Homeowners Association wants to tow my travel trailer - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 08-19-2015, 08:10 PM   #1
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Homeowners Association wants to tow my travel trailer

Anyone have problems with your homeowner's association wanting to tow your travel trailer? I have a Dutchmen Eco, 18 foot travel trailer that fits inside my driveway and they say that RV's are restricted in our subdivision. I've had this for 5 years and this is the first time I got an anonymous index card saying that they will tow it if not removed. I see trailers of different kinds on other peoples driveway as well as boats and they seem to have no problems with that. Any info or enlightenment is appreciated. Thanks to all of you.

Marwyn
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:49 PM   #2
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Need to check with your Homeowners Association for that answer.
Sure glad I have 5 acres to park mine on.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
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According to Good Sam, it is a serious, and growing issue. Starting with Home Owner's Assoc's, and sometimes the communities also. Go to this link, and click to download their short manual on the subject. Get a copy of the HOA bylaws, and consult a lawyer. Good Sam Club
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:17 AM   #4
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Thanks MartyG and DesertRat for your quick response. It may be a hassle but I think I would like to fight this one. Wish me luck!!!!

Marwyn
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MemphisEco18 View Post
Thanks MartyG and DesertRat for your quick response. It may be a hassle but I think I would like to fight this one. Wish me luck!!!!



Marwyn

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Good for you, put up a good fight.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:10 AM   #6
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If I was going to fight this, invest in a trailer dolly and turn it around in your driveway. Maybe also park a car to block it in. Anything that will make it difficult if near impossible to tow. Also a good hitch lock. Good luck in your fight. HOA's suck
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:51 AM   #7
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Most of the time, HOA want a Trailer, Boat, etc. behind a fence, so if there is a way, that's one way to stop them, but like everyone stated above, You have to check the By-laws first
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MemphisEco18 View Post
I've had this for 5 years and this is the first time I got an anonymous index card saying that they will tow it if not removed.

Marwyn
Anytime my friend gets any correspondace from his HOA it is on letterhead and via registered mail, not an anonymous index card. I think one of your neighbors is jealous you have a camper.
My first step would be verify it was from HOA
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:34 PM   #9
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Index card! Thats laughable... not very official. Furthermore, if you've had it for 5 years and nothing till now I tend to agree with Thom, its probably annoying to a neighbor... to bad. You would be grandfathered in I would think if you already had it and they changed the law.. fight them... I get so tired of people interfering in other peoples business... homeowners associations stink.. country for me... good luck.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for all these support my fellow RV'ers. I have consulted my lawyer and he says the wording on the restrictions make it impossible to park an RV anywhere in my property. For the moment, whoever it is, is right. My lawyer thinks it might be a grumpy, jealous neighbor since it was not on official HOA letterheads and just left on the mailbox. My lawyer has advised me not to do anything for the moment. He says that they can not tow the trailer without filing a lawsuit first. I can actually report this person for improper use of the mail system and if they tow, trespassing. But, I am trying to start a drive to let people know that having an RV in a property does not diminish its value and I have read a court ruling that decided that removing RV's based on aesthetics is unconstitutional. I am hoping to gather enough support not only from RV'ers but from hobby/recreational people as well, including boats, ATV's, and even car enthusiasts. Hopefully, we can amend the covenants by giving them statistics that these things including RV's do not diminish property values and also do not pose safety or health hazards. Thanks again everyone.

Marwyn
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:38 PM   #11
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I'd invest a few bucks in a cheap outdoor camera so you can see who is messing with you.


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Old 08-20-2015, 04:53 PM   #12
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Marwyn,
Sorry to hear your troubles with the neighborhood. As the others said just an index card is not any kind of official communication and it most likely is from a neighbor not the manager. I live in a townhouse with a HOA. I have been on the Board four years and dealt with many similar issues. Generally if the rules or by-laws say no trailers in the driveway that is hard to fight. Our rules say we can only load-unload or clean a trailer or motorhome in the driveway but not park it overnight. I sometimes park mine on the street in front of our house, that belongs to the city and it is OK.


There is another possibility you have a rule as we do that changes or infractions that are in plain sight from the street or sidewalk are "grandfathered in" as OK if no notice was given by the manager or Board for three months or more. You said it has been there five years so they are way behind managing the situation.


I rent a storage lot for mine it costs $112 a month and is about five miles from home. I sure liked having my trailer in the drive next to my old house. I could see it, touch it and use it anytime I wanted. GOOD LUCK WITH THE FIGHT. I think it will be hard to win but maybe they are just too slow to try to enforce their rules.


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Old 08-20-2015, 06:33 PM   #13
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Go to the next HOA meeting see who the rat is, Then bring it up in new business that you would like to vote on it next meeting and go around too all your friends and people that have a lawn trailer ,boat , etc. have as many of then come to the next meeting and vote to change the by-laws it beats paying to store it ...
good luck.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:13 PM   #14
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Have you checked with other neighbor's with trailer toys to see if they got a card, too?

Our old neighborhood had a covenant that clearly said no trailers in the driveway or street. I was concerned about this when we moved in because I knew I was going to buy a TT and preferably park it at home. That neighborhood also had plenty of campers and boats parked on the streets and driveways, so it was clearly an unenforced rule. I asked the former owners of that house, who had only moved a block away (upsized) and parked their popup on the street, and they said that it had never been an issue. So I parked our TT on the uncovered concrete pad next to the driveway for a few years with no known issues. I was always a bit nervous about it though and thankfully we've since moved out of town and there are no HOA restrictions on storing my camper at my house.
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:25 PM   #15
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Thanks again for the support. Here are the updates:
1. We are installing cameras to see who is messing with us.
2. I have been notified to alert the postal service to report tampering and misuse of the mailbox. I have kept the cards in plastic bags to preserve finger prints.
3. I have joined the neighborhood social media site and no one, even the HOA officers has hinted on the parking issue, only hellos and welcomes. So, it looks like the notes are not official.
4. Reviewed latest minutes of meeting of the HOA and no mention of parking issues other than cars in streets.
5. I am starting a drive to educate our neighborhood that recreation vehicles do not devalue their properties nor are they safety or health hazards. Good Sam has lots of ideas.
6. I may contact the Good Sam Parking Council for support, if we do have to present changes to the homeowner's covenants.

Wish me luck and I'll keep you all updated.

Thanks.

Marwyn
2010 Dutchmen Eco
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:41 PM   #16
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I'd never buy in an area with an HOA. I have a big problem with anybody telling me what I can or can't do with my own property.
We store our trailer at my mother's place because she has a few acres that is fenced, and locked. I don't have that much room where my house is at in town. Our town does have an ordinance against parking RVs in the street in front of your house but they generally don't mess with you. Ours is only at home when we are preparing for a trip, or unloading after a trip.
A lady down the street did call the city and complain about it once when I had it home for a few days to do some work to it. The officer that showed up was required to give me 24 hours to move it or have it towed because somebody complained. But he also said that as long as I leave it connected to my truck they won't ask me to move it because they figure it will be parked there short term. They figure once you unhook it you're not going to move it anytime soon.
So now when it's home I just leave it hooked to my truck and haven't had a problem since. We have an extra vehicle so I don't need to drive my truck.
I figure if that lady complains about it again I'm gonna back the thing in my front yard and leave it all summer so she has to look at it every damn day.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:14 PM   #17
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Again, step one is to check the bylaws of the HOA. Just because a no RV/camper rule has never been enforced does not mean it doesn't exist. All it takes is a change in HOA leadership and all of a sudden it "pops up" and is an issue.
My wifes relatives live in an HOA that is CRAZY. He put his camper in the back yard behind an 8' fence and they still hassled him because you could see it from the road (per bylaws it was not allowed!). They now have to store it on a lot. We pulled up to their place in AZ with our 27' went inside, came out 2hrs later and there was a note on it from the HOA!
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:51 AM   #18
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Don't you like it when people want to control your life even though you are not doing anything to them??? I have never seen a much more responsible group of people than RV'ers themselves.

Anyway, as an update...since cameras were rolling, we haven't had a note again. The HOA had a recent meeting and no mention of RV's or trailers. I guess it may just be a jealous neighbor who wants to bring equality to communist levels.

I am still preparing for an education campaign but since I have not gotten any word from the HOA regarding the RV, I'm kinda holding off on one end. On the other, I really would like them to change some things on the covenant which are not substantiated by facts or numbers such as RV's and recreational trailers in ones property and parking cars in front of their properties.

Would it be a great idea to proceed or wait a while?
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:39 AM   #19
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Be careful waking up the sleeping dog. I know you are fired up right now, but cool it. Go to a couple more meetings. Get a feel for who runs what. Let your feelings be known slowly, over time. You might gently persuade people, just through your presence. Work change one small step at a time, and when the time is right. Not just because you see the need for change. Even if you start a rout right now, and win, you will leave behind those who are hurt, angry, and looking for revenge. Slow, grasshopper, slow!
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:18 PM   #20
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I just moved from a neighborhood with an HOA that had covenants about storing any type recreational vehicle, boat, etc... in public view. I didn't store my RV at the house but I would bring it home and park it hooked up on the side of the house to get ready for a trip and to clean up after returning. I too received an anonymous letter, that was ignored and then was challenged at the annual HOA meeting. I found sympathy with the group as many owned RV's and the consensus was that I was not violating the covenants by parking it a day or two before and after a trip.

After that meeting I noticed several of the other homeowners parked (stored) boats and RV's in their alley driveways and that issue never came up at the association meetings again.
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