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We Need Your Help to Keep RV Parks and Campgrounds Open!

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Dear Escapees Members,

As you can imagine, it is a difficult bend in philosophy for us to suggest that we set our freedom-loving travel styles aside and hunker down in one spot. Tapping those words out on the keyboard is heartbreaking. However, this is a time when every individual must push past their personal interests and galvanize as we perhaps have never done before to protect our community as a whole. With more states adding stay at home orders on top of CDC and other health organization recommendations, we feel it’s best for RVers to stay in place for the time being.

Escapees leaders and staff have been working frantically to keep you updated on every front that Escapees RV Club is involved in. You can find the bulk of these notices and updates at Escapees.com/coronavirus. Please refer to that location on a regular basis. It is where you should be able to find everything involving COVID-19 and how it relates to our organization.

Reach out to your elected officials

Every day that passes, Federal and State campgrounds are continuing to close their gates. And, with the potential for more states and counties to mandate private RV park and campground closures, we need to act now. In addition to working as an association with our political leaders and our fellow industry leaders, we feel it is time to encourage each individual to reach out to their elected officials and explain to them why is it critical that they consider RV parks and campgrounds as essential businesses.

We have composed three samples to help you with ideas. You are welcome to use any of them as you wish, but it may be considered more earnest if you modify the examples to better fit your opinions and circumstances or write your own words.

No matter if you choose to call or write, it is always best to keep your message respectful and courteous and limit it in in length. And remember, our political leaders have rarely been so busy as they are right now.

To find the contact information of your legislators, visit:

https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials 

From there you can select your U.S. Senators, Representatives, Governor, Mayor, County Executives, and city, county, and town officials.

https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
Provides a simple way to find your state legislators using your address or current location.

Who you select is usually based on your domicile state and/or the state in which you vote. You may want to include other state leaders if you are currently residing in a different state. In this case, you would use the zip code of the RV park in which you’re staying.

We suggest contacting your US Senators and Representatives as well as your state legislators representing your district. You may also want to contact other officials depending on your situation.

Remember, this is your time to help! Even if you are currently in a safe and secure location, there are many who are not so fortunate, or who could soon be evicted if mandates get out of control. Advocacy can take time, but the sooner we start to let officials know our stance, the better.

Sample Communications to Your Elected Representatives- Click to expand them

Phone Call Samples

Thank you for protecting U.S. citizens during this pandemic. Unfortunately, some well-intended decisions are having a dire and dangerous effect on full-time RVers of which I am one.

I am lucky as I have been able to travel and see our great nation up close and personal, but now I am trying to do my part and help flatten the curve by staying in one place and sheltering in my RV. This has become harder with the closures of Federal and State campgrounds. And with many private RV parks being deemed nonessential businesses, I am concerned that my fellow full-time RVers and I are running out of options.

Campgrounds and RV parks are not only essential to provide me the ability to “shelter in place” in a manner naturally helpful for social distancing, they also provide laundry facilities and propane sales- which many areas consider to be essential services.

Not only on my behalf, but that of the estimated million other full-time RVers in my situation, I ask that you, at a minimum, deem private campgrounds to be “essential” business. I also ask that you consider reopening State/Federal parks where possible.

I appreciate everything being done to help during this time, but I and some 1 million friends need some help.

I am a retired senior citizen who lives full-time in my recreational vehicle. I am not a vacationer! And I don’t have a house to retreat to! I chose this life as it grants me the freedom to explore our great nation. I worked my whole life to achieve my dream and I’m out here living it now.

Usually in the spring, I visit the National and State Parks. Unfortunately, most of them have been closed. I am not seeking a place anymore for fun, anymore. Rather, I just want to hunker down and make it through the crisis, just as the CDC and others have recommended. I am seeking private RV parks that can accept me for a month or two until this crisis gets under control. Even private RV parks are in peril as they are forced to shut down when they are considered non-essential.

If RV parks and campgrounds become unavailable, I will be forced to do the very thing that our government is attempting to stop—continue travelling indefinitely, until I find a place to remain. How can I “stay home” if I can’t find a location I can park?

Campgrounds and RV parks are not only essential to provide me the ability to “shelter in place” in a manner naturally helpful for social distancing, they also provide laundry facilities and propane sales- which many areas consider essential services.

Not only on my behalf, but that of the estimated million other full-time RVers in my situation, I ask that you, at a minimum, deem private campgrounds to be “essential” business. I also ask that you consider reopening State/Federal parks where possible.

Sample Letters

RE: PLEASE LEAVE US A SAFE SPOT SO WE CAN DO OUR PART! RV PARKS AND CAMPGROUNDS SERVE AS OUR HOME BASE!

Dear (official’s name here),

I appreciate all that you are doing to help protect U.S. citizens, but unfortunately some well-intended decisions are having a dire and dangerous effect on a population that you may not be aware of.  I am part of that population.

I dreamed of traveling our great nation and chose to do this with an RV. I eventually sold my stick-and-brick house (leaving me without a house to retreat to) and set out to see America as a full-time RVer. I never thought I would have to self-quarantine or purposefully distance myself from others. And even if I did have to adopt those extreme measures, my contention was that there would be no safer place than in my home on wheels, my RV. I just never figured that I would not have a place to park it!

If you think I am a lone case, I’m not. The RV Industry estimates that there are close to a million full-time RVers just like me.

Social distancing, self-isolation, and sheltering in place are the new mantras across the country. And like hundreds of thousands of others, I have set my traveling passions aside, to help do my part to flatten the curve of this monstrous pandemic.

Rarely does a day go by when I don’t hear about another Federal or State campground closing its gates. If that weren’t enough cause for concern, I am also concerned about private RV parks being considered “nonessential” businesses; and, thus, being forced to close. Campgrounds and RV parks are not only essential to provide me the ability to “shelter in place” in a manner naturally conducive to social distancing, they also provide laundry facilities and propane sales which many consider to be essential services.

Please do not forget about those of us (both individuals and park-business owner/managers) who are doing their utmost to comply with CDC guidelines. RV Parks and campgrounds are more essential than ever before! Please help by deeming them to be an “essential” business. While we are staying in our home, we cannot survive without a safe place to park.

Additionally, we would appreciate your support in reopening any other facilities, such as State and Federal lands that may be closed, so that others will have a place to park during this crisis.

You can see other full-time RVers affected by closures like me in this short video.

Respectfully,

(name)

RE: PLEASE DON’T EVICT US-WE HAVE NO WHERE TO GO!

Dear (official’s name here),

Please hear my plea! I am a retired senior citizen who lives full-time in my recreational vehicle. I am not a vacationer! Neither did I select my house-on-wheels as a means of lower income housing. On the contrary, it cost me more than many people spend on a stick-and-brick house. I chose it quite simply because it granted me the freedom to see America up close and personal. A dream I worked for all my life.

Just like the rest of the nation, the rug has been pulled out from under me. Only in my case, the rug is the very plot of land that I need to use to shelter in place! Spring usually affords me the opportunity to visit National and State Parks, but most of them have been closed now. In order to comply with CDC recommendations, I have sought out RV parks that can accept me for one or two months (maybe more if necessary) as this crisis gets under control. The problem is even private RV parks appear to be in jeopardy; considered by some to be non-essential businesses. It is my understanding that some park residents are actually being evicted and business owners ordered to shut down or are closing on their own accord! Campgrounds are not only essential to provide me the ability to “shelter in place” in a manner naturally conducive to social distancing, they also provide laundry facilities and propane sales- which many consider essential services.

If RV parks and campgrounds become unavailable, I will be forced to do the very thing that our government is attempting to stop—continue travelling until I find a place to hunker down. How can I “stay home” if I can’t find a location at which I can park?

Not only on my behalf, but that of the estimated million other full-time RVers in my situation, I ask that you, at a minimum, deem private campgrounds to be “essential” business. I also ask that you consider reopening State/Federal parks where possible.

You can see other full-time RVers affected by closures like me in this short video.

Sincerely,

(name)

RE: YOU ASKED FOR OUR HELP-NOW WE MUST ASK FOR YOURS!

Dear (Representative name),

We live full-time in a recreational vehicle, but we are not vacationers. I work and travel in my house-on-wheels.  It is my only home.

I commend the work that our State and Federal officials are doing to help keep every citizen safe. I too am doing everything within my power to comply with the mandates and recommendations from CDC and other officials. However, in the earnest attempt to keep us safe, people like me are being totally overlooked!

Everyday I learn of another campground and/or RV park closure. Those remaining are doing everything they can to comply with social distancing, sanitizing, and self-isolation measures. You must keep state and private RV campgrounds open. I urge you to deem these businesses as “essential.” Without these campgrounds, you will be leaving me and hundreds-of-thousands of fellow full-time RVers without an area to “shelter in place” or remain “safe at home.” Campgrounds provide a natural place to self-quarantine and “shelter in place” because of the distance between campsites being much greater than in apartment buildings, condos, and hotels. Moreover, campgrounds provide essential services in the form of laundry rooms and propane sales. Worse still, if campgrounds close, I will be forced to continue to travel, in search of a campground at which I can remain for an extended period of time.

Just like me, I feel sure all of my RVing comrades are trying to secure a place to hunker down, stay safe, and help flatten the curve of this monstrous pandemic.  You’ve asked for our help and now we must ask for yours! Please protect us by retaining the parking locations that are open to us through private businesses by deeming them essential businesses.

Additionally, we would appreciate your support in reopening any other facilities, such as State and Federal lands that may be closed, so that others will have a place to park during this crisis, too.

You can see other full-time RVers affected by closures like me in this short video.

Respectfully,

(name)

Writing prompts if you wish to write your own letter

Create your own personal letter using the following points:

  • Every day there is news about more Federal and State campgrounds closing their gates, and there is great concern that some counties will require private RV parks to do the same.
  • I am not a vacationer or someone who is camping on the weekends for fun.
  • I live full-time in my recreational vehicle and have no stick-and-brick home to which to return.
  • I want to comply with the “stay in place” orders. But if my campground is considered a non-essential business, I, like others, will be forced out in the street.
  • It is essential to have safe place to park my RV home. Amenities such as running water and electricity make it easier to stay in place.
  • The RV industry estimates that there are 1 million full-time RVers like me!
  • If full-time RVers have no safe place to park during this pandemic, we will be forced to travel, without the ability to shelter in place.
  • The staff and patrons at my RV park are practicing CDC recommendations.
  • I and others at my park are complying with social distancing and “stay at home” mandates.
  • I am doing everything within my power to help flatten the curve but that will not be possible if I am kicked to the curb!

Note: If you are a senior citizen, it is important to mention that.

For Campground Owners

Of those RV parks that remain open, many have enacted updated policies and procedures that align with CDC recommendations and help protect the health of both park staff and guests. It is notable that for a park to remain operational, the staff must remain healthy. As such, many of the following recommendations are intended to lessen the cleaning obligations on the staff. For example, line-dancing may be able to occur at safe distances between dancers. However, the facility must be cleaned before and after the event, increasing the staffs’ risk of exposure.

The following is a list of suggested park polices:

  • All social activities and events should be cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • Park amenities such as activity halls, clubhouses, swimming pools, and recreational facilities are closed.
  • Guests may still be welcome to use trails, dog parks, etc.; but, they should asked to follow social distancing guidelines when using them.
  • Buildings necessary for daily operations, such as park offices, may be staffed but closed to the public. Instead, staff may be available by phone and email to handle park business, minimizing the need for person-to-person interaction.
  • Communal spaces that are necessary for hygiene, such as bathrooms, showers, and laundry rooms may remain open but with restrictions regarding the number of people allowed at one time. In addition, more frequent cleanings with approved disinfectants should be required.

Many parks have also moved to allowing only long-term reservations. Doing this ensures guests have somewhere safe to remain throughout current stay-in-place orders and strengthens their assertion that their parks are essential businesses which provide shelter and other resources.

Though they may sound extreme any other time, these measures allow parks to remain open to those in need while doing their best to keep people safe and healthy. An added benefit is that remaining open now helps ensure those parks will have the income needed to weather this crisis and resume business as usual when the time is right.

Our Escapees Rainbow Parks have adopted the following policies to ensure guests have long-term options for stay in place orders. All current guests were given the option to extend their stay by a month. The next priority were those with immediate upcoming reservations. New reservations must have a check-in no more than one week out from the date of request. In this way, we can help keep travelers in place with a guaranteed site.

  • Until further notice, all Rainbow Parks will no longer accept short-term stays.
  • The minimum stay for all reservations is one month, with exception of overnight parking. This includes all current campground guests who wish to extend their existing stay. A three-month “block” period should be applied to monthly reservations to prevent future double bookings if they choose to extend their reservation beyond one month.
  • Overnight parking for one night is permitted for those passing through the area on their way to their chosen stay in place option. Try to accommodate as much as you are able with the space available. Provide a full-hookup site if available. If not, guests are to use a dry camping location.
  • Monthly rate restrictions, such as for pull-throughs, premium sites and other site types, will no longer apply until further notice. Guests will not have to pay add-on fees associated with noted site types and can make monthly reservations on any site with hookups.
  • Future reservations prior to [appropriate date] are to be offered a long-term stay. If they choose not to extend their visit, the reservation will be cancelled in order to open more sites for long-term guests.
  • Reservations on/after [appropriate date] and prior to [appropriate date] are to be canceled and refunded.
  • Collect an emergency contact for all reservations.
  • New reservations inquiries/requests will be allowed to reserve a future reservation with a check-in no more than one week out from the date of request. Again, guests can either stay for 1 month or overnight when making this reservation. Guests will not be guaranteed a full-hook site for overnight parking, though we will try to accommodate. Priority for hook-ups will be for guests with long-term stays (monthlies).

In addition to the park and staff policies changing, we ask that guests do their part. Below is a suggested list of policies for guests to help keep parks and campgrounds healthy.

  • All park quests occupying a site are to stay home and only leave their RVs to perform essential activities. Such activities include:
    • Activities related to maintaining the health and safety of their family and their pets. Examples are seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication and visiting a health care professional.
    • Activities to obtain necessary supplies for themselves, their family and household, including groceries or food, pet supplies and pet food, supplies needed to work from home and consumer products, such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
    • Outdoor activity, such as walking, running or cycling, but only if they maintain social distancing, such as staying six feet away from other people.
    • Working for an exempted business or government that is providing services needed by the public during this crisis, in accordance with local policies and/or orders.
  • No outside visitors and/or off-site guests are allowed until further notice. With exception to essential services/deliveries such as groceries, home care, supplies etc. Social invitations are strictly prohibited.
  • All campground guests must practice social distancing and handwashing in accordance with CDC guidelines.

As always, we appreciate you, our extended family. You can be sure we will have your backs as best we can throughout this trying time.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) Notification - Escapees RV Club is monitoring the situation closely. For up to date information affecting members, please click here.

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