By R. Mann
Independence is of the utmost importance. The RV lifestyle has always afforded just that. When I first began living in a van, in the 60s, it was a matter of necessity. Today, it is an amusing convenience. When I’m not house sitting for friends or staying as a guest in Venice and the Oxford Triangle, I prefer to park my 17-foot camper van in quiet non-residential spaces on the streets, rotating at six various locations, mostly near neighboring citizens that either I’ve known for lengthy times, or who care little about my comings and goings. I agree with the 72-hour parking law, even though I pay for state vehicle registration fees, insurance, periodic repairs, maintenance, and high fuel prices, I can’t understand why any other RVer would want to stay anywhere longer than necessary and becoming too sedentary and lazy. The misunderstood privilege of residing in, and the mobility of an RV lifestyle is often criticized by the general public. Just because we are exempt and excluded from high rents, mortgages, land taxes, and the ball and chain of upkeep and maintainence of property, doesn’t especially mean that we are immune from social and moral responsibilities.
I don’t see why anyone should lose privacy and parking privileges because of the pressure applied to government by a few home owners and local council members, nor do the local land and residence owners deserve to lose privacy due to over abusing RV’s lengthy parking congestion. People on all sides of this issue are humans and deserve respect. This new parking restriction might appear to solve some problems. I believe it will only help a few and not all who are involved, but personally it would diminish my ability to lead a nomadic life style.
The job of the police is to capture criminals, enforce the law, and protect and serve the public. In the past 25 years, while living in Venice and other surrounding cities, I have voluntarily assisted the police in preventing or solving an assortment of crimes, including capturing the “Ubiquitous Mar Vista Rapist,” a bank robbery, three burglaries (all recorded on tape) and other coincidental occurrences. Crimes harm all members of our community—RV dwellers and home owners as well.
Some RVers may create eyesores and commit misdemeanor vandalism and littering, etc. They should be cited and prosecuted. If an RV overstays their welcome, post a note. When dealing with an RVer, be as empathetic as possible, a kind word might be sufficient enough to solve the problem.
RV’s grouping together is a nuisance to all. I don’t park near other RV’s and hope that I’m granted the same respect and space in return. Thinning out makes the heart grow fonder. It’s less burdensome. When it comes to structure dwellers requests, I have always honored their wishes or moved on. Why wear out a welcome? Most RVers look for areas that are quiet, peaceful, and shady. I enjoy staying in campsites in the wilderness or visiting other interesting cities, but when I’m in this city, I cherish my privacy and freedom from any unwarranted suspicions or arrests. I do wish to remain a “Happy Camper.”
It’s inconceivable to think that the police are going to cruise around between 2–6 am and discover RV’s parked, write tickets, tow or disturb them. This will create an additional sense of disparity and helplessness. It will add to traffic congestion, noise and air pollution. RVers will have to start their engines at 2 am create issues then and as they re-enter the OPD zones during the day. The home owners that I know of and assist, are concerned about my future autonomy on the streets here. Visiting RVers will have to leave their vehicles while staying in hotels or with their family or friends homes and either store or park their vehicles at major distances further away. It will be impractical!
We have heard of the misconduct of a few RVers, but the following are some of the positive assets:
• An extra set of eyes and ears to prevent crime. We can report misconduct to the police (many RV persons have cell phones) and can report directly to the senior lead officers (on their cell phones) in their territories.
• Assistance in a possible emergency.
• Some RVs have solar panels and battery systems and don’t have to rely on domestic electricity for power.
Among other persons living in RVs whom I have known of are:
Two police officers. (one an L.A. County Sheriff, the other works for the LAPD, who are a welcome addition in any neighborhood,) Retirees, the gainfully employed, highly educated, well established and status oriented: artists, writers, actors, teachers, students, and a world-reputed computer scientist.
Let’s not punish an entire group for the misconduct of some. Crippling a whole community of upright individuals for the careless wrongdoings of others is in itself wrong. We should all exercise good will toward each other with respect and not maltreat all for the sins of a few.