Pennsylvania closes RV parks to new guests

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UPDATE, Saturday, March 21: The state has reversed its order and is allowing RV parks to remain open.

(March 20, 2020): The Pennsylvania Campground Association (PCOA) sent this message to its members late today.

“PCOA is working hard for you and we have a few updates. We have pleaded our case with several government entities. Effective today (March 20) campgrounds are to be considered closed.

“Any residents at the campgrounds may stay but campgrounds cannot welcome new residents, seasonal guests or transient guests to enter the facility.

“All “non-life-sustaining business” operations are to cease for a period of at least two weeks. Failure to comply can result in fines and penalties and will make your campground ineligible for any grants and or small business loans that may become available in the future for this pandemic.

“We have fought hard for clarification and partial openings; this is a very fluid situation that probably will change several times over the next few days. The hotel association is lobbying to be designated as life-sustaining and is hopeful that the governor will allow them to remain open. At this time our guidance and government communication with the Department of Health says that no lodging facilities including campgrounds are allowed to remain open.

“We are continuing to work on your behalf. Additionally, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), Kampground Owners of America Inc. (KOA) and Milliron & Goodman, PCOA’s government relations firm, have been active in this fight as well. We will be working for our membership and we will continue to keep you abreast as quickly as we can.”

The question now is if Pennsylvania can do this, will other states’ commercial RV parks close next? That’s a frightening thought to full-timers who could find themselves without space with hookups that could serve as home in this difficult time.

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Randy Quinby
3 months ago

Campgrounds in PA are allowed to open. We own a campground in Chambersburg, PA and are members of PCOA. This article needs to be updated. As of 8:35 pm on 3/20, they are allowed to open with specific conditions being met.

Brian S. Holmes
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy Quinby

and that would be what

rollin
3 months ago

xxxxxxx [Bleeped by Diane. Leave politics out of this, Rollin.]

Is it even legal?

What about motels and hotels?

RVer’s, remember that most Walmarts and CrackerBarrels allow overnighting (at least they do in friendlier down south).

Kurt Shoemaker Sr
3 months ago

Hoping this ban can be lifted by the Memorial Day weekend.
We have reservations at a campground in Pennsylvania.

Ray Zimmermann
3 months ago
Ray Zimmermann
3 months ago

OK, once again the link about PA hotels. Wish this site allowed people to edit or delete their posts. https://www.rvtravel.com/pennsylvania-940/#comment-69897

Ray Zimmermann
3 months ago

Here is a link to the source for the post I just made about Pennsylvania hotels being allowed to stay open.

Ray Zimmermann
3 months ago

Pennsylvania reversed their decision that hotels/motels were non-esssential; they now will be allowed to stay open. Hopefully they will do the same for RV parks.

Judith Parker
3 months ago

I agree with the folks who are puzzled by the closing of COE campgrounds. It seems tbey would be an ideal place to isolate one’s self.

We are full-timers, thus have no home to return to. All of our Corps park reservations have been cancelled, and we are allowed to stay at the current one for the week in isolation, which is fine with us. Hopefully we can remain here in isolation until parks begin to open again. If not, we have no idea what we’ll do.

Cathy
3 months ago
Reply to  Judith Parker

We are fulltimers too in SC. And now with all that is going on with this virus epidemic. We are now facing the possibility of being told the campground is closed so you need to leave.. i think the campground should stop taking new reservations immediately.. and close the campground down to only full timers..they could space out RV spots then to provide more isolation..
As a way to keep everyone safe at this horrible time. But full timers are not camping for a weekend getaway this is the only home we have.

John Ahrens
3 months ago

Oregon apparently closed their parks yesterday, starting April 3, I believe. I can see closing the restrooms, but closing to self contained RVs? Stupid, unless there’s another agenda. At any rate, after Pennsylvania closed all its rest stops, the truckers got a few opened back up. If they can’t find places to rest, use the restrooms, food, fuel and rest, the trucks stop rolling, and then we’re really in trouble.

Jim S.
3 months ago

One would think, staying at a campground being a state or private is a plus to where you are “spreading” the people out. Were we not told to stay 6′ away from neighbors? As long as the water, electric and dump station were left operating, it would be a good place to “honker” down. Just like the grocery stores “limiting” their hours. Now your packing more people into a smaller time frame…

The only justification I can see is the states want to limit non state travelers or cut budget. I think this is selfish on their part.

Greg Giese
3 months ago

All our Corp reservations were canceled as we are heading back home (6 weeks worth). IL CG’s closed but we found some driveways thanks to friends. Gonna have some long rides I guess. Corp has 93,000 campsites closed now. But the day use is open! Huh? Seems like the proper response would be to encourage fulltimers and snowbirds to stay put (“hunker down”) rather that hit the road? Government-think at its best. (Sorry, ex-government worker.)

Laura Shank
3 months ago

As of Saturday morning (3/21), Creekside RV Resort in Foley, AL is still open and accepting new arrivals. There are several spots available if you need a place to stay. Great park, great people. We are here for the duration. Make reservations on website: Hosteeva.com.

Bill
3 months ago

We’re in a park in PA but scheduled to head back to California April 9th. We’re very concerned that other states might follow suit.

Claudia
3 months ago

Question: Is there anyone influential that can forward a plea to the Governors to keep campgrounds and rest stops open to at least let RVers park in a safe place for the night as the snowbirds flock toward home? The timing of this emergency obviously lined up perfectly with the annual migration. Perhaps a 1 night limit for transients. Access to potable water and dump stations at rest stops would be ideal as well. I mean, we, as a community, are well isolated in our rigs and would have minimal to no contact with the general public. We just want to go home.

We are PA residents, but are currently in CA, leaving today, with a brief rest scheduled for Austin TX. While “right now” we don’t anticipate any real problems, things are changing rapidly and we know that we could either get stuck somewhere (hence the scheduled stop in Austin where we have family and is at least half way home) or find there is nowhere to park for the night as rest stops, truck stops, Harvest Hosts, etc all close. I know that there are many others in this same situation, many of them elderly and I’m sure scared and concerned.

Greg Giese
3 months ago
Reply to  Claudia

The project security guy @ Corp (which is part of Homeland Security, I didn’t know) replied to us with a very nice condescending email, that failed to respond to the hunker down logic.

Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Claudia

I tried leaving a voice message with Pennsylvania Governor Wolf but was directed to PA health service phone so just hung up. I E-mailed the Governor, my state Rep, and Senator with my concerns of putting elderly people on the road driving while tired. Hopefully I can find a Walmart to park in for the night while returning from the South West however I have been hearing that they have been shutting down the Walmart RV parks as well.

Cathy
3 months ago
Reply to  Claudia

Try stopping at a Walmart most are still open as you make your way home. I think keeping the parks open and taking new reservations is why they are wanting to close campgrounds thinking people are out socializing and spreading the virus..not sure if some gas stations like flying js who have dump sites would allow for a few hours of rest too. Maybe a lowes or home depot. You could call the local store and talk to the manager. While a store is open for business you should be ok to park in the parking lot for maybe 4 or 5 hrs to rest up. Its a thought. And most likely best to sleep during the day and drive at night while places are closed .
Cracker barrels also have rv parking..you could nap there during the day. Hope this helps and you get back home soon.. stay safe

D Dorell
3 months ago

Was supposed to go to a RV park to workamp in PA. Been pushed back a month. Hope that is it, money running out. Only thing that saved us right now is we are in a Military CG, cheap. Since no new campers can come in we can stay till ban is lifted.

friz
3 months ago

Sounds rather myopic on the part of N,M. Are the Army Core of Engineer boondocking lands still open? I read recentlty they have closed their campgrounds.

Jackie Lowrey
3 months ago
Reply to  friz

Most Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds are closing until at least the middle of May and maybe beyond depending on the virus. A lot of stores will probably be closed, so you can most likely spend the night in there parking lots.

Paul D Melton
3 months ago

Scary for full timers!

Dottie Cameron
3 months ago

In the area of Florida I’m in, many RV parks have not only stopped all activities, but no longer accept new RVers who want to come in, even for 1 night. The activities I understand, but losing revenue for an overnighter who is trying to get home…well… Anywho if you are planning on staying in the Bushnell, FL area, think again.

Donald N Wright
3 months ago

I just want to go somewhere it isn’t raining.

C.Lee
3 months ago

New Mexico closed state parks to overnighters a week ago Friday. Everyone, including Full Timers, mostly elderly, had 2 hours to move out. Reservations were cancelled, expensive yearly passes were invalidated. Nobody knew where to go since many of them had planned their next destination to be another state park. Basically, the decision rendered hundreds, it not a thousand or more statewide, homeless.

Luckily, we were simply on vacation and had a home to go to.

What’s more, New Mexico’s state parks generally have plenty of space between sites. 30-40 feet or more. And plenty of open space all around. Where were elderly Full Timers forced to go? To crowded and cramped commercial RV parks with spaces 10 feet apart and generally NO open space. If they could find a space at all. Many likely traveled out of state. If they were sick, they took the disease with them.

New Mexico’s decision, if anything, created conditions more likely to spread disease, rather than prevent it.

Oh, and those yearly passes? They cost between $180 and $220 dollars, depending on residency. No refunds. So the double whammy for fixed income folks who planned their finances around them, and then had to pay for commercial sites, was likely immense.