Can RV Park Owners Deny Your Reservation?

Rules vary from RV park to RV park, but can an RV park owner deny your reservation? Sometimes, yes. RV parks, like everywhere else, have rules, and breaking those rules won’t win you any friends. Today, we’ll look at several things campers do that make RV park owners deny their reservations.

Couple planning their route to the next campsite.

Can RV Park Owners Deny Your Reservation?

Yes, RV park owners are private businesses and can deny your reservation. As private businesses, RV park owners are well within their rights to establish restrictions, as long as they aren’t discriminatory against a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

It’s also important to note that the park can cancel your reservation due to your behavior. You may have planned to stay for a weekend, but a bad attitude or breaking the rules can result in a premature ending to your stay. Paying your camping fees doesn’t exempt you from following the rules you agreed to when making your reservation. 

8 Reasons a Park Owner Might Turn You Away

There are several common reasons why a park owner might deny your reservation. Let’s take a look at what they are so you can avoid a troubling situation in the future.

1. The 10 Year Rule  

Some RV parks have an age limit on the RVs they allow into the park. This age can vary from one park to the next, but it’s typically 10 years. Once an RV hits the decade mark, RV park owners are less likely to allow it in.

This is often to protect the park’s integrity and help the RV park owners reach a certain clientele. Private campgrounds and RV parks will often have this rule but not public campgrounds run by local, state, or federal entities. 

2. Your Age

While your RV may be less than 10 years old, you can still get rejected because of age. Not because of your RV’s age, but your age. In Arizona and Florida, you’ll find plenty of RV parks for those age 55 and older only. While this may feel like discrimination, it’s perfectly legal.

The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development exemption. This exemption allows parks to turn away those under 55 at their discretion. Eighty percent of their units must have at least one occupant who is 55 or older. If a park is outside of this number, they risk losing their HOPA status. So if you’re under 55 and trying to make a reservation at a 55+ park, don’t be upset if you get turned away. Just think of it as something to look forward to once you get older.

3. You Have Kids 

While there’s something special about loading up the family for a camping trip, some campgrounds don’t allow kids. These campgrounds are often 21+ only, and many of the activities cater to this crowd. At this type of park, there’s often easy access to a bar and live music, a pool or hot tub, and sometimes a casino. These are all activities that aren’t kid-friendly, so families wouldn’t want to bring children anyway.

Family on vacation at a campsite in the woods.

4. Your Pets 

Many RV parks have breed restrictions for dogs and even restrictions about what type of pets they allow. Many RV parks enforce breed or animal restrictions as a result of insurance policies. An insurance provider may not cover the park should there be an issue with a dog known for being aggressive. The campground doesn’t want that financial responsibility. These restrictions may mean you either have to leave Fido at home or come up with other arrangements for where they’ll stay during your camping trip. 

5. Your RV Has Obvious Maintenance Issues

Whether your RV is 10-years-old or not, a park could reject you if your RV has serious maintenance issues. Like the 10 year rule, RV parks don’t want an RV with maintenance issues to chase away potential guests. An RV with obvious maintenance issues will be an eye-sore and likely affect the aesthetics of the campground.

RV park owners take great pride in the atmosphere they create in the campground. They want an exciting and welcoming atmosphere. A rusty old RV that’s on the verge of breaking down doesn’t set the proper tone.

If you plan to frequent RV parks, make sure your RV is in good running order before taking a trip. You don’t want to arrive at the RV park for your weekend trip and get rejected due to an RV in need of maintenance.

6. You Have Too Many Vehicles

It’s not uncommon for a campsite to limit how many vehicles they’ll allow. The limit is typically the tow vehicle plus one. This means you shouldn’t have more than two vehicles per site.

If you plan to have guests over, you may want to verify where they can park during their stay. Campsite owners don’t plan for large groups at a single site, and there’s typically not adequate parking for a party. If your guests end up blocking other campers, the park may ask you to leave.

RV parks deny reservation due to too many vehicles.

7. Weather 

An RV park owner may deny your stay based on weather conditions. They might sound confusing at first, but the park owner may know something you don’t. A massive rainstorm may produce flooding in certain parts of the campground, damaging an RV or posing a danger for campers.

Cold temperatures are another common weather-related reason RV park owners will deny your reservation. A park’s water system may struggle in cold temperatures. Freezing temperatures can cause issues for plumbing systems and lead to expensive repairs. Some RV parks will deny reservations to protect the park’s plumbing system.

8. You Break Quiet Rules

Whether you know it or not, you agree to certain rules when you make a reservation; one of these rules is the quiet rule. Parks generally enforce quiet hours from evening to morning. This is to help all campers get a good night’s rest.

While you’ll probably get a refresher on the campground’s policies, failure to keep it down can quickly end your camping trip. RV parks won’t tolerate it for long if you’re inconsiderate of other campers.

How Strict Are RV Parks on These Rules?

The strictness of an RV park will vary from one RV park to the next. You may find that an RV park that doesn’t enforce the rules isn’t a park where you want to stay. Rules are there to hold everyone accountable for their behavior and help ensure every camper has a great time. 

If you find yourself in an RV park that doesn’t enforce the rules, make a note of it. You may want to avoid this park in the future. These types of situations often get worse before they get better.

Are These Rules Discriminatory? 

No, these rules aren’t discriminatory, as RV parks can create restrictions to protect their businesses. While RV parks can’t deny a stay for just any reason, they can impose rules and restrictions. These restrictions often help ensure the integrity and reputation of their RV park.

Is There Any Way to Get Past These Rules? 

While there are ways to get past these rules, we don’t recommend it. These rules are in place to provide a quality experience to all guests. If you try to skirt around a campground’s rules, you risk not only being forced to leave but also forfeiting any money paid for your campsite.

We encourage everyone to learn the campground’s rules before booking a reservation. You don’t want to discover your pets or kids aren’t welcome at the campsite after you’ve already booked it. Have you ever had a reservation denied?

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