Dear RV Shrink:
We are not your average RVing couple. We are in our late 20s and traveling full-time. We are not rich. We are working our way around the country. We live in a vintage 28-ft. Avion. We didn’t want to wait until retirement to do this. We have no children yet and decided to travel for a year. Five years later we are still at it. Our problem is age bias.
We find, especially in the popular winter destinations, many of the parks are 55 and older. They don’t come right out and say it, but we can never seem to find a spot in a park near where we find a job because we are too young. Once we talk a park into letting us stay, they love us. Last winter my husband, who is quite mechanically inclined, ended up fixing dozens of problems people had with their rigs. We go to all the potlucks and pitch in when we are not working. We are quiet and tidy. How can we convince park managers of this without flashing an AARP card? —The Young and the Restless in Apache Jct.
You are not the problem, but it sounds like you are the solution. You are unfortunately being categorized into a slot you obviously do not belong. In defense of the park management, they are trying to create a harmonious group of winter residents that all fit a specific slot. I am sure you understand that a majority of people your age might not be on the same schedule as those retired. Park management can have problems with anyone who drives through the gate, but you come with a big question mark that screams the possibility of loud music, parties, work schedules and various interests that might put you out of step with the rest of the group.
I think you are representing yourself as capable and flexible enough to fit in. I think you should challenge the situation head on. Answer all the questions the park management is not asking you when you first make your pitch. Put their mind at rest. Have an agreement up front as to behaviors expected. If possible, give references of parks you have already spent winters in. Then write and tell me where you are staying. I have a few cockpit problems with my rig I would like your husband to fix. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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