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Old 06-28-2012, 03:59 PM
 
11 posts, read 7,946 times
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Default Motorhomes allowed on Big Island/

Can we ship our motorhome to the Island and live in it on the land we just purchased while building?
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:56 PM
 
1,730 posts, read 1,433,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uprightgirl View Post
Can we ship our motorhome to the Island and live in it on the land we just purchased while building?
"Can" is different from "legally allowed" to. I'd start research by check with:
1) County of Hawaii Public Works, Building Division: 808-961-8331
2) Is it in a subdivision, with an Association? If so, contact them for by-laws.
3) Check with your auto insurance company
4) Check with your homeowner's insurance company [vacant land coverage]

A lot is going to depend on the location of the property (to what standards do the neighbors live, and what is their "un-official" policy about people living in cars in their area). If the neighbors don't care, you will have an easier time of it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
2,782 posts, read 4,537,135 times
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Congratulations on your recent purchase.

What will you do with the motor home once your house is built? Obviously no need to vacation in it, unless you just want to spend the night on the other side of the island. Judging by CyberCity's excellent response, you may not find very many people willing to buy it from you.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,990 posts, read 9,766,295 times
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I have seen a few around... mostly older, mostly moldering away on commune-type properties.

The biggest problem the county has with them is sanitation. Cesspools are no longer allowed except on agricultural land, there are few legal places to dump a waste tank, and a licensed septic system will cost you about $5K or so. The only real option is a composting toilet, if it is an approved type (i.e. manufactured unit, no homebrews).

Other than that, see above.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Puna
697 posts, read 622,562 times
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There aren't a lot of motorhomes on the BI because the climate and insects cause them to disintegrate. I'm guessing from your post that you bought AG land, probably in Puna. Park it where nobody can see it nobody will care. Even if they can see it, how are they going to know you don't have a house back there unless your lot has been completely cleared? Considering that many people live in buses, shipping containers, or under tarps, etc some would consider your motorhome a mansion.


I would recommend covering it when you get here to keep the rain off it. That will extend it's life considerably. If you can't afford a carport or whatever right away then at least string up some tarps over it.


You may find however that the cost of shipping your motorhome makes it an unaffordable housing option.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,990 posts, read 9,766,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terracore View Post
There aren't a lot of motorhomes on the BI because the climate and insects cause them to disintegrate. I'm guessing from your post that you bought AG land, probably in Puna. Park it where nobody can see it nobody will care. Even if they can see it, how are they going to know you don't have a house back there unless your lot has been completely cleared?
Well, if you're talking about the county, they can see it on the satellite photos. And they are definitely trying to put a stop to new unpermitted buildings, so I wouldn't do it without pulling a building permit unless you're OK with unwelcome surprise visits from government officials.

Sorry, the 1970s are over.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:24 PM
 
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It's not legal, but many people do. My ex's sister and her boyfriend live in a small motor home on Oahu (by choice, not necessity)
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Puna
697 posts, read 622,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Well, if you're talking about the county, they can see it on the satellite photos. And they are definitely trying to put a stop to new unpermitted buildings, so I wouldn't do it without pulling a building permit unless you're OK with unwelcome surprise visits from government officials.

Sorry, the 1970s are over.
A motorhome is not an unpermitted building unless you remove the wheels.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,990 posts, read 9,766,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terracore View Post
A motorhome is not an unpermitted building unless you remove the wheels.
True, but county regs only allow a motorhome (or a tent, for that matter) to be inhabited on the property for 30 days. Then you can be told to remove it or be cited.

There was an attempt a couple of years ago to loosen up the rules for people who were pulling building permits, so they could "camp" onsite, and thereby protect their building materials. So a bill was prepared that would allow camping onsite for up to 2 years while building, IF there was an approved building permit. But then the richy-rich folks on the Kona side got all scared that they would be overrun by hippies, so the bill was changed to restrict the exemption to Puna District only. And it was unanimously passed by the County Council. But then the County Mayor vetoed the bill, saying it would "stigmatize" Puna. As one of my neighbors explains, Konasiders all think us Punatics are feral already. :grin:

Local government is like that... a tug of war between the larger money of the west side (Kona) and the larger population of the east side (Puna and Hilo)

In any case, the county currently seems to be OK, unofficially, with people camping for up to 2 years in Puna IF there is a approved building permit AND as long as sanitation is properly provided for. Approved composting toilets are ok. "Alaskan toilets" (a bucket and sawdust) and cesspools are not.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,783 posts, read 9,313,917 times
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I've heard of some folks installing the septic system and then installing a toilet in a small shed above it during the construction phase of the house. Hmm, there's something about sheds of less than 120' square feet not needing permits (this isn't confirmed, so check first before taking my word for it) so perhaps a small outhouse could be made and when the house was finished the toilet could be removed and the hole in the floor plugged and then the building could be a shed.
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