Is It Legal to Live in a Camper in Your Backyard in Pennsylvania?

***Note: This blog article is for informational purposes only. Our law firm does not handle matters outside Pennsylvania. ***

If you’re thinking of living in an RV on your property in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering whether this is legal. Campers are typically classified as travel or recreational vehicles, making them unsuitable for permanent residence. 

Since they are not considered permanent dwellings, they do not meet local building codes and standards that apply to manufactured housing. While parking an RV on your own property may not be illegal, living in it full-time is almost certainly breaking the law. 

That being said, enforcement of these laws can vary from place to place. In rural areas where people already live full-time in campers or RVs, law enforcement tends to be more lenient when allowing people to stay there, even if, technically, it breaks the law. 

However, if you live near a city or heavily populated area, chances are that officials will take a stricter approach towards living in your RV in your backyard. Doing so has the ability to affect more people.

Even if you manage to convince authorities that living in your camper is allowed on your property, there are still other things you need to consider before making this lifestyle choice. 

For instance, what types of amenities do you need? Are there sewage systems available? Do you have access to electricity? Can you get fresh water nearby? These are all critical questions that need answering before committing yourself fully to this lifestyle choice. 

Steps To Take If You Want To Live in an RV in Pennsylvania

Living in an RV in Pennsylvania can be a great way to experience the beauty of nature while still enjoying some of the comforts of home. But before you start living life on the road, there are a few things you should consider when it comes to finding and setting up your perfect camper home.

Check with your local zoning ordinances or homeowner’s association to find out what types of dwellings are allowed where you plan to stay. If living in an RV isn’t allowed, consider purchasing land in areas where it is permitted or look into mobile home parks that allow RVs. 

You may even find that utilities such as electricity, water, and sewage are already set up at these locations. Plus, there will usually be neighbors nearby who may be able to help with any issues you run into during setup or along your journey. 

Once you’ve found a spot for your home on wheels, several other steps are involved before you can move in comfortably. Ensure that access to essential utilities such as cell service, internet, and electricity are available—or have permission to run electricity across neighboring land if necessary. 

Additionally, make sure that potable water is available on the land (if not already included), and also get a septic tank installed so waste can be disposed of properly. Lastly, establish permanent entry roads on the property so that it’s easy for visitors or repair people if needed. 

Consider Safety Risks Associated With Living in a Camper

Make sure you consider the safety risks associated with a lack of neighbors and less secure entries. This means having adequate security measures, like surveillance cameras set up around your property as well as notifying neighbors whenever leaving town so that someone can keep an eye out while you’re away.

Unfortunately, most cities do not allow people to live in RVs within city limits—so the idea of having your mobile home parked in your backyard is probably out of the question for most people. 

Instead, many opt for staying at an RV park or campground where they can legally park their vehicles without fear of being fined or evicted from their current location due to zoning laws or ordinances forbidding such action. 

If you decide that this type of living situation suits you best, researching different parks is essential before committing to one. Some parks offer better amenities than others, which could make all the difference, depending on what kind of life experience you’re looking for.

***This blog article is made available by the law firm publisher for educational purposes and to provide general information, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law, LLC for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case. ***