This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

The RV 10-Year Rule: Why You May Not Be Welcome

Published on June 23rd, 2020 by Levi Henley
This post was updated on May 26th, 2023

People who have older RVs and have stayed at high-end RV parks may have run into the 10-year rule.

What is the 10-year rule? If RV park owners implement the 10-year rule, they don’t allow any RVs over 10 years old. There are quite a few RVers that feel this rule is discriminatory. Though it may be, it is legal.

10-year rule
RV’s older than 10 years might be turned away at some parks
mystery rv 1 by Bruce Fingerhood is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Why does the 10-year rule exist?

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Camper Report newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

The three main purposes of the rule are safety, aesthetics, and convenience. Every state has different regulations for RV parks to follow, and most of those laws are put in place for safety reasons. This is especially true for RV parks that allow long term stays of months at a time.


Older rigs may be prone to leaks from storage tanks. In the case of motorhomes, oil and other fluids can leak. Older rigs may also have a higher chance of having electrical issues that could create potential hazards to the park.

Instead of performing a safety inspection on all RVs entering the park, campground owners have chosen a cutoff RV age to limit the number of RVs that pose potential problems.


Many parks that have a 10 year rule are large resort parks or exclusive/expensive parks. The large resort parks may simply have more than enough patrons and can be choosey as to which rigs they let in. The exclusive/expensive parks generally have a “look” they are trying to achieve.

As uppity as it sounds, the patrons staying at a $120+ a night resort don’t want to park their $200,000+ rig next to something off the set of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


Just like older rigs are more likely to give RVers problems, they can also become a problem for RV park owners. Parks that have an inexpensive monthly option can attract rigs that are barely streetworthy.

If those RVs are let into the park, they can become less streetworthy as they sit on the site for months. The park owner may have to deal with the headache of getting the broken down RV off of their property, which can be time-consuming and costly.

The more likely scenario in the case of dilapidated RVs is dealing with rent delinquency. One might think a customer who doesn’t pay for their site can be easily asked to leave.

That is not the case everywhere. In some states, a tenant has to be delinquent for at least thirty days before the campground can begin the process of removing the RV owner. Put simply, the park owner assumes that if you can afford a newer rig, you are less likely to be delinquent on your rent.

A vintage 1979 RV. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons
dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What if your RV is over 10 years old?

If your RV is over 10 years old, is it time to panic? Not really. To be perfectly honest, the percentage of parks that have a 10 year rule is small.

Full-time RVers, Cherie Ve Ard & Chris Dunphy of, traveled in a 1961 vintage bus conversion for many years.

“There are well over 20,000 RV parking options out there, and only a tiny portion of them have rules like this. Public parks (such as state, county, and federal) don’t tend to have any rules about the age or type of RV,” they explained in a blog post.

Keep your RV well-maintained

The 10-year rule boils down to how old your RV looks externally. If the awning isn’t shredded, an A/C unit isn’t hanging out of a window, or the door isn’t a bare piece of plywood, you can get past the rule.

Some parks will allow you to send them a photo of your rig or take a look at it when you arrive. RV parks are businesses, after all. You can’t have a successful business if you turn all of your customers away.

Just show up

It’s a risk, but if you want or need to stay at a park with a 10-year rule, you can always just show up. This may not be a good idea if you want to stay long-term since the park may not have any monthly sites available.

If you are just staying a few nights, it isn’t uncommon. Many parks are very lenient on the rule for overnighters. After all, it’s a little more difficult to turn you away when you are already there, provided your RV isn’t held together by duct tape.

Don’t worry too much

There is no reason to worry that you have to buy a new RV every 10 years. Many parks often use this rule as more of a screening device. If your older RV is in good condition, most of the time, the park will make an exception for you.

Is your RV is really old and has been restored? The park might consider it “vintage.” They will not only let you stay, but you may be asked a lot of questions about the restoration process.

Some believe the 10-year rule is not a good screening device and should therefore not be used. If you are among those that feel that way, there is a Facebook group called “My RV is too old for your park.” Members share photos of their older RVs and their thoughts on the 10-year rule.

This Spartan trailer from the 50’s looks brand new. but may not be welcome

Go public

Remember too that public campgrounds such as county, state, and national parks do not have or adhere to this rule at all. If it rolls and you can get it there, you can enjoy those campgrounds with no fear of chastisement.

Finding private and public campgrounds is easy using RV LIFE Campgrounds, the most complete and trusted campground review site. The data from RV LIFE Campgrounds is also available in RV LIFE Trip Wizard, the best RV trip planning tool around.

About the Author:

2 thoughts on “The RV 10-Year Rule: Why You May Not Be Welcome”

  1. In the state of California where it’s high expensive with regular renting. We decided to purchase a RV AND bought land in Kern County. The county planning told us. We couldn’t use our land to live in our RV while planning to build a tiny or single house. With the poor problem of homelessness California has. You would think California official will be glad. You trying to be self sufficient. All their rules work against the homeless or the preventing of homeless. They frown you attempting to prevent homelessness on your own. It’s like over 200,000.00 homeless people in the the state of California after receiving millions of dollars to solve their forever homeless problems. This is the most hateful cruel state against their homeless population of people. They tell you go to a shelter with people who are incapable mentally keeping themselves clean. You get virus and other problems with shelter living. You cannily live in a shelter for so long. Eventually, a regular grown person. Want their own space and privacy. No one can live in a shelter forever. Once they get you in their homeless Management System Database. You mainly used for their homeless research just to get help from them. They make you sign documents. On the back of those documents. States, you may be subject for research but you can request the results. People don’t want to be lab rats for a homeless experience. People looking for housing help. People aren’t animals. They are human beings with CIVIL RIGHTS. Their rights don’t stop because of California homelessness problems. USA citizens rights don’t go out of the window. Just because they are homeless. California homeless agency also attempt to referral you to shelters. They know are full. So. you and your family end up going in circles. Living on the streets. Look how sad in America. California grant people to live in tents downtown shopping areas. Instead of helping us get land where we can easily park RV’s, Tiny houses or whatever capable of living inside for housing with running water and electricity source. On any land we buy. Our money paid for the land. You just want a safe land to park your family in a safe place instead of sleeping outside in tents. Do you know how many innocent homeless people get aimed at killed and beat on the streets of California? Too many. Putting homeless people lives in danger unhealthy conditions and situations. A woman living in her tent was stab near UC Davis University. Homeless in America. Our government reach out and can solve other countries problems except the homeless population not only in the state of California but abroad. Myself and family trying to help ourselves instead of waiting for the government to solve our homeless issue. Yet, I’m being told in Kern County and couple of other counties we can’t live on our private property can’t even park my property on my own dang land. What? Is this a 14th Amendment rights violation. Right to life, liberty and property. What if my faith believe Sovereign God gave all human rights to live off and on the land? Is this government interfering with religion belief. Religion Vs. State government. God universe gave us land. God said in the beginning “let there be land” divided from the water.” Not tax charge people to live on the land. I mean. Why can’t these conservative wealthy people see our point. They are pushing poor people out of certain areas in the state of California. Jacking up the rent higher and higher. No rent cap control. Where? I damage my body working 2-3 jobs trying keep up with bills. Now I’m still recovering from a stroke, heart problems and using a walker now. Somedays I can barely walk. I’m 56 years old. Can you truly see a woman like me trying to survive from day to day on the streets? Well hateful wealthy people in California can see me like this. Would they want their aging mom or dad in a homeless situation being in the hot sun, rain or cold. With a walker big suitcase. How far would they walk. Sitting outside at the bus stop. Their legs are aching them. People with health people died on the streets of California. Events in wheelchairs. Fight to save people in your country. Just to be put out on the streets. Shame on you America!!!!! These vets lost limbs and have PTSD. Homeless no honor. Please if anyone read this comment. Contact Crystal Lashelle Lax at email [email protected]
    These hateful in california trying manipulate things to keep this smart black family homeless

  2. Our motorhome is over 10 years old but looks like it new. We have a handicap daughter that requires a wheelchair inside our motorhome. We looked at updating to a newer motorhome but they all have slides which cuts down on the inside floor space when they are closed in. We have had parks deny us to camp at their locations just because of the year of our motorhome. Is there a law to protect handicap motorhome users.


Leave a Comment

Welcome! Please follow these guidelines:

  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Keep comments relevant to the article.
  • Avoid insults, threats, profanity, and offensive remarks.
  • Refrain from discussing gun rights, politics, or religion.
  • Do not post misleading information, personal details, or spam.

We may hide or remove comments at our discretion.