Resident Question: What to do about RV sleepers in your neighborhood

South San Francisco, CA   August 2, 2016

The past six months or so we’ve received a handful of emails/messages from neighbors wondering about RV’s on their block, noting they are being used for night time sleeping. These residents come from various neighborhoods across our City including Southwood, Buri Buri, Francisco Terrace, Mayfair Village among them. Concerns raised have included:

*Should neighbors make an attempt to meet them and see if they need anything

*How long can they stay parked on a public street

*How to know who is living in their neighborhood; security concerns

*Are there other places they can stay to get services like Safe Harbor

Because we had this question put to us once again by 2 people this week we asked our neighbors on our FB page what they would do. Below is the exchange. Please feel free to add your comments as well. And please remember, should you ever feel concern always contact the police.


Little help please: What do you do when a RV parks in your neighborhood & you realize someone is sleeping there nightly?What if after 72 hours they move to another block or neighborhood?
This question has come to us a few times in the past months by ‪#‎SSF‬ neighbors in different areas of our City. We realize housing costs are prohibitive for many workers yet……
Do you turn a blind eye? Do you see if they need anything? Do you call PD? Is it OK to have someone sleeping in their vehicle on residential public streets? Is it ok in YOUR neighborhood?
Your thoughts?


Michaela: Depends on the situation, I would keep an eye on it if there is any illegal activity going on or if they dumping garbage while they there, also depends on the parking situation if there is limited parking for residents, maybe Talk to the person(s) to get to know the reason as to why they are they living in the trailer they may have come across hard times

Jaime: From my recolllection, RV parking on streets are not allowed longer then 24 hours, in order to stop people from doing the exact same thing. Sleeping in them.

Alan: You take out your speakers and play loud metal music. I’m sure they would move. Away unless they like metal then try playing Justin Bieber.

Carol: When we parked ours on the street overnight because we were home late from racing or getting ready to go on vacation, our cranky neighbor across the street from us would call SSFPD and we would get a notice plastered on the RV. I think you are only allowed to park for a couple of hours, not overnight.
Maria in response: Dam neighbor
Carol to Maria:  I felt sorry for him because he was miserable.

Nikel:b Watch your own property and stop being nosy unless they are causing you troubles. #nosyneighbors

Patricia: Direct them to the nearest Walmart parking lot.

Mari: The streets are for the public and if they aren’t causing any disturbance to your neighborhood please mind your own business…

Shelley: Parking lots are public too. And safer. Better lit, more people around. It’s not about whether it’s someone’s business. There’s a bigger picture not just a narrow thought process here. RVs left for too long cause obstructed views due to their size. Unsafe for traffic around corners and along the streets. Drivers can’t see oncoming cars and traffic or pedestrians. Especially in streets with little or no stop signs. Just because it’s public doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ok. People get fined for leaving RVs too long. People with RVs out in front of their homes that are vacationing vehicles get ticketed and end up having to put them in storage. They also have parks for people to park and live in their RV. They have better facilities and resources for them too. It’s not just about minding your own business. It’s about safety for all, and that included the safety of those living in the RV.

Patty: I don’t mind them. At first it was a concern but I don’t know the persons or family situation. Housing cost here is ridiculous. Hope those with negative comments are never faced with a situation like that.

Elaine: Leave them alone if there not bothering anyone and clean. No problem. They could be watching your house to no one brakes in when your not home. ?

Renee: Really if they are not having parties in them or dealing drugs out of them,. Please leave them be. They could have reasons like housing costs, it would be hard enough without the police knocking on their door everything someone like you called in.

Krystina: There is a law that states you can’t live in an RV ON the street..however,you get around said law by moving it constantly. RV parks are JUST as expensive as renting. They’re living in an RV for a reason. As long as not blocking your driveway or other’s…See More

Scott: I agree with the other folks here who say leave them be if they’re respectful and tidy. Calling the police isn’t really going to solve anything, except maybe a homeowner’s desire not to have to look at the RV. They’re just gonna move somewhere else. I notice they are often parked by the La Z Boy store; there are no houses right on Country
Michele: Guess I’m lucky I live on a steep street. ? But if I didn’t I don’t think it would bug me. Though I wonder how I would feel if someone was parked in front of my house for days on end. Hard to say.

Kevin: Mind your own and let them be!

Tim: The ones that don’t mind can post their address so we can let the campers know. ?


4 comments for “Resident Question: What to do about RV sleepers in your neighborhood

  1. Scott Dreyer
    April 3, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t have a problem with them, it’s more of a safety issue because my street is curved and I can’t see around the camper when I’m backing into the street.

  2. Joshua
    June 22, 2020 at 1:37 am

    Would something similar to a Notice, or Profile Notice be a better solution? Something that doesn’t give away personal information of the RV’ers but something that helps give ease to the strangers and neighbors nearby.

    So the Notice would be posted somewhere on the outside of the RV stating “HERE FOR THE NIGHT” or “VISITOR” or “ONLY 2 DAYS” or “VISITING FAMILY” or “TRAVELER” or “21-30 YRS OF AGE, I LOVE TRAVELING, STAYING FOR THE NIGHT” or “JUST PASSING BY/ THROUGH”. Whatever makes the most sense and gives enough information for everyone to feel comfortable but yet none intrusive. It can be a Billboard of some kind on top of the RV too. This way the neighbors can actually approach you correctly as well and possibly offer conversation or service as was previously mentioned.

    I’m young and I would love to travel the world in an RV. But I wouldn’t want it to be an issue to visit family in Colorado (example) and then have my RV get a ticket when I’m just staying for like a week or even a month. And I don’t have that much money to consistently stay at an RV Park. Plus, even if I did have that kind of money, there aren’t enough RV Parks out there. So even if I did have the money to stay at an RV Park, the Park is probably hours away from where I’m trying to visit…

  3. PRW
    July 10, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Hello Everyone,

    I hope all of you are well…

    I would like to say I understand both sides. Yes of someone living in an RV in your neighborhood could be disturbing and absolutely a safety concern for your family.

    Now for those who say leave them be, that is currently me and my seven-year-old son. I have always been a single mom, I bought our home for my boys. We were forced to short sale our home of 16 years. After that I purchased an RV and was going to visit my mom in Oregon. Then coronavirus hit and of course no traveling, long-term RV spots not available you can rent them overnight by the end of the month you would be paying about $1,000.

    So, We began staying at truck stops, going back and forth between the safest ones. Then we came across a church, something drew me in. WE FINALLY FELT SAFE!! Well kind of. We have been here now for 5 weeks and 3 days.

    I really letter to the pastor I left him my name and number nobody has called to this day. it’s been a couple nice days one brought a remote control truck and some cookies. Other than that no one has engaged us.

    I was always responsible, taking care of my kids making sure my bills were paid. Now this, all of this!!

    My heart is broken, I am sad for my youngest who is 7 years old. I feel like a failure, humiliated, I’m embarrassed. I’ve always helped others, why is this happening is a common question I have. Asking yourself, am I homeless?



    The common concern was safety for the residence in the neighborhood. I completely understand. The safety for my son and I is my top priority…I know when things open back up, we will surely be asked to leave. Although, I would rather leave before the awkwardness of someone knocking and asking me to. I would be devastated by embarrassment. I am to be my eyes open and we’ll have a very nice thank you letter written. They won’t have to ask me to leave.

    Thank you everyone,

    The Lost Traveler

  4. tracy
    July 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    When they park a giant one in front of my house for months…..yeah I do have a problem.

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