The following letter was sent this week to Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom by Craig Kirby, president of the RV Industry Association; Phil Ingrassia, president of the National RV Dealers Association; and Joey Shields, president of the California RVDA.
“On behalf of the RV Industry Association (RVIA), the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) and the California RV Dealers Association (CalRVDA), we are writing to offer to team with the state of California and local jurisdictions to help mitigate the potential health risks of irresponsible recreating and minimize the impact on overpopulated public spaces.
To do so, we urge that private RV parks and campgrounds be allowed to be open to the public, in accordance with strict CDC guidelines, as well as with state and local public health recommendations, as part of phase II on California’s Pandemic Roadmap.
Our organizations also strongly support the objectives in the letter being submitted on behalf of CampCalNOW RV Park and Campground Alliance, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), Kampgrounds of America (KOA) and Hytropy Disaster Management.
Currently, privately owned RV parks and campgrounds have been caught in a patchwork of policies at the county level in California. Many counties have recognized that RV parks and campgrounds are essential businesses because they see their value to the rural communities where they’re located; they provide critical services like propane gas, electricity, and laundry; as well as providing shelter for long-term RVers with no place else to go.
The typical RV park or campground by design is arguably already well prepared to follow CDC guidelines like social distancing because the normal RVer is traveling in their own self-contained vehicle. RVers can be completely self-sufficient in a park that supplies water, electric and sewer for their vehicle. And private RV parks and campgrounds in California have risen to this challenge by enacting new policies and procedures to align with, and in many cases exceed, CDC guidelines. Many parks have already done the following: closed all common areas such as pools, game rooms and bath houses; re-designed their cleaning and hygiene processes; increased the space between RV sites; instituted mobile check-in; and established touchless delivery of grocery and mail from the office.
California’s private RV parks and campgrounds are prepared to open with modifications to occupancy-reducing capacity to prevent group camping and maintaining closure of common areas in order to offer a safe and positive experience for the camping consumer. In fact, Gov. Newsom recognized the safety of RVs and RV parks in a time of social distancing when the state purchased more than 1300 travel trailers to help provide shelter for the homeless.
Outdoor hospitality is slated to be on the front line of economic recovery for every county in the state. Allowing private RV parks and campgrounds to open under phase II will provide the opportunity for Californians to begin to reinstitute their spending habits while enjoying the vast open spaces and beautiful natural landscapes that are unique to our state. At the same time, this will allow small business owners who own RV parks and campgrounds in California to have time to amend reservations, rehire staff, and prepare the park for the remainder of the season.
We urge you to allow private RV parks and campgrounds across California to open under phase II of your roadmap, so our state, and its outdoor hospitality small businesses, can begin down the road to economic recovery in a healthy manner. We appreciate your attention to this important issue and your efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s citizens and our economy.”