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Why Some Cities Don't Allow RV Parking - Yet RVs Are Used for Living

There is a growing demographic in this country we should be aware of, and that’s the people who live in RVs not for retirement, but out of necessity.
Posted: April 29, 2019 - 12:09PM
Author: Al Castro

In many of our neighborhoods, near our parks, airports, industrial parks, and even in some downtown areas, we see RVs we know are not ordinarily used for camping. They are being used for living. We call these people the "working homeless," as many of them have jobs, but don’t make enough to afford a home. Many have children.

In some parts of the country local governments have enacted laws to make it difficult for these people to park and pitch, and this Canadian piece from CTV NEWS Vancouver sheds light on this issue, a must read.

As for the USA, I find it interesting how the state police in places like Alaska, Washington, and Oregon find such practices on the side of the highways and streets as being the normal course of life for these kinds of people. For Californians and the CHP it is a practice that is less tolerated, as there are laws in some California regions which discourage RVing in areas close to residential communities.

If your area does not allow overnight or over-height parking, it is because of this reason.

Also read: The RV World Just Got More Electrified with Tesla Semi RV Camper Concept.

What happened to the notion of "Live and let live?" In my opinion sleeping in a vehicle is better than on the street as far as I’m concerned. Why make things harder for these people I can’t understand.

People need a livable wage.

Al Castro reports EV News for Torque News. Please follow all on Twitter at @SgtAlCastro, Facebook and Linkedin and send him tips for new stories.


Sarah Love Bysinger (not verified)    July 2, 2019 - 1:56AM

To other RVers, we are often referred to as 'Full Timers." My husband and I have been living in an RV full time for over a year now. After our 3 kids became adults and left the nest, we decided to sell our house in Washington State, bought an RV, spent 3 months traveling across the country, and officially moved to North Carolina. We have started a new company in the area but still reside and work from our RV. I, personally, love the freedom of being able to travel or settle down wherever and whenever I want. However, Al is correct that most states do not provide free places to park and we're forced to find and pay to stay at RV parks. We ran out of money at one point and had to park or "live" in a Walmart parking lot for a couple days but that was just a temporary solution.

Valerie Fox (not verified)    August 28, 2020 - 4:05PM

Hi my partner and I bought a C-Class motorhome in May of 2019.
Since then we have been living in it and have had a lot of fun. But that is not without some problems with parking our RV across the country of Canada where we live. Problem is some places do not allow us to park for free I'm assuming they don't like it , we are not troublemakers and I only wish to crash out for the night. however we have parked at a lot of Walmarts across the country. We drove out to BC for our first trip to visit some relatives of my partner.
While there we were booted out of several places, I can't understand the logic behind these evictions as we are patronizing the stores we had parked in. But needless to say we will never deal with those Stores again. Walmart has been very good to us and they are very helpful when it comes to being able to park in their lot, although some say that it is against their policy. I believe that is a load of horseshit. They told me that the rules of Canada are different than the United States even though Walmart is a US company. In the town of Bradford in Ontario we were ousted from the Walmart parking lot when covid-19 started and we were told we could park at the community centre in that town where we have stayed for nearly two months.
Most of the parks and beaches are closed to non-residents and this country. This is totally understandable but at the same time it has been a very hot summer and a lot of people wish to travel to these places for pleasure and cool down. I think it is disgusting that these folks seem to think that their Beach is private, and not anyone else's before covid this was not the case anyhow it has been a real up Hill climb to try and park somewhere without being bothered even as far as Algonquin park. I wish I could get to the bottom of why these people think that it is their prerogative to have a beach just for residence why not just put a roadblock across the town streets. We are not allowed to any parking lot close to the water and run the risk of being ticketed. All they want to do is take our money, cuz that's what it feels like. In times like this you would think that they would be a little more lenient. Anyhow that is my rant for now and I may think of other stuff later on,standby for another comment later.