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The Biased RV 10-Year Rule is Made to Discriminate

Have you heard of the “10-year rule” at RV parks? It’s a simple idea. If your RV is older than 10 years, you can be denied a reservation.

While many RVers have never experienced this rule first hand, it’s commonly used in RV hot spots like Florida and Arizona.

Today we’re talking to RVers & RV park owners about how the rule is implemented and why it’s used. We’ll even share some surprising data that shows more commonality between RVers & park owners than you might expect.

Let’s dive in!

Where’s The 10 Year Rule Used and How Can I Find Out?

While Florida & Arizona use the 10 year rule more than other states, you can find it in use at RV parks from Maine to California.

Usually the RV park will mention it on their website. Other times it will be asked over the phone when you make a reservation. In rare cases, you won’t find out until you arrive at an RV park and potentially get turned away even though you made a reservation.

Be proactive if you’re concerned about the 10-year rule.

  • Scan the RV park website for mention of it.
  • Call the park and ask directly.
  • Monitor Facebook groups for other RVers experiences

Do RV Parks Allow Exceptions To The Rule?

Yes! Almost every RV park that implements the 10 year rule also allows exceptions for it. In our experience (owning in vintage RVs for 5 years), we’ve never been turned away.

Most often RV parks will ask for a picture of your RV. They will either allow or deny based on the picture.

Thousand Trails Campgrounds

Keep in mind – you need to be honest with the picture you send. We’ve spoken with RV park managers who’ve turned away RVs on arrival because of a misleading approval-picture.

The 10-year rule is no joke!

Classic Travel Trailers Have The Upper Hand

There are many manufacturers who’ve kept their design similar for over 30 years. If you have a Scamp, Casita or Airstream – there’s a good chance the RV park manager won’t know a 1999 from a 2020 (if condition is good).

What Do RVers Think About the 10 Year Rule?

Without a doubt, RVers absolutely hate the 10 year rule! We polled our online community, with nearly 500 RVers surveyed, and found that 88% did not approve of the rule.


The survey comments were insightful and very telling. RVers, like humans throughout time, despise being generalized by an arbitrary number.

Here’s some of the RVer feedback:

“I think it is pretty silly for most situations. Most older rigs we see aren’t really eye sores or anything, they are just older so have a different design.” – Shane M.

” I don’t have an issue with it since it’s their right as private owners. I know some campgrounds that have a better option, they request a photo of your rig, this way the ones like the restored units and ones kept in good shape don’t get refused.” – Ken H.

“It’s usually high end expensive parks. We don’t have a 10 yr old trailer but don’t camp at those anyway.” -Laurie M.

“I don’t like camping beside cousin Eddie’s Rv, but I have no problem looking at a clean well kept RV no matter the age.” Kevin V.

Why Do RV Park Owners Use the 10 Year Rule?

RV park owners use the 10 year rule as a safe guard. We’ve spoken with many owners and have discovered there’s no good way of weeding out unkept RVs.

The 10 year rule is a baseline for RVs on the decline. It’s not feasible for RV park managers to inspect every rig that arrives. Yet, they must safe guard their park and guests.

Unkept RVs are apt to leak, become an eye sore and cause potential hazards to the RV park community.

Here’s what an RV park owner has to say about the 10 year rule:

As an RV park owner we had to implement the 10 year rule on monthlies. Simply because if we don’t then we get units that aren’t street ready, black tank leaks, holes in the side-walls. And of course others in our area don’t want to have a neighbor that looks like Fred Sanford.

What we do is require a picture of the unit and it must be registered to be on the road for monthlies.

If it’s an overnight stay we are much easier on the rule.

This seems to be the overall sentiment from most RV park owners that implement the rule.

Do RVers Think RV Park Owners Should Deny Based on Condition?

Yes, resoundingly! The large majority of RVers we surveyed think park owners have the right to deny based on RV condition. In fact, 82% of RVers agree on that.

So, why the discord between this thought and the 10 year rule? 

It seems most RVers think 10 years is a completely arbitrary number. With motorhomes costing upwards of $250,000, it is unrealistic to buy a new coach every ten years.

RVs don’t want to be punished for having an RV that is 10+ years old, especially if it’s been well maintained or restored (vintage trailer).


This is what RVers have to say:

“That’s kind of the point of the 10 year rule. It’s a *nice* way to say your RV is a piece of junk without having to be rude about it. Our rig was 20 years old and we were never turned away from parks that had the rule. The 10 year rule is essentially a condition rule.” – Melinda C.

“For us it’s a question of free enterprise. So long as there’s no sociological discrimination I’m on the side of the business owners rights. In some cases valuing community safety from poorly maintained equipment must be considered. But I do NOT think truly well maintained vintage or custom RV’S should be blocked.” – James A.

“I think they should be able to turn people away, but certainly going to lose a lot of business that way. Sort of like all the 55+ parks around the snowbird locations. Don’t want my money? Fair enough.” – Shane M.

Are There Other Demographics Banned at Certain RV Parks?

For sure! Here’s a list of additional RV park “no camping” types:

Skoolies: Buses are banned from many RV parks. This is usually because they aren’t officially coded to be lived in.

Dog Breeds: For insurance reasons, many RV parks limit the type of dog breeds that can stay on site.

Motorcoach Only Resorts: Some RV resorts only allow Class A & Super C units.

Airstream Only: Believe it or not, there’s a handful of campgrounds that only allow Airstreams!

55+ RV Parks: These parks can to allow a certain amount of “less that 55” guests in their park, but don’t have to. Technomadia wrote a great article explaining this.

Escapees RV Club BOFs

What Do You Think About The 10 Year Rule?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and insight about the 10 year rule. Let us know in the comment section if you’ve ever experienced it!

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  1. Mick says:

    Good job guys

  2. Carolyn Rogers says:

    Very good article. Question do most parks do credit checks for monthly stay?

  3. Kyle & Olivia Brady says:

    I don’t think most do, but we’ve experienced it a few times

  4. stuart silver says:

    My name is Stewart I own 2 RV parks Ocean’s 11 RV park and Cali Lake RV resort both in California we do except 10 year or older Rv’s but the 4 basic reasons why other park owners Don’t like arby’s over 10 years is number 1 The electrical after 10 years the electrical is a lot different then when it was sold new. The wires get brittle the Plugs get used so much that the wires touch inside or just get burned to out.The GFI’s are usually put inside the bathroom where there’s a lot of moisture. Number 2 The septic sewer tanks are made out of plastic or polyurethane and get hard over 10 years the manufacturer recommends in the fine print to replace them Which is crazy. The 3rd reason The heaters in Tvs don’t last pass 6000 hours at that point it’s cost prohibitive to put in a completely new heating system so people use space heaters That burn more power than air conditioning instead of being on propane that most factory heaters are on. I hope this helps people understand why RV park owners have issues with older R v’s

  5. Tony says:

    It’s pretty evident why this rule came about….because people who live like pigs in their ratty piece of junk RV’s. I for one don’t care to Camp next to those lazy people. My RV is a garage kept and very well kept 1999 Fleetwood Bounder and they could turn me away but I’m cool with that. I’d rather get turned away than stuck next to one of those RV’s.

  6. Nan says:

    Our motor home was 25 years old when we bought it 6 years ago. It looks its age; it’s clean but hardly pristine. We have never been turned away from a park, probably because we don’t do extended stay (did it one winter, realized we didn’t like sitting still for that long, never doing it again). I have seen a few extended stay parks in Arizona where the rules were a lot looser, lots of obviously permanently parked motorhomes and travel trailers, and we took one look and decided we didn’t to be there for even one night. Parking next to Cousin Eddie wouldn’t bother me — the dude is a slob but his mh still runs so he’s not going to be around long. Parking next to a mh or tt surrounded by several years worth of debris, on the other hand, is not a place I’d want to be.

  7. J Hash says:

    I agree on the issue IF one is ask and submitted real photos of one’s rv. We have a 20 yr.old 5th wheel and looks almost new. Overnight stay could be more forgiven if choose to. Park owners have to keep their standards as they see fit, good thing. No ” uncle eddie” please.

  8. J Hash says:

    Good points for people who buy and don’t maintain or even know much about an RV and how it really works.

  9. J Hash says:

    Tony, my 5th wheel is a 1999 and looks new. I agree that I don’t want to camp next to a junky clunker and family

  10. Vic says:

    Bottom line is to keep a park looking nice. It keeps away those people that don’t mind being in the slobby side of life. It’s just that simple.

  11. MrWallis says:

    My older brother lived in a RV park late 1990’s downtown Austin, Tx while talking with park manager here comes are Dad rolling up in his 1970 Dodge Explorer when suddenly manager jumps up and tell’s my brother hold up! I need to send this guy packing that’s when Jimmy recognized it was Dad and had to catch manager to let him know who it was and not to worry he has a home back in Missouri. The RV was in very good shape for its age however apparently this manager was following the 10 yr. rule to a tee. Are Dad loved his RV’s and owned many was not one to over stay any place for more than couple of day’s Missouri was base camp. God rest his soul now 3 of 9 siblings own base camp on old Route 66 we hope to establish a RV park with 12 acres think we could fit bth large and small, and in honor of Dad will not be judge mental both me and my younger brothers are mechanically inclined and I’m in HVAC people sometimes just need a little help and as Christian’s we would do what we could to help better to pay it forward as you never know when you least expect to break down and need a hand. Many Blessings as you travel across this beautiful country!

  12. Nancy says:

    A 5 year old RV can look worse than a well kept 15 year old RV. Many of us plan to keep our RV longer than 10 years – it’s an investment – and I don’t want to have to keep replacing it because of some arbitrary number.

  13. Berta Galvan -Dunlap says:

    My husband and I purchased a 2006 RV from a dealership last fall, we chose that model because of the cozy homey look. Only once we’ve been asked to submit pics at the time we didn’t understand why but this article and the comments were very helpful.
    Thank you.
    James and Berta

  14. I worked as maintenance manager at several parks and drive thru as many parks I can to check them out. Most parks have a mix of monthly and travelers, daily, weekly. A well run park is on top of any monthly “spread”, noise, and even drug/ prostitution. Yes I’ve seen both. That’s why parks have 5 day and 30 eviction notices. I have a 41 yr old Prowler 22ft travel trailer that leaked, shower, water heater, water leak under sink, a/c all not working. Fixed it all and repainted rig. It looks old but ugly 70’s paint gone with clean white paint. I’ve seen 30 yr old licence plates and mold growing on outside of rigs. Bottom line clean rigs no matter how old, road worthy generally indicate good people and enforce the eviction rules when needed. Other guests will appreciate staff on top of a problem.

  15. Chris Childress says:

    The “10 year rule” an HOA….for people with RV’s..”Plain and simple!!”

  16. J Hash says:

    A park in SC. requires prepay for say 6 month stay.

  17. Laura says:

    I had a horse trailer with factory living quarters. I stayed in it with my 3 dogs for about a year (No horses of course, and people were fascinated with it. It was a newer well kept sundowner and the stall area made a great kennel. Especially on rainy days.

  18. Leonard Rangel says:

    Just claim racism. Works like a charm. Lol

  19. Claude says:

    I for one do not stay in a RV Park that reminds me of a walmart parking lot full of rich snobs. I prefer trees and nature. If I wanted to be around rich upity assholes I’d stay in the city.

  20. Will says:

    I understand the purpose of the rule, but some RV owners are paying for their rigs longer than 10 years

  21. Sherry says:

    I don’t have a problem with people running their business the way they want to. If its discriminatory for any reason, i just move on down the road. There at plenty of places to go. The only thing that worries me are creeps and perverts and snobs and you find most of them with newer rigs. I’m an older woman alone. I’ve had way more problems with people with newer rigs than I’ve had with older rigs. Usually I’ll grab a local paper and look for private spots like driveways or ask at all night gas stations.

  22. Don B. says:

    My wife and I have a 40 year old Jayco TT. It has been garage kept and very well maintained. We love it because it has a metal roof and has never leaked unlike some newer rv’s with rubber roofs. Our TT has been inspected and verified safer than some newer rv’s. As long as the rv’s are well maintained the 10 year rule should not apply. I do agree a photo is worth a 1000 words. Unlike our rv’s which has stood the test of time the newer rv’s just fall apart after a few years. They just don’t build them like that use to years ago.

  23. Al says:

    As a full time RVer, I appreciate this rule. It is for safety, for smooth operation of the park (no breakdowns/non-operational RVs) and to keep the parks from looking run down and dirty.

  24. William J Smith says:

    Ok, great to know.
    Our local RV repair and sales business will not even work on anything over 10 years old!
    This situation creates a great business opportunity for someone but what to do in the meantime or if traveling?

  25. Donna Jones says:

    Shasta County used this rule to assist in cleaning up parks of long term tennants who’s messes and extended families had taken over and contributed to the parks unbecoming and unwelcoming appearance. In other words an easier was for the county to clean these eyesores up. But like many others, my 1985 excellent condition dolphin was turned away just because of its age. One manager told my if it were up to him he’d allow my in but its the owners rules and even photos, repair and maintenance records couldn’t change their minds. There has to be a balance between age and condition in all parks. It just isn’t fair !

  26. Jay Herman says:

    This could also be a thinly-veiled method for discriminating against poor people and minorities. If many exceptions are given to the rule, why else would it exist but to allow for arbitrary enforcement?

  27. Tim H. says:

    Sounds like one more group catering to wealth and privileged to me. Who buys a new RV every ten years? Rediculous.

  28. Griffi says:

    As fellow RVERS, we should be able to band together, to protest this 10 year rule, by boycotting the RV parks that enforce this arbitrary, discriminatory, rule. We all have RV’s that will be 10 years old sooner than later! Most of us take pride in, and take care of our Riggs. My Dad used to say” is isn’t the age, it’s the mileage”

  29. Bruce Deville says:

    I love the ten year rule. It tells me that I want to avoid them like the plague. The folks that trade in an RV every third year is not the type I want to associate with. Sort off like the guy back home that constantly brags about his membership in XYZ country club. Not because he (or family) enjoys golf, not because he (or his family) enjoys tennis, not because he (or his family) enjoys swimming, but rather how much he had to pay for the super duper double supreme gold membership. If I offended someone, change your image.

  30. rvgrandma says:

    The parks in the area all implemented the 10 year rule a couple years ago. They can do it because of supply and demand. Because probably half the long term are working at Hanford or related businesses, there is demand. They raise the prices because these workers make good money and can afford it. For the other half that are retirees, families, low pay workers, this makes it hard on us. When they changed the rule they grandfathered us in as long as our rigs are kept nice looking which I think is not asking too much. The only parks that don’t have it are the dumpy parks.

    In fact one park did not grandfather in old residents – if their rigs were older than 10 they had to buy a newer one. If you move in when your rig turns 11 you have to buy or move. I asked them what kind of kickback they were getting from the RV dealers which they denied even though they were all wearing hats from one of the big local dealers!

  31. Gail says:

    Yes. We just bought a ten year old class A with only 6,000 miles on it. We were amazed it still had that new car smell and looked brand new!!!

  32. Dickie Pruett says:

    You are right, I keep my motorhome running good and fix any thing broken, It is a 2002 Revolution MotorHome, I am not going to get a new one. At 77 years old this one i have will out last me. I do all my own work on the motorhome I have since new never been to a shop.

  33. Jan says:

    Never been turned down but that is one reason I did not go with a vintage trailer. Have a 2017 Thor Class C and can get into parks when necessary.

  34. Heather warner says:

    This is good information to know considering I want to buy an redo an older Class C. Hubby and I don’t plan on staying anywhere long term with mostly state parks and boondocks. Still in places where it’s hard to find a lot this rule is good to know so we can avoid.

  35. Sue says:

    As an RV Park owner I must agree with Stuart. RV’s over ten years old will have issues with electric, holding tanks and propane lines and regulators. Most do not have flow meter regulators and old propane tanks do not have the proper regulators. When customers are told that their propane tanks can’t be refilled because the regulators are not compliant, they get pissed off. The last thing I need is an RV exploding because people don’t want to spend the money to be in compliance.

    Many young people are buying these older rigs to live in and know nothing about them. They just think they can drive and live in them without maintaining them. As long as they pass an auto inspection they think the rig is worthy. On the contrary because when the vehicle is inspected they are not inspecting the electrical, holding tanks or propane.

  36. Greg says:

    The park owner with the “Fred Sanford” comment’s issue probably has nothing to do with the equipment.

  37. Biker Dave says:

    My current RV is a 1988 Prima Vista Vogue. It has a full fiberglass hull, has no leaks and doesn’t look like a rundown RV. I wash it and take pride in my home. I’ve spent about $20,000 in restoration and it’s a sweet rig now. My last updates are some repairs to the detroit diesel engine (new water pump, hoses and fans, etc), really minor stuff and 6 new tires. I live and work full time in my RV and boondock/dry camp on private land. Every 2 weeks I go to an RV park to empty my waste tanks, fill my fresh water and my propane.

    But none of that matters.

    Because when the automoton who answers the phone hears 1988, it doesn’t matter if Jesus personally sprinkled holy water on it. I’m not allowed. It doesn’t matter how much money I have, I can’t even pay extra. And nobody gives a *bleep* about my picture s. Even the park I visit every 2 weeks who knows me, sees my rig and how much I take care of it, still won’t let me in to stay. It’s tanks, supplies and leave.

    Look, I get it. Especially with Covid, everyone with a cardboard box with wheels wants to come sputtering in, leaking God knows what, then conveniently can’t leave when their reservation expires because “It won’t start”. And let’s be honest, there’s a certain social class that typically inhabits these ancient death traps. Too many kids, pit bulls, drugs and screaming “but muh rights”. They’ve ruined it for everyone else. So I definitely get it.

    But I think the language of the policy should be less specific to age. Last visit to the RV park there was a 5 yr old class C blocking the exit and the propane filling station because of a dead battery. Instead of saying “no older than 10 years” say something like “we reserve the right to refuse your entry to our park at the time of check-in if we determine your RV poses a risk to our park, our guests or staff.”

    I’ve really grown to hate parks. I don’t need pools, tennis courts, club houses or BBQ pits. All I need is a flat spot with internet, water and sewer. I don’t need to be around screaming kids riding their bikes, not looking where they’re going while drunk adults scream at the latest play on a football game or barking dogs that people don’t pick up after.

    I’ll keep my “older than 10 years” RV. You all can keep your parks.

  38. Dale says:

    Years ago we had a excellent condition 1997 32’ Triple E Commander. If you’d like I can show picture. At Salt Lake City in Utah paperwork was done but I never knew rule. At that time 19 yrs was 1998. So we missed it by one year. They declined. Said it was a bylaw. They weren’t even going to open gate so we could drive out. We had a car dolly behind with our Solara convertible which is in mint condition. I told them I’m not unhooking car dolly just to turn around so they better open gate. At this point we were angry. I told them to open gate so we can turn around or I’m driving through it. When we went around the campground to turn around and leave our motorhome was worth more and in better shape then most of the trailers and motorhomes there. We will never go back there. Now we have Revolution diesel pusher. We ended up driving just outside Sailt Lake city and found way nicer campground with water slides and cheaper camping. Only place we ever got denied. And only cause they saw yr in my paperwork I filled out

  39. Jerry says:

    I’ve found the 10 year rule is mainly to insure the park looks like a showroom. Nicely manicured common areas, everything very pretty… That environment needs a bunch of shiny new RV’s parked there. An older RV is just out of place!

    Well, I’m jaded, I suppose. My rig is 16 years old, looks new, and runs as if it just pulled off the assembly line.

    Recently, we spotted a neat looking place with a good monthly price in AZ and decided to stop over for a month. I was asked the age and told the lady.

    “Sorry, your RV is too old.. BUT, send us a photo and we’ll think about it.”

    My response… “How old is your park?”

    She replied, “What has that to do with anything?”

    I told her I also had requirements. If her park was too old I would need photos…

    “This is a crank call, isn’t it!”

    Nope… It isn’t. How do I know if their power, cable, or water – or security – meets my standard? I think more people should consider turning the tables.

  40. Chrisy Burch says:

    I was put off by that, too!! We’re they offended by a junkyard or the color of Fred’s skin.

  41. Ron Howes says:

    My 1992 Fleetwood Southwind is in wonderful shape and looks good. I only ran into this problem once, and solved it by lying my face off.


    We travel in our RV and are in the process of building a park so all these comments were helpful. I’m old, but I generally don’t stink or leak, look presentable and in pretty good running order so I wouldn’t want to be discriminated against. However, I agree with the guy who said it should be about age and physical condition as our RV blew up and took out our 7 horse trailer in the next bay so old trailers can be hazardous to your health. I think older trailers need to pass a “wellness” as well as a physical appearance check. Thanks for all the input

  43. Kathleen Manoff says:

    Yes we have been hit with the 10 year rule. Our coach is a Rexhall A class 1999.
    We send a picture of our coach and have always been excepted with no problem.
    Our coach is in “ New condition” so we haven’t had any problems.
    I agree with the different parks on this rule.
    We have seen some really “rattie” looking coaches and trailers.
    For example we saw a coach up in Sacramento, Ca. That I’m sure expo RV wouldn’t let in. It was parked out on the street.
    It was a class A the whole thing was covered with silver duck tape.
    I took a picture of it. My husband asked why did you take a picture??
    Because no one would believe it.

  44. Glenn Coleman says:

    The 10yr rule helps the Park Management discriminate poorly maintained or unattractive units which in many cases are accompanied by people that some managers have (based on previous experiences ) found to be troublesum.

  45. Janice Hubbell says:

    I don’t like a 10 year rule. Mine is a 1987 and runs great, no leaks. If i can’t stay there, they don’t need my money. It is called discrimination. If they can do that, they probably discriminate other things like rich or poor, color of skin, etc.

  46. IVOR says:

    We have been full timing for 6 years now in our 2003 motorhome, have travelled across this beautiful country from east to west and north to south.
    Have stayed at literally hundreds of campgrounds and have only been “refused” by the 10-year rule twice.
    Both times the campground name had the word “resort” in it, we have decided that we don’t need to stop at any “snooty” resorts and just keep moving.

  47. Kenny Lin says:

    I believe that the eyesore of the appearance is their’s major concern.
    Old RVs or TT can stay at Gov-run campgrounds and public lands where there are No discriminations.

  48. Billy Claggett says:

    Real nice selective discrimination is ok, got it
    So what your telling me is people with new RVs are better than me, got it
    So you are condoning age discrimination and segregation
    Such nice people!! NOT
    Fuk you Aholes

  49. KR says:

    Interesting article. I had heard of the Class A only restriction before, but not the 10 year one.

    PS: I suggest dropping the Fred Sanford comment in the article in that it could easily be misinterpreted.

  50. Kathleen Manoff says:

    We have had this problem twice so far.
    We have a 1999 Rexhall Aerbus. Which is in perfect condition.
    We are usually asked for a picture. Which I send and we are approved

  51. Mollydexter says:

    10 year rule is bunch of crap !!! If YOU MANTAIN YOUR RV in good condition & looks, then should be allowed !!!

  52. Jane says:

    Good article! You should note that Airstream only parks were established by the local Airstream club. Many will allow other brands if they are traveling with an Airstream.

  53. James Baldwin says:

    I have an older rig and I totally agree with the ten-year rule. My rig is a rolling piece of junk and I wouldn’t want to camp next to me either.
    It’s not about being snooty but about safety.
    Once a fire gets started, it isn’t going to stop with me (it doesn’t know no 10yr rule.)

  54. KatyW says:

    We are full-timers and my hubby is a mobile RV tech. We’ve been turned away from EVERY SINGLE park in Las Vegas – no one would let us even send a picture. This is flat-out discrimination and should be illegal.