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  1. Default RV Parks in a minivan

    My partner and I are currently road tripping we have been on the road for 4 weeks now starting in Vancouver, BC and following tho coast down to San Diego, then in to Vegas and we have just finished checking out antelope canyon. Horseshoe bend and Grand Canyon in Arizona. We have used a lot of RV parks on the way and I was just wondering why a lot of parks have issues with minivans staying there. We have been knocked back from a few and had a few tell is we shouldn't be there but they will let us anyway.

    We have converted our van into a camper. Built a bed in the back with shelves underneath for clothes and even have a fridge and curtains. We have cooking utilities and chairs and a table. We have a passport America pass allowing us half price RV park rates and we use the hookups for charging our devices and running a portable fan over night when it's hot.

    We are paying the same as RVs and using less of the amenities. So it baffles me as to why they have a problem,

    Can anyone please shed some light on this? Las we still have 2 months to go as we travel across to Florida and up the east coast before heading back to Vancouver. Would like to know if there's any advice when dealing with RV parks.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Keeping up appearances. [?]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Sounds like an amazing adventure you are on ! I'm not 100% sure why you would be experiencing this othere than if you are targeting RV resorts that are designed for RV's only, there could be a little 'snobbery' involved. A lot of RV resorts I have seen have terms and conditions that include the age and condition of vehicle, as to keep up appearances and keep what they would class as 'undesirables' away. One RV resort I came across in Colorado would only accept class 'A' models ! I am only basing this on my own experiences and conclusions and may be wide of the mark. I personally would look for campgrounds where they have a mix of tent camping and RV's, or at least sites that you can get to with your van, you will probably get a much warmer and friendlier welcome.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default campgrounds

    I would agree with Dave, there are a lot of RV parks/RV resorts that are just that - places for people who only want to hang around with other people who can afford a 6-figure luxury home on wheels! Plus - your little minivan might end up blocking their satellite dish, and you can't really be camping if you don't have a satellite dish!

    Your best bet will be to look for places that actually call themselves campgrounds. Any place that allows tents is not going to have any problem with your set up - and in many of those places, sites with electric will still be available.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Former RV'er here -- I feel for you. We were turned away from 2 or 3 RV parks over the years. First one was because we had a tent trailer (AKA "Pop up"). The next ones were because our rig, now a 5W trailer, was more than 5 years old. We didn't understand that one either, because our rig was in superb condition -- nothing (at that time) was broken off, taped together. It was 3 years old when we purchased it!

    We never had a problem if we stayed at a park that held the Good Sam logo. (Good Sam is to RV's, what AAA is to motels.) Nor did we have that problem at KOA's, but they were among the most expensive campground/RV parks that we stayed at! Public parks, such as national and state parks and forests, won't discriminate either.

    More power to you in traveling in your mini-van!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default My experience as well.

    It is good to see you raise this issue. I too have been turned away from campgrounds, first when I was in a Dodge Caravan, and also since I have have had my conversion van with bed, fridge, etc. One was in AK, where it was just a dirt area, no grass, no trees, nothing fancy, but no bathrooms either. You could only park there if you were fully self contained. Most looked as if they had been there for years.

    I wholeheartedly concur with Michael's comments, and often wonder why those folk don't just stay home. All the more power to you for designing a great trip and creating lifelong memories in your minivan. Please share with us some of the next two months.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Life is an an adventure... not a parking spot

    How many times has this phrase been used in posts in this forum....? RVing is a "LIFESTYLE CHOICE" RVing is much less about camping and much more about traveling in specialized vehicles and sharing a perceived form of lifestyle.

    It's true that a larger number of temporary or short-term RVers (those who rent RVs or use them sparingly) tend to see the vehicle as simply the means to get from point A to point B in a manner that is fun or practical in some way. Megan and I lived on the road -- in a RV -- for nearly 6.5 years and we never, ever considered ourselves RVers -- but I can understand the appeal for those seeking "membership in good standing" in such a rolling-community.

    It is that appeal for a shared kinship -- a community on wheels -- that has developed into those RV parks with strict rules about what and whom can join -- even if it's only for a night.

    Yes, such "rules" are archaic, arbitrary, rude, snobby, etc -- but it's just how people are. Many RV parks will discriminate against Class Bs, even Class A's and C's if they don't match the pre-existing criteria of what constitutes an "acceptable" RV vehicle.

    My advice: Laugh it off. Can you imagine living your life where such standards govern your choices? Let the RV'ers have their moment -- being parked in a sardine-like fashion in company with others of their ilk. Get out on the highway and have an adventure!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Get out on the highway and have an adventure!
    That's why I like truck stops. My best time is spent on the road. Rarely do I stop in one place for more than a day (unless I am with family).


  8. #8

    Default State Park experience

    A couple of years ago we pulled into a Maryland State park. A young lady at the entrance station checked us in, we always state we want a flat (relatively) space because we sleep in our van. After 2 hours in our space and tucked in for the night reading, the campground host came over and told us we couldn't sleep in our van. We had some discussion and eventually asked to speak to a ranger.
    Eventually a ranger stopped by and confirmed we were fine to sleep in our van. We still scratch our heads over this event.

    As we have modified a cargo van with a full bed, wired for electricity and have screened windows we consider ourselves an RV, but not self-contained. We avoid any park that specifies self-contained, usually the price is self-limiting! Our first choice for camp sites is always federal, then county or state, then RV park.

    My sister has a vintage Avion travel trailer, very well maintained. They have been turned away from RV parks due to the age of their trailer.

    Sometimes the 'bad' experience becomes the story of the trip.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default So true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pmount View Post
    Sometimes the 'bad' experience becomes the story of the trip.
    More stories to Moth.


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