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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 02:34 PM
Original message
As more people living in RVs, RV parks banning older "trashy" looking RVs


Danny Williams and his wife live in a 21-foot 1971 Winnebago they bought in April for $260. A gray tarp covers the sagging roof to keep out rain, and the RV reeks of gasoline. A makeshift fueling system relies on a gasoline jug stowed next to the passenger's seat, with gasoline feeding the engine via a plastic tube.



TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT Danny Williams makes plastic necklaces inside the RV he calls home, and his wife Teresa Dutton then sells them for $1 apiece to shoppers emerging from stores like WinCo Foods in outer Northeast Portland. The RV is too old to meet the standards for most mobile home parks, so Williams and Dutton keep moving to avoid trespassing and anti-camping violations.



TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT Teresa Dutton (left) tends to her bracelets at her RV homes dining table, while Danny Williams sits on the married couple's bed. On a good day, they can make $50 to $80 selling plastic, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, supplementing Williams $674 monthly disability payments.

------------------

Its not as if they have many choices. When they met in 1991, Danny was sleeping outside and Teresa was in a homeless shelter.

During the years, theyve lived in two RV parks, once in a 40-foot-long fifth-wheel trailer and once in another larger RV. They spent a year in Dignity Village, an organized homeless camp in Northeast Portland, but Teresa didnt fit in well. For a while they rented a room in a crack house, and stayed a spell in an apartment.

Theyd love to get some stability by living in an RV park, but their current rig doesnt pass muster.

The rules are your RV has to be 10 years or newer, Teresa says. It cant look trashy on the outside no tarps.


http://portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=1287...
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Given what they say about makeshift gasoline jugs and a tarp for a roof,
it's hard to blame the parks.

So then, how about giving this couple an intact unit to live in? Even if it is 10 years old, it would be a start!

But nah, that would be SOSHULISM!!!

:eyes:
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ten years??? WTF????
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The rules at many parks...
...are that RV's older than 10 years must be well maintained and in good, safe running order and compliant with modern fire and waste regulations. My wife and I do an RV thing with the kids every summer, and there are older RV's at every site I've visited. The difference is that they're well maintained, and look much like they did when they were new. I've never heard of a park turning a camper away simply because it was old (that would be a VERY bad business decision, as there are a sizeable number of RV'ers who pull restored Airstreams and other classic trailers).

The rule is usually that anything newer than 10 is automatically approved. Anything older has to be inspected first.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I just didn't realize that 10 years is considered "old" in RV-land.
Hell, I'm still paying on mine, it's 7 years old! I thought I'd get a good 15-20 years out of it.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. 10 years is just the point where poor maintenance begins to become obvious
You could buy a brand new RV off the lot today and perform zero maintenance on it for the next 5 years, and at the end of that time it will still be in reasonably good condition and be fairly safe to use. After 10 years of no maintenance, or poor maintenance, the RV will be fairly unsafe to inhabit or drive.

It's not that 10 years is "old", but simply that RV's newer than 10 years rarely have maintenance or safety issues. Most RV's are used for 20+ years, and parks don't usually have a problem with them if they are maintained properly and are safe.

The people in the OP are driving an RV that is failing structurally and has an improvised fuel system that seeps gas vapors. Want to take any bets on how well their electrical systems are maintained? Or how well sealed their blackwater system is? Or how long it's been since their propane system, stoves, and heaters have been serviced? Parks don't want older RV's in poor condition because they're dangerous. RV parks are often built densely enough so that a fire in one RV could quickly burn other RV's, so it's a huge concern.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanks, that makes me feel better--
:-)
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haifa lootin Donating Member (194 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. I never heard of it either. We bought a 1983 "Jamboree" motor home a few years ago for $1000
it was actually in reasonably good mechanical condition but needed a lot of TLC most of which was accomplished cheaply, mostly cosmetic and now it looks "classic" I suppose you could say but it isn't at all ugly and no park or campground has ever given us any static when we came in to buy their services. Many of them even compliment us on the nice appearence of the 'old bus' as we call it...
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. A cosmetically well maintained rig will not have a problem, regardless of age
Many of the original Airstreams are much holder but if well maintained, always welcome at parks
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. shit
that looks about like my travel trailer I stay in while I'm away from home during the work week. I'm glad the park I rent from doesn't mind how it looks.
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sally cat Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. "but Teresa didnt fit in well" Too bad, sounds like the idea setup for them.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Joadmobile!
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. Instead of whining about the RV parks' standards
why not try to raise money for repairs to this RV?

Because this "A makeshift fueling system relies on a gasoline jug stowed next to the passenger's seat, with gasoline feeding the engine via a plastic tube" is definitely NOT safe.

dg
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. hadn't thought about it that way
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. And campgrounds can have people parked extremely close together.
Their camper is potentially really dangerous and would ignite a nearby camper in an instant.

While it appears heartless for the campground to deny them a place to park, I'm not sure I'd let them in either in their current state.

They're making something close to $24,000/year, and apparently have been living "rent free" for a while which should have enabled them to save up some. I'm pretty surprised they haven't upgraded. A newer camper can be had for about $1000 which would be healthier for them, and safer for everyone else, and get them into the park.

It sounds like for very little, these folks could find a permanent location but may need assistance in figuring out how to trade in their old camper for what it's worth and negotiate the purchase of a better camper. Wouldn't take much to get them into a permanent location.
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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. It will all work out in 2018
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
14. So where the hell are people taking in $674 a month supposed to live?
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. someplace a lot safer than the potential bomb they're in now
as I pointed out to someone else, instead of getting outraged over the RV parks' reasonable standards, why not raise some $ so these folks can get their RV repaired OR get a newer, much safer one.

I don't know about you, but I'm concerned for their safety in that RV. It can't be healthy breathing gas fumes all day & all night.

dg
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haifa lootin Donating Member (194 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. $674 a month plus the ~50 bucks a day from geegaw sales
or so the article says..
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. $674 plus @ $1500/month in sales
That's not chump change. If they aren't paying camp ground fees, they are/have been living basically "rent free" at the moment. As mentioned above, you can get a much better camper for just a bit more - say $1000 and be perfectly "camp ground worthy".

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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
16. The "race to the bottom" will do stuff like this
Soon there will be more and more of these "eyesores" that are dangerous, but without options, what are people supposed to do?

It's insane, we, as a country, don't want this and yet we do nothing to prevent it. Insanity.
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demigoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. new version of Hooverville.
isn't that what they called them in the great depression?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
20. Actually, that has been policy in many RV parks for
decades. Apparently, there aren't any laws saying they can't.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. So you wouldn't mind having a potential bomb parked next to your RV?
interesting.

That policy is in place for very valid reasons. And as I stated before, instead of lambasting the RV parks over their policies, spend your time raising $ to repair or replace these folks' RV.

dg
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. I feel sorry for the people who can't afford a nice,
acceptable rig. We really need to address the human rights for all people to have safe housing. If those people in the broken down RVs could have a decent, safe place to live they wouldn't be living in broken down steel and plastic boxes on wheels.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. They were in a couple of places that fit that description
but for whatever reason, the wife couldn't "fit in." So they ended up in a bomb-on-wheels, which somehow is still "street legal."

I feel sorry for them too, but surely there's some program out there to either fix their RV or get them a better one.

dg
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
21. Post hiccup.
Edited on Mon Nov-15-10 08:08 PM by Cleita
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
22. i guess there's always slab city... or is slab city no longer there?
Edited on Mon Nov-15-10 08:24 PM by pitohui
some time back i noticed that the various entities/gov'ts etc were looking for ways to "discourage" small RV owners

for instance around 2000 or so i visited benson state park on the rio grande, there were LOTS of older folks living there in small RVs, they weren't "trashy," but they were interested in birds but just not wealthy and just didn't have the BIG rigs...i thought it was great that these folks could live in this beautiful area, keep an eye on the birds of the rio grande valley, and help the visitors to the park find rare birds, as they helped us

not that long after i heard the park/texas gov't made an excuse to "close" the park for renovations...i heard the real reason was it was the only way to remove the "squatters," the long time RV dwellers there -- i was truly SHOCKED, this wasn't human trailor trash, these were great folks w. a genuine interest in the park and the birds

i wondered what happened to those old folk, many of them were too old to start over and, hell, the whole world can't live in terlingua...

i have more recently been to terlingua and i will say, as far as i know, a small camper/TV/whatever can still be put up there without any gripe from "zoning"

but again every older person with no money can't move there, there needs to be a way that folks can live safely in RV parks, etc. without being hassled for having an older unit

i understand you don't want drugs/meth labs popping up but if the couple/person living there is obvious engaged, as the birders, agate diggers, jewelry makers etc. tend to be...then that's fine...it's the people w. no real reason to be there who aren't doing anything except (prob.) cooking and smoking drugs who need to be removed

if a man is making and selling necklaces for money, which doesn't pay that much, it isn't because he's making boocoo bucks selling drugs, i think he's a pretty safe bet

why can't these trailer/TV sites use good judgment? an older RV can be OK, it depends on the people IN the RV

as for the "unsafe" nature of this couple's RV, yes, it shouldn't be fueled, but if they could just park it in one spot and not be hassled, they wouldn't have to be fueled, and the side discussion of "but it could blow up like a bomb tomorrow" would be seen for the distraction it is...a tarp roof is not unsafe, some of us...and you won't credit what a daredevil dog i am, but so be it...some of us camp out in actual tents, the whole fucking THING is made of tarps! imagine that! and i've lived this long and i'm not dead! wHOOOOAAAA!

the prob. here is that most people commenting on the article either didn't read it or don't get what the problem is ... if you can't get a site where you're allowed to take up residence, then virtually ALL parks require you to move on after 2 weeks, been that way since the 1970s, and this particular vehicle doesn't look all that road-worthy to me, know what i mean? if you could just put up a tent and stay there for a few months, it would be WAY safer, but the push toward RV parks also means that in a lot of areas you are not allowed to put up a tent and stay AT ALL, and you're virtually never allowed to stay anywhere in a cheap, safe tent for more than 2 weeks...so no matter how poor you are, you must ALWAYS have a means to move on, a tent is $50 from kmart but you still have to have a car, so in reality, yah, homeless folk end up in these really dicey trailers

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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. They used the same excuse to clear folks out of Isla Blanca at South Padre too
But don't worry about the winter Texans at Bentsen. The Valley is their 2nd home.


dg
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bluetrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. I went to Slab City this past February, I think it was. It was definitely still there then.
As far as I know, they haven't had any law enforcement issues, but there have been younger robbers, meth addicts and rapists trying to move in and causing problems with the older families there. The people we met were all really nice and protected us like family and, though we'd been planning to car camp and they didn't know us from jack, let us crash in their RV and fed us.
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dreamnightwind Donating Member (863 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
25. Interesting post!
Their RV seems pretty unsafe.

I have a problem with the 10-year rule, though. I see other posters saying that it is not usually enforced. I really dislike such situations, it allows for selective enforcement, such as right-wingers keeping hippies out.

The sites should have rules that actually deal with safety concerns or whatever, not an arbitrary age, and then enforce them uniformly, not selectively.

I drive a '99 Volkswagen Eurovan camper. It's more than 10 years old. It looks beautiful and new as far as I'm concerned. 10 years is absurd.

You could say that since it is beautiful and new, no problem, but what if they don't like the stickers on it, or the hair on my head?
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
31. Just sad, any doubt we live in a third world country?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-10 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Just down the road from me from our wine country
and million dollar horse ranches bordering along the beaches are miles and miles of trailer parks full of old people on fixed incomes and our working class poor families who work in the fields and vineyards surrounding our beach communities and the hotel and beach resorts that make money from tourists.
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