About Recreational Vehicles

Generally, Recreational Vehicles (RVs), campers and trailers are not allowed to be used on a property for living or sleeping overnight. However, they may be used temporarily under the following conditions:

  1. The Interim and Supportive Housing Ordinance adopted on April 6, 2021, allows for temporary occupancy of recreational vehicles (RVs) in specific circumstances in order to provide a safe living situation for people experiencing homelessness during a County-declared shelter crises. The intent is for a homeowner to be able to let a friend or family member who is having a difficult time occupy one RV on their property if the property meets certain requirements. Please see the Temporary Occupancy of Recreational Vehicles Eligibility Checklist developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

    To ensure that RV utilize a safe supply of drinking water and properly dispose of the wastewater from the RV, the Department of Public Health (DPH) has developed the Guidance below.

  2. Following a declared disaster (earthquake, fire, flood, etc.), local jurisdictions may allow a Recreational Vehicle (RV) or Mobile Home to be used for temporary housing while homes are being rebuilt. However, approvals will be required by the local planning and building & safety departments, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH). To protect the public's health and the environment, owners must show how the RV or Mobile Home will obtain a safe supply of drinking water and how the wastewater will be properly disposed of. See Guidance below

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Public Health Requirements for Temporary Use of Recreational Vehicles under the Interim and Supportive Housing Ordinance

What are the Requirements for Drinking Water?

Garden hoses are not rated for potable water and can leech chemicals into your RV water supply that may affect the taste, smell, and safety of your water. Only food-safe hoses should be utilized. Connections from an existing water supply hose bib to the RV do not require approval. However, installing an additional line/bib or connection to connect to the water supply requires approval by the Department of Public Works, Building & Safety Division (B&S). Information and applications can be found at Los Angeles County Electronic Permitting & Inspections page.

What Should you Know About Wastewater?

RVs are designed to hold wastewater in a storage tank and then required to properly dispose of this wastewater. Homeowners have the following options based on their specific RV operation:

Option 1 – Utilize Existing Sewer Line

Connecting to an existing clean-out access is not permitted. The installation of a plumbing connection to dispose of wastewater into an existing sewer connection will require B&S plan approval and permit. After the County-declared shelter crises has ended, this plumbing connection must be removed and will again require B&S plan approval and permit. Information and applications can be found at Los Angeles County Electronic Permitting & Inspections page.

Option 2 – Utilize Existing On-site Septic System

If your property is connected to an existing on-site septic system, you must have your system evaluated by a qualified contractor to verify that the system is in good condition and has the capacity for the additional wastewater load from the RV. Only septic systems with a prior approval from Public Health or B&S are eligible for use with a temporary RV. You must submit:

A fee of $447 is required with systems with documentation of prior system design approval, or $522 without documentation of prior system design approval.

Option 3 – Utilize Sewage Pumping Service

Owners may choose to contract with a sewage pumping company that is licensed to operate in Los Angeles County to have the holding tank of the RV pumped on site.

Option 4 – Utilize RV Sanitation Dump Station

Wastewater may be disposed of at a nearby RV Sanitation Dump Station

Disposal of RV wastewater in an unapproved method, such as onto the ground surface or directly into a storm drain, may contaminate surface water, groundwater, attract vermin, or spread disease. Improper disposal of wastewater is a violation of the Los Angeles County Code and is punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00, or by imprisonment in the County Jail for not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Los Angeles County Code §11.02.080)

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Public Health Requirements for Temporary Use of Recreational Vehicles and Mobile Homes on Fire Affected Properties - Woolsey Fire

As you rebuild your home, a Recreational Vehicle (RV) or Mobile Home may be used for temporary housing. Prior to using temporary housing, check with your local city planning departments for requirements and approvals. This resource guide provides information on the Department of Public Health requirements for temporary housing.

Wastewater Disposal

Land Use Program - Phone (626) 430-5380

To obtain approval from the Department of Public Health (DPH) for wastewater disposal from a Recreational Vehicle (RV) or Mobile Home, please submit the following documentation for review:

*Only septic systems with a prior approval from DPH or the local Building and Safety Department (B&S) are eligible for use with temporary vehicle housing. To request a copy of the prior septic system approval, contact the Land Use Program or your local Building and Safety department.

Potable Water

Drinking Water Program - Phone (626) 430-5420

To obtain approval from DPH for use of a permanent source of potable water, please submit the following documentation for review:

  • If you are serviced by a water utility (e.g. Waterworks Districts, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, etc.), please submit a copy of your water bill as part of your application to the Department of Regional Planning (DRP).
  • If you receive drinking water from a water well located on your property:
    • Please submit a completed Well Reuse Application to the Drinking Water Program for review and approval.
    • After approving the "Well Reuse Application", the Drinking Water Program will issue a Water Availability Letter for submittal with your application to DRP.

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Question?

If you have extenuating circumstances or you require any further information, please contact the Land Use Program.

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Tel: (626) 430-5380
Fax: (626) 813-3016

County of Los Angeles Public Health
Environmental Health
Land Use Program
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706