Coronavirus closures squeeze full-time RV dwellers out of California parks

After selling a house they hated that was on the verge of
foreclosure last year, Southern California native Lana Pierce and
her fiance decided to live small and bought an RV.

On Friday, March 20, they and a number of others like them in
Orange County – working families whose RV is their permanent home
– were left struggling to find an affordable place to go, with
campgrounds at state and county parks and the OC fairgrounds
already or about to be closed down due to the coronavirus
outbreak.

“I’m probably one of many people with one of these weird
situations,” Pierce said. “We’re not exactly homeless, but we
don’t have a place to stay.”

Pierce, her fiance and their two young children most recently
parked their RV at the OC Fair and Event Center, but they were told
they’ll have to go once their reservation expires on Friday.

The remaining eight campers will be out within the next week,
fairgrounds spokeswoman Terry Moore wrote in an email. It’s part
of fair officials’ larger effort to close the grounds to the
public to help limit the spread of the virus.

It’s a similar story for RV dwellers at county-owned O’Neill
Regional Park – cheaper than the fairgrounds but lacking
electrical hookups – and Caspers Wilderness Park.  The county
announced campground closures at those parks earlier in the week
“in an effort to minimize the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19)
on park patrons, staff, and the Orange County community at
large,” and in keeping with federal, state and county health
department guidelines, a statement on the county parks website
said.

Pierce said she’s reached out to local and state officials for
help and has either gotten no answers or less than useful advice.
One official directed her to an RV park for people 55 and older;
she’s 35. And while the OC fairgrounds charges $45 a day, spots
in most privately owned parks run from $65 to $100 or more, she
said.

Pierce works, but she also has student loan payments and the
expenses that come with small children.

Many Orange County cities have restrictions on where or whether
RVs can park on their streets. Some require permits that are only
granted to city residents. Others have banned street parking for
RVs.

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That leaves Pierce and her fellow RVers, some of whom feel like
neighbors because they see each other at different campgrounds
around the county, in what she calls “this kind of gap in the
system” – not technically homeless, but with nowhere to park
their homes.

She’d love to go to a private RV park, she said, but
“obviously if we could afford it we’d be staying there, because
they have a lot more amenities.”

 

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Coronavirus closures squeeze full-time RV dwellers out of California parks