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Spevak argues that since THOWs meet performance standards outlined in local building, zoning, property maintenance, and landlord-tenant rules, they should be permissible so long as they undergo annual inspection.
In 2015, Fresno, California, became the first large city in the United States to define and allow tiny houses, including those on wheels, in its local codes, making it a model for other communities looking to create paths for tiny houses on wheels. A tiny house on wheels must: Although the fact that most cities call THOWs campers is probably the single largest barrier to tiny living, local zoning ordinances also clamp down on tiny.
In a step forward, Oregon and Washington (see Washington’s official self-certification code here) have both instituted certification processes for self-built RVs, making permitting for DIY THOWs a possibility.
This is the case in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tiny houses on wheels have developed a big do-it-yourself culture, with tiny house hopefuls wanting to take a major hand in the design and construction of their future dwellings.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get RV certification without a professional dealer, something inaccessible to most DIYers.
Online tiny house advocacy groups encourage prospective tenants to get to know their neighbors and make sure they’re happy, because code enforcers are unlikely to knock on the door unless they receive a complaint.
Regardless of these precautions, sooner or later, many tiny houses are forced to move or lose their wheels and find a foundation.
Continuing to adapt existing building codes to tiny abodes, or creating a new certification process specific to tiny homes, would be a big step toward unbanning a housing form that’s as old as the , parked her tiny house on wheels (THOW) in a friend’s backyard in Olympia and enjoyed not only lower living costs, but also closer connection with her neighbors.