Where do I park my tiny?
Convincing someone in our current economic climate that reducing their environmental impact and financial constraints is not the problem. Many people would live a minimalist lifestyle if they were given the opportunity. However, any tiny home builder or tiny house dweller will tell you that we get asked one question more than any other. “Where do you park your tiny?”
The issues have shifted from Why would anyone want to live tiny? To I want to live tiny, but how?
Please know that there are wonderful groups and individuals who have dedicated their time to furthering legislation to make tiny living legal in all 50 states, but we aren’t there yet. What that means is that research is always your best tool. We aren’t your local municipality or state government so it is important to know your zoning and coding restrictions and regulations.
However, to help the droves of people who are sold out for tiny life but feel held back by parking restrictions and state by state illegalities, here are six realistic parking possibilities for your tiny house.
Your Own Land
This can be shaky ground so tread lightly and do your due diligence with researching your local area. Not all zoning is the same. Your best bet would be to contact your local officials and see if this is possible. That being said, some states do allow for full-time tiny living research and see if your state is one.
So, the answer here is clear: Do Your Research. Start at the top within your municipality and ask questions. Otherwise, check out the other options for where to park your tiny.
“Movable Roots homes are certified by Pacific West Association, so they are registered as custom RVs which if an RV park allows tiny homes then they should be allowed,” mentions Nikki from Movable Roots.
Not all tiny house communities are RV friendly much like not all RV parks are tiny house friendly. However, legally, if your tiny home has been built by a manufacturer who certifies them as a custom RV, an RV park should allow you. There are, however, other stipulations to research such as your size. For instance, some parks have size restrictions, weight restrictions, and utility power restrictions.
A Tiny House Community
Thanks to a few pioneers in the tiny house movement, tiny house communities are popping up all over the map. These are a diverse group of landowners who are leasing out spots--some full-hook-ups and some boondocking--to tiny house owners. Many are laid out like you’d image a typical campground set up, though most are focused on sustainability, so they may have a shared garden space, a shared recreational room, and even garage storage for outdoor adventure gear. Others are more wooded and offer privacy and seclusion.
In many states who frown upon tiny houses, folks get around that by parking on land that is zoned agricultural. Because many farmers hire seasonal help who might pull and RV or have small campsites or cabins for them, not much has been said to disrupt these more full-time parkers.
A Friend’s Property
The rule always applies to do your research, however, in some big cities where land is scarce such as Austin, Texas, people are moving their tinies into the backyards of friends who are already established. Since ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units) were made legal there and real estate is astronomically prices, this provides a passive income stream for the homeowner and a perfect parking place for the tiny home owner.
If you prefer a more off-grid lifestyle, boondocking--especially out west or in rural places elsewhere--it is easy to escape the city life by driving until you find the perfect secluded place to stop. In this case, you want to be sure you aren’t parking on private property and that you have thought ahead to provide rations for water, propane, and a backup generator should things turn south with weather.
There are websites out there like, Tryittiny.com that list pieces of property where you can place tiny homes.
Quality builders will want to make sure their clients have a place to park their home before building their home! Anyone who lives tiny will always tell you that parking is the biggest fear for potential buyers. However, they will also attest that they know very few folks who have been asked to move their tiny house. As long as you do your research, and be mindful of your location, living tiny can be the dream you’ve always hoped it would be for you.