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tmoning

Motorhome parking - residential

4 posts in this topic

Many communities have RV parking or "oversized vehicle" parking laws on the books. Sometimes the regulations are outdated. Sometimes they're not enforced until a resident lodges a complaint. Often, the trouble originates when someone perceives a parked motorhome to be a safety hazard or an unappealing visual across the neighborhood landscape.

What's a motorhome owner, or prospective owner, to do?

Before buying a motorhome, be sure to find out whether you can park it, legally, on your lot. Your community might have specific vehicle size, screening or lot location requirements for parking. Contact your city clerk, township manager or neighborhood association to find out about the regulations specific to your area.

Aalways follow state laws, local ordinances and community association restrictions pertaining to motorhome parking. If you can't park your motorhome in a manner that meets current regulations, perhaps a viable storage facilty is located within a reasonable distance from your home. Of course, that can be costly and is less convenient.

FMCA members who are confronted by harsh parking restrictions may contact FMCA's Governmental and Legislative Affairs Committee for assistance.

So, what do you think: Should governing bodies have the right to regulate motorhome parking on your residential lot?

Or, should you be allowed to park it where and however you please, provided the parked vehicle does not threaten the public safety, health or welfare?

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You open a real can on worms with that multifaceted question. If a person carefully investigates their right to park an oversized vehicle in a community, and all is well, what is to prevent the community from changing the parking regulations when complaints are filed. Today I feel I have every right to park an oversized vehicle in my lot. Tomorrow when my neighbor purchases a used dump-truck and and wants his son to start a yard clean-up business, leaving the full truck in the street each night, I might seriously change my mind about parking freedom. Like grandma used to say: "depends on who's ox was gourd."

With this in mind, if a person moves into a community with CC&Rs, they should not expect the community to bend the rules for their beautiful new motorhome. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

When a person is confronted with a problem regarding their existing motorhome, along with establishing a strong fight, it would be a good idea to develop and plan B, or even a plan C.

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I'm hesitant to weigh in on this one. As Cookie & Gary said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I have been able to park my motor home in my mother's driveway when we visit her for several years now. I'm not sure if the town where she lives has any regulations but I do my best to keep a low profile while there. I'm sure if any of the neighbors were to object the police would come calling to ask me to move even if there weren't a regulation. Mom is in a sparsely populated area, nowhere near the heart of town, I think that helps.

When we bought our motor home, I checked with the police in the county where we lived. It is an urban area and they would allow street parking for two days which is what we did when we were ready to move into our motor home. When the neighbors came by, we showed them through the motor home and told them of our plans to live in it. Everyone was friendly and we heard of no complaints. It is nice to be able to do things like this from time to time.

Much like the overnight parking that some states limit or prohibit, parking and/or storing a motor home at your home should be done with the objective of being a good neighbor and keeping a low profile so as not to call undue attention to your motor home. By doing so, you may be preserving the rights of other motor home owners to continue parking at their homes. All it takes is one "bad" apple to spoil it for everyone else.

If you are moving and know that you want to keep your motor home at your home, even if for a short period of time, you should check the community rules before purchasing the house, just as you would investigate the schools in a community to be sure your children will get a good education.

If you are faced with a law limiting or prohibiting RV parking in residential areas, you can fight to keep your right to park at home. If it looks like the support for the law is strong, then you may have to seek some compromise that might set conditions (set backs from streets, screening, covers, time limits, etc.) for keeping the motor home at your home. If all else fails, you might try to get a grandfather clause written into the law. That would at least protect the rights of those who purchased their homes with this right.

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I fell into having this problem at our house. We are fortunate enough to have a spare driveway to park the RV, but during summer we leave it on the street. I checked the convenants and local area statutes, which stated that no commercial vehicle can be parked and no RV longer than 30 days. We had a neighbor that was one of those people who just hated life and he called the local autorities. The cop asked me to move the RV and when I cited the statute to him without trying to sound like a wise ***, he said he was going to tow it.

I explained that the statue said there had to be at least three people residing on the same street to have filed a complaint and that if that was true I could only be issued a citation and not subject to a tow since I was legaly plated, etc. Long story short, I got no ticket or tow and if it came to push and shove I could leave the RV there and just move it a few feet every 30 days. But the best advice is to try and get along with your neighbors and do check the local covenants pertaining to your neighborhood and don't just rely on the local law enforcement to provide you with accurate advice.

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