Vernon couple can't find affordable rental, RV parks say their motorhome 'too old'

Facing RV discrimination

A Vernon couple are experiencing RV discrimination.

Al Peterson says he and his wife, Katja, have given up on finding affordable rental accommodation and bought themselves a cheap motorhome instead.

Now, they are being turned away from RV parks, because their motorhome is "too old."

"So my wife and I gave up on finding affordable rentals in town after sending out nearly 100 emails, applications, messages, etc., and we bought an RV because we did the homeless thing once and it's sucky, so this was the backup plan," Peterson wrote in the Vernon & Area Community Forum.

"But it seems our local RV sites don't allow motorhomes/campers older than 10 years. Not for any practical reason, but because the other long-term RV dwellers think they're ugly (no I’m not kidding, that's exactly what they told me)."

Peterson says he's sick of the Okanagan being "overpriced or super boujee."

He's hoping to find a place to park the RV close to public transportation because his wife doesn't drive, and says he's had a couple of offers he plans to check out.

"If anyone knows of someone in Vernon ... who is willing to take cash for hosting a pair of nerds in an RV, please let me know," he wrote.

Photos of the motorhome Peterson shared show it is older, but appears to be in clean shape.

He says it's a 1992 unit that's been "reno'd really nicely inside and is well maintained."

The post ignited the displeasure of many suffering in the tight rental market. As of Thursday afternoon, the post had more than 100 reactions and more than 160 comments.

Prior to buying the RV, Peterson had sought accommodation with a maximum rent of $1,400 a month, but found that impossible.

Peterson was a touring musician before the pandemic, but due to physical disabilities can't currently handle the rigours of the work. His wife is a barista.

Their current accommodation has been sold and they have to move before Sept. 1.

He says their landlords "really liked us, and we always paid on time and usually even early."

He's hoping he'll have their situation sorted out by the end of the week. But, the RV park reception has left a bad taste in his mouth.

"It definitely felt like class discrimination," he said.

Peterson admits a tiny home has always been his dream, "but I wanted to get there on my own terms, and maybe build out a bus, not panic buy an RV."

The couple spent six months in hotels or couch surfing after the fires of 2021, and Peterson says he was "definitely getting worried we would be urban boondocking in the near future."

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