Saturday, January 15, 2011

Old story for young in RV parks

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We are not your average couple. We are in our late 20’s and traveling full-time. We are not rich. We are working our way around the country. We live in a vintage 28 ft. Avion. We didn’t want to wait until retirement to do this. We have no children yet and decided to travel for a year. Five years later we are still at it. Our problem is age bias. We find, especially in the popular winter destinations, many of the parks are 55 and older parks. They don’t come right out and say it, but we can never seem to find a spot in a park near where we find a job because we are too young. Once we talk a park into letting us stay, they love us. Last winter my husband, who is quite mechanically inclined, ended up fixing dozen of problems people had with their rigs. We go to all the potlucks and pitch in when we are not working. We are quiet and tidy. How can we convince park managers of this without flashing an AARP card?
--The Young and the Restless in Apache Jct.

Dear Restless:
You are not the problem, but it sounds like you are the solution. You are unfortunately being categorized into a slot you obviously do not belong. In defense of the park management, they are trying to create a harmonious group of winter residents that all fit a specific slot. I am sure you understand that a majority of people your age might not be on the same schedule as those retired. Park management can have problems with anyone who drives through the gate, but you come with a big question mark that screams the possibility of loud music, parties, work schedules and various interests that might put you out of step with the rest of the group. I think you seem to be representing yourself as capable and flexible enough to fit in. I think you should challenge the situation head on. Answer all the questions the park management is not asking you when you first make your pitch. Put their mind at rest. Have an agreement up front as to behaviors expected. If possible give references of parks you have already spent winters in. Then write and tell me where you are staying. I have a few cockpit problems with my rig I would like your husband to fix.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

##RVT797

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

You could also tell them that they are in legal jeopardy if they have a published or consistent policy of refusing to allow any person access to their facilities. For whatever reason they may choose to use, they cannot discriminate based on age, gender, race or faith.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, they can discriminate, and do. We are in our late 50's, have stayed in many "adult" resorts and just came from a 55+ park in Yuma. One word description...STODGY! Usually with the age requirement comes lots of restrictive rules.

It may be stereotypical, but these "senior" parks are filled with people set in their ways. They don't like anyone upsetting their routine and you can usually hear the "cliquing" for miles before you pull in the front gate.

I'd rather have some younger, alive people around than live in a group where the average age is DEAD!

My advice, keep looking. There are good "open" parks out there.

PhilW7 said...

Age of rig, age of campers, type of dog if allowed, no motorcycles, no kids, no ATV's, no hanging out your laundry, no walking on the grass, no generators. The list goes on and I see it as campgrounds attempting to deal with the diversity of people. On the other hand I believe some rules and owners to be born of bigotry, snobbiness or laziness. As young campers you are definitely feeling the brunt of age discrimination by the very people who bemoan age discrimination against them.

Anonymous said...

55+ campgrounds are great. No screaming children, loud music, or loud speeding cars.

Anonymous said...

Ditto!
Older people like to stick together. Have more in common with each other.
It is not we are set in our ways. We just like to hang out with peopel our own age.

living.boondockingmexico said...

I feel your pain. We are in our early fifties, in very good shape and look much younger. We recently spent time in a 55 plus park in the Rio Grande Valley. We were constantly snubbed, even though we say hello to everyone. Everytime we were using one of the facilities we were asked if we belonged there or if they could help us with something as if we were not staying at the park.

Older people need to get ready as the baby boomers are coming. As rvers we run the gamut just like the older crowd; the good, the bad and the ugly.

Give us an opportunity. We aren't here to change anything, we just want to be a part of the group.

Anonymous said...

Can you say shuffle board? About as fast as some walk in the "55 and over" parks.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are in our 70s, and enjoy younger families much than the old farts who talk about nothing other than their latest illness. We see no doctors and take no meds, and plan to live to 100. We stay away from 55+ parks, although I have noticed that with the poor economy, many parks are not as picky as they were.

Anonymous said...

Apache Jct is pretty well known as the place for young people that are drug dealers/users to live in, especially if they have older rvs. I've heard stories of the police being called out to some parks for disturbances. For over a week now, one park has an abandoned trailer sitting in it because the owners were taken off to jail, hospital or wherever and have not come back to remove it. Not only is it taking up a space they could be renting out, the manager has to find a way to get rid of it. (Occupants were paying by the week so now the rental space fee is deliquent). Maybe the managers you encounter don't have anything against you or your age but have had bad experiences with younger people in the past and are just being cautious.

Chris said...

Actually it is "reverse discrimination" to exclude younger people. It is technically illegal, and potentially could be the subject of a lawsuit or government action. If there is no other reason to do so, a person cannot be excluded based on age, whether too young, or too old. (But the park will probably try to come up with a another reason, anyway.) However, "age discrimination", even against older people, is not as big an issue in our society and with our government as discrimination against racial groups. The RV parks know that most people aren't going to go to the trouble and expense of filing a lawsuit or government report, with a fairly good chance they may not win, and with many RV Parks often not having "deep pockets". And some RV Parks may not even realize it is illegal.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous said...
55+ campgrounds are great. No screaming children, loud music, or loud speeding cars.

Just because we are young doesn't mean we were not blessed with children, play our music loud or have a loud car. As an old JERK you need to grow up.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous said...
Apache Jct is pretty well known as the place for young people that are drug dealers/users to live in, especially if they have older rvs. I've heard stories of the police being called out to some parks for disturbances. For over a week now, one park has an abandoned trailer sitting in it because the owners were taken off to jail, hospital or wherever and have not come back to remove it. Not only is it taking up a space they could be renting out, the manager has to find a way to get rid of it. (Occupants were paying by the week so now the rental space fee is deliquent). Maybe the managers you encounter don't have anything against you or your age but have had bad experiences with younger people in the past and are just being cautious.

Just because I have an older RV does NOT make me a drug dealer! You are so discriminating. This "old" Holiday Rambler was built more solid than solid then the piece of plastic you live in.

Anonymous said...

I'd MUCH rather have them around than most of what we deal with as well. How about the newest one we had recently. Our Prowler 5'er was considered as an "elder" at one spot because by 4!!! months it was over 15 years old. It's in amazing condition in and out and we're in our 50's is all, but I feel her pain.

Anonymous said...

I think that if you were less defensive and could understand better, you would see that nobody called you a drug dealer. I was simply stating some facts - not even aimed at you. So that's hardly discriminating against YOU. Facts are pieces of information that can be backed up, not opinions. Like when you say I live in a piece of plastic. Obviously your opinion because if you were stating facts you would know I live in a non-relocatable home far from any MHP. I only use my travel trailer for vacations and weekend trips. Maybe if you chill your attitude the parks would be more open to you. Just an opinion.