Escapees RV Club Supports Keeping Public Parks Safely Open to RVers
Livingston, Texas- March 2020
We, Escapees RV Club, are working with RVIA and other industry leaders on their respective COVID-19-related initiatives. Specific to the closure of state and federal parks, we support efforts to enable them to remain open. Please know this is a controversial issue. There are some groups who fear that if state and federal parks remain open to travelers, those visitors will promote the spread of COVID-19 from cities (where it is largely impacting) to rural areas. Moreover, there are concerns that some public parks lack the staffing to accommodate an influx of visitors, especially if any of their staff become ill. In addition to the closure of public parks, we are witnessing the closure of privately-operated parks.
Our contention is that to close parks is to disenfranchise approximately one million full-time RVers. As the owner and operator of eight parks in seven states, we assert that a park can continue to receive guests and still comply with the CDC’s recommendations. As such, our parks will continue to remain open with precautions in place to protect our staff and guests, barring anything unforeseen.
We encourage you, as a member of the RVing community, to help keep parks open in two ways. First, we have joined with Truck Camper in support of their petition to keep RV campgrounds open and encourage you to do the same.
In addition to signing this petition, we encourage you to contact a state or federal park that you would like to have remain open and offer to volunteer or work camp for them. Volunteering and work camping may provide these public parks with support staff needed to enable them to continue to operate. In all ways, and at all times, we strongly urge you to comply with the CDC’s recommendations. Your health and safety should be your primary concern. If you do not have the capability to volunteer or work camp, or if you have concerns about your health and safety, please disregard this request.
The National Park Service, quoting Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, issued a statement regarding our national parks. In summary, the National Park Service is leaving the decision to remain open to the individual parks. Additionally, they issued a temporary suspension of entrances fees.
Taken together, some of the national parks may be a good, inexpensive parking option. And, to the levels you are able and comfortable, volunteering and work camping may help these individual parks decide to remain open. In either event, the National Park Services offers an alert page where you can learn which parks are open and which are closed.
Please know we will continue to support RVers ability to find parking solutions. To that end, we will provide you updates as we have them. Be safe and responsible.