By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Many Americans are rapidly tiring of self-isolation. Accustomed to a varied routine, being out-and-about, now they may spend days staring at the same four walls, or same flat-screen TV. But there is something to be said for it – you’re safe in a familiar place, and you don’t worry about where you’ll sleep tonight – it’s just a few steps away.
But imagine NOT knowing where you’ll sleep tonight. For some, the bedroom is truly just a few steps away, but it’s a question about the ground under the bedroom that’s an unknown. You are a fulltime RVer – and things aren’t quite what you’d dreamed of when you made your plans to get in the lifestyle. Here’s Denny and Veronica’s story.
A few weeks ago the couple took time out of their full-time travels to hunker down and ride out the coronavirus pandemic. They knew what health authorities were calling for: Settle down. Stay isolated. Stay put. So they did, in Marfa, Texas. You can only imagine the gut-wrenching feeling they suddenly got when the knock came at their RV door. “Sorry,” announced a Marfa city official, “but we have a mandatory evacuation, and all non-residents of the county have to leave.” The RVers weren’t “residents” of the county – and they had 72 hours to leave. Where would they go next?
“We are an entire segment of citizens who have been forgotten and overlooked. Many of us are currently being evicted from our campsites and forced to travel with nowhere safe to land. We aren’t vacationers, we want somewhere safe to hunker down and wait this out.” – Cathie Carr, RVer and President Emeritus of Escapees RV Club
With that situation affecting untold numbers of fulltime RVers across the country, from the South, to the West, “Down East,” and in the Midwest, there are places where “if you ain’t from here, you ain’t welcome.” Carr’s organization, the Escapees, is trying to do something about it. The group is attempting a call to action by RVers for RVers. They’ve put together a menu of suggested telephone and letter presentations that concerned folks can use to contact government officials and ask them to consider the plight of that “forgotten segment of citizens,” and ease restrictions to make it easier for full-time RVers to actually find a place to sit tight and do their part to flatten the curve on the virus. Read more about their efforts, or find samples you can use to do your own communications with lawmakers here.
To further the effort, the Escapees have also produced a short, 1-minute video reminding people that full-time RVers need help. Here’s the video to watch – and a link that you can use to post on social media or e-mail to lawmakers. https://youtu.be/wn4bywspMko
In these difficult times, we at RVtravel.com encourage all to take into consideration the needs of your fellow RVers and do whatever you can to provide shelter. Even if you can’t “take in” a full-timer, get the word out so that more can be done.