Government shutdown, need help with a witty sign, thanks!
October 10, 2013 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Government shutdown consequences. This is definitely a 1st world problem relative to others I've read about ... but the government is shut down and my snowbird parents are shut out of their campground (that's run by the Army Corps). So ... they're moving into my front yard. Can y'all help me with a witty sign?

Starting Monday, they'll be parked in front of my house. 37 foot RV, kind of a narrow street within a 1 entrance neighborhood and signage throughout the neighborhood specifying "no parking on street". No HOA to enforce parking restrictions, but it's generally known through the neighborhood that you don't park on the street. But really, I don't care about the no-parking-signs, I don't care about tickets, I don't care about a neighbor being upset. I do care that my parents are safe and comfortable. And I do care that people are aware of the reason they are in a place they should not be. Because of that, I will be putting up reflectors, orange cones and taping 2 poster board sized signs to their RV.

Any ideas on what those signs should say (preferably not slanted right or left of the political spectrum)? Thank you!!!!

/btw, the alternative to my front yard is the Walmart parking lot. Not gonna happen.
posted by Dave. to Human Relations (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Smaller underneath "but our site got furloughed. Out of your hair as soon as the govt comes back."

And seriously consider your other options, because it's very likely they'll be ticketed and/or towed in short order if they're blocking access for emergency vehicles, sign or sign.
posted by contraption at 6:06 PM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]

I don't really think that this is a situation where you want to be witty and one where you want to just be brief and direct... although frankly, your signs will likely make no difference with most, esp. in the kind of neighborhood you've described. I think they would end up feeling a lot more uncomfortable than they might in a Walmart parking lot, but that's not my call.
posted by sm1tten at 6:22 PM on October 10, 2013

I recommend right to the point:

Temporarily displaced by Govmt Shutdown - hope to be on our way soon!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:34 PM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

It seems like the people who will be annoyed by an RV would be doubly annoyed by signage etc that would draw further attention to an RV. I grok 'want parents safe and comfy' but this does not have to go hand in hand with 'screw the neighbours.' You want them to smile and not glare at your parents, right? Doesn't take much to print off and deliver letters...

Dear neighbour,

Hello, this is Dave at 123 Nostreetparking Lane. I am writing to let you know that there will soon be an RV parked on my lawn, and that the RV parking will be temporary.

My parents are snowbirds who normally park in an Army Corps-run campground; the campground isn't operational during the government shutdown.

I am considering putting up a few reflectors and/or pylons for safety reasons. If you have ideas on how to minimise disruption to the neighbourhood, please feel free to call at [number] or e-mail me at [e-mail].

Dave Lastname

(Last paragraph is to try to short-circuit complaints. You have solicited advice! People wishing to complain could give you advice. Which of course doesn't always need to be followed.)

If you are hell-bent on signage, short and to the point, as others have said, is the way to go.
posted by kmennie at 6:41 PM on October 10, 2013 [14 favorites]

How comfortable are your parents going to be if your neighbors call the cops to get the thing towed? There's no cutesy pie sign that says I don't a crap about my neighbors, tickets or the law. Do you know how long something is parked before it's considered abandoned? Because all you need is one crappy neighbor to make that call.

Forget the sign. Go and talk to your neighbors.
posted by 26.2 at 7:14 PM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Are there any non-government-run campgrounds that they could divert too? Then they'd be safe, still camping, and probably having a better time than in the middle of the street or at Walmart.
posted by spinturtle at 7:14 PM on October 10, 2013

kmennie, thanks for using "grok", I grok that (and no, stranger I didn't have to google that) ... I'll combine your advice w/ madamjujujive's. And yes, I'm "hell-bent" on signage ... I think this shutdown is ridiculous regardless of politics!
posted by Dave. at 7:19 PM on October 10, 2013

I would second the letter and also suggest you look into state parks for camping/sight seeing. I don't know where you are but I do know some great RV spots in NC and GA if you'd like to memail me.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 7:38 PM on October 10, 2013

Much as I like the idea of your sign protest, I think the last thing you want to do is call MORE attention to the invading RV that's not supposed to be parking there in the first place. In fact, what you need to be worrying about is finding them somewhere else to go because if nobody parks on your street, some neighbor will be calling the cops on your parents in about 24 hours and you won't be able to argue "shutdown" as a way to get them to stay in a forbidden parking zone. Sorry.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:45 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Are there any other options besides the no-parking zone and the Walmart parking lot?
posted by box at 8:02 PM on October 10, 2013

I would seriously rethink this plan. I live in an RV and parking on a narrow street would be a non-starter. Where are they going to dump their tanks? If they got towed, where are they going to stay? Remember that if their RV gets towed, all their stuff gets towed too. The very idea gives me the heebie jeebies because this is my home.
posted by desjardins at 8:49 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with the folks who recommend against this.

You say there's no parking whatsoever allowed on your street, which says to me that street is too narrow for an extra row of vehicles. That narrow street, combined with the way a 37-foot RV will block sight of any oncoming traffic, sounds like an accident in the making. Add that to any kind of protest signage, and you've got some ticked-off neighbors. Not cool.

Do you have a driveway? Park the RV there. Inconvienencing *yourself* by taking up your driveway is better than endangering your neighbors.
posted by easily confused at 4:31 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you do this, and a media person happens to drive by, they will want to interview your parents. Then more media people will show up. Prepare yourself for that.
posted by girlmightlive at 6:29 AM on October 11, 2013

Also of note: many (most?) jurisdictions have regulations on how long you can leave vehicles parked in one place, and if/how long you can live in a vehicle that is parked on a public street. I think 72 hours is pretty standard, but is actually enforced when someone calls the police, because monitoring parking is generally a low priority for them.

To get this information, call your local police or building officials. Parking regulations are a weird border zone between street use and auxiliary uses to development, and the codes might be with building codes, yet enforced by local police. The local building folks might also have regulations on parking and/or living in an RV in your driveway. Some fancy communities require you to keep RVs parked behind gates.

If you do get media attention, you'll get public scrutiny, especially if your neighbors aren't OK with the RV being there (and/or the extra looky-loo traffic).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 AM on October 11, 2013

37 foot RV, kind of a narrow street within a 1 entrance neighborhood

Sorry, but... this is pretty inconveniencing to everyone, and you do need to care about your neighbors being upset.

Seconding kmennie's letter. If I were your neighbor, I would understand that this inconvenience is difficult and temporary, but I would also very much want to know the day I could expect the RV to be gone. You mentioned your folks are moving into your front yard, but you didn't mention for how long. Try to make it as short as possible.

Can your parents find a state-run RV-friendly campground?
posted by nicodine at 7:54 AM on October 11, 2013

If you care about your parents being safe and comfortable you should probably make quite sure that someone isn't going to come and try to tow that thing.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:25 AM on October 11, 2013

I hope we've convinced you to consider some other options.

Here are some listings of RV campgrounds:
All Stays
RV Park Reviews

Here is a list of where you can park legally on someone's land for free:
Boondockers Welcome

Here's a forum where you can ask other RVers for more specific advice:

Also consider that 37' motorhome + narrow street + only one entrance means that it's going to be difficult to turn that thing around.
posted by desjardins at 12:20 PM on October 11, 2013

"The Government Shut Down and All I Got Was Homeless"
posted by Billiken at 1:17 PM on October 11, 2013

I keep thinking a few words from this land is your land or America the beautiful might belong on such a statement.

Perhaps something really simple like "Your patience is appreciated until federal parks reopen and we can go back to camping."
posted by Myself at 1:51 PM on October 11, 2013

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