If you have plans to build your own tiny house on a trailer, then you need to build a structure that adheres to the building codes. You also need to take into account the zoning regulations while you are traveling in a tiny home. While building codes are a great guide to build your own tiny home, the zoning ordinances should not be ignored when you have a house on wheels. At TInyHouseMe, we can provide helpful information about the building and zoning codes. We also help you connect with established tiny home builders who can help you build your own tiny home for road trips and other adventures.
Building codes and zoning ordinances – What’s more important for road trips?
Both building codes and zoning regulations dictate the construction of a tiny home. Building codes tell you how to build your own tiny house,while zoning laws are more about where you can build the tiny home. Most state building codes are adopted from IRC (International Residential Code) for one- or two-family dwellings with size specifications for rooms (except kitchens and bathrooms).
Zoning laws are based on local factors, and the size requirements of the house are determined by its location (zone). Therefore, you need to connect with the local zoning and planning department to know the local zoning ordinances. As per the Tiny House Community, many counties and cities have a minimum size requirement of 1,000 square feet or more.
Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs
With no universal definition of a tiny home, in the eyes of the local government, tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs. However, RVs are very restrictive, and they can only be parked in certain locations like campgrounds, and RV parks, making it impossible for someone to live in it full-time or park it in the backyard or on a private piece of land.
Again, RVs are not considered for full-time living, and many local municipalities limit the number of days you can live in a tiny home. Some RV parks allow you to park the tiny home for not more than 90 days or 6 months. These are some issues that need to be dealt with.
However, tiny movable homes are much different from recreational vehicles or RVs, and municipalities need to understand this. The only way you can achieve this is to connect with the local ordinance and know how they define the tiny home on wheels and distinguish them from a typical RV.
States with flexible zoning regulations and building codes that make road trips less of a hassle
Even if the IRC and zoning regulations are in place, you can apply for a variance through the local planning commission to build your own tiny home outside the existing codes. Here is a list of states with flexible building codes and zoning regulations that make road trips enjoyable and less hassle.
Route 1 and Big Sur cannot be missed when you are on a road trip. The state has one of the most scenic bypasses and plenty of places to explore. The good news is that California is also one of the best places for any tiny home enthusiast. Many places in California permit a tiny home on wheels, but you must register the structure with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for use on public roadways. The tiny home on wheels also needs to meet with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 119.2 or 119.5 safety regulations.
One of the most beautiful and iconic road trips in the US is along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It runs over 400 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. Hiking at Chimney Rock and Blowing Rock should not be missed, while Asheville should be on your list for great food. In North Carolina, tiny homes on wheels are considered RVs, and the longest time you can live in the RV is 180 days. Zoning regulations vary from one county to another, and you need to find RV parks for parking or travel to find different campgrounds with short-term space rentals.
There is a lot of road to cover when you are in Texas, starting from Marfa to Big Bend National Park. Moreover, Texas is tiny home-friendly, and traveling with a tiny home on wheels isn’t much of a hassle. However, you just cannot park the house on wheels anywhere in Texas. There are specific places for parking the RVs. Tiny homes on wheels are considered RV units in Texas, and parking can be challenging. However, many tiny home communities do allow the parking of RVs. Here is the list:
- Village Farm Tiny Home Community in Austin, TX
- Indigo River Tiny Homes in Dallas, TX
- Royce City RV Park and Tiny Home Community
If you are planning a road trip to colorful Colorado, then there is plenty of things you can’t miss. The list can go on from Rocky Mountain Park to Breckenridge, Great Sand Dunes, and Colorado Springs. Moreover, the good news is that Colorado has no specific rules on tiny homes. Most tiny homes are classified as RVs in Colorado, and you cannot park the mobile home in one place for more than two weeks. You should also get RVIA certification and conform to the American National Safety Institute standards. However, many RV parks in Colorado are not allowing tiny homes, so it’s better to research than get started on the journey.
Zoning regulations at the local level are susceptible to change, and the tiny home movement is now on the national level too. The advocates of the tiny home movement are pushing the IRC to include tiny homes a primary residence for people in the US. However, connecting with a trusted builder is essential if you plan to build your own tiny home for the road trip. At TinyHouseMe, we help you connect with multiple tiny home builders who can help you build your own tiny house within a budget. Sign up now to book an appointment with a local builder. We ensure you get a faster response from the builder and help in planning and financing the tiny home project.