Full-timers – Where can you stay during this outbreak?

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

The COVID-19 situation has turned us all upside down. Did you have a road trip planned? Did your plans include an RV show or other related event? It’s a good guess that your event is postponed or cancelled altogether. With many of our readers in “stay home” order areas, you’re likely glad you have a home.

Or do you?

For RVtravel.com readers who are full-time RVers, home may be “where you park it,” but the question is, under the current conditions, just where can you park it? We wrote this piece on Friday morning, March 27. Here’s just a smattering of places you can’t call home if you’re a full-timer:

California: All state parks and “developed” Forest Service sites are closed. Colorado: State and forest service campgrounds closed. Private parks are questionable – the state is still determining if they are “essential” or not. Connecticut: By order of the governor, all campgrounds are shut down. Illinois: All state parks are closed; hotels and motels are open as “essential,” but the state has yet to rule on how essential private parks are.

We could go on. In some states, no restrictions have been put in place; in others, “no room at the inn” is the order of the day. This leaves full-timers in a big pickle. For those who require utility hookups, the situation can be pretty serious. If you need electricity for, say, a residential-style refrigerator, you’re likely watching your food rot as there’s no place to stay.

Here at RV Travel, we’re struggling to keep up with the news. The two of us joke about putting together the Sunday news column. With so much COVID-19 news, we thought for our part we’d simply skip the topic, and let other areas of our publishing wings handle it. Yesterday, we had five total non-Coronavirus items of interest to publish. It seems like if it’s not about the virus, it isn’t happening. Chuck, our fearless publisher, is dealing almost non-stop with literally “viral” information. We’d love to put together a comprehensive list of “what’s open and what’s not,” but we just don’t have the resources.

BUT, there is an internet resource that is trying to keep up with information that our full-timing friends will need. The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), an industry support group, has created and is continually updating an internet-accessible (Excel) spreadsheet of the status of both public and private campgrounds on a state-by-state basis. Here’s the link to follow to get that information.

Meanwhile, if you’re out there, you may find some private campgrounds open. We’ve heard heartbreaking stories of full-time travelers who lament that they normally stay in lower-cost publicly operated campgrounds, like those found at county fairgrounds. One young couple say when these public campgrounds shut down, they were still able to find private campgrounds available, but the nightly costs were so high they were out of their reach. No doubt the same is true with older RVers living on fixed incomes.

What’s to be done? We’d like to reach out to our readers who have to face these critical times on the road. How are you making do? What experiences have you had and, based on those, what advice can you share? Please drop us an e-mail to russ AT rvtravel.com, and yes, replace that AT with the typical email formatted @ sign. We’d like to share your experiences with our readers as we bump down this road together.

Meanwhile, know that the staff here at RV Travel is concerned and cares about all of you. Do your best to stay safe, and look forward to better times.

##RVT941

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34 Comments
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steve
3 months ago

hi all. sterojo here. we are about to be fulltimers as soon as the house sell . The original plan was t o head out at the end of May or early June and head west at a leisurely Colorado to torture our kids for a while. Now I’m concerned that we will end up sleeping on the side of the road as there are no spots for the travellers out there unti lGod knows when. Any thoughts?

Debbie Thomas
3 months ago

We house sit after not so great experiences working as park hosts for private RV parks. A while ago, we met the owners of a large property at the Senior center where we were cooking. They travel a lot and wanted someone to feed the wild birds (we are on Dungeness Spit on the Olympic Peninsula, a haven for migrating birds) and watch the house, mow the lawn and trim trees in exchange for staying there…The best !
But i got to thinking that during the Covid-19 shutdown, asking people if you could stay in their yard in exchange for light maintenance might work…if they are casual acquaintances while you are grounded.
We play cards with the owner every night and also share cooking. Turned it into fun. We are doing some major gardening projects as he is 80 and would not do it himself..Win Win for everybody.

grace and cliff
3 months ago

We just spent 2 nights at a camping area in Wellsville NY. Very nice with zero personal contact. We were able to park with full hook-ups and lots of space. Plenty of room to walk around, ride our bikes to a nearby store. My wife and I had a nice campfire and lots of exercise. Two small creeks for fishing on the banks of the Genesee River.
There were only 5 or 6 other campers, but room for many more.
Trout Run, is the name…..check it out.

Sharon Severe
3 months ago

The RV Park we are at are offering RVers a place to stay. There are plenty of RV parks in our area that are still open. Alamo Fiesta RV Resort is open in Boerne, Texas.

Terri Foxx-Wishert
4 months ago

Rincon Country West in Tucson is open. While the social activities are no more, there is sunshine and fresh air. Lots of people are riding bikes and walking a lot.
This is a year round home for some people, so it will remain home.

Pierre
4 months ago

In a pinch, many Boondockers Welcome hosts (including me) are still able and willing to accommodate RVers.

Joyce
4 months ago

We are open at Ramblin Roads RV Resort in Hope, AZ. $475.00 month plus electric. 30 and 50 amps available . Full hookups.

Karen Joyce
4 months ago

We are not an RV park but have 3 sites zoned for RVs. We are a quiet park being slowly restored to it’s original beauty. We welcome long or short term visits. We have no fancy amenities.
https://toledo.craigslist.org/prk/d/toledo-rv-sites-for-off-grid-boondocking/7098453163.html

Don Hart
4 months ago

Currently at Americana Birding Park located near Mission, Tx. Summer Rate $290.00 PER MONTH. Friendly, shaded, lovely park with landscaping, 30 and 50 Amp service. Clean pool and Hot Tub. Not planning to close, friendly to all, peaceful and quiet. NOT 55 and older. Check it out in Palmview, Tx.

Rob
4 months ago

The problem (as all RVers already know) is that the rules are made by NON-RVers who look at anyone with an RV as it being a luxury item and that they can just take it home and park the trailer in the driveway. The concept of ‘full-timer’ just doesn’t register with them or if it does they have no clue what it really means or how to deal with us.

Terry Kutzbach
4 months ago

Oakwood RV Resort in Fredericksburg Texas is open for both short term and long term guests. Located in the Texas Hill Country between San Antonio and Austin, you will enjoy the wide open spaces, away from big city congestion and problems. Check us out at http://www.oakwoodrvresort.com or give us a call at 830 997 9817, we’d love to have you visit our family owned park.

Fred
4 months ago

We’ve extended our stay here in the desert north of Yuma at the Imperial Dam LTVA, past our planned mid March departure. We are over a hundred yards from the nearest rv & now only go into Yuma to grocery shop & do laundry every 2-3 weeks

secessus
4 months ago

boondocking, yo

David C
4 months ago

CT RV Resort in Benson, AZ is open, has full hookups and spots available. Monthly rate is $500 plus electric for April. May it goes to $450 plus electric.

Roland
4 months ago

My wife and I are home, with RV parked in yard. But, we have fulltimer friends that are on the road. So far they have been able to find a place to stay, but they have cancelled all their RV adventures and are returning family to park.

I think it is time to make a list of any Private RV Park that charges rental rates that exceed their previous published prices. Price gorging is unacceptable!

Judith Parker
4 months ago

We are one of the many full-time RV families wbo have had reservations cancelled. We have been lucky enough to be allowed to remain after our current reservation ended until we can find another place. After several days of looking, we found a park that is open with vacancy as well as within our budget. The sad thing is, how does having to move from a park with widely spaced sites to a place that is more like a parking lot make sense at this time? This country has many Army Corps of Engineers parks closed when they could be solving RVers dilemma. They could temporarily remove the two week limit – perhaps even require a two week minimum stay – thus reducing the number of people moving from place-to-place, searching for a long-term solution not to mention give the parks some much needed revenue. We have friends who are moving from one park to another a couple times a week for a place to stay.
Stay safe.

Pat
4 months ago

As a retired full timer on a limited income, I am struggling in the southeast. All of my federal campgrounds are closed. I was kicked out of the South Carolina state parks as they closed. Heading to a Georgia state park now. The state parks are eating into my reserves. If Georgia closes, I’m not sure what I will do next. KOA May be open, but it’s out of my budget.

wanderer
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat

Go to site Corps Lakes Gateway and see if any COE parks will work. $11 with senior nat parks pass, and often outstanding wooded or lakeside sites.

Don Kostyal
4 months ago

I am on a FAMCAMP and have written the installation commander several times pleading to just let campers currenty residing in the camp ground just isolate in place (and continue to pay of course). I receive replies from the office of public affairs (no specific person) telling me to review my contract and quoting that the camp grounds are a recreational facility and not intended for residency. That the contract states campers must have a “plan” to evacuate upon 24 hours notice. This is their position and they are currently letting us stay moving the extension date in 15 day increments with the caveat you can get immediate notice to pack up and leave. The “plan” for us full time type rv folk–leave and hope you find some place to move into, that has FHU, is in a community that can support needs for shopping, is close to where your medical providers are.

I would have thought the “powers. that be” would have just come out and said they would remain open to in place campers until the “all clear” is given. Pay your bills by cc on line, follow CDC and installation policies, and stay healthy.

Apparently, that would be too easy.

Charlie Brown owner
4 months ago

Alamo River Ranch Resort in San Antonio is considered an “essential” service so if you are coming to Texas and need a place to light, Come On we will leave the light on for you. Short term and extended stay, and we offer a Military Discount of 20%.
http://www.AlamoRiver.com 210 622-5022

TravelingMan
4 months ago

Park in the State Capital lawns until our Representatives can decide for us where it is safe to park…

Billy Bob Thornton
4 months ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

I know that’s tongue and cheek. As much as you might not want to realize, where the full timers park it, is not on the top of the list.

I’d suggest, find a close friend who can park your rig there, stock up on food, etc. and for a time, before you do your meet and greet. Stop blaming, right now its not constructive.

TravelingMan
4 months ago

I have to ask if you full time…

If you do, then please understand that those in government roles don’t know about or understand this lifestyle. Much less do they seem to care since we don’t directly pay taxes (indirectly, yes).

So since they are more focused on making rules for everyone to follow, they won’t understand that the decisions they are making are affecting those who live this lifestyle.

And since they don’t have time to read the two letters that came in from fulltimers, then they will not write into those rules a way for us to stay safe and park. Instead, they call parks non-essential. Well, maybe to them, but not us.

So, about the only way to show them that we have concerns to is to demonstrate by parking where they can see us. Then they will know that we are a part of the forgotten society they are overlooking.

Sorry if that offends you. But I think for fulltimers, its a viable option for those who have nowhere to park. I/we refuse to go to a hotel or rent an apartment or stay in a friends driveway because one doesn’t want to cause a rift. I would rather Representatives think about others than those who live in multimlion sticks and brick taxable homes.

I respect your opinion. Please respect others as well.

Billy Bob Thornton
4 months ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

Let’s look at this pragmaticly. Now, or in the foreseeable future will this delema be a top of the list issue. Thats why I suggested ” a close friend”. “Parking where they can see us” huh. Ever think hook ups, or the locals getting upset in times of stress like this. Come on now, lets work on a temporary solution and then you can get the soap box out and work a longer term solution.

Oh, and if my suspecion is right, the amount of people full timing, or considering it, will be tailing off after this event. Nothing changes a culture like a catastrophic event. This will pass, and there will be carnage in its wake. Let’s all listen to the powers to be, because the alternative sure isn’t pretty.

So, wash your hands, look out for family, then friends, hunker down and wait for the sun to shine and God Bless America.