Thursday, November 30, 2023


Young full-time RVers experiencing age bias in RV parks


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We are not your average RVing couple. We are in our late 20s and traveling full-time. We are not rich. We are working our way around the country. We live in a vintage 28-ft. Avion. We didn’t want to wait until retirement to do this. We have no children yet and decided to travel for a year. Five years later we are still at it. Our problem is age bias.

We find, especially in the popular winter destinations, many of the parks are 55 and older. They don’t come right out and say it, but we can never seem to find a spot in a park near where we find a job because we are too young. Once we talk a park into letting us stay, they love us. Last winter my husband, who is quite mechanically inclined, ended up fixing dozens of problems people had with their rigs. We go to all the potlucks and pitch in when we are not working. We are quiet and tidy. How can we convince park managers of this without flashing an AARP card? —The Young and the Restless in Apache Jct.

Dear Restless:
You are not the problem, but it sounds like you are the solution. You are unfortunately being categorized into a slot you obviously do not belong. In defense of the park management, they are trying to create a harmonious group of winter residents that all fit a specific slot. I am sure you understand that a majority of people your age might not be on the same schedule as those retired. Park management can have problems with anyone who drives through the gate, but you come with a big question mark that screams the possibility of loud music, parties, work schedules and various interests that might put you out of step with the rest of the group.

I think you are representing yourself as capable and flexible enough to fit in. I think you should challenge the situation head on. Answer all the questions the park management is not asking you when you first make your pitch. Put their mind at rest. Have an agreement up front as to behaviors expected. If possible, give references of parks you have already spent winters in. Then write and tell me where you are staying. I have a few cockpit problems with my rig I would like your husband to fix. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: 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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Thomas Meisner (@guest_8921)
6 years ago

We are in our 60s and have friends in their 20s and 30s, like to think young, its the unattended children running wild that annoy us.

Laura C (@guest_8911)
6 years ago

I’m not commenting on you, but as an older RVer traveling around the country, we see lots of younger folk who have simply fallen out of society and are not good neighbors in RV park situations. They are inconsiderate in the hours they keep, starting engines at very early hours or coming in very late at night with loud car stereos. Of course, not all young workers do these thing, but it is enough that we notice and avoid RV parks where we see a lot of working age people living.
It’s a reality you can’t avoid, but I like that you are considering the difference in your life style compared to retired folk. There are lots more non age regulated parks than age regulated parks, so why not seek out those parks if you don’t want the hassle?

Alex (@guest_8339)
6 years ago

In some states, over 55 parks are exempt from requirements such as life guards during pool hours and other expensive measures. However, they provide exceptions that accommodate guests who visit residents. For instance, folks under 55, such as grandchildren, can live in the park for up to 60 days per year. If turned down because of age, politely ask whether the park makes exception for short term visitors.

Also, be aware that in some parks, there are residents who earn a supplemental income doing chores and fixing things. Even with the purest of intentions, you might be resented for undermining someone’s livelihood.

Now that you’re empowered with more info than you probably wanted to know, go enjoy your Avion and your travels!

Cheryl (@guest_8325)
6 years ago

I love the RV Shrink answer. I am sure that when contacted individually, most of the ‘over 55’ parks will allow you to stay. We love these parks for the reasons sighted but have many under 55 friends that we know would fit in with the quieter, no kids crowd.

Donald Schneider (@guest_8302)
6 years ago

There is a club you might want to consider joining – Xscapers. This is for campers who are not part of the Escapess RV Club but are full timers and working. This club was started for people like you. So, if you join, you can flash your Xscpars RV Club car instead of AARP. Get more information at They also have a mail forwarding service and domicile information.

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