The towing of RVs, mostly motorhomes, is not just a problem for their residents, but also for the towing companies that must abide by city towing contracts, reports The Register-Guard in Springfield, Oregon.
There are currently 15 old, broken down or otherwise uninhabitable motorhomes parked at Charley Richmond’s two-acre tow yard. It will cost Richmond $42,000 to get rid of them.
That’s because the disposal and labor rates for dealing with bio-hazards — such as bodily fluids, hypodermic needles, and asbestos — come at a high price. And it all comes out of Richmond’s pocket — and those of other tow company owners like him.
“We’ve had to go to our clients and say, ‘Hey, we love our contracts and the work, but financially, this is where we’re at. You guys are drowning us with these motorhomes and these problems,’” said Richmond.
Richmond’s Towing at 3001 Main St. is one of seven tow companies contracted with Springfield police to tow abandoned or impounded vehicles. Richmond’s tow yard is nearing capacity, and he doesn’t know how many more motorhomes he can accommodate. Getting rid of the 25- to 30-foot long motorhomes costs an estimated $2,800 each — he can’t afford to dispose of all of them, so they’re piling up.
The problem is so pervasive that local police departments and other people who contract to have abandoned vehicles towed from their property are facing increased resistance from operators when an RV is involved.
″ … These things are monsters. They’re not moneymakers, they’re a burden,” Springfield Police Lt. Scott McKee said. “… We understand (the hesitancy), even though in our contract, they’ve agreed to come get them. But the tow companies that are on our rotation can’t accept them. They either end up being at capacity or they want to avoid the headache.”
“What we don’t want to see is these things ending up on the street, with no one willing to tow or accept them,” McKee said. “Because that creates a crime problem in a neighborhood, they seem to always do that. If they don’t come inhabited already, they are abandoned and then inhabited by folks on the street. Drug dealing goes on, they have no functioning restrooms so they’re using front yards as bathrooms. You get the picture.”