R/V Dwelling and “Tiny House” Use

An RV is a recreational vehicle designed to be used as short term temporary quarters for recreational, camping or travel use. RV’s include 5th wheels, travel trailers, campers and motorhomes. “Park models” (CSA – Z241) are a larger version also designed for RV parks and campgrounds. Although they sometimes appear similar to a manufactured home, they are not the same and do not comply with dwelling regulations. The use of an RV or park model as full-time or seasonal dwelling is prohibited.

The term “tiny home” is used interchangeably for different kinds of units. They may be built to be portable, often on a flat bed trailer, and as such are similar to an RV. Tiny homes do not meet the requirements of a dwelling and are prohibited to be used as such.

“Tiny Homes” which are sold locally by RV dealers are constructed to a CSA - Z240RV standard which is subject to the Motor Vehicle Act.  Although they resemble residential structures,  they are not designed for use as permanent dwelling units and are to be treated in the same respect as a camper, trailer or motorhome.  “Tiny Homes” which are constructed on a U-Build Trailer Chassis at home or anywhere not certified through CSA would be considered as illegal structures through the BC Building Code and the CVRD Building Bylaw and may be subject to Bylaw Enforcement.

Its valuable to understand the differences between the CSA standards:

CSA Z240MH (Mobile Home) : Approved under the BC Building Code.  A Building Permit from the CVRD is required.

CSA Z240RV (Recreational Vehicle) : Not recognized by the BC Building Code and cannot be issued a building permit.  Subject to the Motor Vehicle Act

CSA Z241 (Park Model) : Not recognized by the BC Building Code but may be used temporarily for recreational purposes in some areas.  Check with CVRD Development Services.

 Legitimate RV’s for personal use may be stored on a your property,  but they may not be lived in simultaneously.