Why Are There Age Restrictions At RV Parks?
The RV community is large and diverse. In a single day at most RV parks, you can encounter groups of 20-something explorers, single midlife adventurers, families of five on vacation, and retired seniors living out their dreams.
This is the beauty of RVing; people of all ages and walks of life share a common love for travel and nature.
Not all RV parks are filled with the same people, though. Age restrictions at some RV parks make for a different experience for more senior RVers. So, why do some RV parks have age restrictions?
Are age restrictions really needed?
The vast majority of RV parks are open to all campers. However, there are adult-only, which are technically any park that is listed 21 and over. While these parks do exist, excluding kids and teens, the more common age restriction is 55+.
At first, it may be frustrating for a family with children to locate a beautiful park in a great area just to find out they can’t stay there. The same could be true for some friends in their 30s looking for reservations for a weekend.
RV park owners have the choice when it comes to the restrictions and requirements to use their parks. It is their choice to include or exclude children, and in some cases, adults under a certain age, to occupy their park.
Keeping everyone happy as a business owner is a constant challenge. RV park operators have lots to try and balance. This can be even more so when you have a park with infants to seniors all sharing the same space.
So, are age restrictions really needed in RV parks? By the amount of 55+ RV parks out there, with no vacancy and waitlist, I’d have to say yes.
Why can’t we all camp together?
Although the common love of camping is something everyone can share, our idea of the perfect camping experience can vary greatly.
Just as some people enjoy backcountry camping with no service or adjoining campsites, others love RV resorts that can compete with some of the theme parks out there. We all like different things.
Children, teens, adults, and seniors all require different things. That’s not to say there aren’t some 65-year-olds out there that wouldn’t hesitate to hit the bouncy cushion. In general, however, the 55+ group is looking for a more relaxed, quiet RV camping experience.
For an RV park owner, being able to focus on the needs of campers is key. To give families with kids the best experience, the focus needs to be on activities for them, designated areas, and staff to provide the activities.
A 55+ park, on the other hand, would likely be more focused on large pristine sites with amenities for full-time living and areas and activities suited for an older crowd.
The list of parks that the whole family can visit is long, and many people, including seniors, choose these parks. That being said, there is a large and growing number of RVers looking for parks with age restrictions.
What’s so different about age-restricted RV parks?
One major difference is the atmosphere. Kids are… how can we put this? Noisy. Camping is fun and exciting, and of course, kids having a good time will be noisy.
Multiply this by possibly hundreds of kids, and it’s not what some may consider relaxing. Kids running around, screaming, and maybe a soccer game or two on the go; this is a fun family atmosphere.
In general, this is not the atmosphere older adults are looking for. Age restrictions will generally result in a more relaxed, low-key atmosphere. Maybe it’s a quiet peaceful walk around the campground or a dip in the pool with no splashing or crying. Age-restricted RV parks have a different vibe.
Activities and amenities are two major requirements for most RVers with children. As mentioned, these things cost time and resources for RV park owners. In a 55+ park, everyone isn’t just sitting quietly in their RV; these parks need to provide activities and amenities for their campers as well.
Money spent on splash parks and laser tag for families is a big investment, as is a movie theater and storage shed on every site for full-time adults. Providing a dedicated park for any individual group of RVers is a big decision and investment; however, it provides a great space for that group.
Great minds think alike
As a family, it’s enjoyable and beneficial to spend time with other families. Groups of kids can relate to one another, as can parents.
Sometimes we just enjoy the company of a similar group. It can be advantageous to meet new people and expand your social group, even as an older adult.
Being around people who you can relate to and feel comfortable with is another reason age restrictions work in some RV parks. It’s not to say that kids can’t enjoy the humor of their seniors and vice versa, but sometimes kids need to be kids and adults need a break.
How do you find RV parks with age restrictions?
As mentioned, there are lots of adult and/or senior-only RV parks out there. A quick search on RV LIFE Campground Reviews for 55+ parks in your area will return many options.
A simple quick way to have all those parks in one spot is by using RV LIFE Trip Wizard. The trip planner allows you to narrow your search to age-restricted RV parks along with preferred amenities and services.
You will be able to gather all the parks you are interested in visiting and compare them with unbiased reviews from fellow RVers. Combine this with the ability to plan your route including fuel stops and points of interest along RV safe routes, and the trip planning process couldn’t be easier!
Check out RV LIFE Trip Wizard for a free trial and start planning your next adventure!
If age restrictions at RV parks seem unfair, consider the number of parks geared toward families and kids specifically. We all love RVing and we should all go as often as we can. Regardless of your idea of the perfect park, get out and enjoy your RV and the people you are surrounded by.
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campground Reviews and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!
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Kendall lives with his wife and their two cocker spaniels full-time in their RV currently in Mexico. He is one half of DashboardDrifters.com and the co-founder of RVSpotDrop, a web service for full-time RVers.
31 thoughts on “Why Do RV Parks Have Age Restrictions?”
I totally agree with you. If it is not presentable, that’s one thing. But just because it is over 10 years doesn’t mean it is not presentable
The private campground we like has no age restrictions, but DOES have BEHAVIOR restrictions, which we REALLY like: QUIET HOURS 10;30pm-6am (Still plenty of hours for noise if you ask me!), no one in the pools 9:30 pm-10am –Not only do they need to CLEAN them, the area around restrooms, and showers, but as my friend the owner told me there are too many bad things that happen in a pool during the those hours), Dogs on leashes or immediate control of owner (NO BRAINER!), no large group revelry or carousing, no illegal drug use or smoking in buildings, no littering, no bullying, brawling or bad treatment of neighbors, and any criminal activity of any kind results in call to police. If you have to be kicked out or escorted out by police, you don’t get a refund either. She will reserve w/o prior payment but won’t demand that you show up. (She’ll just sell your spot to someone else if you don’t show up before 11pm unless you call that you’re going to be late). They also loan out tents if you can’t get a motel that night and are forced to camp out there. I saw them do that once and even gave the gal a sleeping bag and pillow to use for the night when there was no option for a motel or hotel stay. At another campground though where there weren’t many rules and we were kept up until midnight by revelers, then a thunderstorm moved in and we got almost no sleep that night. One time when we showed up at Chris’ in Spearfish, a thunderstorm was predicted, she suggested we set our tent up under one of the smaller shelter areas so at least we wouldn’t be directly rained on, it was also right by some playground equipment, the laundry and just a short walk to the bathroom/shower areas and a pool. It was awfully nice of her and our tent hardly got wet at all and our sleeping bags and stuff in the tent not at all. The first time we camped there was by accident. Our car broke down on a return trip and she and her staff and one of the campers helped us out getting our stuff to a camping spot and getting the car to a place where it could get fixed, driving my husband there when it was done, and she kept asking us if we needed anything and kept offering us help and stuff. It was awfully nice of her and the staff. That’s the kind of proprietors I like to give business to. It’s Chris’ campground in Spearfish SD.
RV parks could have areas where children are allowed and other areas for seniors. That way if seniors want to go camp with only seniors, or maybe they enjoy being around children they can.
I am more worried about the age of my motorhome. I think it’s discriminatory to tell people that your motorhome has to be 10 years old they’re very expensive I’ve never had a motor home that was 10 years old they’re all over. I have a very nice vintage 1986 allegro and I’m not sure I can get in any private parts other than where I’m at right now. If you happen to have enough money you can buy a 40 ft trailer with slide out on all sides and you can camp anywhere you want even though the facilities usually are not made for that size motorhome and your wall to wall with the neighbor. I prefer older homes I think they’re much better made and much more homey. All of us cannot afford to buy a motorhome that’s 10 years old or less. How do I send it
I agree with u 100%
We take excellent care of our 38Ft 2 slides and love the home atmosphere with a sliding door… and real sized furniture that is not pressed vinyl junk
Some of us older people like to get away from the responsibility of having kids around. Lots of us are put into a position where our grand kids are being forced on us because of the growing problem in this country with the way parents have to work or have other issues which force the grand parents to step in. I stay at KOA’s and Good Sams parks mostly and have never had a problem with kids at the parks. One park in Utah had a large number of kids but the settled down as the evening came around.
I agree with most of the RV parks that have restrictions. In most cas we they are privately owned parks that have reasons for their rules. And amenities. We have been to all kinds of places. Some are for adults, some for families. Some have sites like condos that are owned, and some restrictions on renting them while the owner isn’t there could be an attempt to keep it in pristine shape. There are those who would take care of it like it was theirs and there are as many would leave it like a war zone. If I owned one , I probably wouldn’t want to see it destroyed either. But as luck would have it, there are campgrounds for every taste. Wild and wooly adult parks, fun and busy playgrounds for kids and a lot who cater to seniors. Read up on reviews and campground rules and have a great time at the ones who fit the bill for you. State and federal parks cater to families.
Some of us just don’t like putting up with screaming and yelling all day long, and part of the night. You may like hearing your kids doing that but some people don’t and shouldn’t have to. Not everyone thinks the same or likes the same. DUH!
I agree. At 73, I love my grandkids but when you go on vacation to relax, that’s why you are going. To get some quiet time. When we take them with us we usually go to places where it’s more kid friendly. Everyone has a choice and that’s why there are a variety of campgrounds and resorts.
I’m one of those that can’t stand rabble rousers and revelers or drunk and rude people. One reason when we are in the Black Hills we stay at Chris’ Campground because they have behavioral restrictions like quiet hours, pets kept under control, no one in the pools 10pm-10am, you do drugs or criminal activity or kleptomania or harass others you’re visited by police and might be removed from the campground without a refund, etc. She runs a really nice, family, elderly and pet friendly place where fellow campers mostly act like friendly neighbors. I can’t promote them enough because one time when we broke down, she helped out us out with a camping spot, getting the car to a shop, someone getting my husband there when it was fixed and asking us if we needed anything, how was our stay so far, hope the car gets fixed soon, etc.
I can’t swallow age restrictions on RVs. My camper looks like it did the day it rolled off the line. What is up with that?
Private campgrounds are just that way. They probably built them to cater to folks who have high end RVs and want that type of vehicles there as part of their ambiance?… Privately owned campgrounds all sorta started with some kind of plan. Just like all of us, we have ideas of what camping is about.
I have to agree with Zef. I mean how would you feel if you went to a hotel and they told you “I’m sorry, we can’t rent you a room. You’re too old.” It feels a bit like age discrimination. hat wouldn’t happen at a hotel and it shouldn’t happen at an RV park.
They are usually referring to age of a camper, rather than people’s age. I’ve seen that a lot in Florida. It’s a private campground or RV park. Some are actually owned by people who help them build them by buying a lot that in some cases gets rented out like condos do in some tourist cities. Nothing to do with age discrimination. It’s in a lot of cases privately owned and just like an HOA development, it has rules. What I usually do is look for another place to camp at. My wife and I are in our 70s and don’t like loud music and noisy kids but sometimes we have grandkids with us and we go there knowing what it’s going to be like. It’s all a part of the RV business. Been camping for 40 years, everyplace is run differently.
The biggest problem with RV Parks that are restricted to 55+ People is that they sooner or later become snobbish places full of folks who are very nosy and think they are better than other people. The people there tend to be either intrusive to the point of distraction or they expect everyone to socialize with them and take offense at those who refuse to do that.
The tales are too numerous to count of overly sensitive, pushy, meddlesome, or prying “No Life” seniors in over 55 parks making the lives of other people camping there miserable by flooding them with unwanted attempts at socialization or baseless complaints and other abuses.
I’m over 65, have a 2021 Oliver Elite II travel trailer, and I REFUSE to go to over 55 RV Parks. I don’t care what other people are doing, how they are living, what kind of RV they have. I have no interest is schmoozing with other people and I NEVER pry for information from others so I can gossip about them behind their back. All I want is a nice quiet evening where I can sit out at evening and enjoy my glass of wine. Oddly enough, many campgrounds that allow children and families have more mannerly folks than many over 55 RV Parks.
What are you all talking about? I’ve never ever encountered nosy, prying, snobby people. This article is an information piece. Not meant to stir up anger. I totally agree with having different types of rv camps
Lots of people are respectful but holy cow lots don’t give 2 cents about anyone at the camp but them. I’ve seen the amount of toys and bikes and games to entertain children amazes me. And I can’t stand listening to it when I camp for relaxation. I want to hear the birds! Not the kids
Anyhoo I like this article. I agree with different vibes and themes for different people.
I Might try a 55+ camp on day. Until then I always ask for a spot as far from children, playground, noise as possible.
Yes I had kids. Love them to pieces.
Yeah…. well the young people of the day are different, they and their children are “The Entitled”. Many of the children run wild in the campgrounds without supervision and sound like a flock of starlings in a field. I also prefer not to hear babies crying at dawn. And if you tell a kid climbing on a water polo net in what used to be the “Adult Pool” right next to the larger other pool, they whine and say ” I got rights”. Therefore they should remember…. I Have Rights Too to avoid those places! and choose somewhere that restricts children.
Good article. One thing you missed is the parents that let their 8 to 16 year old children run wild in the RV Parks well into the Wee Hours of the Morning with zero supervision. As a seasoned RVer of over 50 years, I can assure you I get very upset when a soccer ball slams into the side of my Half Million Dollar 45’ Coach. Especially the second time. Or my other favorite activity is when the, so called, adults in the group are power drinking, listening to music and urinating on the tree between your sites. That is exactly why I don’t stay in KOAs. Not long ago there were no age restricted RV Parks. It only takes a few bad apples to force significant change.
Not to mention the liability issues related to children not properly supervised.
A casino recently banned children. I can’t recall if it was 18 or 21 for an age requirement. They were forced to do this because they kept having to pay fines to the gaming commission due to unsupervised children.
Being a child free adult under 50, that just put it near the top of my travel list.
Well stated. So many parents do not supervise their children. It ruins many events.
I have a site in a 55+ Coop RV Park. We were required by the county as part of our CUP to be +55 in order to get permission to build. There are also some tax breaks, in Riverside County CA for maintaining at +55 park (CUP=Conditional use Permit). We have glorious amenities including mini golf, a pool, spas, pickleball and so much more. Grandchildren really love visiting the park.
If parents with children would teach their children manners and respect for other peoples site children would not be objectionable. I can’t count the times I’ve had unruly kids running through our campsite turning things over, breaking things and not one parent so much as knows where or what their kid is doing.
21+ RV parks are our heaven. They are super rare, though.
55+ is okay, but it’s not really our demographic. Plus, many of those are filled with full-time snow birds.
We don’t mind all-ages parks when people parent (a verb) their children. But kids screaming every word (not just excited utterances) and “mom mom mom mom mom mom” all day long is far from relaxing or fun.
The other point of this that makes us lean to the 21+ places when we can find them is that we are night owls. Kids might need to go to bed by 10pm, but that’s probably because they woke up at the crack of dawn. We like to stay up, especially by the fire, and sleep past 9am. Kids are never expected to follow quiet hours, so we are awakened at dawn, even if it’s still within quiet hours. In fact, one time, a Park Ranger literally begged us to call in on a group of mostly-unsupervised loud kids with very weak chaperones….but none of us were up at 6am to honor his request.
I like the idea of the age restrictions, We enjoy a nice quiet park when I can find one. Big family parks are nice when you have kids, they cater to families.
I do not go with the intent of staying even overnight in an RV park. To me that would be similar to going to my son’s place and parking in his driveway overnight. No enjoyment in either. I would rather just stay home than doing either.
15 years ago I wanted to start a chain of RV parks called Empty Nest RV Park that was spawned by a stay in a Yogi Bear park with kids keeping me awake with their noise and jumping on the tongue of the trailer I was pulling with a class B RV.
Over the past 20 years I’ve lived in RV parks on and off for extended periods due to work. I’ve lived in 55+ parks and family-oriented parks. My most recent RV park, 2016-2019, was a family park where I had an annual spot. This was a fairly large park with several amenities including a natural, spring-fed swimming area with a large water fountain. Of the 7 parks I’ve lived in over the past 25 years, this last one was the best experience of all. Even though I was gone 9 hours a day at work, when I got back to the park and my motorhome I was instantly transported to a different world. I would change into my shorts and t-shirt and ride my bike around the park for 20 minutes as was my daily custom. My bike ride provided relaxation as well as waving hi to my neighbors. The only amenities I used at the park were the restrooms, which were in good condition, and regular propane fill-ups during the winter, which the park had on site. Very occasionally I would use the store in the park for items for the RV. My 3 years at this park were a very enjoyable experience. BTW, all these parks were in different locations in Florida. The motorhome has been sitting here in my retirement home in Southwest Florida for the past 3 years. I fire it up every weekend and run both the engine and the generator. Every few weeks I put 10 gallons (2 five gal containers) of diesel fuel in the tank. I work from home down here, but I am hoping to take my 36ft DP down to Key West in the next couple of years as I approach FRA. Cheers.
I have no issues with RV Parks with age restrictions for people. I’ve never found them much of an inconvenience, even when I used to fall outside the age restrictions.
This article does a wonderful job of explaining all the ins and outs. Good article.
It is the age restrictions on RVs with which I have issue. I am severely annoyed when I drive around to finally find the driveway into an RV park, and there’s a sign at the entrance that states “NO RVs older than 1988”.
As the owner of a well-kept and nicely restored 1978 Class C, I find this blatant elitism not only insulting, but exceedingly inconvenient, and horribly disquieting, knowing it is an increasing trend.
Thanks for reading.
I agree with you. I have seen beautifully restored RVs on bus chassis from circa 1960s.
I’m kind of ‘riding the fence’ here. While I totally understand and sympathize with your dilemma, and also partially agree, I also understand this particular restriction.
Most times, even though it’s posted, it’s usually not a ‘set in stone’ policy. Really good and professional communication is your Biggest key here. At one point I was going to buy an older RV and was looking into this very issue.
What had been happening, and increasing in frequency, is what prompted these types of restrictions. While “most” RVers are respectful, it was the few that caused major problems for the park owners that prompted these changes. Some were coming in with their barely functioning RVs and literally dumping them at the site. Using the facilities for a few days or so, and then taking off, forever, in their tow vehicle, while leaving the park owner unfairly having to deal with the issue of an abandoned barely or non-functioning by then RV and the costs associated with that.
Several people I know, and have read the same on many other sites, simply communicate well with the reservations system/person when calling or online, being very upfront with their request. They mention the age and type of the RV they will be bringing, and ask if they make exceptions if assurances such as exterior/interior photos, proof of insurance etc are provided. So far, they (the ones I personally know) haven’t had any problems.
So basically, it would be up to You to assure the park owner/manager that you will not be dumping a mess on their property. You’re right, this shouldn’t have to happen. They’re also right in protecting their investment from the horrid few. Who’s right? It’s somewhere in the middle. You prove you have a good functioning RV and are responsible, they make the allowance and you get to camp there.
Our RV is only a couple of years old now but one day it will be older also. I plan to take care of her and treat her well. The idea that you are restricted by the age of your RV seems a bit ridiculous to me also.