Our neighbors have got a travel trailer in their driveway, and it doesn’t really bother us too much – but are they actually allowed to park it there?
Whether or not you can park your travel trailer in your driveway depends on state legislation and local Homeowners’ Association (HOA) rules, so you’ll need to check both first. You may also want to tell your neighbors if you’ll be affecting the view from their property with your trailer.
In this article, we’re going to look in more detail at what you can and can’t do when it comes to parking your travel trailer in your driveway, and also consider how best to park it so your trailer stays in good condition for a long period of parking…
Why Would I Need To Park Our Travel Trailer in The Driveway?
The main reasons to park your travel trailer in your own driveway are convenience and expense. You could leave it at a storage facility; however, you’ll need to pay a monthly rental fee, and the facility may not be close to your own home.
Keeping your travel trailer close at hand enables you to keep an eye on it and care for it. It’s also more convenient if you suddenly decide to take a spontaneous vacation.
Storage facilities vary in cost. You can pay anything between $100 and $500 a month for storage. If you do decide to rent a space in a storage lot, check the security and access protocols as well as the monthly fee, before going ahead. You should also consider how far it is from your home, too.
Is it Illegal To Park a Travel Trailer in My Driveway?
This varies between different jurisdictions, so if you want to park a travel trailer in your driveway, you’ll need to check with your local authorities.
For example, here is a document showing the very specific (but clear) trailer parking regulations in Fremont, CA. Here, travel trailers come under the “oversized vehicles” regulations, which includes restrictions based on access, safety, and aesthetics.
Non-motorized vehicles such as travel trailers may only be parked if they are still connected to a motorized vehicle, and then, they’re still subject to a 72-hour parking limit. If you must park your trailer at your home, Fremont states that it must be kept in the garage, side yard, or rear yard, and must be screened by a fence, wall, or hedge that’s at least 5 feet high.
This is just one local authority; however, it’s pretty typical. If you have a garage or a rear yard with vehicle access and a decent fence, the problem is solved. If you haven’t, you’ll need to look into alternative places to keep your trailer.
Will My Travel Trailer Fit in My Driveway?
OK, your local authority allows you to park your travel trailer in your driveway: that’s excellent. The next question is, will it fit?
Travel trailers are generally about eight feet wide, and you can get compact ones that are seven feet and under. Length poses more of a problem, as travel trailers can be as long as 30 feet. Even the most chilled-out local authorities do not want trailers poking out onto the sidewalk.
So, it’s simply a case of measuring! Allow space for other vehicles, and ideally, you’ll be able to walk around the trailer without having to wear a path across the lawn.
Can My Housing Owners Association Stop Me Parking My Travel Trailer in The Driveway?
If you live in a neighborhood that’s under a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), you will have a separate, additional set of rules to those enforced by the local authorities. HOAs are often primarily concerned about the appearance of the neighborhood, and how one resident’s actions could impact on their neighbors.
Based on this, it’s extremely likely that your HOA will have strong opinions on your travel trailer, especially if it can be seen from the street or from other neighbors’ homes. Speak to them before investing in a new trailer.
Should I Ask The Neighbors Before Parking a Travel Trailer at Our Home?
If your neighbor was about to change the view from your property, you’d want to know, right? So, even if your trailer can be parked legally and without contravening any HOA rules, it’s still common courtesy to speak with your neighbors before parking up.
The key to good communication with your neighbors is to give them as much information as you can, and let them ask questions. Try and picture it from their perspective: what can you do to reassure them that your new travel trailer won’t cause them any problems?
How Long Can I Park a Travel Trailer in The Driveway? (Can it Be Long-Term?)
Provided your HOA and local planning authorities haven’t simply said “no”, your next question should be “can it stay there permanently?” This can be any period from just 24 hours until indefinitely, and can also vary depending on the size of your trailer. In some districts, you may need a permit from the local authority even for just an overnight stay.
Some places also stipulate that a trailer must be connected to a motorized vehicle if it’s to be parked for any length of time, so this is another thing to check.
Are There Different Rules For Parking Motorized & Non-Motorized Trailers?
As far as we can tell, the main difference is that many districts stipulate that non-motorized vehicles must be attached to a motorized vehicle while parked. This is for access and safety reasons, and to prevent non-motorized trailers from simply being abandoned.
If size is stipulated in the local regulations, this can affect RVs more than trailers, as they can be bigger. Never make assumptions, however, as some districts class 20 feet as “large”.
To find out more about RV parking rules, take a look at the Take A Yard blog on the subject.
Should I Keep My Trailer Plugged in When it’s in The Driveway?
If you can safely plug your trailer in, do so. This is one of the main advantages of driveway parking, and it enables you to keep the battery topped up, the refrigerator running, and a low-level heater on during colder weather.
Just please be aware of your energy bills, and remember that your domestic electric supply is based on running your home, not a home plus a trailer. The equipment in a travel trailer can be surprisingly power-hungry.
Is it OK to Park My Trailer Tires on Gravel? (Or Should I Choose Another Surface?)
There are a lot of different opinions on this! Many campsites use gravel, so it’s a safe assumption that it won’t harm your trailer’s tires. However, it can be different for short-term use.
Gravel can shift around, and if there’s been a lot of heavy rain, it can be washed away to form puddles. Just as you wouldn’t stand your RV or trailer on grass or dirt for the same reason, you don’t want it sitting on a wet surface for a long time.
Some users even suggest jacking up your trailer if it’s out of use for a while. Canadian Campaholic has made a short film to show you how to jack up a travel trailer safely.
The best surface for your tires is a solid, hardstanding driveway. It should be as flat as possible, as even the slightest slope can make things trickier. However, even if the driveway is completely flat, always use blocks.
If the trailer is going to be parked up and not used for a time, pump up the tires to their recommended max, then use tire covers to keep the worst of the weather off them.
Final Thoughts: Can I Park a Travel Trailer on The Road Out Front of My House?
In most places: no. This seems to be regarded as a big no-no across most jurisdictions, and if you do park it on the road, it is likely that it’ll need to be hooked up to your vehicle. If parking on the road is your only option at home, you’ll definitely need to look into storage facilities.
Here’s a left-field suggestion: rent out your travel trailer. If you hire it out for others to use on vacation, not only have you solved your storage issues, but you’ll make a few dollars as well. Of course, there’s tax, insurance, and business plans to sort, but it could be worth thinking about… 🙂
Got an RV, not a travel trailer? Read our article about parking your RV in your driveway instead…
Homeowner and property investor Larry Jones founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >