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Don’t judge an RV, or RVer, by its cover

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Today I’d like to ask you not to judge. I’d like to ask that you put your discriminations, your hate, and your preconceived notions aside and just read Mary’s story below. 

Mary sent us the following note. I urge you to read it, and as you do, think of the quote by Milan Kundera, who wrote the wonderful book “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” Kundera says, “…for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”

From Mary:

When my husband and I came to Arizona it was the beginning of Covid. We decided to come here because I have two children that live here with my ex-husband and I wanted to be close to them. I was worried something might happen in general, not just because of Covid. We came in a car and camped at the campground in a tent until we saved enough money and bought an RV. I thought this would be a great solution, but come to find out it’s the worst decision I’ve ever made in my entire life.

The entire state of Arizona would rather have people homeless than let them rent spaces due to the fact that the RV is ugly. They say, “It’s too old,” or “Oh, it doesn’t look great.” All I’ve been told about our new RV is that it’s ugly. Nobody cares that it runs like a champ and it’s got a great motor in it.

We don’t have a lot of money and we hadn’t planned on staying in it for long, but since no one will let us park our RV in trailer parks, RV parks, or at the campgrounds because it’s too ugly, I am not able to get a job to add to my husband’s income so that we can purchase a park model. This also stops me from having visits with my children six months out of the year.

My husband and my cat have fallen very ill several times due to the heat and stress of this situation. We’ve made reservations and been told no after they saw what our vehicle looks like. We’ve been immediately told “no” pulling in at the gate and we’ve been told “no” after sending pictures of our RV before arriving.

We feel like we are not allowed to improve our situation or live. We feel very discriminated against by the campground workers and feel they should take responsibility for the hurt, loss, pain and suffering they have caused us.

If you buy a motorhome or an RV, don’t go to Arizona to try and live if your RV is more than 10 years old or it doesn’t look beautiful. You may lose your life because of it.

When I wrote back to Mary asking if I could print her story, she wrote, “I’m excited you want to use my story. I hope it helps people see what real life looks like. … I can’t stand the way we are treated when we just want a chance to get to a better place and move forward.”

All I ask of you today is that you be grateful for what you have. That you stay humble. And that you never, ever, judge an RV, or RVer, by its cover. We’re all just human.

##RVT1072b

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Nycole
19 days ago

I moved to Parawon UT to help a friend that I the end left us homeless with nowhere to go because he was evicted from his apartment then left us high and dry. My husband had quit 2 jobs to move out here to help this “friend” of ours but luckily was blessed to find a job through a bishop here in Parawon. This bishop also helped us with a small beat up pop out trailer which was turned away by several RV parks. We then we’re blessed with an awesome couple that own a trailer park here called Painted Hills RV Resort that allowed us to move our little beat up trailer here with no judgment whatsoever. They don’t have power because it is new and not completely open yet but have been wonderful helping us figure out how to keep warm and even fed us. If your in Parawon UT this is definitely the place you want to come to. Good luck Mary I know it’s not Az but it’s close…if you can get here and do you do let me know. We are in the ugly pop out in Lot space 2. Come by and say hello please!!

captain gort
1 month ago

Put yourself in the shoes of the RV park owner. You all read RV park reviews. You see all the negative reviews for parks with lots of full-timers living in old beat up rigs. The RV park owner is running a business…and very likely a heavily mortgaged one. If the owner’s vision is to operate an attractive park that caters to a certain type of customer, that’s his/her choice in a FREE market country. Boat harbors face the same problem. On the other hand, if the GOVERNMENT steps in and COMPELS the owner to accept the old rigs, that’s another thing. That’s what’s happening in California in neighborhoods. They are being forced to build low income housing, most often high-density barrack-like structures completely out of the character of the community. I used to see a lot of these in China. Our nice shiny new travel trailer is refused by many sniffy “class A” only parks. Its a fact of life.

Jennifer
1 month ago

We completely understand. we are in the exact position but just in Colorado. But some towns are real friendly & allow to stay. Thank you for the advice on Arizona. was thinking about heading there. Now thinking NO. Jenn & Chris

Kathleen
1 month ago

I have a similar worry ..but Iwe are blessed enough to have our kids here near us so far .my tiffin allegro is a 1986..runs great..
I will tell you alot of privately owned parks flex their muscles at having that right.

It slightly enrages me and I wish I lived there in Arizona with a home you could plug into but I do not.

Thing is ..if you can find a state park or county park..read through their online re rules..

We did not have a problem with either.

We are in Florida where meth is bad and I truly thought they would refuse because we made reservations online ..

Our intentions were to park and have a wonderful time with our doggie Bruce Wayne.

privately owned parks do this and I don’t know in so far as different states or countieS.

We had a house fire (noone was hurt thank goodness Bruce Wayne woke his Daddy up).
Privately owned park refused..

Kathleen

Ceil
1 month ago

What am I missing here? She sounds like she can’t find any place to camp. There are many state parks and national forests that don’t care what your RV looks like.

Dennis G.
2 months ago

To Mary, First let me apologize on how you have been treated. Everyone should be treated on a case-by-case basis, and judged by their character-not their appearance.
Unfortunately, most people do not live by this. Case in point, I have been restoring a classic car for years. Before I painted the car, I had people tell me to junk it, take it to the wreckers, and had the city code enforcement officers sent to my home.
Since I painted the car (even though it’s still in pieces) neighbors have said, “What a beautiful car.” It’s the way people are. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it is common. If you and your husband can muster the funds to paint the rig in Mexico, it will make a big difference. Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, is a place people have driven their rigs to for painting.

LJ
2 months ago

Looking closely at the photo of your RV, it definitely needs some body work and paint. Our RV is 19 years old and have never been turned away in 4 years of traveling. We winter in Arizona and not had issues there, even in Mesa. I’m sorry, but your RV needs to be repaired. You shouldn’t blame the park employees for following the rules of the park. Most parks in the Phoenix valley are owned by huge corporations. They set the rules. A lot of their employees are like camp hosts, no pay but free rent. Good luck to you, hope you can fix your RV and enjoy a wonderful life.

Kenny
2 months ago

The people assigning blame to this elderly couple because of their circumstance in life have clearly never faced economic (or really any) challenges brought by extenuating outside factors. Not allowing an RV based on it’s look and age is a form of classist discrimination, if you think otherwise then you’re naive. Allowing someone in should be based on the charge for the stay (if there is one), and if they follow rules and etiquette not what their RV looks like. If an RV is structurly sound (a lot of these new ones are built like garbage) then it shouldn’t matter. The reason it does is purely image under the auspices of “business practices”.

Marie
2 months ago
Reply to  Kenny

Pretty sure they aren’t elderly. She said they moved to Arizona because her ex husband has her two kids.

Crawford
2 months ago

It looks like everyone is talking around the basic issue, which is very very poor planning. When the article stated the she was living in a tent in Arizona I knew it was heading south real quick. I understand wanting to be close to family and millions of people move for that reason every year. This story drives a few questions. What type of help is she getting from her family in Arizona? And what of issues were they having before the big move? So, for me it looks like we are only getting a few chapters of the total book.

Glendon
2 months ago

I bought a 2007 Holiday Rambler used last winter. When it was new, it cost $27,000 new, 15 years later the loan value, is $13,000. How many Rv’s (other than a airstream) hold 50% of their value in 15 years. I drove 700 miles one way to buy this old camper, because unlike new units, This 15 year old travel trailer, will not slowly designate, like some new models. That is why they hold their value. I did do a lot of upgrades, some new paint, new awning, led lights…etc. But, it looks new, but dated, because of the color of the stripes. I was told not to come back to a old run down rv park, because, I was honest and told the truth about the age of my travel trailer. My blood was boiling, I walked in a few of those late model campers while staying in their park and the cabinets where falling off the wall, slideouts warped up….etc. the (falling apart) list was long. I left a nasty review for the camp ground. I know where Mary is coming from. I like my old camper, it is not a eye sore.

BlueBird86
2 months ago

The responses here are pretty typical of “RVers” today. I remember when we were all “campers”. That has changed and the campers have turned into RVers. RVers are just as snotty, elitist, classist and down right mean as the general population because they ARE the general population. I refuse to call myself an RVer. I think it’s an insult. And they will defend their nastiness by claiming to be “protecting” themselves against what ever it is they are prejudiced against.

UPRIG
2 months ago
Reply to  BlueBird86

Exactly… I like to camp and I own a camper… 03 39L.

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  UPRIG

@ Uprig

I bet your 03 doesn’t look as “used” as this unit. So come on man!

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  BlueBird86

@BlueBird86

You just became what you called RV’ers. I have NEVER met any RV’ers / campers like you describe. Remember when you point a finger, you have 3 pointing back at you.

Campgrounds have and need to maintain an appearance so people want to come there. This camper needs to be updated and repairs made. I have empathy for Mary, but this unit needs attention.

My in-laws camped in Az with a 18 year old camper last year so the general statement that you will not be accepted in Az with a 10 year plus old camper is bogus!

Good luck to Mary, but let’s use some common sense!

Chris
2 months ago

Not feeling the pain, the fact that you continue to make bad choices and the junker rv is just a long list of. Try KOA’s and a truck and travel trailer

Edward Wilkinson
2 months ago

Yes there are all kinds of problems and issues which go much deeper than the story outlined here Mary’s problems are repeated in myriad form throughout every facet of our nation currently. I have no answers, only questions.

But one question’s answer has come a bit more clear to me. Isn’t there currently on this web site a survey asking if folks who RV are kinder than the general public?

The problems are complex and not limited to Mary’s experience. It requires much deeper insight and study of many concurrent problems and contributors to have a hope of solving anything here. But kindness and understanding do not require study. Many of the responses here do in fact reveal a part of the problem. Perhaps an inability to empathize? Could that be a part of our problem?

D Lyons
2 months ago

Not all campgrounds have the 10 year rule, We are currently at a campground in South Carolina That is an older well maintained park, nothing fancy. There are several much older units here.
We have traveled all over the US the past 4 and a 1/2 years and have encountered older (some run down) units many times even in new parks.

Eldon Pigott
2 months ago

Being judged is part of life we all have to live with. You should see the looks I get when I park my 30,000 dollar travel trailer next to a 500,000 dollar class a motor home

Jerry O.
2 months ago

To paraphrase the good book: “Judge not, Lest ye be judged.” Wonder what some of these campground workers would feel like if it happened to them? IMO it would serve them right to be told the same thing as you have been told and be forced to turn away from the area they want to go to.

Teresa Farrell
2 months ago
Reply to  Jerry O.

Stop taking Scripture out of context.

Skip
2 months ago
Reply to  Jerry O.

Maybe a reply to the camp ground workers would be I wouldn’t stay here you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. But in all seriousness I agree with you. Until you’re knocked down get up and to to climb the ladder to recover someone is there to beat you down from making it up again. We as people haven’t the smarts to figure out those are truly down and struggling to recover and those that are just down and want a continued hand out. And me it is literally killing the aged.

Eldon Pigott
2 months ago

most States have state parks which generally have very lax rules I don’t know Arizona but you should try to find one,

Lynn C
2 months ago
Reply to  Eldon Pigott

It’s not only in Arizona. It seems to be the general consensus that you’re not wanted if your RV is more than 10 years old most places.

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Lynn C

NOT TRUE. You are asked the age and most times they want a picture. My in-laws camped for 5 months in Casa Grande in a 04 motorhome. But their unit was in good condition. This unit needs attention.

Phil Davis
2 months ago

Part of these responses sound elitist. They are also partially correct. Of course, one could find a parking space in LA on the street with all the other homeless.

Then again, this whole elitist situation is maybe the making of a new business model. A chain of ugly RV parks for Ugly RVs. No pretty or new RVs allowed. You could call the RV parks Snob Acres, or Snob Hill Ugly RV Parking. I see potential here. 🤪🤪

Marie
2 months ago

Campground workers should take responsibility for your situation? Beside the fact they’re only following the rules of their campground, it’s not their responsibility to make your life better. I’m sorry to be blunt but I don’t blame them. I’ve seen many campers older than ten years that look really good. Yours is in poor shape.

I assume this is what you can afford; see what you can do to fix the outside. Meanwhile, you may want to look into boondocking or spending time at Walmart, Sam’s and Cracker Barrel, if they allow campers where you are.

I’m sorry you’re having a rough time but it’s no ones fault except yours. You have a camper that no one wants and until you remedy that, you’re going to have trouble finding a place to park it.

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  Marie

No empathy or compassion? Sounds to me that they are trying to pull themselves up by their boot straps but no one will give them a chance.

Marie
2 months ago
Reply to  KellyR

I’m sorry they’re in this situation but it’s their fault. The campground & their staff don’t bear any responsibility. Places have rules.

Skip
2 months ago
Reply to  Marie

Marie don’t ever park close to me. Don’t ever say their fault when you don’t know the whole situation! Wounded vet here is it my fault your government put us in harm’s way. I have to take up a handicapped parking space sorry my truck’s not good enough to park near your chinese junk.

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Skip

But Skip, you aren’t whining about your situation. I wish the best for this lady and her family, but there are a lot of unknowns in this story and people fill in the blanks. There is help available and they need to ask.

And thank you for your service!

Sheri Ken
2 months ago

I’m sorry to say this Mary. First, we wish you well and improve your health and perhaps your lifestyle.
It is NOT just Arizona who has the 10 year rule. It is most RV Parks. Perhaps you should truly read the RVTRAVEL more carefully and closely.
You are the responsible person for your rolling home and issues, not employees who are following the rules that is a Standard, unfortunately, with RV Parks. You can perhaps make some DIY improvements. You might have to learn to boondock with a lot of upgrades which can be pricey. Good Luck and we hope you will resolve your situation with little pain.

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  Sheri Ken

Hope and prayer, without empathy?

Teresa Farrell
2 months ago
Reply to  KellyR

You mean without blaming someone else for their inability to follow the rules? Without expecting someone else to fix their problem for them?
If you are so certain they deserve special treatment then I suggest YOU get their personal information and send them a check or go fix their RV for them. 👍
It sounds to me like Sheri has plenty of “empathy”; she just refuses to blame anyone else but the people who are actually responsible. That seems to rub you the wrong way.

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