Action needed: Keep RV parks open

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A message from the Escapees Club
RV parks across the country are closed/closing in response to state and local orders. Most states are allowing individual counties to dictate their own measures. We are hearing all kinds of mandates, some of which could force residents/guests to leave an RV park where they are currently sheltering. This puts fellow RVers in jeopardy.

We encourage you to take part in a grassroots effort to reach key leaders directly. Every day that passes, Federal and State campgrounds are closing their gates. And, with the potential for more states and counties to mandate private RV park and campground closures, we need to act now. In addition to working as an association with our political leaders and our fellow industry leaders, we feel it is time to encourage each individual to reach out to their elected officials and explain to them why is it critical that they consider RV parks as essential businesses.

We urge you to contact county officials now! Go to https://www.escapees.com/keep-rv-parks-open-during-coronavirus/ for information on who and how to contact, as well as sample letters. Our advocacy team is already reaching out to state and county officials on behalf of RVers, but we need your help to increase the power of our voices.

To make this easier, we have composed three samples to help you with ideas. You are welcome to use any of them as you wish, but it may be considered more earnest if you modify the examples to better fit your opinions and circumstances or write your own words. You will find the samples on our website.

No matter if you choose to call or write, it is always best to keep your message respectful and courteous and limit it in length. And remember, our political leaders have rarely been so busy as they are right now. To find your state and federal political leaders, visit USA GOV.

For more information on this effort, visit https://www.escapees.com/keep-rv-parks-open-during-coronavirus/.

##RVT941

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Diane K.
6 months ago

Sometimes, I truly think there may be a government conspiracy going on… For those of you who DON’T know… A few years back, The SBA (the government agency that backs 80%-90% of small business loans) mandated that ALL loan applications to purchase a campground, will only be approved if 51% the cg’s ANNUAL income is derived from Transient Campers. (Who is the smart-ass, college-educated (with no common sense) whipper snapper that came up with THAT rule, in order to make a name for themselves?). This rather new rule has made buying and selling campgrounds in The U.S. rather difficult. #1) Seasonal Campers are a campground’s bread & butter… knowing how much income one can rely on, in advance, is beneficial. A cg can count on certain minimal revenues, despite weather or economical lows as Seasonal Campers are usually very loyal patrons. #2) Many “Mom & Pop” campgrounds still operate today, unaware of the difficulties they face in selling their cg as noone can qualify for an SBA-backed loan to buy, when showing little or no Transient Income. Most people qualified to run a cg don’t usually have $1million+ “hanging around” to buy a business.

Granted, these college-educated, inexperienced non-camping misfits, (who may now be politicians) who continue to reek havoc on the American camping industry (and economy in general) couldn’t have foreseen this virus coming down the pike (or maybe they did, again…conspiracy theory…), coincidentally, are now shutting down the very income THEY require, to approve BACKING thee very loans most conventional U.S. banks won’t consider underwriting! Most U.S. banks won’t write a loan for a Seasonal business, even if the potential new owner can put up 50%!

Will this virus prove the error of their ways?? How will Season 2020 impact the buying and selling of campgrounds in America from this day forward? I think it’s vital that we find out WHO we need to write to, in government, WHO is responsible to overturn this unproductive SBA rule. This virus is an eye-opener to us all, AGAIN, how our financial stability can be threatened by unforeseen forces (September 11, stock market plunges, gas at $4/gal, PMI and the Corona Virus, to name a few…)

The reality is: Too much government control. We are allowing The SBA to dictate how we generate our income and pay a significant price if we don’t comply. Constitutional? Many campground owners (either looking to sell or buy) face a dilemma after this shutdown. Those who cannot continue to operate, following this virus crisis (and many won’t)
will be forced to shut down because they cannot sell, if they may want to. This is a very sad thought. When a campground closes, there are not 2 more waiting to replace it. This is very discouraging news for the camping community…

The government is offering “stimulus packages” for small businesses in need of help. Where does the camping industry fit in? The government needs to open its eyes and realize the campground industry doesn’t need any financial help, if it’d just leave us alone.

We are capable of shutting down our public restrooms and swimming facilities. But to shut down camping all together? Come on people! It’s one thing to stay in a hotel>>and live in someone else’s slop. But our RV’s are our home away from home…What better place to be, in a lockdown?

God Bless our campground owners. Hopefully, we’ll all make it through these troubled times. The government can help. But will it? Stop discriminating against campgrounds, particularly privately owned ones. We’re the safest public place to be.

Richard Hubert
6 months ago

Alvin – I agree that some people are just total slobs who try to mess things up for everyone else.

However – in terms of cleaning services – how come so many private RV parks can stay open and maintain services? Why virtually ALL gas stations and truck stops? Grocery stores? Walmart?? What makes government run campgrounds different?

Here is what I have written to many about closing of RV campgrounds and public lands –
************************************************************************
So why are all the public campgrounds closed – but yet all the private ones strive to remain open?? Why can’t the public sector handle this crisis where the private sector can? What is going on here?

In my experience most public camp grounds typically offer the some of the best, most widely separated sites – perfect for most RVers to settle down in one place during this health crisis. Yet Federal, State and local campgrounds all closed weeks ago, usually kicking out settled campers – why?? Where did they expect people to go to then?

I know is some cases that officials literally told people to “go home” – thinking that everyone must have a sticks & bricks house to go to. Pretty gross assumption for people in charge of outdoor camping & recreation to have, not realizing how many full timing people are out these traveling and living out of their RV as their home. Their only home.

Observations & Suggestions –

(1) That almost all Federal, State and Local campgrounds, along with some public lands, were closed very quickly – YET it seems that almost all private RV parks stayed open. So how can they manage to do that while public campgrounds cannot?

(2) So many RVers have been kicked out of /off of Federal and State campgrounds and public lands (such as COE parks) where they thought they were best complying with stay-in-place orders. Now no longer in secluded, often remote, and usually widely separated campsites and instead forced into private RV parks (usually much more costly with sites typically closer together) OR forced to travel around trying to find a place to park each night.

(3) Total lack of understanding of the RV lifestyle, or compassion for RVers by public officials. Many, many public lands have been shut to camping, even though (especially for boondockers) these lands offer the best opportunities to self-isolate and to stay-in-place. In some areas local officials have even ordered private RV parks to shut down or operate at 50% capacity.

(4) What should be done instead is for public officials to:
> Open up campgrounds in order to provide to those who are traveling a safe place to stay put and be self-quarantined.

> Extend allowable stays (beyond the usual 2 week limit) in their parks to help support quarantine periods to help keep more people isolated and not moving around.

> Utilize some of the available open spaces – such as parking lots and fields – and permit RVers (who are so equipped) to boondock there, also with extended stays.

> Enlist those camping to voluntarily assist in maintenance of their camping area through trash collection and basic road and site maintenance. The purpose of this is to allow campers who benefit from these rule changes to demonstrate and acknowledge their appreciation as well as take over some of the work that park personnel would have to do, relieving limited personnel of some workload. In some posts some RVers have already volunteered to help clean bathhouses in these parks as well if they are allowed extended stays during this crisis.

Alvin
6 months ago

Has anyone thought to ask why officials are closing these parks?
My take on it knowing how many folks handle sanitation/hygene badly if at all, is that local and state workers being dismissed from their jobs to self-isolate will not be available to clean up the messes people leave behind. We’ve all seen the aftermath, and those who clean it up see it every day. Today we have to worry about what YOU CAN’T SEE, and that’s why they have acted as they have!

Deplorable’s foul up a public facility & move on to the next one. I suspect authorities knowing this and to mitigate it, have chosen to close, rather than risk an outbreak due one person who doesn’t get the state of the emergency who contaminates hundreds – causing greater havoc.

Dan Rucker
6 months ago

The government agencies that are closing their campgrounds have become part of the problem when they are supposed to be part of the solution. I have already written my senator and congressman and hope others do too.

TravelingMan
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan Rucker

Great!

I see that 3 of us have done so. Anyone that does not is contributing to the problem.

S. Campbell
6 months ago

They are NOT LEADERS! They are elected representatives and they work for us. In healthcare we rise to the occasion and work harder when we need to. Their job is no different…

Sharon King
6 months ago

Everyone please stay where you are quit travelling around if you want this virus to come to an end I live in an rv park year around and we dont want you guys coming in and out just stay put till this is over

John T
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon King

Impossible if the authorities keep throwing people out of the campgrounds they are in.

Al Boese
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon King

Maybe you should be living in a Mobil home park. Most private parks are taking all necessary precautions i.e. registration by phone, closing bathrooms, laundry etc. and having all registration materials sent ahead of time.

Peggy
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon King

You live in a mobile home, no matter what you call it. We are full timers and have been researching where we will be going, avoiding large urban areas and staying in rural areas far from people. We are currently in an rv park in Florida, we are healthy and will be leaving here 1 May, if we are allowed. We are not spreading anything to anyone. We are healthy. You would be more likely to spread this by panicking st every news headline.

Deborah Font
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon King

We are more self isolated than anyone, but for the most part we are being kicked out and sent into the unknown. We would all love to stay put as you put it but can not. We are very grateful for those parks that are open.

rick
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon King

We were stationary then asked to leave because we were not permanent, WTF are people supposed to do if they can’t stay? They must leave someplace open, we’re now in the desert, lucky to have water and electricity. Thank God a sports club had RV parking at their remote site and allowed us to hunker down.

Steve Foth
6 months ago

Thank you for this information. I just got done sending an email to the two senators, one representative, and the Governor of my messed up state, CA.

Drew
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Foth

Ditto, thanks.

Patrick Granahan
6 months ago

The State and Federal government agencies have no right to close private businesses.
The virus does not give any government agency the power to violate the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Campgrounds do not present a danger to our health…the various government agencies have over stepped their authority.
Actions like closing campgrounds and businesses are destroying our economy and hurting the average American family.
I can see the likelihood of riots if these unconstitutional violations of basic rights continue.
America and other nations are over reacting to this virus and inflicting pain and suffering
Beyond that of the virus itself.

Steve
6 months ago

Agreed.

DAVE TELENKO
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Hmm, I see this is 3 days old. Things have changed dramatically! Ya need to stay put & keep everyone safe by staying away from anyone. only takes one to infect thousands to the CORONAVIRUS. Don’t be selfish & only think about yourself.

Mark B
6 months ago

Yeah, gun stores and any of those crowded campgrounds are guaranteed in the constitution!!! (If sites are farther apart, that could be a different story.)

And a conservative estimate of 200,000 deaths should not get in the way of our constitutionally guaranteed right to lawfully assemble at flea markets, crowded beaches, monster truck, NASCAR and Keep America Great rallies!!!

And they are overreacting! 4600 deaths (Mar 31), with the number of deaths doubling every 3 days. I can’t do the math, but percentage-wise that is nothing. There are 330 million Americans. Why should everybody have to sit home and suffer while cities and states have closed the bars, movie theaters, Oliver Garden and all the buffet restaurants? It seems almost all that is left is Chinese take-out. Ironic!

Donn
6 months ago

If Escapees really wants a letter campaign they need to do a template and link to a rep. Locating site. Many organizations use them and it makes it very easy and generates a lot of lettrs

Richard Hubert
6 months ago
Reply to  Donn

They have. They have generated at least 3 templates, as well as a video, which they are asking people to send to their local government officials. Go to their website – we could all use your help.