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.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: