As a massive number of RVers scour the country for a place to camp, more and more RV parks are turning away folks with RVs 10 years old or older. Several years ago we had to send photos of our newly custom-painted Coachmen motorhome to an RV park in Florida before they would let us book. Then, I was so proud of our motorhome I didn’t have a problem sending in the photos. Now, I am not so sure. Do I really want to stay there?
A couple of weeks ago we ran a poll asking if folks had ever been turned away from a campground or service center because of their rig’s age. We got a lot of responses. Here are a few of them:
Yup, they’ve been turned away for having older RVs
These readers have all been turned away at one time or another because their RVs were 10 years old or older. Phil A. now questions if he would even want to stay in such a “snooty” place. “Our reservation was denied by one ‘resort’ in Carson City, NV, this past June. Two more in Reno stated the same rule. The staff member that I spoke with in Carson City explained the park’s insurance carrier made that rule. She didn’t know any more than that. We did find a spot in Carson City for the five days we needed.
“I have also heard that the age rules were derived from safety changes made in the RV industry. I’ve asked for chapter-and-verse references, but no one has come forward to explain.
“In our 6ish years of being full-time in our diesel pusher motorhome, we have seen several rigs of questionable construction and origin. I support a camp owner’s right to refuse service to a rig that is falling apart as it rolls down the road.
“Lastly, the age limit rule causes me to ask ‘Do we really want to stay in such a snooty park?’ Our coach is a 2004 Bounder 38N. No cardboard covering the windows, no window A/C unit propped up with a 2×4.”
Some RV parks are very picky about older RVs
Another reader, Jim, can’t believe how picky some RV parks are. “Yes, in Tombstone, Arizona, of all places, the owner would not accept my 1989 Fleetwood Southwind that has 19,650 original miles and is in perfect exterior condition. Runs great, too. It has six new tires and clean rims. Newly sealed roof, all white. New awning. No cracked windows, no duct tape anywhere. Another park not too far away welcomed me at a little higher rate. Can’t believe how picky some parks are.”
Louis I. was turned away too because his RV was older than 10 years. “Yes, I’ve been turned away from two full-time RV campgrounds in TX, back in 2001, when I retired from the Army. I had a 30′ NuWa RB travel trailer built mid-’80s, towed by a 1988 Chevy Suburban, and was told it was too old for their parks. Finally found a nice park on a lake to live in until I rented a house about 2 years later.”
Is it a “new retro” or an “old retro”?
Stephan couldn’t find any RV parks in Northern California to allow him in until his real, old retro became a “new” retro! “Almost all RV parks in Northern California won’t let you in. I had to lie a little. Told them I have a retro. Lol. A classic.”
Send us the photo if your RV is 10 years old or older
Many folks, like us, have been asked to send photos to the park prior to booking if their RV is more than 10 years old. Sharry B wrote that they had to send photos too. “We have not been turned away, but have been asked twice to submit photos. Our Winnebago Class A motorhome is in very good shape.”
Sandy had to submit photos too. “We haven’t been turned away but we have, however, been asked to submit a picture of our unit (2008 fifth wheel) and truck. Guess we passed muster, since we stayed at both places.”
Russel G. was asked to send a photo to an RV park that had a lot of bad RVs! “We weren’t turned away but, a resort campground in Las Vegas asked me to send a photo, which I did. They said it looked fine. When we were there we walked around and were amazed at how bad some were. Either they were hard up for campers or just being picky.”
Oh, Canada, Oh, Canada!
Dave told us about his experience in Canadian RV parks. “I have never been asked, but I live in Canada and do not go to high class RV resorts.”
This KOA didn’t even ask for a photo for an older RV!
Phil and Peggy told us about a KOA that lost their business. “There’s a KOA in Richfield, UT, that will not take our reservation. Our RV is 20 years old but you would not know it from its looks as we’ve kept it up. Their competitors in Salina have been benefiting from their arrogance.
“A few other RV parks have asked us for a picture of the unit before confirming a reservation, but once they’ve seen the picture there’s been no problem. I think the appearance of the rig is more important than its age, but how would they ask that? The KOA in Richfield didn’t even ask for a picture — they must have all the business they want, as is.”
Double standard for peak versus slow season?
Several readers told us about what looks like a double standard when it comes to RVs 10 years old or older. Apparently, rules are rules only during peak season, not when they really need the business.
David P. found this out for himself: “We have a ’90s model fifth wheel and have had numerous situations where they have required a picture or flat refused to allow us. We have had some that want the pictures and state that during the busy season they would not accept us, but since it’s the slow season we were allowed.”
Glen S. also had a similar experience. “In 2009, we inquired about an urban Van Nuys, CA, campground to see if they had space. After letting us know that our 1997 travel trailer was ‘too old,’ they relented and allowed us to camp there for the week we had intended to use. We learned after setting up that because it was the 1st of May, and the movie industry shuts down annually through May, nearly all of their regular customers were leaving the campground to head to their sticks and bricks homes somewhere else. In other words, the campground would have been nearly empty but for those of us with ‘too-old’ rigs! Because there’s always a lesson to be learned: Camp in Van Nuys in May, their age restrictions are looser.”
We have a “Classic” 1977 GMC motorhome. Anytime we stop whether for gas or at a campsite we have people coming over to ask about it and most are surprised to find out its 45 years old. We have never been turned away, and I always put the year on the campground registration form. We are Canadians and it would seem this is more of an issue in the USA. Usually when we goto the USA we are going to a GMC Club rally or staying at State parks. An on-line list of parks with the age rule would be a great idea to avaoid the hassle to start with.
Check out GMC motorhomes at gmcers dot org.
TO RV STAFF: What has happened to your forums? This forum contains what appears to contain a lot of hate comments, racism, politics, etc! I thought this was a forum for god natured RV’ers? Leave politics/racism to social media platforms that have strong censorship(hint, hint.) and not bring it on RV Travels. Have I missed something here? What’s next? Click on the Thumbs Up and don’t forget to like and subscribe”? Just asking.
I believe that a cg owner has the right to rent a spot to the public or not rent. I have not been turned down to stay. I have never been asked and I don’t tell.
I, to a degree, understand appearance of an RV is important to the “neighborhood”. I believe it may be a “Per Basis” situation. If the RV is well kept and the owners abide by park rules, age should not be discriminated against, whether an RV or a human. How many have free money to buy a new RV every 10 years? I know of no-one, personally. How would it be if someone started a rule that said “If your home is more than 10 years old, you’ll have to sell it and buy a new one. Or, after 10 years, you must remodel and repaint your home”. For many, their RV IS their home. They just travel in it.
Apparently you have you never lived in a community governed by an HOA? They can and will make you paint your house, replace your roof, replace cracked concrete, have window shades of an approved type. RV Parks also have to maintain some standards or it risks becoming the next Oregon or California homeless encampment.
We have 2001 Fleetwood Bounder 39z DP it is in great shape, all original. We keep it that way only issue is oxidation ( sun fade) but other then that it is Beautiful.
We have never been turned down but we do understand the 10 year rule.
Have camped in parks that have squatters though. ( not a pleasant site).
Guess people in million $ rigs dont want to park next to a 20 yr old rig 😟.
We avoid snooty parks ourselves, but there are a lot of displaced people.
To each their own.
What is unpleasant is people that dont pick up there pets poop or use leashes or dont have running water in their rigs.
But being FT we stay in KOA’s and State parks mainly now.
Actually have met some Great people in our travels and just love the lifestyle.
Live and let live!
Happy camping folks!
If one doesn’t like restrictions, move on. It is a campground’s right to have restrictions.
If an RV is well maintained it usually presents the image that the person in it will be less of a problem. AND the crap that is being palmed off as a rv will probably look like what it is CRAP, new CRAP, but still CRAP.
We have never been turned away from any campground, keeping up with not only the maintenance on your motorhome is important, but keeping up on the appearance is as important. We just send photos of our coach and we’ve been able to get in.
This is the most hilarious article I have ever read! Snobby RV parks upper class white trash! For the price of your gas you could have a driver, doorman and five star accommodations.
Never a problem with our airstream…they all look the same!
I bet if l showed up with 20 year old Newell they would let me in
You are SO RIGHT, Warren. Sometimes it is the People who should be screened. lol.!.
I always felt the same way about turning away older Rv until I parked next to one who had a bad sewer leak and did nothing to stop it. When he left the Rv park it leaked all the way out. It only takes one person in older Rv to ruin it for everyone. I’ve also seen bad things happen from new rvs also They should screen people more than the rv
We’ve gone cross country twice since I retired 2 years ago, and are currently spending our 2nd winter in Fla. Throughout our travels, we were required only once to give them our RVIA number. I assume rigs over 10 years old don’t have that number on them. We were told that the RVIA number tells them that our rig meets certain safety standards. If that is the case, it MAY be the parks insurance company setting that rule.
I can understand at some level, and asking for a picture of older rigs shouldn’t be seen as snooty. I have seen very well kept older rigs, and others that have in fact had a wall A/C duct taped into it. We were at a park that our neighbor had all kinds of crap all over their site, that it was an eye sore to look out the window. It was a really nice park, with mostly mobile homes with motor homes scattered throughout the park. When you are paying a fair amount of money to stay, you shouldn’t be made to feel like you are living in a slum in the inner city. If one doesn’t care enough to keep their rig well maintained, how do you think they’ll keep their site.
I live in Tombstone and can guess which RV park would refuse a rig because of age.
And the sad part is – the RV park itself is pretty trashy. And yet due to it’s location the place is packed with extremely pricey new RV rigs hauling tens of thousands of dollars of toys. But this does seem to be the new trend and it should be illegal !
It is a case of discrimination based on income ( because only a select few can own a newer RV) and discrimination based simply on appearance.
Fortunately TOMBSTONE does have about a dozen RV parks so I hope they not all practice this. What I WOULD DO is no matter the location file a complaint with the visitor’s bureau AND chamber of commerce AND city hall. As long as no one complains nothing will have a chance of changing.
So every 10 years people are supposed to invest in a new RV to go camping? It’s ridiculous. Some people haven’t even yet paid off their RV in 10 years. To me, 20 years is not old. We invest a lot of money in rigs over the years and then end up where you can’t use it? Some older rigs look amazing. As long as they have insurance and current registration they can be pulled or driven on the roadways but cannot go to an RV park? And some of these RV parks are nothing special so I don’t know what they think they’ve got! Our RV life started with a new tent trailer in 1984. We then bought a new Nomad travel trailer in 1986. And had until 1996. Then we bought my aunts motor home. It looked like new. We had it for four years and then moved to Elk Grove where we bought a new home. We took 10 years off of rving due to my husband’s commute to the Bay Area. We purchased 2 different motor homes after that and brought them back mechanically sound. Never had an issue where we weren’t welcome.
Hi Carolyn, is that Elk Grove , Il. you live in…..I am Leo and live in Matteson. Do you live in an HOA. Reason I asks is that I live in HOA sub division (Providence Manor) that is giving me a very hard time about parking my 19 footer Rv on my driveway. Seems I have some neighbors that claim it blocks their view from being able see over my driveway. I am considering getting a group together and trying to get them from being so old fashion. My RV is a class “C” rv and i have a neighbor a few doors a down with a “Class B, Mercedes. It is ok by them for him to be on their driveway with that one. Your thoughts !!!!!!!
Suppose your older motorhome doesn’t start. How long is it going to be in the space that is now rented out to someone else. Who else has noticed RV’s that have a license plate but not current registration stickers.? Do you imagine these RV’s are insured?
I just lied when asked if my 40 year old C class was more than 10 years old. No one checked.
When we ask to see your RV Registration and Insurance information at Check-in your secret would be not so secret anymore. You would be refused entrance. People lie to us all the time about the age and/or condition of their rig, we just hand them a list of other parks and send them on their way.
at least you hand them a list.
If we ever get rejected for the age of our rig I will warn them first, then write a 0 star yelp / google review of the resort before driving away. I always give an opportunity to a business to make things right but when they refuse I feel obligated to save other travelers from the hassle of a bad experience. Reviews are always a good idea, most resort owners are very sensitive to those reviews and may make changes to improve the score.
If your rig is over the age restriction for that park what is your beef? If your rig is in disrepair or considered unsafe what is your beef with the park? Otherwise why would anybody refuse your rig? Bullying isn’t going to help you.