I have an idea. Or maybe it’s a wish. Or a dream. I would like to see small parcels of land across the country set aside for overnight RVers.
They would be really simple, have no amenities, and don’t even need to be level or paved. Pick the spots on the edge of town that have no commercial value which aren’t being used for anything. These could be our refuges.
There would be no staff to maintain these lots. There would also be no amenities. No electric, water, sewer, or even garbage cans. Nothing. The only improvement on the parcel would be a small post that listed the rules:
- Leave no trace you were here
- No generators or engine idling between 10pm and 6am
- Be courteous to your neighbor
The leave no trace is a simple idea backpackers use. Everything they bring in they take out with them. This helps keep the grounds clean and the system on good terms with the neighboring properties.
Generators and idling engines rule is pretty self-evident, but it needs to be spelled out, otherwise there are idiots that will run noisy generators all night.
Be courteous to your neighbor is a good all-purpose rule to encourage others to remember that these places will be shared, and to think about ones fellow human. A reminder here is likely helpful as well.
I think the demand for overnight-style parking is only going to rise. Between RVers and truckers, it seems that every walmart, rest stop, and unenforced parking lot is getting used these days. I expect the number of RVers to continue to expand due to the multiple number of reasons that people choose an RV’ing lifestyle, and the number of truckers will likely continue to increase until automated truck driving comes along.
The practical implementation of this idea runs into a real problem though: regulations. Most cities and counties are not going to want to have anything to do with this idea, and if the lot was setup without their approval I’m certain law enforcement would shut it down.
One possible way around this issue would be to have the parcels gated off and access restricted. This increases startup and maintenance costs significantly, but if they have electronic gates (just like most self-storage facilities), then a membership fee could be charged to offset those fees. By making the system private, it would discourage abuse and some of the less desirable persons from using it.
Of course the entrepreneur in me is already thinking about how to handle user signups, payment systems, access-code generation, and location-systems. Just what I need, another project.
Well, it’s an idea that I’m musing on.