A Question About Removing Truck Campers at RV Parks and Campgrounds

We recently received this question about a so-called “law” preventing truck camper owners from dismounting their campers while staying at RV parks/campgrounds:

Hi Mike,

I enjoy your magazine and posts on Instagram. I came across something odd this week and wanted to reach out to you for some more info. We stayed at a family campground in California this week that had a rule that truck campers can’t be removed from trucks. I had never heard of this before. At least the rule was published online, so I was prepared, but when I questioned the owner about it he said something about a federal “rule” about needing to evacuate quickly so truck campers must remain on trucks. This seems odd to me as I could evacuate in my truck, or put my camper back on just about as fast as someone could hitch up a travel trailer. Have you ever heard of this federal “rule?” I’m starting to wonder if I can never take the camper off when camping, which negates the purpose of getting one for me. Regards, Nick in California.

Thanks, Nick, for reaching out. Yes, we’ve heard of this rule imposed by some RV parks and campgrounds. However, this rule or law doesn’t appear to be federally mandated or even imposed by the state. Most likely, it’s a rule imposed for insurance purposes due to the prevalence of earthquakes and fires in the state. If you were to ask management for a citation to the law, I’m pretty confident they won’t have it. If it was an actual law it would be more widespread—everyone would be imposing it. Like you said, the rule doesn’t make sense because most of us can load a truck camper just as fast or faster than those who own a fifth wheel or travel trailer. Another possibility is that somebody abandoned a decrepit camper at their campground once and they had a difficult time having it removed. Towing away an old travel trailer is easy, loading an old truck camper with manual jacks, not so much.

Interestingly, we’ve never been told that we can’t remove our truck camper at an RV park or campground, but we have been turned away once because they don’t allow truck campers. We’ve also been told that some establishments won’t allow RVs older than 10 years old. Sometimes this is justified, but not always. Some owners take great pride in their rigs, especially those who have faithfully restored a classic. Like we always say, if you ever encounter a campground or RV park with such rules we recommend taking your business elsewhere if you can, or better yet, boondock.

Ask Mike is a regular feature published here at Truck Camper Adventure. Have a question of your own, send it to Mello Mike at tcadventuremag@gmail.com.

About Mello Mike 908 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.


  1. On a similar topic, here are some of the rules for the Lakeshore RV Park in Chelan, Washington. You can unload, but doing so changes how liclensed vehicles are determined. Not an issue unless you are towing a boat or other towable.

    BASE RATES include up to 2 licensed vehicles and 4 people. Vehicle count will include the RV. (truck campers will count as another vehicle if removed from the bed of the truck). A maximum of 8 people per site are allowed.

  2. I have family in CA so I did some Google research. I found an older forum that quoted the following California law:
    Article 2. General Park Requirements
    § 2118. Lot Occupancy.
    (c) In no case shall a truck-mounted camper be occupied if removed from the truck.

    I looked up the code here:
    I couldn’t find the quote above so maybe it used to be a law and it was repealed. It is also under a “special Occupancy parks” section and I don’t know if that applies to campgrounds.
    Regardless, it’s probably not worth debating privately owned campground policy, I was just curious.

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