RV rentals are growing in popularity, as are worries

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Tourists have taken their vacation rentals to the beach. They rent motorhomes and vans online, and some think they can park anywhere they want.

With more and more tourists opting for mobile accommodation over hotels, some local lawmakers are keen to see a crackdown.

Tiago Carvalho rents a Nissan Quest minivan which he has transformed into a motorhome. He used his carpentry skills to add a sink with running water, a seat that folds up into a bed, and even a shower.

“We’re talking about a different type of customer, you know? Said Carvalho. “They don’t want to stay inside a hotel all day and just go to the beach and come back to the hotel.”

He advertises his van on an Instagram page and on Airbnb.

Campers like Carvalho can also be found on websites like RV Share, which often show many of these vehicles parked on the beach.

But good luck finding a place to spend the night.

Motorhomes are banned in almost all state parks, although the state’s Department of Lands and Natural Resources has said it is considering changing some rules to open spaces in certain parks.

You also can’t sleep there in Oahu City Parks, where only tent camping is allowed.

Carvalho tells his customers to get a reservation in a private park, like Malaekahana, or in rural areas.

“I know there are farmers, local farmers on the island, they are renting places on other apps so people can go there with motorhomes,” he said.

The growing popularity is also raising a backlash.

“If you do this you are going to allow more and more people to enter and go to the parks where they are already occupied,” said Stephany Sofos, who sits on the board of directors of Kapiolani Park Preservation. Society.

Sofos worries that overnight parking will invite trouble in the parks.

“If we allow people to rent and stay in parks, how can we not allow homeless people? We cannot be “one without the other,” she said.

“We have seen tourists camping in more remote areas where only locals usually go,” said Maui County Councilor Tamara Paltin.

Maui has tried to curb tourism, and Paltin is drafting a bill that would make it more difficult for RV owners to rent them.

“If we can associate motorhomes with one type of short-term rental and limit and regulate them, then fines for illegal short-term motorhome rental can go up to $ 20,000,” he said. she declared.

But for Carvalho RV owners, that’s a little extra money. And while it’s not for everyone, Carvalho believes it should be an option.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to have a motorhome,” he says.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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