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Old 02-17-2022, 05:02 PM   #1
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How to find land for storing and camping

We live in SW OH and there are lots of beautiful places to camp. But we were talking today and thought why not buy a small plot of land in a beautiful area and use that for storing our 5er and for camping. Don't need power or sewer, but will need a road.

How do I go about searching for something like that?

Thanks

Corn
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Old 02-17-2022, 05:19 PM   #2
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We were thinking about this a few years ago and used Zillow and drove around to look. Found a lot of nice looking places for very reasonable prices.

Getting a driveway, especially suitable for a camper would be difficult on most of them but probably not impossible. We were looking in very hilly area which is most of the SW OH area.
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Old 02-17-2022, 05:22 PM   #3
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Why not just find a CG nearby and rent a seasonal site that will let you pull it out whenever you want?

Seems it would be cheaper.

That way when you are just using it for storage, it's at least among other people/campers.
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Old 02-17-2022, 07:27 PM   #4
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We have been looking as well. Finding to buy vacant land some banks want 50% down. If it’s 10+ acres you may be able to find an ag type loan but we are finding there so many caveats that it’s taking the gun out if it. Probably just wait til spring and see what we can find driving around. Haven’t looked in Ohio so don’t know if it’s different.

The draw to private land for us is that it’s not a campground. Plus it takes about 5-6 days to get “out west” so if we had a home base midway, we could you that as a way point. We could also add a storage barn and lock up the camper and drive home faster without having to tow it all the way home. Better gas mileage. We could stay there for 3-6 months but take trips from there to other places. Still using campgrounds, just cutting down some of the miles between Indiana and the western states.

Just our thoughts…
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Old 02-17-2022, 11:01 PM   #5
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If you're going to the same place why not some land and build a cabin? One of my plans in a few years. Don't want to be troubling myself with an RV then. Will probably keep the RV and leave it in the rear for visitors to rough it.
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Old 02-18-2022, 03:54 AM   #6
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Precisely! We canít afford to buy land and build a cabin right now but we can buy land. Or we might find land with some type of structure on it that we can convert. But we want to buy the land then develop it over the next 10-15 years. First set up a nice RV pad then as small cabin, storage barn, then when we retire a bigger cabin, etc.
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Old 02-18-2022, 05:07 AM   #7
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Just have to weigh differences between renting an annual site/space and taxes, insurance, local laws, and security plus the cost of the land, and it's allowable uses. Be great to find 2 or more acres on a stream or river inexpensive but probly not too likely.....
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Old 02-18-2022, 07:02 AM   #8
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Just a thought... Decide on an area or two that you really like, and then check county sheriff's sales. Possible to get a real good deal at auction.

Around here we have several real estate companies that specialize in larger plots of undeveloped land. Worth a Google...
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Old 02-18-2022, 07:47 AM   #9
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First identify the general area you think would best fit your needs then contact a local Realtor . Give them your "wish list" size of lot, price range and intended use, they can search for available properties and be familiar with local zoning laws and help you negotiate fair price.
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Old 02-18-2022, 07:47 AM   #10
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The problem you will find looking for land in the Midwestern states especially in agriculture areas is that any little scrap of land that come available is gobbled up by farmers. It didn't use to be this way. I live in eastern Nebraska. When I was a teenager a bunch of people from Omaha started buying up acreages to get out of the city. Everyone welcomed their new neighbors. But then they started to complain about dust and your livestock stinks, and they want to drive like they are still in the city. So, all the farmers started buying up the small acreages and leveling them. No neighbors no problems. It's sad really but that's just the way it is. Most properties don't even hit the market.
Someone tried to argue with me on this saying that doesn't really happen. I can guarantee it does happen because I've done it myself.
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Old 02-18-2022, 08:57 AM   #11
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We lived in the Morrow, Ohio area for 19 years on 6 acres about 1/4 mile off of the paved road with a house, pole barn, horses, etc. Since we shared a drive with our neighbor, felt very comfortable leaving our TT unlocked when we weren't around. However, with all of the meth labs, homeless, and illegal immigrants, I don't think that I'd want to leave an RV on a site with no one around to help keep an eye on things unfortunately. You might come back after leaving it vacant and have to do an "eviction".
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Old 02-18-2022, 09:11 AM   #12
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Our plan was to look for acreage with a stream and install a "spring box" for water. Then we would put in a 500 gallon septic tank with no D-box or lines and just pump it out when it got full. I would buy a mini-excavator to put in the power and driveway and put in a concrete pad for the 5er which would be used for a small house once we were done RVing. The key is to verify the land is actually "unrestricted" with no HOAs or covenants on the property. Starlink will resolve the internet access once it becomes pervasive. The problem we found is agents don't want to waste time with low dollar land and that the properties are mostly mis-represented in both pictures and descriptions. Still looking in the mountains of NC and southern Virginia, but we've been looking for well over a year. Not hopeful...
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Old 02-18-2022, 11:16 AM   #13
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We looked for nearly a year in north eastern Arizona. All of the places had hoa. Most said you could live in your rv for 180 while building a home. Home had to be at least 1875sqft. Finally found a parcel 36 acres. Spoke with the owners and they agreed to subdivide into 4 9 acre parcels. We purchased 9 acres. It had a rough drive into the property which we improved and the put in pads with water electric and sewer. 1 pad for our trailer and 2 additional pads for family and friends. Closest neighbor is about 1500 ft away. Temps in the summer are 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Fishing several places within 15 miles. Just find a realtor who is willing to do a little leg work to find your spot.
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Old 02-18-2022, 12:22 PM   #14
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Most of the above post really have merit. For us the benefit having a RV is that we are not "stuck" going to the same place year after year. Once old age really restricts our travel ability, then doing what OP has ask about starts to make sense. My oldest sister-in-law and her husband have done the cabin thing twice now, but even that had to come to an end as they have gotten older and health issues have cropped up. Everybody needs to do what works best for them and their circumstances. Good luck to OP.
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Old 02-18-2022, 12:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corn18 View Post
We live in SW OH and there are lots of beautiful places to camp. But we were talking today and thought why not buy a small plot of land in a beautiful area and use that for storing our 5er and for camping. Don't need power or sewer, but will need a road.

How do I go about searching for something like that?

Thanks

Corn
If you are really serious seek out a local realtor. The next best is to start attending the local church and asking around. Barbershops worked back in the day but now you'll have to go to a hair salon and my goodness there you'll hear about things you'll want to unhear.
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Old 02-18-2022, 02:11 PM   #16
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As an experienced municipal planner, I'd advise strongly that you do your homework thoroughly before plunking down cash.

What's at stake?
Zoning.

Bear in mind that individual parcels for sale are not BLM or National Forest Service lands. They are individual parcels that very likely exist under county or local government zoning rules. Furthermore, many, if not most, of those parcels are part of a prior subdivision...that may have happened decades ago. At the point of subdivision, certain promises were made by the land owner/developer. You need to know the parcel's history before buying. In any zoned district, the days of just selling off a chunk of property on the corner of a farm are long gone. Any such sale constitutes a subdivision, and the rules governing that subdivision can be mind boggling.

Placing what amounts to a mobile home on a parcel may trigger a number of minimum development standards that apply to all parcels that are developed in that zoning district.
  • Road/driveway
  • Location of "curb cut"
  • Roadside drainage (culvert)
  • Power
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Grading and control of off site drainage from the "disturbed" portion of the property
  • And so on

I'm not saying that you WILL face these challenges, but you may very well. Why?

The act of parking an occupyable structure on the land triggers all kinds of potential "violations." It's not at all uncommon for the land owner to build a sub-standard septic system, drill a well, and perform a whole raft of "improvements" that don't meet code.

Sure, you don't plan to do it now, but what's to stop you from borrowing/renting a small backhoe and putting in a cess-pool made of 55 gallon drums...other than the vigilance of neighbors and the building inspector? With that looming "threat" can come a hard and fast adherance to zoning codes before you are allowed to park an RV on site...and citatations and fines for violatinng zoning code if the building inspector sees your RV parked there.

Can you temporarily camp there? More than likely. Can you park the RV there "permanently"? Less likely.

Real world experience. Park County, CO, about as boondocks, rural, and conservative an area as they come, recently cracked down on RV's permanently parked on private land that were not properly "hooked up." (Vacation home RVs.) While the RV may have holding tanks, and the owners may equip themselves to haul fresh water and waste...and rely on solar and generators for power, this is no longer a "use allowed by right" in this rural county.

I am, by no means, saying you can't. I'm saying look before you leap. Any parcel that is reasonably close to any "municipality" is very likely to have zoning restrictions that may force you to substantially improve the property before you "permanently occupy" it with a "dwelling."

P.S. What's the "why"? of all this? Neighbors and property values. In the "real" boonies, you don't face much of this, but if you can see your neighbors, they can see you, and that means your future depends on their tolerance for a "decaying" fiver parked on the land next to their $500,000 home. Don't expect much empathy in those situations.
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Old 02-18-2022, 11:26 PM   #17
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X5 ---- Excellent input from jimmoore13. Do diligent research on all zoning laws. Double check with the County for current zoning laws or any proposed future zoning law changes.
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Old 02-24-2022, 08:30 PM   #18
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Zoning

My area, several townships have recently enacted zoning ordinance to restrict this. In one township where we actually own 5 acres, we can store our RV year around as we are not in village limits. If in town and under 1 acre can't even store it. If I "improve " my lot even just a cement pad I'm in violation of ordinance. We are cutting in a dirt road 250 feet deep but no gravel and no other improvements other than a dirt clearing to camp. Oh and don't even think about renting site for "glamping" they've got a short term rental ordinance restricting that too.
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Old 02-24-2022, 09:02 PM   #19
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How to find land for storing and camping

Check out MossyOakProperties. They have many different types of land for sale.

Thereís some property in lots for sale, a few miles east of McArthur Ohio. I saw some folks parking campers in a few of those lots if they are not all sold.

Depending on where you live SW. it takes about 2 hrs and 30 minutes to get there.

My brother and I built a cabin in 2020 and we added two full hookups to the cabin. So when we have lots of family there we can accommodate quite a few folks short term.
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Old 02-24-2022, 11:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corn18 View Post
We live in SW OH and there are lots of beautiful places to camp. But we were talking today and thought why not buy a small plot of land in a beautiful area and use that for storing our 5er and for camping. Don't need power or sewer, but will need a road.

How do I go about searching for something like that?

Thanks

Corn
My advise is to be very very careful. I start out thinking the same way. Maybe just an acre or two to store the rv and camp on. I ended up with 14 acres. Now have 3 rvs out there, two solar set ups, a 40' shipping container and a utv. Beautiful land though.
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