It’s nice to be here again! If we haven’t met, my name is Alaska, aka The Tiny House Concierge. I’m a millennial who couldn’t take it with the American narrative, snapped, and started over in a tiny house. Now, (when I’m not helping you go tiny), I write you letters here on the Tiny House Expedition Blog! To which you subscribe, right? 😉
Today I will be talking about the elephant in your tiny house. Or at least the elephant blocking your tiny house dreams: finding parking.
How in the actual does anyone do it?
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, Friends; finding tiny house parking will take a little elbow grease. But listen up because this is important: don’t let your fear of parking stop you from going tiny. In fact, please repeat after me: people go tiny every day; the tiny home community is amazingly supportive, and I can do hard things.
Because they do, it is, and you can. I would NOT lie to you.
OK, now that we’ve recited our affirmations, let’s talk logistics!
In this article, I’m going to cut straight to it and tell you how to find a functional spot. Please be advised these methods won’t ensure legal tiny house parking. The truth is that many tiny housers—especially those parked on private land—are still doing so illegally. This is because tiny houses are still new-ish, and the rules are currently being created. It will get easier to find parking as time goes on, but that’s where we stand today.
Legality aside, though, here are my top five tips to help you find tiny house parking ASAP.
Find Tiny House Parking with these 5 Tips:
1) Search Airbnb.
Yes, I know Airbnb doesn’t work like that, but hear me out; I’m a tiny house concierge!
Go to Airbnb and search ‘unique stays.’ Choose ‘RV,’ ‘tiny house,’ ‘Airstream,’ or anything else that might have similar hookups to your tiny house. Owners of these vacation properties will know the deal with tiny living and the associated utilities. Send them a private message to see if they might be interested in a long-term tenant who would come with their own home.
Sometimes people are over the short-term rental game and would jump at the chance to sell their camper, collect the cash, and then receive steady income from a single tenant responsible for caring for their own structure. It never hurts to ask!
2) Tell everyone and their mother.
Friends, every single human on planet Earth knows something of value. So leverage the brainpower of others by telling absolutely everyone that you are looking for tiny house parking. They can’t help you if they don’t know you’re looking!
If you think I’m joking when I say tell everyone, I’m not. If your church asks if anyone has needs, stand up and say that you’re looking for tiny house parking. If the grocer asks if you found everything, say, almost; I’m still looking for a place to park my tiny house. Do you know of a good spot?
Trust me; friends and neighbors can get the job done more often than you think!
3) Scour Zillow.
Here’s how this works. Go to Zillow and sort by single-family homes that have been SOLD. Next, go to the keyword filter and type in ‘RV.’ Then, read the property descriptions. You’re looking for phrases like “space to put an RV” and “30-50 amp RV electrical outlet.” These things will tell you that a property has space to put your house and that electricity is already in place.
You can usually assume that any such house will also have water available (as water will come via the spigot on the side of any traditional home). And, if you have a composting toilet, avoiding sewer will be much easier. Then all you need to do is convince the landowner to take your money!
Just find a polite way to contact them (perhaps a personal note in their mailbox) and go from there.
4) Post fliers.
It pays to be specific when you’re looking for tiny house parking. And fliers are a great way to get detailed info out to the masses!
Your flier should include pics of you and the house (or a similar house to the one you intend to buy). It should give information about who you are, what utility hookups you’ll need, and most importantly, what you can offer the landowner: i.e., x amount of rental income, help with the garden, etc.
You can then post-digital and/or hardcopy versions to community pages, garden enthusiast groups, bulletin boards, or anywhere else you can think of!
5) Consider your verbiage.
If you have been calling RV parks and asking if they have a spot for your tiny home and people keep telling you ‘no,’ it’s time to switch up the language. Wait a day or two, and then call those same parks back, but instead of “tiny house,” say “travel trailer.” Why? Because those are the words the park uses.
Remember that tiny houses are still new-ish. Some people don’t know what they are, and plenty of people just react to the word. So do yourself a favor, and use whatever term the person you’re speaking with will understand. Homeowners will likely prefer ‘tiny home’ while RV parks will probably be more comfortable with ‘travel trailer.’
Technically, most tiny homes on wheels are considered travel trailers (at least for the time being!), so this isn’t a lie. And while legality-wise, it’s best to trend away from this categorization; if it helps you find parking, so be it.
One note of caution, though, make sure the park approves photos of your home before you arrive on site. You don’t want the park manager to freak out upon your arrival if your “travel trailer” doesn’t look like what they were expecting. I will say something like; I want to make sure my travel trailer doesn’t violate any aesthetic standards you may have set for the community. Would it be OK to send you a couple of photos?
Be sure to have this conversation via email so you have a record!
Christian & Alexis share more top tips to find tiny house parking:
You Can Find Tiny House Parking!
Alright, Friends! Well, those are my top five tips for finding tiny house parking! I know it’s a bit of a task, but remember the affirmation:
People go tiny every day; the tiny community is amazingly supportive, and I can do hard things!
Going tiny can sometimes feel overwhelming, but at the end of the day, it’s just a bunch of micro-steps. So go on, make the flier, tell your church group, and contact those landowners directly.
I hope you all find parking for your “travel trailers” soon. 😉
Until next time,
Alaska is a writer, realtor, and tiny homeowner living in the great state of Colorado. She is the founder of The Tiny House Concierge, a company that offers consultation and copywriting services for people looking to rethink their housing and rewrite their lives. In addition to her website, she can be found on Instagram and YouTube.