You might be wondering whether you can be turned away from an RV park based on the age of your RV. And you might be right to think so as it’s the case in some places.
Do all RV parks turn away older RVs?
Some parks will turn away RVs that are older than 10 years. This can be for many reasons, such as style, safety, and regulations for that area. It’s important to always check with the RV park staff before you show up at the RV park to make sure you are allowed to take your RV to camp there.
If you have an RV that is ten years or older, you might have been turned away from an RV park based on your vehicle’s age. Why is that?
We looked into it for you!
It is time to talk about “the ten-year rule”!
If you have a newer RV you probably have never been turned away from an RV park due to the age of your vehicle.
If you have an RV that is 10 years or older, you might be worried about where your vehicle will be allowed.
Unfortunately, there are some RV parks that implement a 10-Year Rule when it comes to RVs that are staying in their RV Park.
This rule is most often implemented at RV parks that are private or commercial RV parks or have a more upscale image including those who view themselves as a resort.
If you are the proud owner of an older RV, all is not lost. The 10-Year Rule is not implemented or enforced everywhere.
Some RV Parks have a 15-year rule or more generalized verbiage about “reserving the right to reject an RV based on appearance”.
Even when these rules are in place, there is a lot of variation when it comes to whether or not these rules are actually enforced.
More good news is that only a tiny portion of RV Parks even implement rules like this, and you should have no problem finding one that will accept you and your RV.
Why Some Parks Don’t Allow Older RVs:
You might be wondering why these rules are in place, or why RV parks care about the age of your vehicle. Below I have listed some common causes that explain why these rules might be in place.
Long Term Renting:
If you are a long-term renter or are renting space in a commercial RV park, you might be forced to follow this rule.
Some parks worry about older RVs when they belong to long-term renters because if they break down it is more of a hassle to get them out of their park if their owners can’t make their rent.
Some RV parks implement rules like this because it is a part of the image they are trying to project.
Just like belonging to a homeowner’s association, some RV parks have rules about what you can and cannot do in accordance with what type of image they want their park to project.
This does not necessarily mean you will be discriminated against because of the age of your RV. While some parks only want high-end motor coaches in their park, some others might be looking for vintage looks.
RV Parks with these rules in place can restrict RVs based on their exterior instead of restriction based on age alone. These parks also likely allow restrictions at their discretion.
You can also be restricted if you own a conversion which includes vans, busses, homemade RVs, and even tiny homes.
It is also possible that an RV Park does not want an older RV because they have had problems with older RVs in the past.
Old RVs come with problems that include things like: break downs, oil stains, failing systems, failed plumbing, and all matter of other reasons.
These issues could cause damage to not only the park but the experiences of the other campers.
If you have to fix a sewage issue, or you have to haul a broken-down RV out of the campground with tow trucks and other machinery, this can affect those around you.
Another reason that an RV Park might make restrictions about what type of RV can and cannot stay in their park is demand. Meaning, these owners have enough business that they can afford to be picky.
Restricting RVs due to their age is an easy way to restrict certain RV campers based on what type of customer they want at their park.
How Do I Know if My RV is Too Old?
Some RV Parks that have these restrictions in place might have this restriction listed on their website.
Make sure if you plan to look there, you look all over. Some places hid this at the bottom or otherwise make sure it is not easy to spot.
If you are unsure, the best way to know if your RV is too old for the location you are choosing to stay at is to simply call the park.
They would be able to talk to you about whether or not there is a rule in place and whether or not your RV will be accepted.
If the rule is in place due to worry about breakdowns and other failures, you might still be able to go to parks with these rules.
This is especially true for older RVs that have been restored or updated.
Can I Upgrade an Old RV to Get Access to All Campgrounds?
If you upgrade your old RV, you can potentially circumvent the 10-Year Rule.
Most campsites do not require proof of age when you show up, so if your RV looks newer, then you might not run into this issue.
Some ways to update your RV include:
- Adding a clear coat for shine
- Replacing decals
- Updating your chrome trim
- New hubcaps or wheel covers
- Other updating techniques
While these methods will help update the look of your RV, they will not guarantee that you will be allowed entry into all parks that have this rule in place.
Do KOA Campgrounds Allow RVs That Are Older Than 10 Years?
KOA campgrounds belong to one of the largest RV Park network that includes over 500 locations in both the United States and Canada.
KOA campgrounds, while belonging to the same company, are often owned by franchise owners.
This means that whether or not they have a 10-Year rule would be up to each individual campsite and franchise owner.
Even with these rules in place, you can always work with the manager at each particular location. Some will accept photographs of your old RV and they may make an exception based on the image of your vehicle.
What Else Can I Do?
If the park that you want to stay at does have these rules, you could always go elsewhere. Most towns and cities have more than one option nearby and you can still have fun in the location that you want to visit.
You could also try to find a free overnight parking option that is in the area that you want to stay in.
You can also show up to some of these parks, despite the rule.
Some people have adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to the age of their RV and will show up hoping that the rule is not enforced.
This can involve some risk, but if you think your RV looks nice enough that it can pass for a newer model, you might be able to get into the park.
This option does involve the risk of being turned away after you get there, and it not highly recommended.
This also will not be an option for you if you have to give them a year, make, model or registration of your vehicle, so that is something to keep in mind.
If you plan to stay at many upscale, resort, RV Parks you might want to budget for a new RV.
This will allow you to stay on the safe side when it comes to making sure you can stay and camp wherever you want to without issue.
If you own an older RV, you might be nervous about running into the 10-Year rule. This is not something that should deter you from proudly owning your old or vintage vehicle.
If you are worried about being turned away at parks that you want to stay at, you could always attempt to update your look.
A simple paint job or new shine in your metal can create a newer and more updated look for your RV.
You can also take comfort in the fact that, while these rules do exist, it is more common to find campgrounds, where you are trying to stay, has no age requirements, instead of those that do.
You can even look into different types of campgrounds to find one where your trailer is accepted.
There are some campgrounds that even promote vintage RVs and will be very accepting of you staying there.
As stated before, when in doubt, you will want to make sure that you call the campground before you make a reservation. This will help you avoid surprises and being turned away after you have already made the trip.
If you plan to spend time in many upscale, resort-style RV Parks, you then might want to start setting money aside in the budget for a new RV.
This will help to remove those roadblocks and will allow you to camp anywhere you want, worry-free!
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Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.