If Someone Leaves a Camper on Your Property | Do This!

Finding an abandoned camper on your residential or commercial property can be a surprise, but it’s important to know the steps to take in order to handle the situation properly. There are several options available to you, such as selling the camper, donating it, or even scrapping it. 

The best course of action will depend on your specific situation. It’s critical to ensure that the abandoned camper is handled properly so that it does not become a nuisance for your neighbours or the environment.



Potential Courses of Action

If someone leaves a camper in your area without your permission, it is considered trespassing, and you have the right to have the camper removed. However, it’s essential to handle the situation in the correct way to protect your rights as a property owner. Every action you take must be through proper channels and be right in the state of the law. Here are some of the ways you can take care of the matter:

  • Identify Who Owns the Camper

The first step you should take is to try to determine the identity of the person or persons who left the camper on your premises. This can be done by looking for any identification or registration papers in or around the camper or by talking to any neighbors who may have seen or spoken to the individuals. Make sure to take note of any license plate numbers, vehicle name and model, and any identifying marks on the camper.

  • Contact the Local Authorities

When you’ve identified the owner or have some information about the camper, contact the local authorities and inform them of the situation. They may be able to assist you in locating the right person who owns the camper and/or removing it from your place. 

If the camper is parked on public property, then the local authorities will be responsible for its removal. If the camper is parked on private property, the owner of that property will be responsible for its removal.

  • Document the Situation

It is important to document the situation and take pictures of the camper and any damage it may have caused to your property. This can be used as evidence if the situation escalates and you need to take legal action. Make sure to note the date and time of the incident and any other relevant details.

  • Get Legal Advice

It is also essential to note that if the camper is parked on private property, the owner of that property will be responsible for its removal. In some jurisdictions, if the camper is parked on private property without permission from the owner, the camper may be considered abandoned, and the property owner may be able to dispose of it as they see fit.

In any case, it is critical to consult a lawyer for legal advice and understand the laws of the place where you live regarding trespassing and property rights. Please note that the specific laws and regulations regarding campers on private property may vary depending on the location, and it is always recommended to consult with the local authorities and attorney for more specific and accurate information.

  • Handle the Situation Carefully

While it may be tempting to simply tow the camper away or vandalize it, it is important to remember that these actions are illegal and can result in criminal charges or civil lawsuits. It is important to act quickly and calmly to resolve the situation and protect your rights as a property owner.

Abandoned Vehicles in the Light of Laws in Some States

If you wake up one day and see a camper on your premises, there are a few steps you can take to legally take possession of it or have it removed. Here’s a summary of some state laws on abandoned vehicles:

  • In Washington State, you can take possession of a stranded vehicle by escalating it to the Washington Department of Licensing, followed by a formal request for the record of the vehicle in question.
  • In Arkansas, the first step is to file the abandonment notice. You need to file a notice in the DMV and ensure that the title history is clear.
  • In Florida, if no one comes forward to claim an illegally parked camper for thirty-five days, the law states that the person who found the camper can claim it.
  • Moreover, it is against the law to leave your vehicle unattended in Maryland. And no certain criterion is set that will entail the process of taking possession of the vehicle with no owner.

If you have a title-less camper, you might be able to discard it. However, it might be challenging to some extent.

It is always recommended to consult with the local authorities and attorney for more specific and accurate information, as regulations may vary depending on the location.

Some Misconceptions About Abandoned Campers

Especially if you are a resident of the USA, you might agree that abandoned campers have risen to be a huge problem, and it’s important to understand the misconceptions surrounding these vehicles. Here are some points to note:

  • People who own or drive campers are not necessarily homeless. Some might be middle-class and just can not or do not want to bear the cost of living in a house. 
  • Not all abandoned campers are a nuisance, as some owners leave their vehicles in a neat and clean shape so that it does not turn out to be much of a hassle for the next person.
  • Not all abandoned campers are a hazard, as some may be danger-free and just parked at the wrong location by sheer negligence.
  • Not all abandoned campers are tattered and damaged, as some may be in relatively good finish and can be of some use.
  • As we emphasized above, if you come across an abandoned camper, you must only take legal action, and that too, with extreme caution.

What Other Ways Are There?

One option is to try to trade the camper. You can list it for sale online or in classified ads or contact local dealerships or scrap yards to see if they are interested in buying it. Another option is to donate the camper to a charity. Many organizations accept campers as donations and can provide you with a tax deduction for the value of the camper.

If the camper is in poor condition or not worth the hassle of selling or donating, you can also consider scrapping it for parts or scrap metal. You can contact scrap yards or junkyards for information about scrapping a camper.

If you are unable to contact the camper’s owner, you may contact a towing service to have it taken off of your premises. Confirm with someone local regulations and laws to determine the possibility of certain special regulations concerning abandoned campers.

Where is it Illegal or Frowned Upon to Park a Camper?

Here are some places where it is illegal to park a camper. Watch out for these places so that you can take legal action against them.

  • Residential Streets

In most towns and cities across the US, local ordinances and street signs prohibit parking campers on residential streets. Even in the absence of signs, it is generally assumed that off-street parking for campers is not allowed. To avoid any issues, it is advised to obtain a parking or guest permit from local authorities.

  • Rest Stops

Rest stops allow travelers to take a break, use restrooms, and stretch their legs, but overnight stays are not permitted. Parking at rest stops is usually restricted to a few hours.

  • Private Property

It is against the law to park on private property without the landowner’s permission. Doing so may result in your camper being towed and impounded. Even new camper owners should be aware of this law, and claiming ignorance will not be considered a defense. Some Walmart parking lots may allow overnight parking, but it is at the discretion of the property owner.

  • Campgrounds

Campgrounds provide a suitable place to spend the night with your camper, but only after obtaining the owner’s approval in the form of a paid-up receipt. The receipt will indicate the period you have paid for and when you need to check out or book and pay for an extension.

  • Public Streets

When parking your camper on a public street, it is important to pay attention to street signs indicating when parking is allowed and prohibited. Large vehicles are often prohibited from parking at night or on narrow stretches of road for safety reasons. 

Ignoring these parking restrictions can lead to legal issues and accidents. Unless you make a short stop or have an emergency breakdown, it is important to comply with the prohibited parking times on public streets.

Bottom Line

In any case, it’s important to handle the situation carefully and to follow the proper procedures to protect yourself and your property. If you are unsure of the best course of action, it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer or other legal expert to ensure that you are complying with the laws and regulations in your area.


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