Why do RV parks have a 10-year rule?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “Why do RV parks have a 10-year rule?” We will discuss the details of the 10-year safety rule and list out some exceptions. We will also talk about maintaining the appearance of your RV and keeping your motorhome in great shape. Additionally, we will discuss the exceptions to the 10-year rule for teardrop trailers.

Why do RV parks have a 10-year rule?

Most RV parks have a 10-year rule and this is simply because they are not willing to accept a motorhome that is over 10 years old. These parks do not want to deal with a damaged RV. A ten-year rule allows RV owners to make sure their motorhomes are in good condition and have attractive appearances.

While RV parks are not obligated to enforce the 10-year rule, many may have stricter policies. If you own a motorhome, the 10-year rule might apply to you. There are many exceptions to this rule, so if it is still within your ten-years, there is a way around it. Here are some exceptions listed below.

Safety reasons

RV parks may enforce age limits to keep their parks attractive. This is usually based on safety reasons, and the owner of the park does not want to deal with dirty, run-down campers. RVs that are too old may cause issues throughout the park. Therefore, the rule may have a different definition for each park. Depending on the specific rules, RV parks may not make exceptions to the rule.

Exceptions to the 10-year rule

  • While RV park owners often state the “10-year rule” on their websites, it is important to check to see if the age limit is actually in place. 
  • Some RV parks may make exceptions to the 10-year rule occasionally, and you should always call before heading there. 
  • Be sure to bring current photos of your rig, as owners may decide to deny your request based on your current photo.
  • While it may seem unfair, it is important to remember that the 10-year rule is based on the system and appearance, not age. It’s a legal way to keep people with older RVs out. 
  • Ultimately, RV parks want to make their facilities attractive to a specific clientele, and shabby RVs don’t add up. That is the whole reason why many RV parks enforce this age limit.
  • Despite the negative stereotypes, the 10-year-old rule is still widely practiced in private RV parks. If you are traveling in an older RV, you may be able to avoid the rule by ensuring it is upgraded. 
  • A newer Airstream is more likely to be allowed to stay at an RV park than an old Winnebago. However, many parks may ask for a picture of your RV.
  • Providing an outdated photo could cause you to be turned away. However, there are ways to get around this rule.
  • Another exception to the 10-year rule at RV parks is when your RV has undergone a restoration. Teardrop trailers have been popular for several decades, and campground management may wonder if you are a newbie or have been in the business for decades.

Maintaining the appearance of your RV

  • If you are interested in circumventing the ten-year RV rule, make sure to maintain the appearance of your RV. Campground owners who enforce the ten-year rule may require you to provide recent pictures of your RV to prove its condition. 
  • Campground owners will also inspect the condition of your motorhome, so be sure to keep it clean. If it looks well-maintained, campgrounds may be more likely to allow you to stay.
  • The ten-year rule is a legal way to ensure that RV parks do not discriminate against any group. These parks want to maintain a nice and safe atmosphere for RV enthusiasts. 
  • If your teardrop trailer or RV is in good condition, you can skip the ten-year rule. Just be sure to ask them in advance to save time.
  • Remember that the age of your RV is not a barometer for its appearance. Some may fudge the age, but the truth is that older RVs often come with more maintenance than their new counterparts. They can be made to look like new with extra effort.

Keep your motorhome in great shape

If you can maintain the appearance of your RV, it can last a decade or more in a campground. Older RVs have aging systems, utilities, and parts. Campground owners do not want these items to break fire codes. On the other hand, aging RVs are a liability to campground owners, so maintaining the appearance of your RV is essential.

Exceptions to the 10-year rule for teardrop trailers

Exceptions to the 10-year rule for teardrop trailers in RV parks apply to specific types of teardrop trailers, such as those made between 1995 and 2009. Most RV parks do not allow Skoolies, and bus conversions. 

  • Other exceptions to the rule may apply for well-maintained units. This means you should make sure to check your automotive fluids and electrical hookups, as well as the decals on your RV.
  • While a teardrop trailer’s age may seem like an excuse, a recent survey of RVers found that most of them felt that the rules were not fair to older teardrops. 82% of RVers said they agreed with the park’s decision to disallow older RVs. 
  • Even though motorhomes are very expensive, people do not want to be penalized for having older RVs.

Restoring your vehicle 

  • When it comes to RV age, campgrounds look at teardrop trailers closely. Restoring your teardrop trailer can exempt you from the ten-year rule. 
  • If you want to avoid this situation, washing your teardrop trailer regularly will help to prolong its paint finish and restore decals.

Another option for those who want to travel in an older teardrop trailer is to look for a park with a similar age restriction to yours. You might be able to get an exemption if your teardrop trailer is well-maintained and in great condition. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that RV parks are not responsible for examining every RV before they allow you to stay.

Getting around the 10-year rule

You can easily get around the 10-year RV park rule by being aware of the rule before arriving. RV parks enforce this rule because they want to attract tourists. Nonetheless, it is not necessarily discriminatory. The parks themselves are private businesses and have the right to turn away anyone they want.

  • The 10-year RV park rule is an annoyance for many RV owners, but it can be avoided with a few tricks. One of the best tricks is to keep your RV well maintained. 
  • Most campgrounds will want to see a current photo of your RV. You will also need to explain how you maintain your RV, since some models do not have a major design change for over a decade.
  • If you are not happy with the park’s rules, try another location since there are many options available. In the meantime, make sure you have a Plan B in place. 
  • The RVing landscape is constantly changing, and new RV parks are coming online in popular areas. So, keep your options open and never give up.
  • You can also consider purchasing an older RV. These vehicles can be affordable for the RV lifestyle and have many miles left. 
  • The age limit for RV parks is usually only ten years. Many public parks do not have age restrictions. Getting around the 10-year RV park rule is possible, even if it does require some work on your part.

Several campgrounds are generally not as strict as national parks, but they do allow RVs. However, some parks have noise ordinance rules or other restrictions, so be sure to check out the rules before visiting a national park. With many opportunities available, be sure to choose a campground or RV park that suits you.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “Why do RV parks have a 10-year rule?” We have discussed the details of the 10-year safety rule and listed some exceptions. We have also talked about maintaining the appearance of your RV and keeping your motorhome in great shape. Furthermore, we have touched upon the exceptions to the 10-year rule for teardrop trailers.



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