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Abandoned vehicles on private property are unfortunately becoming more commonplace. But what to do when someone leaves a camper on your property?

Fortunately, private property owners are well protected by the laws in the US Legal System that awards the owner of a legal title deed five basic rights. The title deed owner has the right to exercise only some of these rights.

  1. The right of possession
  2. The right of control
  3. The right of exclusion
  4. The right to derive income
  5. The right of disposition

The Right of Exclusion grants the property owner or his designate to exclude people from trespassing onto the property and to have them removed by lawful means. The property owner can report an illegally parked camper to the local law enforcement officials as the first step to removal.

If you have been faced with a situation where someone has parked their camper on your property without your permission, you will know to be patient and methodical in resolving the issue. Seek legal counsel and report the vehicle details to the local police as much detail as possible.

Acting hastily and with anger may get you in trouble. Unless the vehicle is blocking your only access to the property, you may have to be patient to get rid of the vehicle. Let's look at how best to approach such a situation and get it legally resolved quickly.



What To Do If You Find A Camper Parked On Your Property?

If you are a private property owner in a situation where someone has left a camper parked on your property without your approval, be assured that the law is on your side and be patient as the process of removal of the camper may take some time.

You can have the camper towed away, but you risk bearing the towing company's cost and any potential damage to the camper during the towing process. First, report the matter to the local sheriff or police and arm them with as much information as possible.

Please give full details of the vehicle's make, registration number, when you first noticed it parked on your property, and whether there is any indication of who the owner might be. Be patient with the police and the towing company as they are forced to follow due process in getting the camper removed.

Although you have the law on your side, the authorities and towing companies must limit the liability risk to themselves in having the camper removed and impounded. Be fair to the camper owner if they have a legitimate problem but put a time limit on your indulgence.

Do not agree that they can leave the camper on your property indefinitely. If you want to assist the owner by allowing them to leave the camper parked on your property, then set a date and time by which they have to vacate your property.

Commit the agreement in writing and get both parties to sign the document. Send a copy to the local authorities. The owners of campers and RVs must have the financial means to resolve their problem and get the camper off your property.

As a property owner, you have the right to waive your right to exclusion and control of your property but place a time limit on your waiver. Do not make open-ended agreements! You have the right to deny the request of the camper owner and have the vehicle towed away.

The Camper Community Is Aware Of Where They May Not Park

A camper left parked unattended without a note on the windscreen explaining the nature of the emergency is cause for immediate concern. The RV and Camper Community are well aware of where they may and may not park their vehicles.

The Five Places All Camper Owners Where Not To Park

  1. Residential streets are off-limits for Campers and RVs to park

According to research done by the off-road publication "Drivin & Vibin," parking campers or RVs on residential roads in most towns and cities in the US as indicated by street signs.

Even when no signs are displayed, assume that off-street parking for campers is most likely not allowed by local ordinances. Unless you have a parking permit or a guest permit issued by local authorities, you are at risk of picking up some flack from the local residents and authorities.

  1. Rest stops will allow you to park but not overnight

Rest stops allow travelers to stop for a leg stretch and use restrooms if available, but they do not allow campers to stay overnight. Parking at a rest stop is normally limited to a few hours only.

  1. Parking on private property without permission is prohibited

Parking on private land without permission from the landowner is prohibited by law and may lead to your camper being towed away and impounded. Even Newbies know this law, and claiming ignorance is not a defense.

A Walmart parking lot is also private property, yet some store managers tolerate campers using their parking lot overnight. It is the property owners' right to decide to allow campers to overnight and use their facilities, and as such, they may also withdraw that right should they choose to.

4.  Parking in campgrounds without a proof of payment is illegal

Campgrounds are the ideal places to overnight with your camper once you have received the owner's approval in the form of a paid-up receipt. The receipt will state the period you have paid and when you need to check out or book and pay for an extension in advance.

5. Parking your camper on a public street at certain hours is illegal

Please pay close attention to street signs on public roads indicating when camper and RV parking is allowed and when it is illegal. There are good reasons for prohibiting large vehicles from being parked at night or on narrow stretches of road.

Unless you make a short stop or have an emergency breakdown, don't ignore the prohibited parking times on public roads. If your vehicle is the cause of an accident, you may be held legally accountable.

If You Are A Camper Owner Who Needs To Park In An Emergency

The adage of it being easier to say sorry than to ask for permission does not apply here. If you are illegally parked on private property, you can face some significant fines and bear the towing costs and the storage fees for the towing company.

Examples of camper and RV owners are fined $1,500 or face a year in jail for illegally parking on private property or a residential street. If you are forced to make an emergency stop due to a breakdown, ask for the permission of the owner of the property where you are forced to park.

Report the situation to the local authorities (sheriff's office or police station), and do not leave the vehicle unattended. If you have to leave the camper, they leave a note on the windscreen explaining the situation and leave your contact details and when you will be back.

Do not create the impression that you have abandoned your vehicle and that there is no outlook on when you will move the camper. Authorities and locals will be more inclined to be understanding and helpful if you are completely honest with them.

Understand that private property owners are having problems in the US with vehicles being abandoned on their properties, and it causes them concern. Property owners have the right to deny you help and access to their property.

Approach the owners with humility and explain your situation. Most US citizens are likely to want to render assistance where they can and be understanding but not at the risk of incurring undue rudeness and inconvenience.