How These Millennials Scored Reservations at a 55+ RV Resort

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Millennials laying on their bed at a 55+ RV resort

You can find age-restricted RV parks and resorts all across the country. However, they’re more common in snow-bird-friendly locations like Arizona and Florida.

Since we prefer taking advantage of the wide open spaces and budget-friendly prices of boondocking, it typically wasn’t an issue for us.

However, many 55+ RV resorts are somewhat flexible with the policy. Despite being millennials, there were multiple times when we were able to score reservations at age-restricted RV resorts.

Today, we’ll share some tips you can try if you want to stay in one of these restricted parks.

Let’s get started!

What Are 55+ RV Resorts?

As their name indicates, 55+ RV resorts require guests to be 55 years or older. These communities typically have amenities and activities geared toward an older crowd. 

The sites at these resorts are often roomier and well-maintained, including full hookups for water, electricity, and sewage disposal. 

Aside from the 55+ age restriction, many locations function like typical RV parks or resorts. 

Why Do RV Resorts Have Age Restrictions?

RV resorts with age restrictions do so to attract a certain clientele. Not everyone wants to hear children screaming or splashing in the pool. 

Additionally, they want to surround themselves with a community of people in similar stages of life. This can help them to socialize and enjoy activities catered to their specific demographic.

Additionally, some of these resorts enforce age restrictions to eliminate liability concerns. Most businesses will do all they can to limit their liability for accidents or injuries on their property. 

Having age restrictions helps eliminate the potential of younger individuals, who tend to be risk-takers, from getting injured on their property.

A 55+ couple at an age restricted RV resort

While it may seem like age discrimination to limit access based on age, it’s perfectly legal.

However, they must still comply with Fair Housing Act (FHA) regulations, specifically the Housing for Older Persons (HOPA) exemption. These resorts must follow certain requirements to avoid finding themselves with a lawsuit.

These communities must maintain at least 80% of their availability for those 55 or older. Additionally, the resort must publish and follow its policies to serve this community. They must offer services and facilities that cater to older individuals.

A common myth in the RV community has spread that these resorts must save the remaining 20% for those under 55. Unfortunately, this is not exactly true. 

It means they can, if they choose, rent out these spaces to those not meeting the age requirement. Some parks are more hospitable than others when filling their sites.

What States Have the Most 55+ RV Resorts?

The two states with the most 55+ RV resorts are Florida and Arizona.

These are two of the most popular destinations for individuals looking for a cozy place to spend the winter. These states have developed massive infrastructures to help serve this specific community.

However, these RV resorts are also common in California, Texas, and Oregon. But you can find them sprinkled across the country in almost every state. The longer you RV, the more you learn the importance of checking for this restriction before making a reservation.

Tips for Millennials to Score Spots at 55+ RV Resorts

Finding a spot to stay can pose a challenge in an area with a massive amount of 55+ RV resorts.

Fortunately, you can do some things to increase your chances of scoring a campsite at one of these resorts. Let’s look at a few things we did to help us find spots at a few 55+ RV resorts. 

1. Let Them Know You Don’t Have Kids

While it’s not always the case, many people in these communities would rather not camp with many kids around. Not having children made it easy for the management to be flexible with us. 

They knew they wouldn’t have to worry about kids flying up and down the roads on their scooters or making excessive noise while playing in the pool.

Unfortunately, if you do have kids, this isn’t much help. You may get tempted to lie or not disclose that you have kids, but don’t try it.

Making a reservation under false pretenses can get you ejected from the park. They may not even have to offer you a refund for any fees you paid if you provide false information.

Keep in Mind: Just because you have a baby, doesn’t mean you have to give up camping! With the right camping gear, you can easily camp with a baby.

2. Let Them Know You Don’t Have Pets

In our experience, kids are a bigger issue for resort managers than pets.

None of the parks had any issues with our adorable pooch, Carmen. However, if you’re not traveling with pets, let them know. It can’t hurt your chances of them granting you access to the park.

If you’re just a couple of adults traveling and looking for a place to stay, management may see you as a low risk for disrupting the vibe in their resort. 

Their biggest concern is typically not disrupting other guests who meet the age requirement. Anything you can do to ease their worries, including not having pets, can help. 

3. Let Them Know You’re Having a Hard Time Finding Somewhere to Stay

Some areas have more of these parks than others, making it hard for those who don’t meet the criteria to find a place to stay. Don’t be afraid to share your experience with the management when you call to ask about their policies.

Many of these campground managers are level-headed people with compassionate hearts. They may sympathize with you and offer to make an exception to let you stay. If not, they may have connections at other area resorts where they can pull some strings to help you find a spot.

Don’t underestimate how far treating someone with respect and kindness can go. People will more likely help you if you remain calm and friendly. On the other hand, don’t expect much help or sympathy if you act like a jerk toward them.

Millennials on their way to a 55+ RV resort

4. Minimize Your Stay

A park will be more likely to make an exception and accommodate you if you only stay for a short time. We purposefully minimized our stay and didn’t stay at any of these resorts for more than a week. 

Additionally, we spent most of our time outside the resort, adventuring and exploring the area. We saw and did what we wanted to see and do before packing up and heading out for our next adventure.

Unfortunately, those looking for seasonal or long-term sites aren’t likely going to have much success. Resorts with age restrictions likely won’t want to bend the rules for these types of situations.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to find them. It just may take more effort and time.

Keep in Mind: If you don’t have a senior national park pass, you might be wasting money! Let’s see if a National Park Pass for Seniors Is Worth It!

5. Be a Rule Follower

One of the best ways to increase your chances of scoring a reservation is to be a rule follower.

Whether you agree with the rules or not, you must follow them to stay in these resorts. If not, management may change their mind about making a policy exception for you.

Those managing these resorts have enough to worry about already. The last thing they need is to feel like they have to babysit someone staying in their park because they don’t know how to follow the rules.

If they get the vibe that you’re not a rule follower, don’t let it surprise you when they don’t let you stay.

Make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with any unique rules and let them know you won’t have any problems with them. Doing so can assure them that they can trust you and that you won’t cause any trouble. 

Are 55+ RV Resorts Worth It for Millenials?

In general, 55+ RV resorts aren’t the vibe most millennials look for when making campground reservations. However, the resorts provide a tremendous camping experience for those in specific demographics. 

But they can be a great option for anyone in a pinch and looking for a place to stay. Try your hand at one of these resorts by being kind, respectful, and considerate of the resort’s clientele.

Have you stayed in a 55+ RV resort during your adventures?

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