Many RV parks across the United States have an established “10 Year Rule”; Meaning, RVs over 10 year old are prevented from staying at certain parks.
The “10 Year Rule” is used as a safeguard by RV Park owners as way to keep their park looking clean and contemporary, without the worry of hosting unkept RVs on their property. Although not always the case, park owners will sometimes make an exemption for well-maintained campers over 10 years old.
Why Is There a 10 Year Rule?
There are typically three main reasons RV parks establish the 10 Year Rule: Safety, aesthetics, and convenience.
Owners of RV parks don’t have the time to closely inspect each rig that rolls up to their gates. So, establishing the Ten Year Rule makes it easier to turn away older RVs. In theory, this makes the park safer for all other patrons as older rigs need for maintenance for age-related problems.
Most common, older RVs leak from the storage tanks, or oils and fluids leak from the engine compartment. These leaks can result in issues that impact other RVers staying in the park, as well as the owner who’ll need to clean up the mess.
If you frequent higher-end, more expensive, and well-kept RV parks across the nation, you can expect the 10 Year Rule is in place.
These RV parks have enough business volume that they can be a bit pickier on they types of rigs allowed in the park. Such parks have a specific visual appearance they are attempting to upkeep and portray to potential customers.
RV parks that offer inexpensive monthly rates can sometimes attract old, unattractive rigs. The longer these RVs sit in an RV park- aging, rarely driven, and degrading- the more of an issue this is for the park owner.
From oil leaks to eyesores, park owners find such rigs inconvenient to recruiting potential new customers, and can foresee maintenance and cleaning problems coming down the pike. The 10 Year Rule serves as a hedge against this.
Find Out Which RV Parks Follow the 10 Year Rule
Before heading out on the road, make sure to research the RV parks you may potentially stay.
Scour the park’s website to find any mention of the 10 Year Rule- often park owners clearly state this on their site. However, if any mention of the Rule is absent, make sure to call the park directly: Don’t assume the 10 Year Rule isn’t in place just because it’s not stated on their website.
The last thing a traveler wants to encounter is a closed gate and no place to rest for the night, due to having an older rig and the owners simply not explicitly stating their expectations online.
And make sure to join a few RV-related social sites to find out what other RVers are doing, where they’re staying, and which parks they love (or avoid).
10 Year Rule Exceptions
Some RV parks that follow the 10 Year Rule do make exceptions from time to time. In these cases, the park owner may request that you send a current photo of your RV. After seeing your current rig, you’ll receive an approval or disapproval- determinations are subjective and depend on the individual park owner’s perception of your RV.
Now, there are a few factors that can work in your favor when dealing with the 10 Year Rule: If you have an Airstream, Casita, or Scamp trailer, you may be in luck. These manufacturers have kept the designs of their RVs very similar throughout the years.
So, some RV park owners may not be able to distinguish a 1985 Airstream from a newly released Airstream… meaning, if your trailer is well maintained, you might just be able to park without any incident.
Just know that what your rig looks like really does matter: Cracked windows, deteriorating screens, ripped awnings, or plastic tarps strapped to the roof won’t be welcomed in many RV parks; And there’s no way you’ll just sneak in to park.
Many RV parks follow the 10 Year Rule. Although an annoyance to many RVers with older rigs, the 10 Year Rule helps RV park owners maintain the appearance of their property, and can help recruit new travelers to their camp grounds.
Some parks with the 10 Year Rule established, may be flexible and allow older trailers in, depending on the look of the RV. If a camper is well-kept, clean, runs well, and has no leaks, many park owners will accept the RV upon seeing a current photo of the rig.
Just remember: Always check the RV park’s website (and call) to see if they have the 10 Year Rule before you make any journey.