Are RV park restrictions getting tighter? It sure feels that way!
We recently received an email from reader Sheryl H., who said, “I’m trying to make summer travel plans to New Mexico. I keep running into parks that do not allow anyone under 21. Anyone else having these problems?”
I’ll let our readers comment on your question, Sheryl. Perhaps there is an increase in age restrictions. I know that New Mexico, as well as Arizona and Florida, are all senior winter hotspots. Could it be that these campgrounds bar younger campers in order to retain their winter “snowbirds”? Do you have any experience or know anything about this? Please leave a comment below, if you do.
More RV park restrictions
It seems that more and more RV parks are restricting usage. Some parks do not permit older RVs. Other parks limit or exclude pets. Still others enforce age restrictions. Why so many limitations? Why now?
With the uptick in RV ownership (or, should I say, tsunami of new RVers), campgrounds are “feeling the power.” Campgrounds have discovered that they can eliminate some of their “headaches” by instituting and enforcing certain restrictions. When I say “headaches,” I don’t mean that I have a problem with pets, children, or older RVs. What I’m saying is that campgrounds can keep their managers and some of their guests happier with specific restrictions in place.
RV park restrictions eliminate problems
For example, if campers constantly complain about pet owners who refuse to pick up their pet’s “poo,” it may be easier for the campground to simply disallow pets. If the campground manager is frequently contacted about noisy kids, s/he may just decide to restrict the campground to those over 21. Wait! Aren’t the campgrounds in danger of losing profits by eliminating families with pets or children? Not in today’s RV reality. Many campgrounds are booked full, even with such restrictions in place.
Cost-cutting RV park restrictions
Another reason why campgrounds may have age restrictions is to cut costs. A small, local campground near our home needed to replace its playground. It was old and, frankly, unsafe. What did they do? Removed the playground altogether. Gone are the swings and slide. The teeter-totters and sandbox are history, too. It just costs too much to purchase and install new equipment. So, the campground opted out. When I asked about it, the manager said, “We can’t afford the amenities that families have come to expect. It’s cheaper for us to become an adults-only RV park.”
Eliminate derelict RVs
The 10-year rule is another frequent RV park restriction. This rule says that any RV older than ten years of age must be approved by a campground manager before being granted a site location. (Some campgrounds outlaw these older units completely.) One park owner said, “The 10-year rule isn’t there to discriminate against older rigs. It’s just the easiest way to prevent junk RVs from becoming permanent eyesores.” I get that.
A large, rusted RV sits in a prime spot in a park we frequent. When I asked about it, the manager said, “The owner died. The heirs want nothing to do with it. They refuse to pay for the RV to be removed from the park. So, do we take them to court or pay to have it hauled off ourselves? Either way, it’ll cost us.” That’s not fair. The RV park is on the hook one way or the other. In the meantime, they’re also losing revenue from the spot where the derelict RV continues to squat.
Many upscale RV parks institute a 10-year rule in order to retain their “image.” However, I’ve seen many older RVs that have been well-maintained throughout the years and look great. For them, this restriction just doesn’t make sense—at least to me. And what about vintage RVs? When fully remodeled, they not only look cool but they also help remind us all of a simpler life and time. I don’t see why they should be excluded based on their age.
What do you think? What RV park restrictions have you encountered? Do you agree or disagree with the restrictions? Tell us in the comments below, please.