Why RV Owners Like Age Restrictive RV Parks?
Have you heard of 55+ RV parks? If not, they’re very popular in Arizona & Florida (two states known for active retirement communities and beautiful weather).
RV life is perfect for the active retiree and 55+ RV parks cater to the growing Boomer-retiree demographic.
Today we’re diving deep into these parks and why the majority of RVers appreciate this option.
Let’s dive in!
What Are 55+ RV Parks All About?
The name says it all. The mission of 55+ parks is to create a mature environment for active seniors who enjoy a social lifestyle.
Yuma, Arizona is host to the most age restrictive RV parks in America. Of the top 25 RV parks in Yuma, 40% of them are a 55+ parks (data from Campground Reviews).
Here’s a chart showing the percentages of age restrictive RV parks in the three most popular RV cities in Arizona.
The Palms RV Resort sums their mission it up perfectly:
Our 60 acre community was designed and built with 453 large lots for today’s Baby Boomer just like you who wants the most out of everything from now into the forever. The Palms RV Resort was created to give you entertainment, educational and unique classes, extreme adventures, fitness and wellness, romance and renewal all within a warm, winter Arizona day between an incredible Sunrise and breathtaking Sunset.
Common Activities at 55+ RV Parks
The active lifestyle of 55+ parks is a huge attraction for baby boomers. These parks usually have great amenities that encourage outdoor activities. Pools, pickleball courts, tennis courts & golf corses are common features.
Voyager RV Resort in Tucson is one of the most popular 55+ RV resorts in the area. Here’s what they offer their 55+ community:
- Arts & Crafts
- Live Music
- Games & Cards
- Hobby Workshops
Take a look for yourself – here’s the Voyager RV Resort calendar of events.
Are They Less Expensive Than Normal RV Parks?
Sometimes “sticks & bricks” senior living communities offer discounted housing options. If you’re looking for the same type of discount for senior RV parks, think again!
Quite often these parks charge a premium due to the well maintained facilities & activities provided.
If you’re looking for a lower cost 55+ RV park option, consider joining the Escapees RV Club. Their membership includes access to SKP Co-Op parks. Most of these parks are 55+ and offer extremely low monthly rates. You can even get on a list to buy an RV site.
Can I Camp at a 55+ RV Park if I’m Younger Than 55?
Sometimes. Each park has their own policy for allowing folks under 55. We’ve camped at multiple 55+ RV parks (we’ve still have 20+ years to reach 55), but we’ve also been rejected by a few.
In our case, the reservations are short term – to restock & dump between boondocking stays. 55+ RV parks usually don’t have an issue with a short term reservation if they have the space.
But, honestly, we don’t like the looks we get when we camp at these parks. It’s not that the people are mean, it’s just that we’re “out of place.”
Why Do the Majority of RVers Enjoy 55+ Parks?
The answer is pretty simple. The majority of RVers are over 55 years old. People in general don’t like being excluded from things, but because most RVers aren’t excluded, it’s not an issue.
We surveyed hundreds of RVers and the sentiment was clear: 61% of RVers think “Age Restriction” is fair.
Here’s what those “for it” had to say:
- “It’s nice to not have to worry about kids all over the park and it’s usually a much quieter campground without hundreds of children playing at all hours.” – Jack H.
- “We had the opportunity to stay in a 55+ in Mesa AZ, it was awesome! We’ve heard that some are flexible with the rules. We would happily stay in another and wish that perhaps they would base their decision on life circumstances, maybe adult only instead of age restriction.” – Tim H.
- “Very happy to stay there on occasion. Some times I just need a break from the families who don’t teach their kids manners and respect for others.” – Barbara D.
- “One of my favorite RV Resorts has both. Mountain Valley RV Resort Heber City, UT” – Michael F.
Not All RVers Like The Rule
39% of RVers said they don’t think age restrictive parks are fair. Many of these folk feel like 55 is an arbitrary number, especially when the goal is often to have “no kids allowed.”
Here’s a few voices from the other side:
- “I think instead of 55+ they should make it kids/no kids because isn’t that what it’s really about? We’re around 40 and we prefer the quieter atmosphere not near children.” – Melinda C.
- “I have no problem with 55+ parks as long as there are 55- parks. Old people are equally as annoying as they think we are.” Zack H.
- “It sucks if you can’t stay a few nights while visiting family in the area because you’re not old enough. We only have 2’dogs no humans of our own.” Jessa L.
Is It Legal? Or Is It Age Discrimination?
55+ RV parks are legal. Technomadia wrote an awesome article explaining this in detail. In one of the key points Cherie Ve Ard writes:
“The ‘Housing for Older Persons’ (HOPA) is an official HUD (U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) exemption. It supplements the Fair Housing Act originally designed to protect residents from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status.” – Cherie Ve Ard, Technomadia
Diving deeper into the law, HUD USER explains further,
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act, prohibits age discrimination in housing. A 1988 amendment to the act created an exemption for housing for adults age 55 and over as long as it provided facilities and services designed to meet the physical and social needs of the elderly. However, the Housing for Older Americans Act of 1995 eliminated this requirement. In addition, these communities often are designed for and marketed to customers in their 50s and 60s who are more interested in golf courses, swimming pools, and other community amenities than in the supportive services they may eventually need.
Consequently, it would be illegal to open an “under 55 only” park. That would be age discrimination – a protected class in housing laws.
People Aren’t The Only Ones To Receive Age Restrictions
Age restriction rules are much stricter when it comes to your RV! Many RV resorts restrict old RVs.
The 10 Year Rule is widely unpopular among RVs. Yet, here’s why RV Park Owners love it!
You Have Options, It’s Called Boondocking!
If rules make you squirm and you want to camp far away from people, we recommend boondocking. That’s another way of saying “free camping.”
You don’t need reservations or much money!
Free camping happens on public land – BLM land, National Forests & County Parks primarily.
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.
Best of luck with Nora. Thank you for sharing all that you do. I don’t just enjoy your newsletter, I actually look forward to what informative information you will send next, along with the photo’s & video.
some places in FL are finding the age restrictions are working against them. am aware of 2 place that were having issues because their demographic is dying off and many “younger” folks don’t have the means to afford “exclusive” communities and have to keep working longer rather than retire. i hope there restrictive places die with the crowd they serve. i know that may seem harsh but i was never a fan of segregation which is what these places are practicing.
I am 68, my husband is 70 and we can’t think of anything worse than staying in a park where everyone is over 55. Actually, I worked as a home health nurse for many years and was shocked by how much mental deterioration I saw in my patients after they moved to a “retirement community” so it’s not just a question of wanting to avoid all the “old days” talk, I just feel they encourage aging behaviors. Give me a campground with kids playing util it’s dark, teens mooning about and checking out the opposite sex, young couples and new parents and a few of us old farts thrown in.
As the dad of a family of seven I understand that many older folks like their quiet place. But I wonder if there is a better way to market / manage these parks. Some of the parks I’ve visited not knowing they are 55+ are downright rude to younger folks. I’m 54 with five kids 12, 11, 9, 6 and 4. I can talk all day with older and younger people. Many older people enjoy kids unless the families are obnoxious which we don’t see often in the RV world. And many people may be missing out on a great blessing of always embracing their youth. Could they call the parks ADULT PREFERRED PARKS or something that could allow good respectful families to still use the facilities. Just a thought.
My S.O. and I made the mistake of doing an extended stay in a geezer park. We’re in our early 70s. We were bored silly the 4 months we were there. The facilities were nice, but it was all a little too quiet. The park was on the low end in terms of cost, so it did have that going for it, but we don’t want to ever repeat the experience. As for the high end ones, from the comments and posts I see in a couple of Facebook groups I belong to, the people who enthuse about them all come across as being boomers at their worst: obsessed with getting the costliest accessories for their fresh off the assembly line Class As, bragging about their over-priced grills, and terrified that someone could park next to them that has a slightly older RV that’s still covered in road dust. They live in fear of maybe having to say hello to Cousin Eddie. I think that if the “you kids get off my lawn!” types want to self-segregate, the rest of us should be glad, not envious.
I hope we meet you on the road!! So agree with your points!!
Love your articles. Wish there was a way I could easily print or pin the article to Pinterest. Thanks for all of the great info!
Hey Deborah, thanks so much! You can follow our page over on Pinterest, we share all our articles there and you can re-pin directly from our page! 😊
I can’t think of anything more boring than camping in a 55+ place. No hot young women to look at lol! I would much prefer camping were there are hippie chicks lol! Hey, maybe I should head for Slab City!🤔😁🤣
We qualify for those 55+ places but avoid them like the plague. I can’t think of a more boring place to stay.
Many 55+ folks “children” are dogs. Dogs that bark. All. Day. Long. These folks are as guilty of disruption as the <55 folks with disrespectful children. RV parks need a "good character" filter, haha, yeah, right.
It’s the people who make lots of noise (which is far more prevalent in a “younger” crowd), esp well into the evening, who are the problem…as well as some kids and their activities (well…the parents who allow it)…for example the screaming in pools, which can go go on and on and on sometimes.
Many campgrounds COULD be classified “mostly quiet only” or some such thing, and accomplish approximately the same goal as 55+, but “quiet/polite-only” is just way too problematic to implement.
Like so many things in life, it’s the few bad apples who ruin things for everyone. In this case it’s the parents who let their kids run wild, and/or folks who come to a campground to have parties, who ruin it for all the responsible 54-and-less campers.
We tend to avoid RV parks in general, and while I get the desire not to be around noisy children running through your campsite (we have seen a little of that, though not much). Even though we are “seasoned” enough to stay in 55-plus parks, neither my wife nor I have ever expressed a desire to visit one, let alone stay in one, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Same for me. Just like if/when I have to give up the RV life I sure don’t want to live in a 55+ only community. Awful!
I don’t think it is age for me, it is noise level. Some campers are loud and obnoxious and they want to party too late at night. Also kids these days are more disrespectful and parents don’t watch them as they should.
All true and only partially solved by 55+. I been too close to many people over 55 who make too much noise and party to much.
And what’s with this thing of needing to watch TV outside? Jeez!