By Mike Gast
The Woodland Park, Colorado, City Council is toying with the contentious idea of removing the community’s 180-day camping limit for RV owners, and one city councilman has brought the national Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) into the fray.
Councilman Rusty Neal said at a late April special council meeting that RVIA, in fact, is “pressuring” municipalities in the U.S. to institute a limit of 180 days on RV camping. He said he had contacted RVIA and was told that “safety concerns” with RV appliances wearing out too fast was the reason for the suggested 180-day camping limit.
Jeremy Green, Senior Director of Events & Marketing for RVIA, said that Neal’s interpretation just isn’t true.
“In fact, it’s just the opposite,’ Greene said. “The councilman asked us our position on a 180-day camping limit, and the fact is we don’t have a position.”
Greene said RVIA does have a policy in place that is used to encourage communities with camping restrictions below 180 days to hopefully increase the limit to “at least” 180 days.
The issue is an emotional one in Woodland Park. Councilman Neal, at the special council meeting in April, conducted an unofficial poll of members of the public in physical attendance and found nearly everyone wanted the 180-day limit removed. But a viewer poll of those attending the meeting via Zoom found just the opposite, with 80% of those viewing the meeting online supporting keeping the current 180-day RV camping limit in place.
Greene said it’s important that RVIA’s position be communicated clearly.
“We use our policy to help expand the time RVers can use their rigs, never to restrict the use of RVs,” Greene said. “I think a lot got lost in translation with the city official.”
He said some communities in the U.S. do have restrictions of 180 days on RV camping, and many have limits of even shorter durations. “We’ve always fought to expand those limits whenever possible.”
At the end of the special council meeting, Woodland Park officials decided to remove the 180-day limit. That will involve asking the Woodland Park Planning Commission to remove the limit and propose changes to ordinance language before the full council can again officially vote to remove the camping limit and the penalties.
No date has been set for another special council meeting to finalize the change.