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.