Is a Camper your Home when you travel?

Question: My wife and I are older and like to travel some in our Camper, we stay at state parks sometimes, or out west Federal land. Is a camper considered our home? Are we allowed to have a firearm in our camper? We don’t visit states that do not reciprocate my concealed carry permit. We can not really find any clear information on this subject. Thank you.

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Far from expert, but my understanding is reciprocity will cover your having a firearm. As for your camper being your home, generally not, though some states (?) California I believe, allow home status if your camper is hooked up to permanent waste/electric/water. I’ve found better information on some of the R/V forums, google search the same question you’re asking here.


Thank you, I have been researching this for a while,and am getting mixed messages and confusing articles. I feel putting this information together would be very useful to the hundreds of thousands of campers out there today, so I’ve been researching this topic and there is no straight forward information out there. As far as California, and or Illinois, who the hell wants to vaccination there? My opinion.


The states that have a “castle doctrine” might cover it. Here is where Eric Fine, Patriot Law Firm here in Alabama mentions it.

 Alabama defines a dwelling as building that is normally used by a person for living, sleeping or lodging therein [13A-7-1(2)].  That could mean your home, your apartment, your hotel room, or possibly even your tent or RV if you're camping!”

Some states have a slim majority of idiots, mine included unfortunately, but still have areas worth visiting. I find Cali one if them. You may have the feces infested areas like LA and SF, but the whole eastern side is cowboy country in my experience. A tale of 2 states as it were. I find as long as I avoid cities, life is good.

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Actually, Illinois has many beautiful camping areas. Some of which are in use right now as we are in the thick of deer season. The big trick with camping, and concealed carry, is knowing if you are on federal land, state land, or private property. Corps of Engineers property is federal land, and carrying concealed is no bueno. State parks on the other hand, are not federal, and with an Illinois LTC, you are good to go in those camping areas.

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That is because Corps of Engineers is Corps of Engineers — not because federal land.

Maybe because military facilities are prohibited, or maybe just because. Very few of those areas are close to me, but they do administer popular recreation areas in parts of the country.

Federal lands generally allow possession of firearms consistent with laws of the state in which they occur. To include National Park System lands, National Forest System lands, Bureau of Reclamation lands, National Wildlife Refuge System lands, and public lands managed by BLM. If your carry is legal adjacent to federal land, it is most often just as legal on the federal land. That is a lot of federally-administered public opportunity.

Note that federal facilities (i.e. buildings) are almost universally posted and prohibited, so plan accordingly for that.


I thought this video was interesting, I don’t think their is any one answer to your question, it’s still a minefield of laws out there. Stay safe. :us:


This was great information thank you for sharing…

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I have never found anything clear either. We also travel quite a bit using a camping trailer. We also avoid at all costs places that do not reciprocate, partially so that I do not spend any money there.

If we do have to traverse said territory, I make sure that there are at least 5 actions to take to get a working firearm. Not perfect in some areas, and a pain. The worst place we usually have to traverse is MN, and IL.

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I just don’t go there to those places, we plan our trips around our permit acceptance states. It’s the state parks I’m not familiar with, it’s very confusing.

I couldn’t think of the proper way to word it, to differentiate Corps property from state park property. Where I live, we literally have Corps of engineer property right across from state park property. Camping sights found in both. I can’t carry in one, but I can in the other. Unless I’m in the walking/bicycle trail that passes through Corps land. I can carry on the larked trail, but not in the campground. Good thing these laws are all so clear(sarcasm).



In remote outdoor areas is where we need protection. I would rather be safe in the gray area of the law then dead in the right.


I just wanted to make clear that CoE rules should not be mistaken as the general state of firearms regulation on federal public lands.

I see with just superficial poking around that CoE as a special case is even more confusing than I could have imagined…

Their property lines are not marked. They will lease land around their lake to a state to build State Parks etc but the Corps still owns the property and their Regulations apply to that property.

And on impoundments, but not on rivers, except at dams, and when passing locks… :woozy_face:

Google does not help me discover what became of the Corps’ 2020 proposed rule change. Although I don’t suppose it floats to the top of the current administration’s priority list, it’s hard to see why it would be exceptionally controversial to bring a single non-conforming agency into the fold with federal public land regulations generally.


With all the Baby boomers, and X Gen’s Who are buying, and traveling in motorhomes, campers and working remotely from there laptops, why this topic has not been clearly updated I don’t understand. There are many full timers who live on the road. I would guess this does not just pertain to camping or traveling, but also OTR Truck Drivers. :thinking:

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The law around motorhomes is not very good for the Second Amendment. In all states, they are considered motor vehicles and all motor vehicle laws apply. The US Supreme Court addressed this issue in California v. Carney, 471 U.S. 386, 393–94, 105 S. Ct. 2066, 2070, 85 L. Ed. 2d 406 (1985).

[The] vehicle is obviously readily mobile by the turn of an ignition key, if not actually moving. Second, there is a reduced expectation of privacy stemming from its use as a licensed motor vehicle subject to a range of police regulation inapplicable to a fixed dwelling. At least in these circumstances, the overriding societal interests in effective law enforcement justify an immediate search before the vehicle and its occupants become unavailable.

To distinguish between respondent’s motor home and an ordinary sedan for purposes of the vehicle exception would require that we apply the exception depending upon the size of the vehicle and the quality of its appointments. Moreover, to fail to apply the exception to vehicles *394 such as a motor home ignores the fact that a motor home lends itself easily to use as an instrument of illicit drug traffic and other illegal activity. In United States v. Ross, 456 U.S., at 822, 102 S.Ct., at 2171, we declined to distinguish between “worthy” and “unworthy” containers, noting that “the central purpose of the Fourth Amendment forecloses such a distinction.” We decline today to distinguish between “worthy” and “unworthy” vehicles which are either on the public roads and highways, or situated such that it is reasonable to conclude that the vehicle is not being used as a residence.

Based on this, a camper or motorhome or camper is NOT a home when you travel and, even when you “hook up” at campsites, they are still “readily mobile” so would not get the same protections as a home.

As we all know, current gun laws are a mine field for those who want to travel between states with firearms. Under the federal law, you can pass through a state with a firearm but you best not spend a night there or you risk losing the protection. Likewise, you must be legal at your destination or the federal law does not apply.

Truck drivers face the same issue when crossing state lines @SkynetJoe. There are no exceptions for those operating their rigs in interstate commerce. In fact, it can be more complicated because every stop to pick up or deliver product would be considered a destination.


Thank you so much for this information, because I’m the guy that others single out to make an example of, I personally did one year of probation for a business dealing that I was not responsible for. I did have to spend $16,000 to a attorney to work a deal out with the state. I don’t think it’s fair that a clean responsible citizen should worry about using his 2nd amendment rights to keep my wife, and I safe while traveling. We are retired and have had an black O’hare baggage airport worker break into our house, he went through my wife’s purse and came into our bedroom and was Fondling my wife until I woke up. Now in my ■■■■■■ up liberal America, We can’t protect ourselves from assholes like this. Very sad!

Campers and even mobile homes with their axles removed and hooked up to permanent utilities, are not considered Real Property, and that affects our Rights.
Real Property enhances unique CIVIL RIGHTS protections. For example, in cases where police must obtain a search warrant for a house they probably would not need one for an car, R/V or even a mobile home (even with wheels/axles removed, it’s STILL not a “House”) because cars, R/Vs, docked houseboats, mobile homes are not classified as Real Property. But, police may get a warrant(s) anyway to tighten a case.

I’ve just heard of a legal instrument called a “Gun Trust” which reportedly addresses certain/limited instances of transporting/“storing” weapons in vehicles like motor homes or mobile homes…although so far I don’t have ANY details. But that may be something to discuss with an attorney.
If “Gun Trusts” have been around for awhile, I’m surprised there isn’t more about them on websites like this one…or perhaps the reason they aren’t discussed much is because they don’t offer that much legal protection.