Recreational Vehicle (RV) Parks & Campgrounds
Getting the benefits of recreational vehicle (RV) parks and campgrounds without harming nearby neighborhoods
Recreational Vehicle (RV) parks and campgrounds offer an important service for many Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 4,513 RV parks and campgrounds as of 2017, with the number rising steadily each year.
Over the years, CEDS has helped folks concerned about RV parks and campgrounds proposed near their homes. Our occasional internet searches revealed little information about what it’s like living near an RV park. So, last year we conducted our own limited survey.
We were helping a number of homeowners living near the site of a proposed RV park-campground in North Carolina. While our clients envisioned a number of possible impacts, they wanted to learn the reality of being near an RV park-campground.
To gain insight regarding this question, CEDS mailed the following letter to folks living near a dozen existing RV parks-campgrounds in North Carolina.
We received responses from folks living near 3 of the 12 RV parks. Those living near two of the three RV parks felt they provided an important service and reported no negative effects. In fact, one neighbor noted that they enjoyed the trails and other amenities the RV park-campground allowed area residents to use.
Those living near the other facility reported the following negative effects they attributed to the RV park-campground:
- Excessive noise,
- Glare from lighting,
- Odors (smoke)
- Traffic issues, and
Based on this limited survey, it would appear unlikely that a proposed RV park-campground will interfere with the quality of life enjoyed by nearby residents. With the right safeguards the likelihood that an RV park-campground will be a good neighbor can be greatly increased. Following is a sampling of possible safeguards:
- Reasonable separation distances between RV and tent sites and existing homes,
- Good visual buffering like that described in the CEDS webpage Scenic Views & Land Development: Preserving Views from Your home & Other Favorite Places: https://ceds.org/view/,
- Employing well-shielded lighting conforming to International Dark-Sky Association standards: https://www.darksky.org/our-work/lighting/lighting-for-citizens/led-guide/.
- Quiet times that are strictly enforced and prohibitions on vehicles entering-exiting during quiet times,
- Guiding new RV parks-campgrounds to sites where roads are adequate to handle anticipated peak traffic volume, and
- Allowing area residents to enjoy RV park-campground amenities.
For assistance in assessing the potential impact of a proposed RV park-campground, contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or Help@ceds.org. By the way, that North Carolina RV park-campground which prompted the survey was never built. Instead we assisted our clients in working with the property owner to instead seek approval to develop the site with a few homes.