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Debate over Colorado community’s limit on RV camping draws in RVIA

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.

Related:

Campgrounds near Woodland Park, CO

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Steve
6 months ago

180 days (or 365 days) is not rv’ing / camping. It’s living in a campground. Maybe it’s time to correctly identify this as mobile home living. I am not advocating to throw people out, but let’s call it what it is. This also adds to the issue of crowded “campgrounds”. Just my opinion

pursuits712
6 months ago

Limits simply encourage folks to play musical chairs. We find quite a few military campgrounds simply turn their head when folks leave one site and move to another site which begins a new time limit. When states that have limits on work camper assignment duration, the work campers simply rotate from one campground to another and back. Doesn’t really change much.

Ival Secrest
6 months ago

This is a tough decision but one worthy of discussion. This is our 2nd time being full-time RVers. We have traveled extensively across the US and Canada. I’m guessing the unsaid purpose is to eliminate (at least) reduce those RVers who have stuff laying in a disorderly fashion around their site. Many people are working seasonally or via contract (e.g. nurses and doctors) for a specific period of time. Another aspect to consider is the fact that the salary or pay rate for many jobs in the USA is such that the workers cannot afford the cost of houses or the upfront (and maybe the monthly) cost of a rental unit to meet their needs.

Donald N Wright
6 months ago

Is it a campground or an RV park if you never leave? Is this RV park written up for tourists or for a permanent residence to bypass City laws? Personally, I would have the RV park split up 50/50, half long term and half tourist & seasonal workers.

Denny
6 months ago

Why?

Frank
6 months ago

And we live among these people, kind of scary isn’t it????