It’s checkout time, your RV has a problem, won’t move. What to do?

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By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
I have wondered what would happen if it were time to check out of my site in a packed RV park, but my motorhome had a mechanical problem and it couldn’t move. What if it were a park where every RV space was reserved for every night: somebody was due in your spot later that day?

What would you do? Could the park manager force you to move? Has this happened to you? It must happen from time to time.

Here is a letter I received today that got me thinking about this. It’s from a reader named Renee Gainey, who wrote:

“I need help. The manager in our park in Crescent City, California, keeps asking us to move, saying she has reservations for our particular spot. We have had some mechanical issues with our Class A and are still waiting for a back-ordered part for our hydraulics so we can’t move.

“She told me a week ago that someone was coming into our spot. We are still waiting for our part but we are supposed to be out tomorrow, no exceptions. I want to know why they want us out so badly. There are plenty of open spots here. My husband is disabled, I am partially disabled and we bother no one. How can a manager of a park pick and choose when we are in a predicament and can’t move our RV yet?

“We offer to pay whatever is needed until we can safely move. I was hoping you could write an article asking if this type of situation has happened to other full timers. I think this topic should get out in the open. It’s not right.”

In this case, if the RV is unable to move, can the RV park force the RVer to leave, perhaps having it towed elsewhere? Of course, as we all know, sometimes there is not another RV park for miles, or there are no spaces. In this case, the couple in the site is waiting for a part to get their RV running again.

Then there’s the RVer who has reserved the site beginning in a few hours. What if he or she arrives and the reserved site, which you still occupy, is not available, or any other site? Isn’t that person entitled to the space? I suspect some people, in our too-angry world, would be very upset.

I have never been in this situation, but I have thought about it. I would love to hear your comments if this has happened to you. If it’s not happened to you, what do you believe is the best thing for both the RVer and the park owner to do?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

##RVT955

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43 Comments
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Kenneth Knigga
16 hours ago

I’ve had it happen to us when we had the grandkids along for a trip, yes I was perturbed having to wait a half hour for the other rv to pack up and move on, but I kept my mouth shut, hard to do for a marine. All that I kept thinking about was getting our rv set up along with the kids bike and gear out so the kids could get to the pool.

Charles Yaker
29 days ago

similar problem happened to me several times that I can remember. I have also asked on many occasions for a spot I could stay in for an extended period in case something unexpected was found when taking my truck for service. Or service took longer then anticipated, Once I limped into a campground overheating I had no idea how long it would stake to get back on the road . Once got a flat before leaving the spot but that spot was not booked . Three other times I was towed into campgrounds twice on holiday weekends. In two cases they found spots for us and in the other they set us up next to their maintenance shop with water and electric. Once I was towed to a Ford dealer on a holiday weekend and was allowed to boondocks in a corner. Stuff happens I like to think most Campgrounds would want to help work it out. In the the final analysis they cant survive on one time traffic especially with clubs and people like you to out the bad guys.

Terri R
29 days ago

we had that happen to us twice now where broken down was in our spot. Fortunately state parks where they gave us option to wait or occupy one of the walk up sites. We exercised taking a walk up site in one case & waiting a few hours for the other. We have also had to repair a tire & ended up running over on the site by about an hour – new occupant not there yet when we left.

MrDisaster
30 days ago

It seems like we are missing a part of the story.. Anyway I’m working at a large park in Montana for the summer. We are sold out for the entire month of July. That being said we do have a couple of “oops sites” for booking errors or unexpected issues. If this is a small park they may not have a “spare site” or the incoming guest might be a long time guest and the manager is trying to balance everything. Knowing what we do it seems the manager is being unreasonable, but we haven’t heard their side of the story. Getting repair parts in these times can be a PITA . I want to hear the rest of the story.

Bluebird Bob
30 days ago

If the problem was there jacks or jack not being able to retract, someone with a pan could go underneath, crack open the hyd. jack line to release the jack back up to it’s stowed position. Tie it up and be on your way.

Dick Hime
30 days ago

Similar situation happened to us several years ago but the disabled vehicle was our K3500 Crew Cab Dually pickup, not our 35′ fifth wheel. The campground had a rally reserved for the weekend and this happened on Wednesday. They needed EVERY space for the reserved rally, very understandable on our part.I had the truck towed to a repair facility for diagnosis, determined it could not be fixed before the weekend, so I paid a friend in our camping club with a similar tow vehicle to bring the trailer 150 miles to our home while we rented a car and waited for the truck to be repaired. Due to parts availability, it required two weeks. Obviously, this is not an option for this couple. They may have to pony up to move the unit to another empty site if the CG operator is up for that. With a Class A, that could be done with a heavy duty pickup and a tow strap. It’s good to have friends. Hope they do. I believe the CG operator has the right to have it towed away at the owner’s expense. Negotiate.

Larry347
30 days ago

We all pay for insurance for times when we need help. Ultimately, our stuff is our responsibility. I don’t think we have the whole story here, but the RV could be towed out of the park to be fixed at some point. The people have the responsibility to take care of themselves however they can, which may include help from the community. We like to see stories of people helping people, because we know it is not expected and demonstrates character that we hold dear.

Dan
30 days ago

I always read all the comments to your articles before I make a comment. Some of the snide remarks that this lady played the sympathy card is why this country is so divided. You can tell these people have never been broken down in a park. We have been, three times for a big slide on a newer rig. I haven’t met a mobile repair that can fix a slide problem or a lot of other repairs without ordering parts. Most all RV dealers are not equipped to handle a slide problem and will send you to the factory. Guess what, two trips to the factory and they can’t fix their own poor engineering’s either. Last time it broke down it took 4 guys to get the slide back in. Left the KOA park three hours after check out and they still charged us for another day when they were 20% full. Oh by the way after six years of praying that the slide would come back-in every time we used it, and 5K +. The €£¥!! rig is in someone’s else’s driveway. 🤓.

Steve Karponai
7 days ago
Reply to  Dan

Saw a slide out taken out and glass window put in its place.

Ellen
30 days ago

After many years, something like this happened to us just this spring. We were grateful to have been in a park with managers willing to help, but we certainly did some scrambling ourselves: we had our Class C towed (after paying for insurance for nearly a dozen years it finally paid off!) to a repair shop where they were able to make the repair. This was after a few days of folks from a nearby dealership coming out to the RV park to see if repairs could be made on site (it was an issue with the Ford engine’s battery, not the coach in this case); the dealership couldn’t take the RV, but referred us to a nearby repair shop that could fix it.

What’s sad in this case was the long delay in getting the needed part and the inability to have the vehicle towed. If the park has other spots open, perhaps this rig could have been towed to another site? Were they without an emergency fund to help pay for situations like this? Most parks are willing to work with stranded RVers.

Cindy
30 days ago

Many parks do not promise a specific site to people and this is why. Sometimes things happen and that spot may not be available immediately. Go with the flow. People who are just to lazy to leave on time are the ones that make me mad. I’ve been in a situation where I was broken down and people were always very understanding. Some even offered us money to buy a part we needed! Be those people, not the other kind.

Cindy
30 days ago

Talk to the incoming people in advance! Owner can let the people there now explain the situation. Then offer a comparable site (as much as possible) for a temporary location. Most people understand and high pressuring the RV owners will not help the situation as they CAN NOT move. Threats are not helpful. Solutions are.

Shannon
30 days ago

Our tow vehicle was involved in an accident while disconnected from the trailer. The insurance company loaner was a small sedan. Fortunately the campground had an overflow site available for the people scheduled to move into our site.

Anne
30 days ago

Iv’e been on the side of the person showing up for our reserved site that has been reserved for many months and having someone in it. Because of our physical limitations we choose specific camping spots for a reason and just any site will not work usually for a reason.  I too am constantly irritated when ” the disabled card is played”. You aren’t the only one in this world that has limitations . That doesn’t excuse you or anyone else from the stated rules. Why do you think that is reason to ruin someone else’s time or vacation because of your personal problems?  We would never use our personal problems to excuse something like this.

Cindy
30 days ago
Reply to  Anne

That doesn’t help the situation. WHAT do you propose they do since they are already in the situation? It’s not like they can move. Give a creative solution. If you can’t do that then you are part of the problem.

Gary
28 days ago
Reply to  Cindy

Yes they can move their rig. As someone stated earlier have someone drain off some hydraulic fluid in that particular jack then it will store itself. I speak from experience as it happened to me last year and I had To drain off some hydraulic fluid in one of my rear jacks to get it up so I could get out of the park. Yes I understand they May have some physical limitations that would prevent them from doing this. But that’s why they have mobile RV technicians. Yes it will probably cost them a little bit but let’s be honest whoever said RVing was going to be cheap.

Winnebago Bob
28 days ago
Reply to  Gary

There are certainly many problems that can keep an RV from moving besides jack problems. Sides that won’t go in, transmission trouble, air brake valves that won’t release. Give a fellow RV’er a break. I am sure they would have moved, if possible. Just because you didn’t get to park in that particular spot, it’s NOT the end of the world!

Winnebago Bob
28 days ago
Reply to  Anne

Remember what you are preaching now, WHEN and not if you have a problem with your RV and cannot move it. RV’s pick the worst time for trouble. IT WILL BE YOUR TURN SOMEDAY!!

WEB
30 days ago

Where has our civility gone? Parks rights, RVers rights… Shame on us. Where is the principle of treating others like you would like to be treated, especially to this stressed couple? Perhaps an option would be to help find someone in the RV park that could help them get “patched up” enough to relocate or if not, help explain to the RV park manager why they are stuck. If I had a reservation there, I think I would have given up my spot. I travel to see the beautiful outdoors and meet great people along the way. Helping others when you see a need is just part of it, just like home.

Winnebago Bob
28 days ago
Reply to  WEB

So much for the “Good Sams” that would help instead of piss and moan because their plans had to be changed

Captn John
30 days ago

I’m certainly one of the most reasonable people around. I rarely wear a mask, mostly as people like you stay far away. Not a hillbilly but I’m gun toting unless I’m in the shower. As much as it would hurt I’d even protect your sorry butt with it if needed.

Dale
30 days ago

So, Claudio when were you appointed to be the judge. Since when are hillbillies 2nd class citizens? Just because you and your type don’t pack, but wear masks to make your self feel better, how does that make you a better person than me and your supposed gun packing hillbilly. by the way…I pack and no one is going to force me to wear a mask…but FYI I wear a mask everytime I am around another person, no matter where. It’s my choice.

Mike Sherman
30 days ago

Our jacks failed to retract and we could not move. Most parks don’t guarantee a specific site, so that was not an issue. Fortunately the mobile repairmen had the necessary part to fix the problem and we were on our way, 4 hours later than expected. As an aside, I doubt one could ever find a tow company willing to attempt to tow a 5th wheel with levelers extended, too much liability.

Phil Atterbery
30 days ago

Been there, no scars. Had a main DC failure while moving spots in a major park in SoCal. Coach shutdown in the middle of a traffic lane of the park, at 5pm, of a Friday. Owners allowed us to sit in the lane overnite. Mobile service got us fixed next morning. Flexibly.

uprig
30 days ago

nobody has a sense of humor anymore…

Tbloesch
30 days ago

I’m working this summer in a campground in Grand Tetons NP, just this week we had a class A come in that threw the fan. Luckily we have a large parking area where they could park while waiting for parts. We have been sold out of sites all week, but we are working with the owners. I think that most campgrounds are willing to work with people that have problems.

Charles Yaker
29 days ago
Reply to  Tbloesch

I spent a night in that parking lot due to storm damage and trees down several others were given cabins. I like my own bed. I would post a picture but this site doesn’t have that option