cities have outlawed the parking of an RV on a residential street for any amount of time. If your city does not allow RV street parking, usually you are allowed to park on your own property.

Can an RV stay outside of my home overnight? City’s that do allow RV’s to park on residential streets usually do not allow overnight parking.

How long can an RV be parked on a residential street? If your city allows residential RV street parking on average, they can be parked for 36 hours. However, some cities allow longer periods of time, up to 72 hours.

How long does an RV need to move before returning if my city allows RV residential street parking? On average RV’s must be moved for 48 hours before returning to the same spot.

Are there size restrictions to parking an RV on a residential street? The average length cities allow for RV parking is 32 feet; however, some may allow as long as 35 feet. The average width allowed is 8 1/2 feet, while the average height allowed is 13 feet.

What is the penalty for illegally parking an RV? The penalty for illegally parking an RV can include fines for parking, lacking a permit, and not complying with code. Illegally parking an RV can also result in being towed.

How close to my driveway can an RV park? Almost all cities have laws preventing RV’s from blocking residential driveways. If an RV is parked within 24 inches of your driveway, they may be in violation of city ordinance.

Wrap Up

I know having an unfamiliar RV parked in front of your house can feel frustrating. Remember, there are many different reasons an RV may find itself parked in front of your home, and steps you can take to fix it. A day or two may pass and you start to wonder if they are ever going to leave? Note information about the vehicle and contact your local code enforcement or police using a non-emergency method of communication. Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

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