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Roy Jacobs takes weather-sealing plastic off windows of the van he was living in with his wife in 2016. There is no ordinance that bars living in an RV or camper trailer on city streets, but the vehicles need to follow parking ordinances and be moved at least every 48 hours.

Q: Is it legal in Madison to live in an RV on your own property?

A: “Short answer is no,” said George Hank, director of building inspection with the city of Madison.

Living in an RV on private property is considered camping, Hank said, and there is no zoning district in the city that allows camping.

“As for living in an RV or camper trailer on city streets, there is no ordinance that bars you from doing that,” Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

RVs do still need to follow parking ordinances and posted signs, and the vehicles need to be moved at least every 48 hours, DeSpain said.

Some could still possibly get away with that night-under-the-stars experience on private property for a night.

“The kid sleepover in the rear yard, tents or camper, is beneath our notice,” Hank said.

— Shelley K. Mesch

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.