Homeless RV Problems Reveal The Limits of Soft-Hearted Shrug

line of rv's parked on city street

Recreational Vehicles (RVs) are a subclass of generalized homeless problems and growing as all homelessness is in North America.

An international view of officialdom seems to be that tents are far too tacky to be considered a home, (or even, for that matter, an individual asset that can be owned and protected by law.) Thus tents can be, and are, seized and destroyed at will.

But America’s healthy car culture invites another story. In 2018 we reported on a Washington judge who ruled that a pickup could indeed be a person’s home. The city of Portland had no right to seize it and hold it ransom in some municipal pound1.

There is power in judicial precedent. That’s useful for those who are fortunate enough to buddy up with an activist lawyer. But that’s no substitute for laws that might protect a vehicle as a home. However, city councils on the West Coast in particular have expressed some sympathy to slightly wealthier, job-holding homeless who are forced to live in a vehicle and need some place to park2.

San Francisco, which has taken a similarly soft-hearted view, has recently ended its moratorium on towing ‘live-aboard’ vehicles. Up until now it seems that there’s a been a useful city convenience of doing nothing under a flag of compassion.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily solve much of anything. ‘Leftie,’ bleeding-heart Seattle is now wrestling with the consequences of ‘leave the poor folks alone,’ as the city is forced to recognize that encampments are a locus of crime — not just NIMBY neighbourhood shrieks about ‘what-if’ crime, but police-blotter hard evidence stats, up to and including gun crime and murders3.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, soft-hearted officials are discovering the limitations of conveniently ignoring — even assisting — ‘fine upstanding homeless.’ Yes indeed, there are working poor who have jobs and live in the vehicles they need in order to drive to work. But intermixed are growing numbers of homeless living streetside in aging RV rattletraps that may never again move away from the curb.

Problems? Watch on Youtube a story that originated with CBS Los Angeles: RV towing moratorium lifted, sparking debate over homeless crisis


  1. Try: Car Living Skyrockets In Seattle. Is It Affordable Housing Or Homelessness?
  2. For example, try: Sebastopol, California To Meet The Halfway-Homeless Half Way
  3. Try: Bleeding-Heart Seattle Finds A Homeless Gun to Its Head