Monday, March 27, 2023



Fulltime (homeless) RVers protest San Diego’s proposed parking limitations

Could attempts by San Diego city officials to curb the homeless living in RVs extend to all RV fulltimers? And what role does discrimination play in ticketing or impounding a less-than-desirable old RV from a recent-model 40-foot diesel pusher that is home to well-off fulltimers? 

In a news report from KGTV, homeless RV owners are ringing the bell on what they say is unjustifiable ticketing and impounding of their vehicles.

Dozens of homeless who live in motorhomes gathered at South Shores Boat Launch in Mission Bay to protest the city’s two ordinances that make it difficult for them to park in city limits.

One prohibits parking of an RV anywhere on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., while the second bans habitation in a vehicle. If the ordinance passes prohibiting “habitation in vehicle” it could open the door to ticketing any fulltime RVer passing through San Diego. 

Disability Rights California is leading the effort that aims to strike the ordinances. There will be a federal court hearing on the matter Thursday, July 26.



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4 years ago

I live in San Diego. The “no overnight parking” rule has been a rule already for several years, and bans motorhomes (and other large vehicles) from parking on city streets overnight. There’s a parking permit for short term parking if you’re parked in front of your own residence. The new law about habitation in vehicles is aimed at people sleeping in cars, and won’t have any new impact on RVers beyond what’s already on the books.

I think we make a mistake when we try to distinguish “real, full time RVers” from homeless people living in RV’s. If you’ ever talked to these people, they don’t consider themselves homeless. Poor, yes, but not homeless, any more than any full time RVer is homeless.

I have no idea how to solve the homeless problem. But I do know that San Diego is an expensive coastal city, whether you’re sleeping in sticks and bricks, or in an RV. There’s no free lunch for RVers.

Doug Grove
4 years ago
Reply to  Ann

While the new habitation law may be aimed at people sleeping in cars, unless it is called out that way in the ordinance, the city can certainly decide to apply it to RV’s. For example, if it says “vehicles” or “motor vehicles”, while most people would interpret that to mean cars and trucks, a motor home is certainly a “motor vehicle”. And a towable, even though it is not self-propelled, is called a “recreational vehicle”.

OK, maybe I’m going to the extreme here, but I’ve seen too many such things get out of hand (e.g.: a kid being suspended from school for carrying his asthma inhaler with him in school due to a zero-tolerance drug policy).

4 years ago

Tricky situation. There is a difference in the presentation of RV’s and RV’ers that local authorities should see as mentioned in paragraph one of this article. Homeless people living in derelict and old RV’s on city streets is a result. What needs to be addressed is the cause of their homeless situation. For the most part, homeless people end up where the climate is good all year round, not because of economic opportunities. If that were the case they wouldn’t be homeless. It is up to local authorities to separate the difference between homeless locals and those visitors who are contributing to their economies with tourist dollars.

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