From the desk of Robin Butler…
As President & CEO of NOAH Certified I am often asked many questions that pertain to the Tiny House on Wheels (THOW’s) movement.
In an effort to respond to some of these questions I am offering my personal opinion based on the insight that I have come across.
One such relevant question is: Where can you park a THOW’s?
While reading an article about where to park your Tiny House, the article stated, “There are many different ways to answer this question, but the simple answer is that you can park your tiny abode wherever it is legal to park a regular RV.”
In reality, not all RV Parks are allowing Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOW’s) , while some are only allowing NOAH Certified Tiny Houses on Wheels. (see Paradise by the Sea, So. California)
Many RV parks are requiring insurance of a THOW’s. I recently received an email from a Tiny House owner being evicted from an RV park in Massachusetts because the insurance she had would only cover the home while it was being towed and not once it was parked to be lived in. This THOW owner contacted us because her insurance company said “that in order to obtain insurance the home had to be either RVIA or NOAH Certified.”
Since laws differ from by state and even by county within each state, regarding RVs you’ll need to research your preferred parking location.
If you plan on traveling with your Tiny House on Wheels (THOW’s), you will have the opportunity to park in campgrounds, National Parks, State Parks, overnight parking lots, rest stops, etc. However, make sure the signage states “RV overnight parking” is allowed before setting up your Tiny House on Wheels.
Most military bases have RV facilities. I recently spoke with a tiny house military soldier being transferred to a base in South Carolina. She was hoping to bring her THOW’s and she was hoping for space to open up in the RV park on base because it is currently full up.
There are places to park other than designated RV Parks. If you are visiting a friend or family member in a county that allows parking of THOW’s, you might be allowed parking on private land or in a residential driveway. Some places like Fresno, California allow Tiny Houses on Wheels in the side or back yard as ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units).
Rockledge, Florida passed an ordinance allowing Tiny Houses in Pocket Neighborhoods of 4-12 Houses of which 25% of them can be THOW’s.
You may have more parking options available with an “off grid” THOW’s. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and determine how flexible you are apt to be with parking and utility maintenance. It does take a bit more effort with a composting toilet, solar panels and a grey water filter system.
With “off grid” THOW’s propane appliances can limit your electrical needs. Should water not always be readily available, you’ll need to estimate how large of a fresh water tank will be required. The same goes for your grey water and black water tanks. Being “off grid” may mean emptying your compost toilet; rotating your solar panels, and filling your fresh water tank every week.
So, you will need to balance the cost of solar panels, holding tanks, propane and a bit more time/effort with the cost of finding a site with full hookups.
As you can see options are available based on your flexibility. I have learned that it is best to do your homework before starting your THOW build to be sure that your end goals can be reached.