Long Term RV Park Rules

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For RVers who don’t wish to move from one RV park or campground to the next, long term RV park rules become important. Getting older or in poorer health are two good reasons to prefer longer stays. Also, if you have senior parents who need more assistance in their silver years, then remaining in the same state allows you to make regular visits to help out too.  

Staying in a long term RV park is different from just passing through a campsite or even using dispersed camping on BLM or forestry land. Various RV Park restrictions pertain because the municipality, the state, and other laws and regulations apply that may not elsewhere.

This may not be immediately obvious to the RVer, but it’s relevant to the RV park owner because they’re ultimately responsible to ensure there are no breaches. This way, they won’t lose their license to operate the RV park, face huge fines, etc.

There might be a mistaken belief that as a lengthier resident, you can flout the long term RV park rules or that different ones apply to you. However, that’s simply not true. Rules are typically universally applied regardless of the length of stay.

Long Term RV Parks

RVers who wish to enjoy better amenities, convenience, and a range of local activities find that RV parks and resorts are best. While public land provides fewer regulations to follow, that means boondocking with only the facilities you can provide yourself. Once those are used up or stop working, it becomes necessary to leave the boondocking spot to head into more populated areas to stock up. And then return.

For people who prefer to stay in one place and can accept some additional rules as a tradeoff for greater comfort, RV parks have much to recommend them.

Long term RV parks fall roughly into three categories:

  • KOA Campgrounds
  • High-end RV Parks and RV Resorts
  • Private RV Parks

The first two usually have more rules applicable to them. This is either a positive or a negative thing depending on how controlled of an environment you wish to live in long term. With private RV parks, it’s up to the owners to set their own rules, subject to state regulations, and federal ones too.

RV park from a distance, surrounded by water

Here are some of the more common RV park rules and regulations to be aware of for long stay RV Parks:

RV Parks Restrict Pets

RVers often travel and go camping with dogs. When staying on public land, there aren’t many restrictions to this. However, RV parks will usually have multiple restrictions.

Dog Breeds

Some breeds seen as troublemakers are not allowed at certain RV parks. Dog breed legislation is also partially applied, where it is applicable.

For instance, the Zane Gray RV Village in Arizona does not allow Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixed breeds, Rottweilers, or Doberman Pinscher dog breeds. Clearly, there are seen as the most potentially aggressive dog breeds, and so are excluded there. That applies even if your Pit Bull mix is a big softie who’s never injured anyone.

Limited Number of Pets per Site

Some RV parks will place limits on how many pets are permitted per RV plot. This applies to dogs, cats, and other animals. Two is a popular maximum number of pets at an RV park, but some parks don’t stipulate anything other than to expect the number not to be excessive.

Many parks will not tolerate reptiles, livestock, or exotic pets in their parks either.

Pet Weight

It’s even the case with a few RV parks that are so worried about larger dogs that they place limits on the maximum allowed weight of a K9 too.

They feel that the larger dog is harder to control should they start acting up.


Vaccination Records

The Thousands Trails organization has 80+ RV parks and campgrounds across the U.S. and in Canada too.

They have a lengthy list of pet-related rules including their being allowed access to vaccination records for pets brought onto their grounds.

Other Pet Limitations

Dogs typically aren’t allowed to be left unattended, tied up, or to run around on their own. This has been extended in many parks to not allowing portable pet fences too.

Owners must pick up after their pet by making use of a doggie bag and dispose of pet waste using appropriate facilities.

Pets will likely also not be allowed inside RV park buildings, on the beachfront, and other designated areas.

RVers with pets must check what is and is not allowed to ensure that they can live within the rules.

Read Also: How to Keep Moisture Out of RV in Winter

RV Size Restrictions

With motorhomes parking and RV size restrictions, there may be a maximum length limit in certain RV parks. This will be based more on their average plot size and the width of the park’s roads to turn around, than any opinion on RV lengths.

RV size restrictions may also relate to the tow vehicle and the RV towable for the total length calculation. This might be separate to the maximum length that might affect the largest, million-dollar RV motorhomes.  

RV parking laws may also have an impact on the rules at the RV park. Also, any RV ordinance or RV regulations by the state could impose separate limitations that aren’t common elsewhere too. These may then be included in the rules for the RV Park in that state.

RV 10 Year Rule

RV parks are often upscale and quite expensive on a monthly or yearly basis. To remain attractive to other RVers, ever for long-stay RVers, they maintain strict standards for the motorhome, RV towable, etc.

What is the 10 Year RV Rule?

RV parks may limit which RVs can stay on-site based on how old they are.

There is the 10-year rule where some parks draw the line at RV models that are over a decade old.

Why do some RV parks not allow older RVs? Because they don’t want a motorhome breaking down in their park and needing to be towed. They also don’t want other customers being put off by aging RVs making the park look “low rent.”

Other RV parks won’t be as specific about the age of the motorhome. However, they may say that it needs to look modern, be in good operational condition, etc. If your RV looks like one out of the Breaking Bad TV series, then go elsewhere!

RV Appearance

Going beyond the age of the RV, some parks will have rules relating to its appearance so it’s not an eyesore in the park.

These might include:

  • No AC units installed into windows.
  • RV is RVIA certified relating to fire safety and newer RV regulations.
  • Awnings in good condition.
  • No tarp is being used to cover a bad roof.
  • The exterior doesn’t look poorly maintained.
  • Minor damage, decals peeling off, and so forth might be passable if not paired with more significant RV appearance issues.

Camper Rules

The same rules of RVs relating to age, decent appearance, and is in good working order apply as camping rules too.

Not that many RV parks stipulate separate rules for camper owners.

As to camping itself, that is covered across the various rules covered in this article, such as campfires, park dos, and don’ts, etc.

No Washing the RV at the Park

Feel like washing the RV to get it looking all sparkly?

Not a good idea at the RV park. Many don’t’ accept that due to problems with the amount of water used and potential flooding or blocking nearby drains.

Duration of Stay

The minimum and maximum duration of stay depend on the RV park.

Some parks will wish to limit the maximum stay to avoid an RVer becoming so settled that they begin to not care about the park’s rules. They don’t want an RVer to effectively start growing grass under their feet because they’re there so long.

Other RV parks may set a minimum duration of stay because of the work involved in setting up a new plot. It depends on how upmarket the park is and how they wish to run their operations. This may affect how long (or short) the duration of stay is allowed for.

Number of People Staying with You

RV parks often have a maximum number of people who are allowed to stay per plot or RV. For double plots, the number of people may double.

Some parks allow a couple and the kids in an RV, but charge more for additional adults.

It all depends. But if you have a friend coming over to stay, check if it’ll cost you more before you do.

Electricity for Hookups Charged Separately

People who previously used dispersed camping on BLM land, stayed overnight at Walmart and other free places to stay in an RV, might not realize that electricity is not included in the RV park rental fees.

It’s best to ask about the park’s policy regarding electricity bills and the rate that’s applied to be clear about what it’ll cost.

Water might be included in the rental or charged by the meter too.

Campfires

Campfires are something for RVers need to always pay particular attention to.

Some RV parks permit it whereas others do not; many have a list of rules just for campfires.

Also, there are regulations for the state that may be relevant too. For instance, New York State has firewood laws aimed at avoiding wildfires and prevent insect infestation. Any RV parks in New York state will need to adhere to these.

There can also be temporary campfire bans depending on what’s happening within local forest land. Also, rules can regularly change regarding campfires too. It would be sensible to ask the RV park staff before purchasing firewood for a campfire. Also, know that usually, firewood needs to be left at the location and not moved to between states because of the risk of infestation spreading.

Décor Outside the Rig Might Be Restricted

While you may have a large plot that’s fairly spacious, it doesn’t automatically mean that you can spread out onto it.

There are often restrictions on what you can put on the plot. This applies to long-stay people too. So, adding a layer of fake grass, some patio furniture, and the works might not be acceptable.

Cooking on a barbeque could be restricted too. Also, Containers made from glass might be a no-no.

When it comes to lifestyle limitations, it’s best to check what you can and cannot do on the rented plot to avoid not feeling much freedom.

Driving Speed Limits

RV speed limits on RV park grounds may also have a rule applicable to them. Meanwhile, other parks just expect RVers to be sensible in this regard.

e.g., The Campers RV Park in Tennessee limits drivers to 5 MPH.

Motorbikes and ATVs, etc.

Motorbikes are sometimes restricted at RV parks to keep the noise down for residents.

Also, ATVs and other recreational vehicles can face restrictions too.

Noise Levels

While most RV parks won’t specify fixed decibel limits on noise levels for short or long stay RVers, they still expect no loud music, regular loud arguments disturbing other residents, etc.

What you may find is an expected “quiet time” from late evening to early morning to allow people to sleep undisturbed. The Campers RV Park has it as 9 to 9, which is fairly typical.

Unacceptable Activities

There are no hard and fast rules with some unacceptable activities because it’s often a matter of judgment. However, others are restricted and cause an RVer with a long term RV park lot to be ejected.

Unruly behavior including being disruptive, drunk and disorderly, or threatening are all causes for warnings and eventual expulsion.

Designated family areas on RV parks or campgrounds may have different rules, such as not expecting alcoholic beverages to be consumed there.

Closing Thoughts

For RVers who want a luxurious experience or access to amenities like fitness centers, potable water, 30- and 50-amp hookups, and other facilities, RV parks, and resorts have much to recommend them.

Certainly, while they’re never inexpensive, long-term deals can be had where the average monthly cost declines with lengthier stays. As long as you stay within the rules, that’ll be fine. However, if a rule is breached, especially not for the first time, it’s possible to lose residency for a week or longer and lose a deposit too.

People interested in staying in an RV park long-term need to adjust to stricter rules while they’re there compared to boondocking where there might have had a more relaxed attitude.

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