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.
In the beginning of all the places kicking all the full timers out I got involved in an argument on a FB post. It was shocking how uninformed the young were. A large group insisted we were all very rich and basically wouldn’t be missed.
Wow! 😯 —Diane at RVtravel.com
It’s ignorant keeping people from the outside, the best place to be in open moving air, and ultraviolet light from the sun kills it. Keeping distance, out is it!
It is ridiculous to throw people out of an area where they’ve safely been for well beyond the quarantine period for this virus, and send them somewhere that might be less safe. We are really finding out who the tyrants are in our country.
We’re home in New Mexico (unfortunately in one of the hardest-hit counties in our state), and I’m reading several counties in Colorado just north of us have enacted “no non-resident” orders. Law enforcement is directed to find people with out of state license plates and evict them from their counties.
If nothing else, every one of us who survives this are going to learn where the “good” places to be during an emergency are, and where the “bad” places are as well. My wife and I aren’t fully retired yet, but we’re watching the data, and we will have a good list of potential retirement places when this is all over.
That doesn’t make since they have to be a resident of the county? Why would you camp in your county? Unless they are full timers that live in the Marfa RV park “ trailer park” We have stayed in Alpine near Marfa, and I can’t imagine them doing this? Marfa is in the middle on nowhere land, so who would be concerned of getting the virus 🦠 it’s literally like being in the desert with no humans in sight, only stars , snakes, and wind. We live in North Texas. Governor Abbott is opening the state parks very soon..
I bet the park in Alpine will let you stay!
Sorry, I have no sympathy for Escapees RV Club. In my first year of RVing, I was traveling home from Florida when I was involved in a traffic accident. My RV was’t damaged, but my tow vehicle was. Made arrangements for repair of my vehicle, but I needed a place to stay for a week or so until repairs done. The closest campground was owned or control by Escapees. Told me I couldn’t stay there, even though they had plenty of spaces, because I wasn’t towing my own RV. What goes around, comes around.
Steven, sorry to hear about you accident. It’s times like that when you just want help, not rules and regulations but sometimes, and I think in your case, it’s just a case of “don’t shoot the messenger”. Lots of states have regulations about having a vehicle suitable to tow your RV. It can make the difference between being an RV’er and a resident. What did the Escapee’s head office say when you contacted them ?
This was 4 years ago. I got towed to the next closest campground, which turned out to be very nice. I did not contact Escapee’s head office because that would not help immediately. I would have joined Escapees if required to stay at their park. That was my first year of full timing. Since then, I have joined numerous other RV organizations, but Escapee’s won’t be one of them.
Cocome to Amarillo Texas. All the campgrounds up here are still open.
Why did Marfa, Texas have a mandatory evacuation rule? I thought the Federal government said to stay in place. And after they rousted the RV’ers, did the city go door to door checking papers, like in “papers, please”?
Nice video. I’ve written the President, senators, and congressmen. I forwarded the example of Andy Zipser’s park as well as a letter written by Dana Nielsen of RV News to another senator he knows. I don’t have any money I can contribute but so far I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get this point across.
Yet anther reason I dropped FMCA and joined Escapees!
I don’t belong to any RV groups, but if I were to join one, it would be Escapees.
As a native Texan, I am embarrassed that Gov. Abbot closed our state park system.
Tell them to go Andy’s campground in Staunton, PA.
Alabama is still open.