Saturday, December 9, 2023


Have an old RV on your property? Consider Premises Liability

If you own property, Premises Liability is a legal concept you should familiarize yourself with, particularly if you have an old or junk RV parked on your property. A property owner is responsible for ensuring the safety of anyone who enters their property. This responsibility extends to the conditions and potential hazards that may be present, including old, unused, or dilapidated RVs.

The implications of Premises Liability

When you own property, you owe an inherent duty of care to those who enter it. This duty means that you may be liable for damages if someone suffers an injury due to a hazard, such as a deteriorating RV. This liability can result in significant legal and financial consequences.

The liability and other risks of invited visitors and trespassers

If someone you’ve invited onto your property gets injured because of your junk RV, you may be liable. Imagine hosting a gathering and a guest, or even worse, a child, gets hurt while playing on, in, or under the RV. Such incidents can lead to substantial legal ramifications.

Even a trespasser—someone you didn’t invite—could enter your premises, and if that intruder gets injured by the junk RV, there’s a possibility they could file a personal injury claim against you. Such a possibility is significant if you’re aware that trespassers frequently access your property, such as if it’s a known shortcut to a nearby location. Also, in today’s upended world of large numbers of homeless people living on the streets, your derelict RV could even become an attractive nuisance, resulting in unhoused people taking up residence therein.

There are some additional legal concerns with storing a junk RV. Beyond premises liability, there are other considerations to be aware of:

State and local blight laws

Many states have established blight laws prohibiting the storage of non-operational vehicles, including old cars, trucks, and junk RVs. These laws aim to maintain the aesthetic appeal of neighborhoods and ensure safety. These laws have also been enacted in county and city jurisdictions as well. Even if your junk RV isn’t violating statutes, it might still be a source of contention within your community. An unsightly RV can be a nuisance to neighbors and potentially decrease property values in the area. Many local governments and Homeowner’s Association (HOA) actions against property owners arise from RVs parked on a homeowner’s private property.

The challenge of selling a junk RV

While selling a junk RV might seem appealing, traditional methods might not work with a dilapidated or inoperable RV. There are options.

Engaging specialized RV dealers

A practical solution is to approach specialized RV dealers who purchase RVs irrespective of their condition. These dealers offer competitive prices and often provide free hauling services, ensuring you not only rid your property of potential hazards but also earn money. Another alternative is automotive scrap yards, which will take the vehicle off your hands (and property) and recycle it as scrap.

The imperative of addressing junk RVs

A junk RV on your property isn’t just an eyesore; it’s a potential legal and financial risk. The liability rests with you if an injury occurs due to the RV. The most prudent action is to engage with a specialized dealer or salvage company, have the RV removed, and possibly derive some cash value from the sale.


Randall Brink
Randall Brink
Randall Brink is an author hailing from Idaho. He has written many fiction and non-fiction books, including the critically acclaimed Lost Star: The Search for Amelia Earhart. He is the screenwriter for the new Grizzly Adams television series and the feature film Goldfield. Randall Brink has a diverse background not only as a book author, Hollywood screenwriter and script doctor, but also as an airline captain, chief executive, and Alaska bush pilot.



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steve dunlap (@guest_260845)
27 days ago

This is a good example of having a personal insurance agent, not some phone tree person answering the phone. This all depends on the situation , but most homeowner policies will extend liability to this risk. Call your agent, give him the details and find out if you can be covered for the risk. We had vacant property in the mountains that we would sometimes camp on, at that time it was $10 a year to extend liability from the homeowners policy to that address.

Neal Davis (@guest_260837)
27 days ago

Thank you, Randall. We haven’t any old RVs, but we do have several out-buildings. Certainly, we take seriously our responsibility to prevent dangerous conditions. But, aren’t umbrella insurance policies aimed at just these situations?

Neal Davis (@guest_261178)
25 days ago
Reply to  Randall Brink

Thank you, Randall! Good idea! And I need to talk to our agent about replacing the pitted 17-year-old windshield on DW’s car while I am on the call. 🙂 Now I have two reasons to call.

bull (@guest_260809)
27 days ago

The idea of “Salvaging” a RV is a noble thought that rarely if ever works!

Virtually no salvage yard, car lot, towing company, local recycler whoever will take a old RV at all. That includes FREE RV’s!

Too much wood which is worth NOTHING and not enough metal which is worth SOMETHING!

Any old RV that is not mobile is a huge liability on your property. Finding a way to get rid of it to anyone can be a HUGE hassle.

One of the best ways to get rid of it is to sell the property with the RV still on it. Let the next guy deal with this problem!

Bill Byerly (@guest_260806)
27 days ago

Thanks for the “heads up” article Randall.

Ron T (@guest_260711)
27 days ago

Many charities accept and haul away old trailers, RV’s ect. regardless of condition.

Lorelei (@guest_260672)
27 days ago

My concern on my property is people climbing over “no trespassing” signs. I don’t have old RVs but other things. I call cops and the fine for them is $1,000. Otherwise, I give them hell and threaten to call police. I take license numbers and pictures while they try to hide their face in a hoodie. And I pack; it’s what country folks do. Having good insurance is about all one can do. They all know they’re trespassing and have come to steal anything possible. It seems to be the world today.

Last edited 27 days ago by Lorelei

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