RVers traveling to Oregon had better bring along a little extra cash next year. The Oregon Legislature passed a bill during its last session (Senate Bill 794) that calls for a 25 percent surcharge for non-residents who camp on RV sites at 56 state-run campgrounds from the Oregon Coast to the Wallowa Mountains.
Even the small RVers can’t escape the new fee, which applies to everything from pop-ups to big 44-foot motorhomes. Only tent campers and those staying in yurts and cabins can avoid the surcharge.
About 60 percent of the campsites in Oregon State Park campgrounds are currently RV sites offering full hookups, or some combination of water, electric and sewer connections. Fees now range from $24 to $40 a night. Next year – thanks to the surcharge – the fees will be $30 to $50 for out-of-state RVers. The surcharge won’t be extended to U.S. Forest Service parks in Oregon.
Last year, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon officials had a similar surcharge in place designed to discourage visitors from out of state.
The new surcharge was put in place, in part, because Oregonians already pay an extra licensing fee when they register their RVs in the state. Those extra fees can run from $86 for a small trailer to $388 for a luxury coach. About 50 percent of those funds went to state parks.
The new out-of-state surcharge is expected to bring the state an additional $1.6 million in revenue in 2022, and up to $2.1 million the year after that.
No one seems to yet know just how the surcharge will be passed along to out-of-state RVers. The fees for non-residents do have some precedents. Montana currently charges an additional $8 fee to non-residents to enter state parks, along with an extra $10 to $12 for renting cabins, yurts or teepees. Idaho and Washington state also have higher fees for non-residents, and almost every state will charge out-of-staters more for their fishing licenses.