Your Used RV Is Not Welcome Do To The 10 Year RV Rule
Generally, the price and condition of an RV are the two main factors determining the worthiness of a used RV.
However, RV age is another factor you should always account for, especially if you plan RVing in upscale RV parks.
See, if you have an RV older than 10 years, some RV campgrounds may refuse to grant you reservations due to the 10-year RV rule. It’s not a common rule, but it exists, and I have witnessed RVers getting rejected from campgrounds. I’ve been a victim too several times in my ’95 Yellowstone class C.
What’s the 10 Year RV Rule?
The 10-year RV rule is simply a policy set up by some RV camps to deny RVs older than 10 years the right of access or entry.
I know it sounds ridiculous and terribly discriminatory, but it’s not the only absurd rule in camps. For example, there’re RV parks that enforce the RVIA sticker. Other parks will only accept Class A rigs. I also know parks that don’t allow pets. It’s a free market.
However, the 10-year RV rule policy is mainly based on the assumption that RVs over 10 years old might be too weathered or worn.
But, in my opinion, the policy is similar to the origin of the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” rule. It was meant to keep out the hippies and black folks and was selectively enforced against a certain class of people they didn’t like. Therefore, the rule is all about classism.
The good thing is, in most cases, you’ll find parks with this policy use a “judgment call” on older RVs, and sometimes, they’ll grant you access if your rig is well-kept and maintained.
From experience, there’re two main types of upscale parks with RV age limits.
The first category of the park is the “resort” type of park. These are the gated community parks with paved roads, manicured lawns, and fancy amenities.
The resort parks reposition themselves as the perfect destination for the long-term-stay working class and will only accommodate the “choicest” RVers. They’re likely to turn the average RVer down unless their rig is classy, and they have the financial might to drop three figures a night to spend time at the park.
The second category of parks with the policy is those that have to. If your run-of-the-mill, dirt-roaded camp is enforcing this policy, they’re trying to maintain a semblance of dignity.
It’s trying to control the riff-raff types from accessing the establishment and maintaining a park free of rusted RVs that are usually more mold & rust than a machine.
Of course, the latter camps are budget-friendly, and even with the rule, you’ll still be fine with your older and maintained RV.
Just send them your RV picture; if it’s in decent shape, there is no need to worry. I feel the rule is there to keep the undignified RVs out and not to grant access to the newish RVs.
What’s the Purpose of the 10 Year RV Rule?
In the section below, we’ll look at some major reasons campgrounds enforce the 10-year RV rule.
I suspect one of the major reasons for the 10-year rule is to keep falling apart RVs from coming in. It’s all about ensuring you don’t park some broken-down liability on their establishment.
Generally, it’s not like many camps with this rule will turn just any old RV, but they’ll mainly target the old junky units that people hardly maintain.
Some old RVs are prone to mechanical damage, especially if not well-taken care of. It might be a harmless drip or a serious stream of oil.
And so, rather than the campground inspecting every RV for mechanical defects, some have chosen a cutoff RV age to limit the number of RVs with such issues.
The good thing is that if it’s all about mechanical health, you’ll, in most cases, have the rule waived for you, even on an old RV, provided it’s well-maintained.
Some camps, especially the large resort parts or the exclusive parks, usually have more than enough patrons and can be picky about what rigs to accept.
Such campgrounds don’t want a “trailer trash” image and try to limit the shitty ass old rigs that look like a dump.
These camps have a “look” they’re trying to achieve and don’t want eyesores around. And therefore, the age limits are there to give the air of fine living, much like a gated community.
3) Guest Consideration
This may sound stupid, but sometimes, patrons staying in a three-figure a night park don’t want to park their million-dollar RV next to a piece shit that looks like it was off National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation set.
An old camper could be an eyesore to the picky patrons, and if they complain about your rig, you’re likely to get kicked out.
Generally, the potential for losses and the need to please high-end clients is one of the reasons most camps have an age limit.
4) Legal Reasons
The fourth reason I suspect some campgrounds decline older RVs is I assume they’ve had issues with ruffians or drugs in the parks.
Some RVers will set camp in private parks and extend their stay. They become squatters in parks, and evicting them becomes an issue, especially in states with strict tenant policies.
So, rather than the hassle of going to court to seek an eviction letter and everything, most camps would rather not open this can of worms.
Campgrounds with no rules or standards are likely to attract barely street-worthy rigs. And once they extend their stay at the park, they become even less street worthy.
The problem is when the park owner needs to remove them from the park, they must deal with the headache of dealing with a broken-down RV off their property.
It’s all the hassle that sometimes makes camp owners set an age limit on all RVs accessing their establishment.
What To Do if Your RV is Older than 10 Years
It’s disheartening to get denied access to a campground with your older RV, especially if it’s only what you can afford.
However, there’re several tips you could still use to help you gain access, even with a used and old RV in parks with 10-year RV policy.
GO BLM Camping
If you’ve an old RV and constantly getting denied access to campgrounds, you could consider BLM (Bureau of Land Management) camping.
BLM camps are usually less crowded compared to RV parks. There’s also no competition for resources, and no one is on your neck with some stupid rules.
Visit Parks with No 10-Year Rule
I’ve camped severally in camps with the 10-year policy, and the experience is usually pretentious. The crappy subdivision makes the experience less enjoyable.
I’d rather stay in the state, county-owned parks, or somewhere with inclusivity.
So, unless you like RVing in “orderly” parks where you’ve to follow some strict crazy rules, I’d consider the national, state, or county-owned parks without the 10-year RV crap rule.
Make your Rig Appealing
I’ve camped in parks with the 10-year RV policy, and I’ve seen it waived on some older RVs. It all depends on the RV’s condition.
Actually, most parks have the 10-year rule, but it’s only used for keeping the trailer trash RVs out, not the decent types. Most parks have it in writing and only bring it out when needed.
Most RV parks may ask you to send a photo of your RV when making a reservation. And if there’s evidence it’s in decent shape, most are usually chill.
The key is ensuring you don’t show up in an RV patched up with tarps. Your rig doesn’t have to be pristine either or look like it’s going to win any pageant. Ensure the finish and decals are fine and the presentation is decent.
Finally, you must always research a campground before heading out. Don’t just go there blindly.
Make a call, or email the management to inquire about the campground rules and accommodations. Even if you don’t see mentioning of age restrictions, inquire whether your rig will be allowed.
And the good thing is you can do it in the comfort of your house. Apps like Dyrt will let you find campgrounds and their reviews.
If you’ve a camper older than 10 years, and the reservationist inquires about your truck’s age, here’re some ways to handle that question.
White Lies Will Do
If you’ve one of those RVs with a timeless look, you could make up a year for your RV to suit the camp’s age parameters.
After all, there’re hundreds of RV models in the market, and I don’t think there’s a way a camp’s staff will differentiate between an 8-year and 20-year-old RV unless they check on the registration, which rarely happens.
The odds of a staff coming to check the actual year of your rig manufacturer are pretty slim, especially if your RV is well-maintained.
When I get asked the age of my camper, I usually state 8 years, yet it’s more than 15 years old. It’s well maintained, though, and I’ve never been requested to show proof of age or anything.
Take Clear Pictures
Many campgrounds will likely bend the 10-year rule on any RV, provided it’s well-maintained.
Most campgrounds will request that you send photos of your RV during reservation. I suggest you wait until the weather is clear and conditions are okay and take a picture of your RV.
Unless the campground is full, you can always be sure none is willing to see a customer go away, especially if you send snapshots of a neat and clean RV.
Consider your Stay Duration
Finally, consider your length of stay. Unless you’re camping in an upscale park, most parks aren’t rigid on the 10-year RV policy and will still allow the iffy-looking RVs, provided they’re not on a long-term say.
Most of the time, they’ll deny access to these campers if they’re seeking to stay for weeks or longer.
I hate when people create blanket rules to deal with s
I hate when people create blanket rules to deal with specific issues. But again, some of the justifications for this policy are valid and legal. And the good thing is that provided your RV is well-maintained and neat, you can always circumvent this rule.
So, you don’t necessarily have to go for a new rig in your next RV purchase. Simply choose an old and well-maintained RV. It’s much cheaper, and it depreciates a lot lesser than a new rig. And if you keep it in good condition, you shouldn’t have a problem accessing any RV park. Eliminating, Your Used RV Is Not Welcome Do To The 10 Year RV Rule.