Can I keep my motorhome on my drive? it’s a question I had to ask very recently. We have enough space on the drive for the motorhome but there is no space for anything else once the motorhome is there.
The quick answer is yes. You may indeed keep a motorhome on your drive unless there is a clause in your title deeds that specifically excludes caravans (this would include motorhomes as well under UK law as far as I am aware).
This blog is UK based and you may have to check out your local laws to find out where you stand in your own country. Although it is written for people in the UK there may be a few points that you may find useful.
Why Park a Motorhome on your Drive?
There are quite a few good reasons for parking your motorhome on your drive.
For me, it means I can potter about and get things fixed working through the never-ending to-do list. This is a great time saver and allows me to work on the motorhome when I have a spare minute or two. It also allows me to check things like part numbers quickly and easily and make sure I have ordered the right parts when they arrive.
When going away for a while we can charge the batteries, load up things like food, bedding, clothing and all the other things we like to take. We can fill up the water tanks, check the tyres and do all the pre-journey checks which I had no idea were required before we bought the motorhome.
It allows us to wash the motorhome which needs to be done a surprising amount of times, they seem to be complete dirt magnets and look manky after the shortest trips.
So if you can maintain your motorhome and keep an eye on it, make sure its safe why wouldn’t you keep it on your drive?
Well in your house deeds there may be a clause that specifically states that you are not allowed to keep a caravan on your drive, this would usually include a motorhome. If your home has one of these clauses find out the exact wording and respect it.
Your neighbours may not be as enthusiastic about having a giant bus on the street blocking their view and may not see it as a thing of beauty, strange I know, but do have consideration for your neighbours.
Your family and friends may never see you out of the motorhome again. This is especially true of an older motorhome – if it needs a lot of work your family may never see you. If you are planning to go on a trip the time devoted will increase. I think my family thought I had moved out for the first few months of ownership. The good news is I have been reintroduced to my family, they turn up at holiday time.
Things to Consider
Before you park your motorhome on the drive there are a few things to consider. The main one being;
Can you actually get the motorhome onto your drive? Is the drive wide enough? Is the actual road wide enough? Is your drive long enough?
We have about six inches either side of the motorhome through the drive gates. That’s fine when I am driving out but when I am reversing in its a bit tight and needs a second person to guide me in. Even with the reversing camera, it’s still very difficult. We plan to widen the access in the future to make reversing a lot easier.
The reason I ask is the actual road wide enough is that if you are on a narrow street with parked cars on either side you are going to have some job negotiating a motorhome into or out of your driveway. Worse still, you can’t get out and you are all loaded up for the family holiday and someone has parked across the street making it hard for you to get out, It is definitely worth considering this.
While on the subject of the road there is another thing you have to consider and that is the overhang. Most motorhomes, especially large ones have an overhang at the rear of the vehicle. Ours is about two meters from the back of the motorhome to the rear wheels. This presented us with a problem. Our road has a camber on it and our drive comes down a slight hill to meet the road, there was no way we could get the motorhome into our drive without it touching the ground. This was especially true when we first bought it as the rear springs were shot and it sat very low at the back.
To overcome this I had to build some removable ramps that could be put down to traverse the dip between the drive and the road. This works very well and we have never grounded our motorhome yet. It is a real hassle to get it in and out but gives the neighbours a spectacle to behold whenever we go away.
Is your drive long enough?
A motorhome can be quite long. Ours is just over 6 meters but some are even longer than that. You don’t want to get your motorhome to your house and find about a meter of it is obstructing the pavement. That would not be good. So make sure that your drive is long enough as well as wide enough.
Can you get into your drive?
As well as the width problem there is also the height. If you have any trees near the entrance to the drive or where you are considering putting it they can be a problem for a motorhome. These machines are very high, we sit at around 2.6m. The thing to consider is that if you are parking it under trees and scraping by branches most motorhomes have items on the roof. You may have an air conditioning unit or a solar panel, you will definitely have hatches and vents. Most of the items up on the roof are expensive to repair if they get damaged so try to stay away from trees. Some trees also release a sap like substance which can be a real pain to clean off, better to stay away from trees.
Once you have worked out that you can actually get the motorhome into the driveway then it’s time to start thinking about how it may be for others. You may love the sight of you lovely well looked after motorhome but if you are blocking light or access or even a view you have to consider this in your decision.
Get along with your neighbours
Before you turn up with your new huge motorhome and park it up it might be a good idea to warn the neighbours. Just let them know that you are thinking about getting a motorhome or caravan and thinking about keeping it on your driveway. Fortunately, we have good relationships with our neighbours and never really had a problem.
We have always been considerate to the neighbours as it’s not just us who have to live in the street and if it is causing your neighbours distress for whatever reason it may be worth discussing and seeing if any problems can be resolved. Some people can be very unreasonable for no apparent reason but I have found most issues can be resolved.
If the motorhome was blocking someone’s light or it was blocking their window in some way I would not even consider keeping it in my drive. Everyone has a right to enjoy their home and getting a massive motorhome or caravan plonked in front of your living room, blocking the light and view will cause tension. I wouldn’t like that to happen to me.
We are lucky, our motorhome sits up the side of the house so isn’t really in anyone’s face.
What Happens if the Neighbours Object
If your neighbours really object to your motorhome they would have to have grounds for the objection such as cutting out their light or causing an obstruction.
Would you really want to do that to your neighbours anyway as you have to live together? You may be in different houses but you live in very close proximity to one another and it’s good to keep a good relationship.
If your neighbour is being very unreasonable and you can’t come to a compromise then there is actually very little they can do. They would have to take you to court and even if there is a clause in the title deed it can prove very expensive to have this enforced. Once you reach this point you would have pretty much destroyed whatever relationship you would have had with your neighbour and will be living in a stressful environment. To me, this sort of damage is not worth it and I would arrange to keep it somewhere else.
Ultimately if you are forced to have your motorhome removed, and this is where the law for a caravan would differ, there is nothing illegal about parking your legally taxed and MOT’d motorhome on the street unless there is some council clause that states otherwise.
Alternatives to keeping your Motorhome on your Drive
So you have decided against keeping your motorhome on your drive. Where can you keep it?
There are a few options;
You could arrange to have it kept on a friend or relatives drive. Some houses have a lot of space and the addition of a campervan may be absolutely fine. You do have to realise what you would be asking for is a big ask, so make sure you get on with whoever you ask. Make sure your insurance would cover you for this as well.
You can also put your motorhome into storage where you can keep your motorhome safe. The best storage facilities offer good level hard standing parking making it easier for you to do some work on your motorhome. They will have some sort of security, like locked gates and CCTV, good fences.
There is an organisation where you can have a look at storage possibilities called CaSSOA (The Caravan Storage Site Owners Association). CaSSOA vets the various sites and grades them from Bronze to gold. It’s a good place to start and will give you a good idea for what you should be looking for if you want to store your motorhome.
There will probably be associations like this for most places in the world. Worth a google search to find out if there is one near you.
The main point of this blog is really just to say consider your neighbours when you are thinking about putting your Motorhome on your driveway. Be considerate and this will help you. There are more things to consider than the legality of a situation and who is right. We can get caught up is these childish arguments when a lot of the time a simple solution could be found.
If you have conditions in your deeds that state you cannot have a caravan or motorhome on your drive then respect that. Having a feud with your neighbours is not conducive to the campervan lifestyle.
These are my findings when I wanted to find out if we could keep our motorhome on our drive. It is a guide. I am not a lawyer. Please do your research for your own situation.