Sunday, October 2, 2022


Adults-only and other RV park restrictions. What do you think about these?

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?

Newfound power

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.

Image maintenance

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.




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4 months ago

I think the restrictions are a good thing. Many parents these days don’t teach their kids to be respectful. They get to a campground and just turn the kids loose. If you don’t like the restrictions, move on. There are plenty of places you can go with you’re little monsters that won’t disturb anyone who cares.

Betty Vargo
4 months ago
Reply to  Don

I totally agree. At $75-100 plus a night to camp, no one needs out of control kids running around..or the constant screaming. There should be and are big campgrounds who have water parks and tons of things more geared to kids.. I know I won’t stay there…

S. R. Putnam
4 months ago

PS – to those wondering about “age discrimination”, the law is for those OVER age 40. It was instituted to protect older workers. 😉

S. R. Putnam
4 months ago

As an older camper, and seasonal camp host, I can definitely relate to those who diligently look for quieter campgrounds. We shun parks with pools, playgrounds and choo-choo trains. We also avoid grounds centered around a bar. We’ve found there is a market for all kinds of camping styles… you just have to look for properties that suit you

Ann Bush
4 months ago

I was a tent camper for almost 30 years before buying a small camper. In those days, we complained about the noisy RV generators that ran all night long. And the bright string lights that were never turned off so we could see the stars. Just like I do when I travel and need a hotel – I check out the area for construction or busy freeway noise, if it is a family hotel where lots of children will be happily enjoying their summer vacation but might keep me awake, or if the hotel is clean. Every campground owner has the right to choose their style, and every camper needs to do their homework before buying a spot.

4 months ago

It’s way overdue. Too many children have no discipline and no respect for anyone. If you mention it their mom and dad get physical violent.

5 months ago

I workamp on the East Coast. The day before Easter, a gorgeous day, we had a an Easter Egg hunt for the children scheduled for 3 p.m.
At 1:30 p.m. an older couple came into the park. They were there for 1 night. Our check out is 11 a.m.
At 2:30 p.m. this couple called to see if they could move sites as there were “so many people out”. Being as it was a holiday we were pretty full, but did offer them a different site, but they weren’t pleased so elected to stay put. At 3 p.m. they called in to inquire “when was quiet time” as it was so “noisy” in the park. Our Easter Egg hunt had just gotten under way.
While I’ve read about this, before working in a family campground, I’d never seen it.
I’m saddened that the sounds of children playing are upsetting to some oldsters. I guess the only
answer is to have adult only RV parks available , but is it? Should there then be families only RV parks?
I don’t have the answers, but it is sad to see this.

5 months ago
Reply to  Theresa

They sound like unhappy people. I am 70 and hearing children playing outside is one of the best sounds in the world! It brings my wife and I great joy to hear the children.
Thankfully, people like you mention are in the minority.

5 months ago

Regarding age restrictions. I enjoy parks that cater to more mature customers. Some parks that cater to younger families with children and build amenities for the kids are a turn off for me. I want adult type amenities and I’m not willing to pay for kiddie parks. I know of a park near Solvang that now caters to kids and has no adult amenities except higher rates to pay for kiddie amenities. Been staying there for 15 years but no more putting up with kids yelling, skateboarding, and paying the high rates that are paying for the kiddie park expansion.

4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

It’s getting difficult. Our favorite place in Oceano is getting to be the same way. A total zoo.

5 months ago

We make it easy and just boondock.

Ronald L.
5 months ago

We would love adult only, no pet, no campfire camping! Even when we have requested areas away from dogs and/or families, it’s invariably a problem. And with the current health issues exacerbated by campfires, it would be great to at least have an area where they are disallowed. Some folks might think we are “grumpy” but not really. However we do love to enjoy nature and natural sounds and IF people would control and discipline their kids and/or dogs, it would be different but alas, that doesn’t seem possible today.

Richard Hughes
5 months ago

We had a small camp trailer and GMC pickup, both 1967 models restored. We then sold the trailer and bought a 67 Airstream. We never had a problem with either unit, but I think it was the uniqueness. Even the guys with the Class A’s wanted to “take a peek.” We were never turned away from the “10 year places, in fact we were never challenged.

5 months ago

I support the rights for business owners to make whatever restrictions. The listed common restrictions are due to people being bad and creating the restriction itself.

I know I’m tired of bad parental supervision of both kids and pets. I’ve seen these squatters too and it’s expensive to tackle that problem. It’s easier to have a blanket rule vs case by case. Case by case opens up lawsuits, discrimination and court issues.

Bill Braniff
5 months ago

A lot of new RVers coming onto the scene. Full time RVers who work from their RV and bring their kids with them, are not welcome to the older set in many cases. RVing is a whole different mind set than what it was five years ago. The ones who have been RV’ing the Seniors should have some sort of priority in the RV parks, don’t you think?

4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Braniff

talk about privileged…seniors having priority? As a 60 yr old, I would think that this poster may have lived long enough to realize that this is also discrimination against all the younger campers in the campground. Maybe we should establish an old coot section. Why would you have special status? Go someplace else

5 months ago

I have no problems with adult parks, or parks with dedicated features for adults only (like pool, clubhouse, etc). I do not like the 10 year RV age rule as many owners keep their rigs in excellent almost showpiece condition. I suggest instead to base the admission on a photo so something like that.

Glenn A
5 months ago

I have read every response to this age discrimination issue. To those that endorse this behavior; would you also endorse restrictions based on ethnic origin, race, sexual orientation or gender. I think not. Age discrimination is rampant in the United States and needs to end now!

5 months ago
Reply to  Glenn A

Your comparisons don’t make sense. There are many communities that are 55+. Many people want to retire in a quieter area and they have the right. Personally I have never stayed in an age restricted park or community, but it’s fine that they exist.

Dennis G.
5 months ago

Turning 55 this year so the 55+ does not bother me. Becoming 55 bothers me more. As for the 10 or 15 year rule, I kind of get it. We’ve had our RV, in the family, since 1996. The interior is perfect, and the exterior shines nicely after every detail. Nothing is dented, ripped open, and she has all of her baggage doors intact. Do not want to be discriminated at RV parks. Worse has been when we are on a summer trip, when people assume we are homeless because of the age of our RV.

5 months ago

We winter in Florida in RV parks that allow all ages, all RVs, and I believe all pets. The two things that make me cranky are parents that don’t parent ( we’ve repeatedly seen young kids playing in the street on the busiest street in the park while the parent may be visible but isn’t doing anything at all to keep those kids safe — like maybe get them out of the street!), and the influx of new park models and annual sites that in the end result in some pretty junky-looking sites. It puzzles me why there are rules on site appearance for short-stay campers but not enforced for annuals. Go figure.

Marie Beschen
5 months ago

I like people, all ages and kinds, so enjoy the variety most of the time. I avoid the “Jellystone” types except when I have my grandchildren with me, because it’s a bit over the top, otherwise. As for dogs, I choose not to have one, but love petting other’s. It’s sad to hear them barking non stop when the owners have left them for the day/evening while they go off (that’s why we don’t have one) and can be annoying when the owners are not being “responsible” – but that’s true on any level. As for the age of the RV, that’s the one that bothers me. Ours is over the 10 yr rule and have been told “no”, no picture asked for. Like other’s, I figure I’ve just avoided a snooty place, and find another, but it does make for more work and sometimes locations further away than I wanted. I just wish they would ask for a picture – as I (think) I understand the reasons why (no rundown, ugly RVs) but, as you have pointed out, they now have the upper hand and can be choosy.

5 months ago

I’ve seen 55+ campgrounds, no smoking campgrounds and of course, 10 year or newer RV campgrounds. Luckly, I fit all of those categories. I think the most bothersome thing I see in campgrounds is the number of semi-permanent residents. Seems many campgrounds are turning into trailer parks. We liked going to an RV park in Carson City for our shakeout weekend, but now it’s full of residents that have been there for years. Maybe 1 or 2 open spots, but that’s all.

Paul B.
5 months ago

I’m well over 55 and have a newer RV and no pets or minor children, but I like to see everyone permitted as much fun as possible.

5 months ago

I have no problem with 55+ campgrounds, those that don’t allow “mean” dogs, and as far as the 10 year old rule – NO! If the camper looks as if it wasn’t taken care of and I have seen some that are 5 years old that look 50, then the owner should have the right to say “sorry no admittance”. mine is almost 10 and still looks like it came off the showroom, as does my 15 year old truck.
Campers that get drunk, loud and obnoxious, well they need to go right away. As far as I’m concerned a 911 call and cuffs is the only way. (Retired Corrections Officer)

5 months ago
Reply to  Stitz

Thank you, well said.

4 months ago
Reply to  Stitz

strongly agree…you act up and mouth off to the rangers, out you go and perhaps rv/ trailer information should be added to a no camp list. Your time off to relax should not cause others around you to suffer…behave like a responsible adult or you get a time out (of the park)

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