Whether hosting an RV for an individual or a group, “Jurisdictions Having Authority” (JHA) in your community have zoning guidelines which determine the density and types of housing. At the broadest level, the JHA will be your county, your city, if the city you live in is incorporated, and your HOA, if you live in one. For the easiest solution, it is recommended to avoid grouping RVs in zones that do not permit this already.
Guidelines from JHAs are closely tied to health and safety requirements for utilities and sometimes it’s simply a matter of appearances. While the former concern is more important than the latter, people who fear helping others they don’t know and who do not see it serving their financial interests will protest as a consequence. It is sad, but this happens in disasters, unfortunately.
If you are in an unincorporated city without an HOA and follow our suggested guidelines for being a good neighbor, you have a good chance of hosting 1 RV ONLY for a COVID-19 worker for a limited time. (This is based on my past disaster experience.) Some cities may support this too and this depends on how they perceive the threat, the fiscal impact and the existence of other options. That said, if you are a county official who does not support COVID-19 RV housing, please send us a letter signed on county letterhead, and we will remove support for your county from our platform.
Scenarios an RV BORROWER will encounter for placement are as follows:
SCENARIO 1 (Recommended) RV Parking for individuals on private property (One RV) read this link.
- 1 RV per parcel will not likely get the county officials involved during the pandemic.
- If the place you propose to park is in an HOA, then you will need to go to your HOA to seek approval to park an RV. (The county or city officials cannot intervene because the rules for the HOA are determined only by the residents within it.)
- Treat any hosting agreement for parking the RV like a landlord-tenant relationship and put this agreement in writing. However remember that the agreement between the RV owner and the RV borrower is not actually a landlord-tenant relationship. (Topic is discussed separately.)
- It is possible that arrangements will be needed for weekly septic pumping, with water and electric hook-ups probably being available. Generator use isn’t recommended, unless no alternative is possible. (Nuisance, risk damage to the generator is expensive)
- Most individuals will graciously offer parking space at no cost. If that happens, please contribute to making the life of your host better in any way you can.
- Here are two methods where this arrangement might occur: (1) A direct traditional landlord/tenant agreement between the RV Parking Host or (2) utilizing the AirBnB Co-Hosting program with the COVID 19 discount initiative.
SCENARIO 2 (Good alternative) RV Parking for individuals or groups on a parcel zoned for RV/Mobile home use
- This scenario is likely to all utilities included.
- Some RV facilities are closed. Check with your local fairgrounds and state parks. Some regular RV parks in your county might be empty and willing to re-open for this purpose.
- This is a business, rather than an individual you would engage with. As such, they may not be able to offer free rent. That must be negotiated between the business and the RV BORROWER.
SCENARIO 3 (Not recommended) Parking more than one RV on private property (Not zoned an RV/mobile home park) read this link.
- Hospitals might find this attractive, but you will need to get a portable generator and actively manage load balancing 24 hours a day. The expense is significant.
- Sewage can be pumped out weekly, so this is not a huge constraint.
- General liability can be an issue, unless the parties are related such as in a professional work context.
- Other than the above context, you aren’t likely to have much success. Please use your resources wisely and focus on where you can set up safely and successfully and not waste time.
SCENARIO 4 (Not recommended) RV Parking On The Street or Totally Off-Grid read this link
- Avoid citations and warnings to move an RV. Parking on the street for more than 72 hours (3 days) is a zoning violation in most jurisdictions.
- There could be scenarios where someone would want to park an RV at a healthcare facility parking lot. This is better than being parked on the street, but this scenario is also unlikely to have any utilities.
- Arrangements will be needed for weekly septic pumping and water. Solar, batteries, and a generator will be needed. Generator use isn’t recommended except if no alternative is possible. (Nuisance, risk damage to the generator is expensive)