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Author Topic: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?  (Read 1168 times)

rvanony

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2017, 01:18:46 PM »
I lived in a RV that was on my own property sitting on blocks without the wheels removed and I'm fairly certain it was considered a residence as I  paid property taxes which included improvements such a garage and trailer.

However I was told in order for the RV to be classified as an actual mobile home or home it would require a permanent foundation. I'm not certain of the definition of permanent foundation, as there are homes in the area built with cement block foundations, some use creosote logs with cement pads, date back to the 60's and earlier. This 44 foot RV with tires was mounted on cement blocks where the tires did not touch the ground. I installed a 240 service with panel into it, removing the exterior aluminum and rewiring the entire RV to code. It also had permanent water  and sewer lines.

However I also have stayed full time in RV parks. In one park at least the county and state classify an RV space as a camping spot and not a residence. As with most RV parks property on which the RVer's rent space is business property and the land and business owner pay business property tax.

The tenants may be considered to county residence however their RV is sitting on a space that's usually  considered to be for camping and not an actual  permanent residence such as a home or apartment. I know people who have been living in RV parks for more than 20 to 30+ years, but technically their renting a camping spot and can move any time they want after disconnecting from the utilities designed for RVs.

The utilities for each space are not permanent residence installation. There their for people who want to rent the space from a day to a month, similar to a motel.

As for searching a vehicle I'm not certain perhaps a grey area. If able to come up with reasons and laws you can't search a persons vehicle without a warrant then perhaps they may apply however the people staying month to month for years in a RV spot may also be considered to a residence of the county, I'm not certain perhaps another grey area for lawyers to   work out if a reason were to arise.

An apartment your renting the building and the land the building is sitting on as a permanent residence.  In a RV park your renting the space and it's utilities designed for mobile camping and I think technically (perhaps depends on the state and county) you're camping. However a warrant may be required to search a RV even though technically a person is camping, and as I said many full timers are residence of the county the park is in as they are registered to vote, their vehicles are licensed and registered at the RV parks street and address and often with their space number. Some have telephone service, most have cell service, pay for cable or satellite, have permanently installed lpg tanks that are regularly serviced, etc., for the address of the space their renting. Their RV spot may be a billing address, address for insurance, divers license, passport, etc. very similar or the same as a permanent residence.

So it may be difficult to say some RVer's are (temporary) campers living in a vehicle on wheels even though the space their renting may be technically classified as a camp site for RVs (vehicles) and not a permanent home or apartment. Perhaps they need to change the laws to reflect how long a person been renting a RV space while living in a RV as a permanent residence.

If your on the road,  you're definitely considered to be a vehicle.



 

« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 01:36:36 PM by rvanony »

NY_Dutch

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2017, 03:44:08 PM »
The terms "domicile", "residence", and "home" can have significantly different meanings. Like many fulltime RV'ers, we call our motorhome "home" and it is our "residence" no matter where it is at the time. But it is NOT our "domicile", the legal address we use for our mail, including vehicle licenses, registration and insurance, plus income taxes, voter registration, and other government documentation, as well as our financial dealings. Our domicile has been legally declared as being in the state we intend to return to when we're done traveling. Obviously a postal address does not necessarily indicate a "home". I'm pretty sure a lot of PO box holders would agree with that! ;)
Dutch
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rvanony

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2017, 06:48:34 PM »
I agree. I only feel at home when I actually own the property where I reside.

When renting I feel more like a subject of a  landlord, because complete ownership of a "domicile" is taken away as renters don't own  the land property and building structures where they reside. Have no deed and don't pay property tax, etc.  Having a deed  becomes a big deal as you become the owner of your domicile.

The term domicile is used in the English language in various way but I think is more often denotes ownership of a "permanent home"

A RV space space renter usually owns the RV but not the land or utilities and is subject to the rules of a RV Park and is governed and watched over by the park owner (landlord) or a person the landlord hires to watch over and run the park.

There are full timers  where the address of their RV space they're renting is their legal address used for credit cards, loans, financial accounts, vehicle licenses, passports. drivers licenses, voter registration, insurance, income taxes, and other licensing and government documentation. If they have a P.O. Box it's normally registered as a mailing and possibly a billing address. Some RV parks have USPS service where you mailed is delivered to the park office and you pickup you us mail at the office. While others don't and you would need to rent a p.o. box.

There are many businesses that only have only a P.O. Box address  registered as a business address and some state residences that have only a P.O. Box address. e.g. People who work as Seaman and travel the world never staying in a specific area often only have a government or private mail box as their official "residence" address while others may  own their home and actually have a  permanent "domicile" address.

I know of people their only  "domicile" is renting a space in RV park for more than 30 years. Seasonally each year they're working on a fishing boat in Alaska and travel back to the lower 48 every year to their  RV space. Usually get a storage rate when gone for the season.


« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 08:28:25 PM by rvanony »

NY_Dutch

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 08:50:14 PM »
Our "domicile" address is our commercial mail forwarder assigned address. That's where we "live" for legal purposes. Our "residence" on the other hand, is located at whatever RV site we happen to parked at, and our "home" is the RV we park there. We do own a small vacation cottage in upstate NY, but it has no bearing on our "domicile", "residence" or "home" designations beyond those times when we park there and the property becomes our "residence" location for that period.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

rvanony

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2017, 12:21:38 AM »
Yeah I don't know. I grew up in an area without street numbers. Addresses for mail were rural route numbers. Lots of people were still connected to the 1800s. didn't really know anything about street numbers as an address.

Often didn't even know the rural route numbers, you were the family or person living  next to the big tree hundreds of years  old or some sort of land mark, pond, river, etc.


ConductorX

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2017, 07:34:27 AM »
THANKS - Thanks to the LEOs for their service and input.   Thanks to Kevin's wife for her input.  I lived in Houston for six months after Katrina.  I traveled all over Houston on my motorcycle and my car and I observed the police were mainly concerned with keeping junk cars off the roads and keeping the traffic moving safely.

I purchased my RV in Key Largo Florida the day after labor day and drove it home.  State Trooper and local police were out in force to help people evacuate.  Not to hassle people or get in the way.  They were keeping the traffic flowing.  While the gas stations were a mess there was no arguing fighting or other incidents in the places I stopped.

I always cooperate with Law Enforcement.  I know they have a dirty job and put up with terrible people.  I don't want to add to the stress.  That being said I have not been stopped in years except at sobriety check points they set up from time to time.  Again IMHO

"CX"
ConductorX
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is an RV a "home" or a "vehicle" under the law?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2017, 10:40:22 AM »
The place where you happen to be residing at any moment is considered to be your private home for the purposes of your constitutional right to protection from unlawful search & seizure. Even if it is just a motel room. It has no relationship to your domicile (a different legal concept altogether), and your mailing address is just one potential indicator the status.

An interesting wrinkle is that the place you receive US Mail is always considered a part of your private "home", even if it is physically in a separate place. Whether a rural mailbox on the roadside or a box in a building elsewhere.  That means your actual mail box is private to you and that search warrant rules apply. The courts use a concept called "the expectation of privacy" to weigh the specifics (somebody already referred to this earlier in the topic).
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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