By Deanna Tolliver
We received a letter from California RVer Curt Dowd, who is concerned about finding places to “dry-dock” his RV in an urban area. With his solar-equipped motorhome he can live entirely off the grid. But finding a place to park has become increasingly difficult because of parking bans. Here’s what he wrote:
“My wife and I are thinking of getting rid of our RV because of the overnight parking problems in California.
“I have a Winnebago View and tow a Ford C-Max Energi (which Ford has stupidly canceled but what can you do). I had no idea what I was getting into buying an RV and I’m still learning. At this point, however, I’m pretty knowledgeable and the vehicles do what I had planned for them. However, my plan was always to dry-dock. Why spend [$150,000 for my RV and car] and then another $70 or more per night for an RV park when I’ve modified the electrical in the RV to live/work entirely off of my batteries.
“I’m writing because my plan for building my business, and traveling with my wife, is fading, as Walmart and others make it impossible to park an RV overnight, at least in California. I believe the underlying cause is the homeless using RVs for living. Almost across the board now, California cities are attacking the use of RVs on the streets, especially overnight. Those of us who want to dry-dock, maybe stay somewhere a week or ten days, or even just overnight, are caught in the crossfire.
“I WANT TO KNOW IF THERE IS RESISTANCE GROWING IN THE RV COMMUNITY TO THESE BANS ON PARKING? Maybe the full timers aren’t bothered because they live in a park and that’s it. But the rest of us are in trouble. I also personally don’t want to harm the homeless who are merely victims of an economic and political realignment that has left them powerless and marginalized, unable to afford housing. One big problem is that every city or business wants to push the homeless somewhere else. It seems that establishing public RV parks on vacant properties would be simple to create and manage. Miscreants who dumped unlawfully could be fined or worse. There are solutions. But is there a resistance movement, anything political going on to address these issues? If so, I want to join. —Curt Dowd
Readers, what do you think? Should RVers be allowed to park overnight in neighborhoods? Do you care if they park in YOUR neighborhood? What about in store parking lots? Is someone considered homeless if living in an RV is their only option? Do you perceive an issue with the homeless living in RVs in your part of the country? Your thoughts?