Non disabled people hogging ADA campsites? How?

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
I THINK Va. state parks campsites are marked w/ a blue handicap placard...I could qualify for tags I guess thru the VA, but can't make myself put in for 'em as long as I can still get around half azzed...

I get it. I am refusing to use a cane so far. My issue is from a seated position I MUST open the car door fully, grab my left leg and lift it out of the car and set it on the ground before signal can get down there to tell it to move... If the car door isn't all the way open, there is no way I can get my left leg out. I have literally before had to slide myself out of the car azz first and put myself on the ground because some dingleberry decided to park in the hash zone.

@jonkquil Thanks for that feedback about Oregon State Parks. This is actually REALLY good information to have as it is not widely known, particularly to those that live elsehwere. A good friend of ours that lives in Corvallis, camps a lot and is likewise disabled didn't know this...

I am trying to get information from Texas Parks and Wildlife about our system.

Disabled or not though, like I have mentioned above. The bigger, and it is getting MUCH worse as we go, problem is that many state park systems are closing campgrounds, total number of sites is going down, while the popularity of camping is skyrocketing. The states are taking a backwards approach to the issue. For example Galveston Island State Park is closed for renovation. And by Renovation I mean they bulldozed the pavement and are starting over. Probably won't have that park back for 3 to 4 years...

I am fearful bringing this up will veer too much into the realm of the political, and mods please edit this part out or flat out delete this post if this is in violation of the rules or anything, not my intent.

I am wondering what we as campers can do to encourage the creation and maintenance of more available lands, parks, and sites where we can camp? I know opportunties out west are greater due to far more public land and all, and different regions bring different issues. In the south, for example, our issues are heat, humidity, snakes and gators. out west you've got bears and mountain lions, out east. eh, no clue, look at my places camped map. I have no idea about the midwest of east coast...
 

Lug_Nut

Active Member
May 29, 2016
254
Mt. Wachusett area, MA
If you were to use disabled parking in your TV for example while taking them out to dinner in town without their placard you would likely be subject to citation or towing and impound wouldn't you? Why would a state park campground be any different?
Because the campground is a private business. (note to self: Read, three time if needed, before posting! See next post for the dope slap that I deserve, end of edit)
Folks have mentioned above that while the sites exist and are made available, but not reserved for persons with qualifying disabilities. That is understandable, but somewhat concerning.
from your first post:
Mind you this park had 0 available sites, including ADA sites
If there are zero sites available, who was being discriminated against? sleepy-heads?, slow drivers? By all means hold the accessible sites open until the end, then rent them out to anyone.
To be blunt, we need more camp sites for people to enjoy and keep from going too terribly bonkers...
An I need to spend more time outdoors watching sunsets than I presently spend being contrarian on the interweb.
 
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dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
BOLD, Italics, and underlined to add emphasis...

From my original post...

"Why would a state park campground be any different?"

Because the campground is a private business.

I'm sorry, I don't think we are on the same page here. How exactly is a State Park, taxpayer funded, and government manged, a private business?

And while I am no legal expert, I have to wonder, how does any of this absolve private businesses from ADA compliance? What are the ADA requirements as applied to camping facilities?

An I need to spend more time outdoors watching sunsets than I presently spend being contrarian on the interweb.

Don't we all?
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
852
Minnesota
My two cents about ADA sites at a campground we like to go to.
The sites are labeled as ADA accessible as a convenience to those that need them.
They are not meant to be for only ADA users.
I figured they were only for ADA . I guess you never know if someone that really needs that space, that is a handicapped person, that it should be there in case they come into the campground. There's a place we like that's fcfs, and it has 1 ada spot, I've never seen anyone in it, and I'd never use it, because you just never know. I'd feel stupid if someone who really needed that spot came and we were in it. I'm talking about a state management unit, sort of a state forest. You should come and try some Minnesota state or national forest campgrounds, they're pretty good.
 

RandyP

Member
Dec 11, 2020
22
Tumwater, WA
I spent 20 years helping make Washington State Parks more accessible. Early on, we debated a lot about how to allocate accessible campsites. It made sense that they be reservable, as someone with disabilities needs to know that they can have a space where everything works for them. However, it's tough to listen to temporarily able bodied campers grousing about an unused accessible spot, when the rest of the campground is full and their kids are a mess after a long day's drive. Our solution is similar to Oregon's, described earlier. Accessible sites are only for those with needs, until a certain time of the day. At that time, if not occupied by a disabled person, staff may allow anyone to occupy it for one night. Checkout time is the same as any other site. A later ADA reservation pre-empts the ad hoc use, but we got a family safely off the road and settled in for at least one night. Check the managing agency's website for particulars.
Here's a tip for accessible tables. We found that accessible tables work so well, we often put them at all sites. The design is an 8' long top, with 6' benches on each side. One end is cantelevered out 2 feet. If you need to use a wheelchair, it's ready for you. If you don't, it's a great place to slide the big cooler under and set up the tabletop grill at. A classic example of how good accessible design is good for everyone.
Also note, new construction, especially since passage of the ADA, is much easier to include access features. Washington has many parks with sites dating back to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. Logs, stonework, and stairs are featured there, and very hard to change. Plus, they have historic significance that needs to be considered. If you need an accessible facility, you may have better luck if you look at newer developments. Washington also has an ADA guide for outdoor recreation, available at a click on State Parks, Department of Natural Resources, and Fish and Wildlife websites. Know what you are getting into ahead of time. Hope that helps.
 

Jimbow

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Nov 30, 2012
2,044
Interesting discussion. Twice in the past couple years we've been offered ADA sites at ACOE campgrounds on a walk up basis. Both times the hosts explained the designation was to help folks who needed the site to know which sites would accommodate them best but they were not legally restricted. Much like listing overall length, overhanging limbs, etc.

So we could think of those sites like ramps instead of stairs. They are there for everyone but some people really need them.
 

kcsa75

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
5,732
Kansas City
Having an Aliner without the toilet, we looked for sites close to the facilities. A couple of times, unknowingly, we got an ADA site. You can't help it, if it is not flagged, in any way, on the reservation site.

A couple years ago, I reserved a site at a USFS campground in Colorado. After the fact I realized I'd booked an ADA site and called back to change to a different site. Once we got to the campground it turns out all the sites were ADA accessible.

Among the four or five campgrounds near home that we frequent, only one has a single ADA accessible site.
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
A couple years ago, I reserved a site at a USFS campground in Colorado. After the fact I realized I'd booked an ADA site and called back to change to a different site. Once we got to the campground it turns out all the sites were ADA accessible.

Among the four or five campgrounds near home that we frequent, only one has a single ADA accessible site.

Interesting. I have never seen a campground that was fully ADA compliant. That would be impressive.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
Plz keep in mind... ADA is not always a physical disability. There are also cognitive, emotional, mental, visual, speech, and hearing disabilities that fall under ADA. Plus so many more not mentioned that are hard to physically tell if someone’s protected under ADA laws. Which is why most places do not require someone to prove their disability when reserving ADA sites.

I personally won’t reserve an ADA campsite. I mainly go boondocking so it’s a moot point for us. It’s not often we camp at a campground.

Happy Camping... [put&hy]
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,722
Good thread...Here in Nebraska I am not sure what the rules are but they all are marked and the campground I go to most
all the pads are asphalt but the ADA sights are all double in width and have concrete pads vs asphalt and the firepits are built into
the pads and some I have seen have metal trash cans on them as well.
I don't believe I have ever seen someone with a obvious disability camped on one.
I will have to check into that more next time I go.
I think its a good deal for people who need it.
If it gets them out there I am all for them.
 

OR_scott

Member
Mar 20, 2021
16
dbhost, not to change the subject, but the CPAP are usually 12volt with a transformer anyway. They run fine off a battery. Or perhaps even one of those cheap solar generator type battery packs. Mine hasn’t had a problem running with the cig lighter style adapter. Frankly if I had to stay in campgrounds I might give up RVing. I much prefer dispersed camping.
 

OR_scott

Member
Mar 20, 2021
16
dbhost, not to change the subject, but the CPAP are usually 12volt with a transformer anyway. They run fine off a battery. Or perhaps even one of those cheap solar generator type battery packs. Mine hasn’t had a problem running with the cig lighter style adapter. Frankly if I had to stay in campgrounds I might give up RVing. I much prefer dispersed camping.
Sorry just saw your new thread on this issue.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
We spent last weekend camping at a campground. It was a last minute reservation because our favorite forest and road was flooded from the monsoons rains in Northern AZ. Luckily my camping friends and I found three open campsites at a campground up north. My friend and I reserved two side by side campsites which shares the same driveway. She reserved the ADA site since her very elderly mom (almost 100 years old) was camping with her. Mom has walking issues, uses a walker and requires lots of assistance. She’s also recovering from a bad fall, was hospitalized for a couple of months and lots of rehabilitation. The ADA campsite was very nice with asphalt all around to the picnic table, fire pit and grill. This allowed her mom to move around with her walker instead of tripping around on a dirt surface. Plus it had a electrical outlet while other campsites don’t. Mom wasn’t able to go inside my trailer since it’s an off road model that’s lifted and with the steps higher up. So we watched movies outside of my trailer under the awning.

We always went camping each month for years. My friend began caring for her mom and hasn’t gone camping since last year. We were so impressed with the campground that we plan to camp there again in the future. Having an ADA site gives folks that are differently able the ability to go camping.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Old_Geezer

Super Active Member
Sep 29, 2009
2,760
Southwest PA
A previous neighbor was disabled. He had the blue tag hanging from his rearview, parked in the ADA spaces at Wallyworld, and everywhere else. He was also on permanent disability due to a work injury. Then he lost all that when he was investigated and they produced a video of him carrying bundles of roof shingles up a 40' ladder. I digress.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
I’m lucky the campsite next door to my friend’s was a regular site that allowed me to be close by. DH and I were able to help them set up and take down their HTT. I was also able to help my friend with her Mom during the trip. I stayed behind to help out so our guys could go fishing. It’s a lot of work caring for an elderly family member with mobility issues. Lots of teamwork among friends.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 




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