NYC's RV Apartment Surge

Written By Peter Black | December 03, 2013
2019%2f09%2f13%2f12%2f29%2f00%2f6ccc4176 a949 4ba4 9c98 840be5fbd8e2%2ffile

Average rents for NYC apartments are increasingly absurd. But, some New Yorkers have a simple solution: they don’t live in an apartment.

RV’s now sit on street corners in New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods. Residents of these mobile homes live rent free in the center of the most expensive rental landscape in the country.

Most RVer’s live on wheels by necessity, not by choice. However, some have easily adapted to the mobile lifestyle. Steven Crinton—a Park Slope native who bought a Gulf Stream on Craigslist for $5,000 after breaking up with his girlfriend—said that he’s "got everything” he needs.

Crinton’s “everything” consists of a moldy bed, a couch caked in dog hair, mini fridge, stove, and tiny bathroom.

B. Bryan’s $15,000 1994 Thor Industries Pinnacle is a little more snazzy. It is fitted with two flat-screen TV’s on which he plays video games, a satellite dish, and a security camera. He gets water for his bathroom from fire hydrants, electricity from solar panels, and Internet from his mobile phone.

According to Bryan, “Everyone wants to hang out in my RV.”

By “everyone” Bryan most likely means his beer-bellied friends. Rick Hall, an Ohio transplant who bought an RV to save money as he studies at Saint John’s University, said that, “the ladies aren’t exactly kicking in the door.”

Although there are “no city laws specifically addressing living in an RV or any prohibition against living in a parked vehicle," there are neighbors—and police. Crinton, who was bumming electricity from a nearby hotel with an extension cord, was ordered to move by the cops because the cord violated city safety regulations. He now lives in a parking lot.

These RV dwellers are among a growing demographic of alternative housing connoisseurs in NYC. A California designer made news when he turned a dumpster into an “apartment.” A group of artists made news when they turned a 1954 Shasta trailer into a $80 a night “hotel.” Then there was the band of ingenious hipsters that attempted to transform an abandoned nut factory into an indoor trailer park. Unfortunately for the hip visionaries, their nut factory project was deemed a little too nutty by the FDNY, who shut it down after going “to the location with DOB to check it out and found unsafe conditions.”

Although Steven Crinton has adapted to life in his $5,000 RV, he bemoans the loss of the neighborhood he grew up in.

"It's bad out here," he said. "All the yuppies came in and that changed everything."

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on All data displayed on is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.