Saturday, December 3, 2022


RV Shrink: Find an RV safe harbor and hunker down


Dear RV Shrink:
I found last week’s column very interesting. As new full-timers, we think we messed up. As the dominoes fall with this pandemic, we are constantly surprised how much it is impacting our lives. We have already been asked to leave two parks. We are now looking into your idea of federal land use. Can we be thrown out of these areas too? —Concerned in Central Arizona

Dear Concerned:
Like you, we are taking it a day at a time. At this point we are in an Arizona State Park. They have not closed down, like neighboring states have, and we are hoping they do not. It really makes no sense to close state parks in areas flooded with snowbirds. I would assume the government wants to keep citizens safe. Throwing them out of safe harbors makes no sense at all, but many states have done just that.

But this is not just a state and federal response. We are members of the Escapees RV Club. We thought if all Arizona State Parks closed, and we were asked to leave here, we could go to an Escapee Park. We were just informed that our membership means nothing in that regard. They have built a moat around their parks and raised the drawbridge. They are not allowing any outsiders to enter the park, unless you own a space in the park or are members that are already there. 

This is my mindset. I am more than happy to do my part, just don’t ask me to do something stupid. As a taxpayer I consider myself a property owner. If I have no other choice I will squat on federal land as long as it takes. If someone wants to move me I will gladly listen, as long as they have a new plan. I like what Woody Guthrie said, “This land is your land, this land is my land….”

By the time you read this column, we could all be mandated by the federal government to “shelter in place.” Knowing they are seriously considering these measures, I want to make sure I have access to a safe harbor. You should be doing the same.

At this point in the great unknown, plan for the worst case scenario. You are self-contained so make sure your rig is locked and loaded. Think about where you will find water and whatever utilities you require, and hunker down for awhile. This too shall pass. We will all have stories to tell. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Life is an adventure and this is just another chapter. Think positive and act rationally. It’s not the end of the world, but it most likely will be a tectonic shift.

If it actually comes down to these extreme measures, you will not be alone. We are all in the same boat. Boondocking areas may be very crowded. RVers are known to circle the wagons (but, of course, with the added requirement of social distancing – 6 ft. apart) and help one another. Did I mention I have a motorhome full of vodka? But with social distancing I’m not sharing.

 —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.



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Rositta Gile
2 years ago

Ahmen to you and your family.Wish you the best

2 years ago

Last week FB did a town hall meeting and I wrote in my question about us full time RVers and what we’re supposed to do to self distance and quarantine. Well sorry guys no answer but I did get a ❤️ from Keanu Reeves.😀😀😀😀

2 years ago

Certainly should be some exceptions made for full timers. Unsure how you prove you are a full timer, but I am sure there must be a way. Any other RVers who have ANY other option, please do your part: find a safe place and stay put!

2 years ago

Please know that the information about Escapees is NOT accurate. Our Rainbow Parks are OPEN for RVers and we have put in policies to make them friendly for RVers to stay in place or to quickly make their way to their chosen place to hunker down. The SKP co-ops have implemented their own policies based on availability of their park and their community needs. It is important to recognize that they are individual cooperatives, each governed by their own board of directors. We have been in contact with each park, sharing the policies and procedures we are personally implementing into our Rainbow Parks system, and have stressed the importance of taking care of the community during these difficult times. We have kept up with their individual policies on our up-to-date coronavirus page at

In addition, we are working to keep option for full-time RVers as noted in the Saturday edition of this newsletter Under Action Needed: Keep RV Parks Open. We want to make sure that rv parks are allowed to stay open and serve as a shelter for RVers in this time of need. Everyone can add their voice to this movement by contacting their representatives. More information can be found at

2 years ago

More of us need to follow the info in the “Action Needed: Keep RV parks open” article n this newsletter. Write to the State and county officials of where you’re staying. Just add that you are currently staying in their area if you are not a resident of that state/county.

Little Kahuna
2 years ago

“Well thought out” and “government” do not go hand in hand. Maybe they figured out our plan to emerge from the wilderness and take over once the rest of the country is in ruin. Measures can be taken to eliminate human contact and allow some economic activity continue so keep the parks open and the spring breakers out. We need to start thinking of the after scenario, learn some valuable lessons about who we elect and what we listen to and be better prepared when it happens again.

chris p hemstead
2 years ago

I’m in Quartzsite and it’s not crowded at all. I was kicked out of a CA state park, with zero notice, but they thought leaving the restrooms open for day use was just fine. These state park camping closures were not thought out well at all. As if we campers all travel in big groups, sit around the campfire holding hands and have no idea what’s going on.

2 years ago

CALIF sucks .

2 years ago

Maybe this type of article will make a lot of people wake up to the fact that full timing “cheap” RV-ing isn’t so cheap or desirable. This latest pandemic isn’t that last thing coming our way so get prepared now. I don’t think the government will agree with you that you are a property owner and can legally squat on BLM property.

Ronald Duncan
2 years ago

Only the Escapee’s parks that are owned by local chapters are closing mainly to keep the spaces open for the chapter members, the parks owned by the National group such as Rainbow’s End at Livingstone TX are still open .

Tom Edelman
2 years ago
Reply to  Ronald Duncan

Livingston Escapee campground is closed as of April 1st. WE were call by the mother load that our reservation in April was cancelled. We extended our two week stay (unplanned) at Dream Catcher to 6 weeks total. They too will closed to new RV’s April 1st to any reservations. Passer thru rigs can stay only 1 night . All water and sewer is open for use at Escapee Parks (so I’ve been told).
Stay ( wherever) Safe,
March 28 2020
PS From CA to NY isn’t going to be easy.

2 years ago

Your information regarding Escapees parks is misleading and inaccurate. Many Escapees-affiliated parks are closed to newcomers. These parks are co-ops that are owned and run by the members, not the Escapees organization. Escapees owned parks are largely open operating under restrictions to discourage casual travelers. Details can be found at

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