Economy Turning RV Parks into Trailer Parks

As RVers we have pulled our trailer across the US several times, and traversed thousands of miles in the US northwest. When we travel without our trailer were are always looking for the next great place to stop and visit on the next trip.

On a recent non-RV trip we noted a large number of RVs parks full or all most full in the winter, not your prime RVing season. While in Bend Oregon, we stopped at a very high end park were we often stay to ask about some some spring and summer specials. We are shocked to see how many trailers in this high end RV park had cold weather skirts and large 200 gallon LP tanks next to the trailers.

Chatting with the maintenance man, he said the RV Park has been 70% full. “The best winter season ever,” he said. I ask his opinion for the insurgence in winter RVing. He though it was the down economy, people out of there homes, living in their RV units.

The Bend August 2013 unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, down from almost 16% in 2009. The trend is slowly down ward, but well above the “the Obama jiggered US” rate of 7.3% and Oregon rate of 8.1% While this is a snapshot of Bend, we saw many other nearly full RV parks, with large LP tanks, not the kind you haul around, parked next to the travel trailer and 5th wheels.

Many of the low end parks, have always has a collection of long term patrons along the back fence with their flower pots and wooden porches attached the the trailer. But, the number is growing long timers are spilling out into the main sections of low and high end RV parks. The attitudes and interest of these users are not the same a vacationers, who are interested in sharing road trip adventures stories with other friendly RVers. This is changing the atmosphere in the RV parks. It may be time for some of these RV Parks to change their name to Trailer Park. This maybe their survival strategy as the slow economy is reducing the number of RV travelers, who are willing to rent a vacation space. Two trends working to turn RV parks into Trailer Parks.

A small concern is how these RV Park homesteaders might impact site availability on our future trips this spring and summer. A larger concern is how to get the economy moving and these adventures seeking RVers back on the road.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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1 Response to Economy Turning RV Parks into Trailer Parks

  1. Dena says:

    I listed the Motor home on Craigslist and while looking at the adds I saw one where they wanted to purchase a cheap camper for full time living. I suspect more often the people move in with family or friends but some people don’t have somebody to assist them. With unemployment/underemployment hitting 25% we are at the peek level seen in the Great Depression which is taxing charity to the limit. Some of these people may have to get by on as little as $500 a month to take care of a family. We need to fix the economy and put these people back to work but don’t expect anything until we undo Obamas’s work.


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