Many people live in their RV for fun and adventure, especially with their kids. But for others, it’s for cost reasons. If you’re in Florida you may have wondered is it legal to live in an RV with a child in Florida?
Here’s what I know from looking into it:
It is legal in Florida to live in your RV, with or without children. However, for those who are divorced from the other parent, ensure doing so does not violate the custody agreement. Also, ensure proper living conditions and education are being implemented to avoid issues with DCF.
But that’s just a quick snapshot.
So in this article, we’ll explore the question deeper. We’ll look more closely at CPS/DCF and what they consider unfit living conditions for a child, and we’ll also explore some custody limitations and restrictions.
Let’s go more in-depth about living in Florida in an RV.
The horses are starting to arrive! Three rigs, so far! We absolutely love #boondocking in Florida! I get my horse “fix” … Lol.
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— Our Crazy RV Life (@rv_our) December 31, 2020
Is it legal to live in an RV in Florida?
Living in an RV on your own land is legal in Florida as long as you aren’t violating any local zoning laws or HOA rules, and you have power and water. Paying to park at an RV or mobile home park is legal to live in as well.
So whether it’s legal or not also depends on the area you’re in and how much the people around you care to do anything about it.
Florida, much like Texas, where I live, is known for being a safe spot for full-time RV owners. For the most part, many communities here are very friendly to full-time RV travelers.
So again, your best bet is to pay to live year-round at an RV park or mobile home community.
That way you’ll have full hookups, and can be certain you aren’t violating any HOA rules, by-laws, or zoning rules. With kids involved, especially if there is a contentious ex out there, make sure you play by the rules.
— Rv Fun Club (@RvFunClub) September 25, 2015
Can DCF in Florida take your kids for living in an RV?
DCF cannot take your kids for merely living in an RV in Florida. The only way they can take children is if the RV lacks electricity or water, or otherwise creates an unsafe living environment.
You need to provide a stable place for your kids, as far as laws go.
The main reason DCF would take your kids would be because they would consider living accommodations to be dangerous or that the kids didn’t have enough room to themselves.
But ensuring they have a proper education is crucial too.
For the most part, you shouldn’t worry about DCF taking your kids, especially if you take the time to plan out their education and regularly take them to the doctors.
Make sure you have a strong connection with friends and family to back you up.
Stong connections and a consistent track record are important because there will always be one neighbor who doesn’t like anyone and just wants to ruin others’ lives.
We’ve all had this neighbor at one point or another.
I’ve heard stories of neighbors calling DCF, and once they got to the RV, everything was okay because the kids were, in fact, safe and well cared for. Even though RV living is everyday living for you and your family doesn’t mean people don’t still look down on it.
The main reason people look down on it is that they might consider RV living like being homeless. While this isn’t normally the case, there are situations like this.
Sometimes people also look down on RV living as they equate RVs with mobile homes.
And those people can get a little snooty. Are RVs considered mobile homes? Find out in a recent article where I explore just that. I even get into the 1 example where they definitely are.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Wanderlustandkids (@wanderlustkidz) May 1, 2017
Can my ex take my child if I live in an RV in Florida?
An ex cannot remove a child from your RV unless living in the RV violates a custody agreement, the RV is considered unfit or unsafe or you are not providing for the child’s education.
So, they can’t take the kids simply because you and the kids live in an RV.
There needs to be proof of neglect and an inability to take care of the kids. Just because they don’t like RV living doesn’t mean RV living is unstable for the kids.
You do need to have access to electricity and running water.
This is why you need to have hookups in Florida and have access to amenities even when you’re on your own land.
Not to mention, even with living life in an RV, you still want to be comfortable. Meaning you’ll water running water and a comfortable bed.
And the child needs to have clean clothes, regular meals, and a bed to sleep on.
I have a recent article that talks about RV beds and not only why some of them are horribly uncomfortable, but also how to make them more comfortable without having to buy a new mattress. And when you do need to buy a new one, I even get into all the odd mattress sizes in RVs.
Just click the link to read it on my site.
— LuAnne Sorrell FOX 35 (@FOX35LuAnne) February 10, 2016
Can I live in an RV on my own property in Florida?
You can live on your own land in an RV in Florida if the RV has both water and electricity and you are not violating any HOA rules or local zoning laws.
So, generally, you can live on your own land in an RV full-time if you want to.
Just Google the local zoning laws for your town or county and search for RV to see if any local restrictions are in place. Of course, if the RV won’t be visible from the street, you may not even want to go to the trouble.
But if your land falls under an HOA, they might have strict rules and limits for placing things like an RV on your property.
Just make sure you check the rules of your area and live your best life because, for the most part, people won’t care. Just remember you’re always going to have someone that will try to ruin your time at some point.
That’s why it’s essential to make sure you follow the law. That way if a nosey neighbor does complain and the police investigate, you have nothing to worry about.
Our kids and the some of the rv park squad made this teepee. They are so cute and creative. I think they are playing “survival” 😂 #rvlife #rvliving #travel #florida #survival #teepee
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— BlueOakCreations (@BlueOakCreation) February 2, 2019
Is an RV considered an unstable environment for a child?
There is nothing about a child simply living in an RV instead of a home that makes it considered unstable. An unstable environment in an RV would be no electricity or water, inconsistent meals, or a lack of education.
But to really know the answer to this, we need to understand exactly what a stable environment is.
A stable environment provides a sense of constancy and routine that are essential to a child’s well-being. A stable environment ensures that the child will have care and nurture without the interference of any conflict between parents.
Stability isn’t just a house on the ground, though.
A stable environment comes from family and the efforts of said family. So if a stable lifestyle comes with constancy and family, then a child can definitely have a stable environment on the road in an RV!
You can assure that your kids will have plenty of space by buying a Class C or Class A RV.
You can also provide an online school for your kids. Some people may worry that kids that live in an RV won’t be very sociable. This is actually quite the opposite as the kids will meet new people, and the RV community is excellent for events.
RV living is great to keep kids fit and keep them out in the fresh air. A happy kid is a happy life. This can be a great experience for the parents as well since it takes a lot of great communication to be a parent living in an RV.
But ultimately, if you don’t provide a consistently stable environment, CPS, known as DCF in Florida can step in!
I have a recent article that talks about whether CPS can take your kids for living in an RV. I even cover the 1 thing most parents don’t even think about when opting to live full-time in an RV.
Just click the link to read about it on my site.
Did I cover everything you wanted to know about RV living in Florida with a child?
Living your best life in an RV with kids doesn’t have to be hard. Yes, it requires more work, but the reward you get from it is unlike anything else.
Just remember these key factors when you choose this lifestyle with kids.
Always check your area rules and have a great community around you; education always comes first, and remembers your rights. The best thing you can do is read up on your rights and the laws in your area.
On top of these things, you should do research into the state you want to consider your primary residence. Take state tax, vehicle registration, and RV friendliness into consideration as well for the best experience when it comes to your home lot.
Stay safe and enjoy life to the best of your ability.