Can You Live In An Rv In Los Angeles? [ Here’s The Answer ]

RVs or recreational vehicles have changed the terrain of affordable housing ever since their advent. A smart and cost-effective option for those wishing to invest in a home, RV houses are being opted for by those who wish to lead minimalistic, on-the-move lives.

RVs and trailers have gotten increasingly comfortable, equipped with every modern amenity present in a regular house.

There are RV parks meant for long-term living, a community unto itself. These have sprung up in several cities across the world, Los Angeles among them. In this article, we talk about RV housing in LA.

Can you live in an RV in Los Angeles?

The short answer to the question above is yes, yes; you can live in an RV in Los Angeles. In the city of showbiz, most of the population are young artists who wish to find work.

It makes a living in an RV an attractive option for those who wish to reside in private and comfortable accommodation without burning a hole in their pockets.

Additionally, the general landscape of LA allows the existence of RV parks and parking spaces.

The terrain is predominantly level and is as if tailor-made for the easy construction of large parks.

Is it legal to live in an RV in California?

The answer to this is a little less straightforward than the previous and thereby complicates decision-making. As mentioned earlier, living in an RV offers a vista of affordability to people who move to Los Angeles to make a living for themselves.

However, the legal requisites are different for different areas and can pose a significant problem when making a long-term housing plan.

It is illegal to live in an RV in the city.

However, there are residential parking zones, parks, and certain neighborhoods that do allow RVs.

It is a loophole that the RV community takes advantage of here. The lack of accessible legal space, though, renders the proposition less viable for many.

If you are planning to reside in an RV while in California, make sure to research the local laws of the neighborhood properly you intend to shift.

How much does it cost to live in an RV in California?

The cost of living in an RV in California is a figure that is dependent on many variables. The first thing you need to take into consideration is the amount of traveling you will be doing.

If you are parking in an RV lot or neighborhood, your monthly expenses for petrol/diesel will naturally be significantly lower.

If you intend on regular travel, remember to budget a considerable amount for fuel and road tariffs.

Second, before purchasing your RV- choose between whether you want a new vehicle or a pre-owned contraption. The former shall almost certainly cost you more but come with the benefits of novelty, longevity, and a better durability guarantee in most aspects.

If you decide to go with a second-hand vehicle, keep in mind that upkeep and repairs might be necessary. A used RV, on the other hand, can save you quite a lot of money.

RV parking costs money- with the amounts varying depending on the type of parking.

There are three categories- monthly, seasonal and annual.

Parking charges can range anywhere between $450-$1500. Location is also a variable that affects total costs, with certain neighborhoods being pricier than others.

Amenities are imperative when living in an RV, and amenities cost money. Besides basic requirements such as electricity, water supply, internet, etc.- one also needs affordable access to waste disposal and laundry services.

Additionally, getting an insurance plan is always prudent. It is also quite cheap, with most plans totaling in at around a hundred dollars.

A yearly total of around $27,000 is reached, with the largest deviations resulting in the RV price.

Where can you park an RV in Los Angeles?

The question of parking has a multi-layered answer. If we are talking of Los Angeles specifically, RV parking laws happen to be quite strict. If you are out and not intending to stop for longer than a couple of hours, you will find provisions for RV parking at the larger parking lots.

If you are stopping for a quick bite or an errand, you might be able to park along the street, but not always.

The fine for illegally parked RV is quite high, so it is best to exercise caution.

If you live in an RV in the city( either monthly, seasonal or long-term), make sure to scope out a safe place to park.

Other factors influence this decision, too, such as proximity to your place of work, shops, and recreational centers such as the theatre, mall, etc.

It is illegal to live in an RV in most parts of LA, except where it is explicitly allowed.

Some residential parking areas and neighborhoods allow RVs, although there are very few.

You also have several RV parks, but these are usually situated at a considerable distance from the city and may not be a viable option.

What do the RV laws in California say?

If you intend to either live in or travel via an RV in the state of California, there are a few different laws you should know. They are mentioned here in the following list.

  • Most cities in the state do not allow overnight parking.
  • Towing speed is limited to 55mpH.
  • Triple towing is not allowed.
  • Motorhomes cannot extend beyond 40 feet in length. Extensions are granted only in exceptional cases.
  • For towing, one requires reflective signs, a fire extinguisher, and a safety chain.

Keep in mind that every city in California has its local municipality laws. It is a good idea to thoroughly research the laws that specifically apply to a city before you visit it.

The laws may also vary depending on the type of RV.

A class B RV, for example, might be easier to park owing to its smaller size. Class A motorhomes are more difficult in terms of ease of movement.

Concerning parking areas, chalk out a list of state parks that allow RV parking. California has many state parks, and while not all of them allow RV parking, a considerable number do.

Campgrounds especially equipped with RV lots are always a safe bet. Lastly, the parking lots for chain stores( such as Walmart) often offer RV parking. It, however, should be used as a last resort.


As you might have been able to glean from the article, living in an RV is not as easy as it might appear at first glance.

It is not just living in a vehicle( that part is quite easy) but also taking stock of one’s surroundings, scouting a suitable location, and taking into account local laws of the place.