RV park owners are in a unique position. Unlike hotels, many RV parks host full time residents in addition to tourists.
In fact, according to RV Industry Association, one million US citizens live in their motorhome or camper trailer. During these challenging times with forced RV park closures and state park shutdowns, many full time RV travelers are left scrambling to find hookups.
Likewise, in the current climate, most RV park owners aren’t encouraging recreational travel.
So, what do they want you to know?
We’ve been listening to the response of 100’s of RV park owners and managers and this is what we found.
We’re open for business (unless we’ve been forced to close)
RV parks are staying open if at all possible. The National Association of RV Parks and their state groups have been lobbying local governments for “essential business” classification.
This means, as an essential business, they won’t be forced to close.
For full time RVers and RVers a long way from home, this signification is crucial.
When Presidio County (Texas) forced local RV parks to close, full time RVers were forced to leave.
Toby O’Rourke, president of KOA, has personally reached out to all levels of government on behalf of their campgrounds. In a recent Woodall’s Campground Management article O’Rourke says:
I’ve sent letters from KOA on behalf of small business and on behalf of campgrounds as a central business to every governor, as well as ranking members of Congress. And then when we hear about actions being taken at a county or city level. I’ve been reaching out to mayors, city councilmen, and county commissioners as well.
Not Encouraging Tourism
Most owners understand the gravity of this pandemic. Over burdening local resources is on the front of mind.
While most RV parks have completely cut their short term, tourism-based marketing, they have joined to help full time RVers seek refuge.
Rootless Magazine’s has an ever-growing list of RV parks that remain open to full time RVers & travel nurses. Additionally, the Facebook group ‘Displaced Nomads & RVers‘ is a living-resource for people seeking essential RV hookups.
Remember, these open RV parks are not encouraging tourism. They are helping the one million RVers, without a home, to seek refuge.
Remote RV Park Check In
Don’t be surprised to see remote check in at RV parks. Many have implemented this no-interaction style process to increase health & safety.
Lloyd Lauland, president of RVC Outdoor Adventures said, “We have implemented ‘Remote Check-In’ as an option for all of our guests who choose to limit their personal interaction during these unprecedented times.”
Closed Facilities at RV Parks
In accordance with health guidelines most RV parks are shuttering their public amenities.
Ocean Grove RV Resort, a beautiful property in St. Augustine, Florida says:
…we have been instructed to shut down our pool/pavilion area to deter social interaction. We have also closed our fitness room until further notice. While this is not an ideal situation, we are doing so to keep you all as safe as possible.
If you have RV reservations, you most likely received a similar email.
Some parks are also closing meeting areas, business centers, laundry rooms and weekly events.
Travel Nurses Housing in RV Parks
There are an estimated 25,000 working travel nurses in the U.S. according to Wikipedia. This mobile workforce is essential to combating an ever evolving health crisis.
A recent RVIA article states, “RVC Outdoor Destinations is seeing an uptick in reservation requests from traveling nurses, many of whom use their RVs as their self-contained home while they are on temporary assignment at hospitals and other medical facilities across the country.”
What are RV Parks directly communicating to their guests?
If you’re interested to know what RV parks are communicating, here’s a sample from parks across the USA.
Paradise by the Sea in Oceanside, California says, “We are an essential business providing housing, utilities and propane delivery.” Additionally, they’re offering lower rates for long term guests.
One of our favorite RV parks, Sand Dunes Recreation is temporarily closing. Their main onsite attractions are multiple, natural hot spring pools. They say, “the entire facility will be CLOSED beginning Tuesday, March 17th 2020. We will continue to post updates as we receive them.”
Rob Schutter, Chief Executive of Leisure Systems, says this about the Jellystone RV Resort franchise:
Currently, about one third of our more than 75 parks are operating, with the rest expected to open later this spring as usual. Each Jellystone Park location is an independent franchise and its owners are making decisions regarding whether or not to stay open based on direction from government agencies and local business conditions.
Can I Make Summer Camping Reservations at RV Parks?
Yes! We recommend checking the cancellation policy, but reservations for summer camping are open at virtually all RV parks.
No one knows what the future holds. Make sure you’re flexible for change.
Resoundingly, RV park owners want you to know that, as of now, the summer camping season isn’t closed! It’s open & ready for reservations.
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.