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Wednesday, February 21, 2024 |

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2024 Member Packets are on their way!

Each packet contains a window cling so you can show your support, as well as a membership brochure, a copy of our latest Camper's Guide to California, and information from some of our trusted supplier partners. Watch your mailbox!

This Week's Topics of Interest

* SB 644 Update

* Conversations with a Snowbird

* Insurance Commissioner

Ricardo Lara

* Supplier of the Week:


Senate Bill 644 - Glazer (D) District 7 (East Bay)

Hotel and private residence rental reservations: cancellation: refunds.

Does it apply to RV Parks and Campgrounds?

This bill would require a hotel, third-party booking service, hosting platform, or short-term rental, as defined, to allow a reservation for a hotel accommodation or a short-term rental located in California to be canceled without penalty for at least 24 hours after the reservation is confirmed if the reservation is made 72 hours or more before the day of check-in. Furthermore, the bill would require a refund to a consumer for all amounts paid to the original form of payment within 30 days of the cancellation of the reservation.

Many of you have asked if this pertains to RV parks and campgrounds. As typical for California legislation, the answer is a bit muddy. We know that it does not pertain to RV sites but what about park models, cabins, tents, etc? We consulted with our staff attorney, Rob Coldren, for some answers.

First let’s consider the definitions provided in Sec 3 Chapter 2 1748.80:

(b) (1) “Hotel” means a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn, or other similar transient lodging establishment located in this state.

(d) “Short-term rental” means a residential dwelling, or any portion of a residential dwelling, that is rented to a person or persons for 30 or fewer consecutive days and that is located in this state.

The safest approach according to Rob “would be to follow the reservation refund protocol in this bill on anything you rent that folks can sleep in” assuming that any lodging would be considered as “other similar transient lodging” by definition.

However, if you want to take a less conservative approach and not be required to give refunds within 72 hours of arrival date, “consider taking the position that something without plumbing and cooking facilities isn’t a dwelling within the meaning of the law,” says Rob, “At least that takes care of some tent and cabin camping”.

Dwelling Unit: is defined as “a single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation”.

We don’t believe it was the intent of the bill to include campgrounds but by nature of the bill language we “could be” included. Good News(?) – the penalty is capped at $10,000. (sigh)

While I continue to work on this with our lobbyist you may consider having two different types of cancellation policies.  

So, Where Are All the Snowbirds?

The Coachella Valley has typically been one of our state’s most popular winter getaways for RVers looking for warm weather and sunshine. With average temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees in a region that includes the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quita, and Indio one could easily understand. Then top it off with world-class golf courses, luxury spas, hot mineral pools, and unimaginable shopping and you have a snowbird paradise.

So, where are all the snowbirds?

During a recent trip to the Coachella Valley, I enjoyed coffee, cookies, and a conversation with a Canadian snowbird. 

Me: Since the pandemic we have seen a drastic drop in the number of snowbirds coming from Canada. Any insights?

Snowbird: The Canadian dollar doesn’t go very far in California. For those on a fixed income it is nearly impossible to stay here for months at a time.

Me: I can understand but are other states that much more affordable?

Snowbird: Arizona is a third of the cost. Literally, we are paying $1200 a week for my mom to visit in this cabin (while we are in our RV.) This would be $300 in AZ.  

Me: So, what is your incentive to come here?

Snowbird: We are not retired. My husband flies home to Canada each week to work. I work from the RV. It is the only way we can afford it. 

Me: Why not go to AZ?

Snowbird: The demographic here is younger and the area is a little livelier. We have always stayed in another park and decided to try this one this year and really love it. It’s new and fresh and active. Our friends can’t figure out why we even come to the desert because they believe it to be old and stodgy, but we don’t feel that here. 

Me: So, there is a perception that coming to the desert is for “older” people, but the older folks can’t really afford California, right?

Snowbird: Exactly. Until the economy changes in California, I don’t think you will see a return like pre-pandemic. 

In fact, as I walked the park to gain some perspective, the license plates were mainly from within the US. Wisconsin took the lead with the most RVs on this particular day. 

A November 2023 article by Storage Café ranked the 100 Best Destinations for Snowbirds. California didn’t make the list until number 28 with Indio. The remaining CA cities are shown in the graphic.

California only had 3 cities ranked in the top 50 compared to Florida with 28, Texas with 13, and Arizona with 4. Texas seems to be the new hot spot by combining access to the great outdoors with affordability that entices many to flock to their direction.

But for now, California seems to have branding and affordability issues. 

Insurance in California: A Conversation with Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara

For the past two years, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has called upon CalOHA president and CEO, Dyana Kelley, for her testimony information about how insurance challenges are affecting our industry. The Commissioner returned the favor by attending via Zoom a recent CalOHA Board of Directors meeting. Our board members and other invitees were able to discuss the Commissioners Sustainable Insurance Strategy and how the initiative could help RV parks and campgrounds throughout the state.  

The recorded meeting is available for viewing by CalOHA members by clicking the video below. Additionally, a pdf of his strategy is available. We are working on putting it on our website but in the meantime if you are interested, please all our office at (530) 885-1624 and we will email it to you.  

Commissioner Ricardo Lara Video

Supplier Dues Are Ready!

Invoices are now ready and can be accessed and paid online in your member portal. If you would rather pay over the phone, you can call the office at (530) 885-1624. You can also mail a check to:

P.O. Box 5648

Auburn, CA 95604

Thank you to all our suppliers who have already paid their

2024 member dues!

Supplier of the Week


Since 2006, CampLife has been designing reservation and park management software exclusively for the camping industry. Its dependable online system helps parks of all sizes operate with greater ease so they can grow, reinvest in themselves, and provide memorable guest experiences. That’s why CampLife serves nearly 500 parks in the United States and Canada. Features like mobile check-in, digital signatures, SMS texting, work orders, and more help parks stay agile and protect the health of staff and guests during the pandemic. CampLife provides unlimited and excellent customer service; this focus on supporting not only software but people is one reason ARVC named CampLife the Supplier of the Year for 2019 and 2020. CampLife’s robust, customizable system helps operators save time, make money, and get back to doing what they love.


Have a question? Contact us:


[email protected] (530) 885-1624