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RV Park Rules

A big problem for RV parks is setting rules. Tenants without rules quickly get out of hand but too many rules make park living miserable for everyone. Rules must be enforced and enforced evenly for the most part or there is no point to them and an RV park can quickly find themselves involved in major disputes or even lawsuits. RV parks must also follow rules set down for them by the state and county. Not all rules you see are of the park’s doing and quite often county bureaucrats who have never camped in their lives will try to apply rules to transient RV parks that make sense only for homeowners or benefit only nearby homeowners.

I personally as a free spirit despise rules but I do understand the need for them. I don’t want to stay in a park where all the long-termers have bunches of broken old crap or couches sitting all around their RVs. I agree with keeping things picked up and out of sight. I don’t want to stay in a park where children are running wild with no parental supervision at all. I don’t want to stay in a park with unmaintained ugly RVs. I like to see well maintained lawns. But I also like to see fellow RVers asserting their individuality and creativity with decorations, lawn ornaments, flags, lights (preferably solar powered), etc. I don’t have an issue with older rigs that still look decent or the usual BBQs, patio furniture, bikes, etc. being around. Rules can be good and healthy.

However, one can go too far when there is no flexibility.  For instance, one park I know forbids non-automotive motorized vehicles such as golf carts except for their own staff carts. One night when an older person’s car broke down nearby on the way back to the park, he was able to get a ride with someone in the neighborhood outside the park who was on a golf cart. Unfortunately, they were stopped at the entrance and he was forced to walk through the long park to his rig and no ride was offered by the staff member who was on a golf cart.

If your car won’t start in an RV park, why should you have to have it towed out to fix it when many things can be fixed easily in an hour or less and do not involve grease or oil? I can change the alternator on my old Fairmont or the starter in my van in 20 minutes easy with no mess whatsoever. Yet some parks forbid all car repairs and make no allowances for these easy repairs. You can’t even change a spark plug! Sheesh! Again, yes there is the potential for abuse so informing the office of such things would seem to be reasonable and regular rounds of the park by staff can certainly spot these things.

Another park has rules against skirting or looking in any way like you are anything but transient. That rule actually comes from the county and makes staying in any RV park in their area miserable for those staying more than a night which is their misguided point. They assume that RV people are all  trailer trash and want to protect housing values I suppose. However, other counties and states that embrace longer term RVers have gotten huge economic benefits from doing so and still manage to maintain good looking RV parks.

If a park wants every RV to be beautiful, then why do so many forbid washing of rigs or allow it only if they are paid $5-$15 for the privilege? Why do many forbid any kind of even short-term work being done outside on them? I know I know. There will always be people who abuse these things but banning all is not the answer. I would think requiring notice to the office so they can watch to be sure it doesn’t get out of hand would be enough or perhaps restricting the washing of vehicles to only so many times per month/year would help.

My biggest pet peeve is the 10 year rule so popular in western states. Your rig must be 10 years old or newer to stay in many parks. What does the age of a rig actually have to do with how it looks? A well-maintained 20 year old rig is not as big an eyesore as a mud or rust covered newer RV. For that matter, I don’t much care for having my “seasoned” 26 foot trailer surrounded by fancy new 40 ft. long 15 ft. high behemoths that block the sun and everything else. It is enough for staff to take a quick look at your rig to determine if it looks nice enough for their snooty park. Some parks have told me that they just have the rule and use it to keep ugly rigs out and do allow staff discretion on whether to apply it but I still resent it. I also realize that sometimes this 10 year rule actually comes from snooty county bureaucrats instead such as in Oregon and I think they ought to be voted out of office.

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