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Advocating for RVers: What RVers Can Do Every Day To Protect Our Rights & Privileges

If you are a serious RVer, you already know that advocacy is a critical component of the lifestyle. Americans aspire to be free, but those of us who are fortunate enough to live the RV lifestyle, know that with that freedom, unexpected obstacles can arise. While unintended in most cases, federal, state, county, and city regulations can occasionally impede certain constitutional rights.

As an example, the Patriot Act, can create havoc for some full-time RVers who need loans, secure investments, or to procure new credit cards if they don’t have a permanent physical address. Others may experience unexpected hurdles when purchasing a gun or trying to obtain a concealed weapon permit. Most laws are not intended to create problems for full-time RVers, but due to a sheer lack of knowledge of our unconventional lifestyle, lawmakers can sometimes obstruct our ability to perform necessary functions simply because of the language used when they draft new laws.

Over the decades, Escapees RV Club has taken as strong lead on RV advocacy, working with every level of government to educate politicians and protect the rights of full-time RVers. Often working in conjunction with industry associations and fellow leaders, we continually monitor legislation for detrimental bills and work to oppose laws that threaten the basic constitutional rights of American citizens who have chosen this lifestyle.

Advocacy Reaches Past Politics

Escapees RV Club is purely bipartisan. Even when a detrimental new bill is drafted by a particular party, our educational campaigns always reach across the aisles. Still, there is more to advocacy than defeating detrimental laws or even creating new protective laws. There are the day-to-day habits of every RVer that can enhance or hinder our advocacy role.

Advocating for the Common Good

As individuals, we can all be key players in the advocacy role by instituting these five habits into our routines.  

  • Make a Good Impression
    Like any group, we are often judged by appearances. If local citizens see us picking up trash, whether in the parking lot, along the side of the road, or in a rest area, it shows that we care about their community. When we stay put for a while, volunteering in the local community does wonders for the soul and promotes goodwill as well. You can check with the local hospitals, schools, mission centers, or food banks, just to name a few. Many entities are in dire need of greeters, mentors, or helpers of all sorts.
  • Don’t Overstep Your Bounds
    Follow the rules when camping on public lands. Escapees has established a helpful guideline that outlines both etiquette and lawfulness. If you are new to boondocking you’ll find this information keenly useful. Even the seasoned RVer will appreciate this handy, easy to read reminder.  

Camping on public lands is a privilege, not a right. Following this list of “Best RVing Practices” helps ensure public lands will remain beautiful treasures for all to enjoy.

  • Don’t Abuse Your Welcome
    In the 1990s, states across the nation became a battlefield of restrictive ordinances and tighter regulations that nearly eliminated RVers’ ability to park anywhere outside of an established campground. Due to Escapees RV Club’s development of the Good Neighbor Policy, a compromise was found, and opponents finally withdrew their push. Now, with more RVers on the road, the Good Neighbor Policy is more critical than ever. Help keep RVers’ options open by doing your part.

The Good Neighbor Policy serves as a reminder that RVers must be respectful of the communities they visit. Help keep overnight options available for RVers by following a few simple guidelines.

  • Stay Informed and Share the News
    If you learn about a local ordinance, or a state or federal bill that you feel targets RVers in an unfair way, alert Escapees RV Club and other organizations about your concerns. It is nearly impossible for associations to stay on top of all the bills being drafted around the county. Your help is always welcome. And, should a grassroots campaign be necessary to protect your rights, take the time to write to your state and federal representatives.

If you experience a law or regulation that impedes your rights as an RVer, please let us know! Tap below to submit details of your experience for our advocacy team to review.

  • Take Care of Business 
    If you are a full-time RVer, setting up a legal domicile is perhaps the most critical component of all. Don’t let a state or county office use you as an example that could hamper all full-time RVers. People who try to cheat the system by choosing the cheapest state for vehicle insurance, try to bypass state taxes by purchasing and titling their RV in a no tax state, and then voting in another state make all RVers a target for fraud claims. Admittedly, it is difficult to check every box on federal, state and county guidelines when you don’t own a conventional home on a permanent piece of property. Still, hitting as many buttons as possible on the regulations list is your best course of action. If you’d like some guidance on understanding and establishing domicile as an RVer, take a look at our resources and articles here.

Advocacy is something that each of us should take a conscious role in if we want to preserve our right to travel across all state lines as often and as freely as we like and still be considered valuable, contributing American citizens. Perhaps most importantly, being courteous and kind is the ultimate habit we should try to master no matter when or where we travel. 

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Author

Cathie Carr | SKP #3, President Emeritus

Cathie Carr has been intimately involved in the RV lifestyle for over forty years. She was one of youngest full-time RVers working as she traveled when her parents, Kay and Joe Peterson, launched the Escapees RV Club. She was hired to help with its administration in 1983. Her first major challenge was to create a mail-forwarding service that catered to the specific and unique needs of RVers. Today it is the largest mail-forwarding service for RVers in the nation.

6 Responses to “Advocating for RVers: What RVers Can Do Every Day To Protect Our Rights & Privileges

  • Mike Mountain
    5 months ago

    As fulltime RVers, and Escapees members, we appreciate all of the work you do on our behalf..

    Thank you

    The Mountains

  • Robert Walker
    4 months ago

    We need to have something like the lemon law for cars, for RV’s.

    • Shawn R Loring
      4 months ago

      Thank you for your post. We continue to pursue lemon laws for RVs; and, we have an on-going discussion with RVIA with that goal in mind.

  • Anthony Putney
    4 months ago

    Beyond the information provided here. I am interested in helping in anyway I can. Thank you for all you do to provide information to all of us!!

  • Shawn R Loring
    4 months ago

    Thank you for the offer to help. It’s members like you that make a real difference. From time to time, we do have advocacy issues that require member support. Typically we make those calls-for-action via our newsletters, social media outlets, or via email. As such, I encourage you to monitor those outlets, from time to time.

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