Alabama House Bill 555 was passed in May of 2021 to amend Section 35-15-30, Code of Alabama 1975, in order to give law enforcement the right to remove unruly campers from RV parks.
Governor Kay Lvey signed the bill into law that now treats RV parks as though the facilities are hotels and motels where owners of those establishments already had the legal authority to call the police and have obnoxious renters removed.
Some cities ban RV parking in order to protect adjacent property owners whose land is designated for different uses.
Zoning laws are subject to change in order to meet the changing needs of the community, and towns, cities, counties, and states have passed various zoning laws governing the operation of RV-parks, overnight parking of RVs, and extended parking of RVs as well.
There is no universal law that states agree on concerning RVs, and one state differentiates between a mobile home and a travel trailer, noting that any moveable structure more than 8’ wide and 32’ long constitutes a mobile home while a portable vehicle that contains a living area of less than 220’ by definition is a travel trailer.
HUD began regulating the manufacturing of trailers known as mobile homes in 1976, and the term “mobile home” was changed to mean “manufactured home.”
Manufactured homes differ in that they are homes that are set on foundations but can be moved from place to place via a truck that can accommodate their sizes.
Moving the manufactured home will cost thousands of dollars, unlike motor homes that can be driven and camping trailers that can be moved from one place to another easily by hooking them to trucks or cars. Mobile home parks are also zoned by the officials who make up the zoning commissions. Any manufactured homemade prior to 1976 is referred to as a mobile home.
An off-grid trailer equipped with a composting toilet and solar panels permits the RVer to camp without a septic tank to hook up to or a dump station to use. Even in unpopulated areas away from an RV park where a septic tank to hook up to or a dump station is provided for exposing of waste, zoning regulations may be in effect.
Those campers who choose not to camp in a RV park are required to abide by zoning laws as well, ones that may prohibit camping where the RVers decide to park.
The tiny home on a foundation is not considered to be an RV, but if a tiny home is set permanently on wheels, it is designated as an RV and subject to zoning laws the same as motor homes and travel trailers.
Towns, cities, counties and states grapple with problems created by travelers who become obnoxious, unruly, litterers or squatters.
Thousands of full-time campers spend the year-round in their motor homes, travel trailers, or tiny homes on wheels, and it is a challenge for them to learn the zoning laws that differ from place to place.
Other RVers who are part-time vacationers or just passing through an area are also subject to abiding by the zoning laws that have been passed in whatever locations they are camping.
Violating zoning laws can result in RVers facing civil penalties, being fined or arrested to face criminal proceedings that could result in imprisonment.
Just as each state has its own laws governing the ownership and use of firearms, each state has its own laws regulating the ownership and use of RVs.
Due to COVID-19, a series of Presidential executive orders prevented landlords from collecting rent from their renters until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the executive order was unconstitutional.
However, the damage was already done to landlords because many renters at RV parks, apartment buildings, houses, motels, and hotels continued to refuse to pay rent, causing a flood of eviction notices to be filed that resulted in even longer periods of time for landlords not to receive rent due to the slow-moving courts that became overwhelmed.
An RV owner who wishes to live in an RV while building a home nearby is also subject to zoning laws, and working with local officials while the home is being built can prevent penalties from being accessed.
According to AAA’s latest report, RV ownership has increased 62% since the turn of the century, and 11.2 million Americans are now RV owners.